The benefits of regular meditation have received a lot of press in recent years—but are you sitting still for it?
If not, you just might not have found the right meditation method for you.
The Journal of Science and Healing highlights the importance of ensuring that new meditators select methods with which they are most comfortable, rather than those that are most popular, according to a press release from San Francisco State Univesity.
If you do choose a method that you enjoy, you are likely to stick with it, says Adam Burke, the author of the study. If not, there is a higher chance you may abandon meditation altogether, losing out on its myriad personal and medical benefits. Burke is a professor of Health Education at San Francisco State and the director of San Francisco State’s Institute for Holistic Health Studies.
Burke compared four popular meditation methods—Mantra, Mindfulness, Zen and Qigong Visualization—to see if novice meditation practitioners favored one over the others.
The study’s 247 participants were taught each method and asked to practice at home and, at the end of the study, evaluate which they preferred. The two simpler methods, Mantra and Mindfulness, were preferred by 31 percent of study participants. Zen and Qigong had smaller but still sizable contingents of adherents, with 22 percent and 14.8 percent of participants preferring them, respectively.
“The results show the value of providing new practitioners a simpler, more accessible method of meditation,” the press release noted, “but they also emphasize that no one technique is best for everyone, and even less common methods are preferred by certain people.”