Common types of Meditation as practiced in the U.S.


This type of meditation, being studied by the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM), is part of the Buddhist religion. During this meditation, you may learn to concentrate on your breathing. As you follow your breathing, you try to become completely focused and present in each moment. Your thoughts pass out of your mind without judgment, called nonjudgmental awareness. Over time the goal is to learn how to experience everyday life with greater acceptance, balance, and perspective.



This form of meditation, also being studied by NCCAM, is from the Hindu religion and involves the use of repeated words, phrases, or sounds — called mantras. By repeating a mantra, the meditator can block distracting thoughts and achieve a deep state of “restful alertness.”



Vipassana means “to see things clearly” and has been taught as a way of healing the body and the mind. Also called insight meditation, vipassana is said to have been taught by the Buddha. Vipassana requires focusing on the deep connections between the body and the mind, while remaining calm and detached.



In Zen meditation, you close your mind to thoughts and put your whole being into the meditation, to achieve a state of concentration and realize your true inner-self.


At present in the West, Yoga is mostly known for its asana tradition, while Buddhism is more known for its meditation tradition of Zen and Vipassna.