Meditation is a transformative journey that restores your mental clarity, loving nature, and self-awareness. Research shows that even a few months of guided meditation is associated with increased connectivity in the default mode network of your brain.
Ten minutes of advanced meditation, therefore, can be a refreshing way to start your day. But the question is— which advanced meditation technique is right for you, and how to properly practice these advanced techniques?
Now that you’re here, you can find all the information about 13 advanced techniques that will enrich your meditation practice. We also talk about the benefits and the neuroscience behind meditation. So, make sure to keep reading!
What Is Advanced Meditation?
Meditation is a healthy way to release bottled emotions so you can navigate everyday feelings. However, advanced meditation techniques require a higher level of awareness, breath control, attention, and spirituality.
With daily practice, meditation taps into your brain’s default mode network and makes alterations in this default network. It affects parts of the brain that are responsible for producing feelings of stress, fear, and uneasiness.
Today we will talk about advanced meditation techniques that focus on—
- Pure consciousness (Transcendental Meditation)
- Attention span (Mindfulness Meditation)
- Enlightenment and Insight (Vipassana Meditation)
- Self-awareness (Reflection Meditation)
- Positivity and compassion (Loving-Kindness Meditation)
- Happiness and Joy (Inner Smile Meditation)
- Mental clarity (Satipatthana Meditation)
What Are the Benefits of the Advanced Meditation Technique?
The benefits of advanced meditation transcend the physical and emotional plane. It makes you feel at one with the profound energy of the universe. More on why you should try advanced meditation—
Reduce Stress and Anxiety
Research shows that meditation is as helpful as medication for treating anxiety disorders. Are you familiar with the amygdala? It is part of our brain that manages feelings of stress and anxiety.
Several meditation techniques are proven to de-escalate our amygdala activity and maintain calm.
Staying in Control
Evidence shows that meditation kickstarts the parasympathetic nervous system. It replaces our “flight or fight” response with “rest and digest.”
This function lowers our heart rate and immediately makes us feel at ease. Long-term meditation practitioners, therefore, are resilient and self-aware.
Moving forward, advanced meditation enhances the brain’s resting state networks. With practice, it taps into your neuronal activity.
As reported by Scientific American, when you spend a good portion of your time in meditation, the amygdala shrinks in size.
Healing and Compassion
Richard Davidson, neuroscientist and co-author of the popular meditation book Altered Traits, observed an interesting side to meditation. It is that cultivating compassion is more effective than empathy.
Thusly, loving-kindness meditation has the ability to make one feel more content, gracious, and accepting of one’s true nature, leaving room for love and growth.
The Science Behind Advanced Meditation
Most people approach advanced meditation with skepticism and doubt. So, we are here with a bunch of references (among thousands!) to help you take up this healing journey seriously.
Meditation Rewires Your Brain
Sara Lazar, a Harvard neuroscientist, uncovered an interesting fact about meditation in 2005— meditation has the capacity to reform the structure of the human brain.
It thickens the prefrontal cortex, which is responsible for attention span. This way meditation improves clarity and focus.
By 2014, scientists have gathered evidence that the brains of meditators are, in fact, enlarged in a few areas.
For example, the insula of the brain, which is involved in self-awareness, as well as the orbitofrontal and cingulate cortex responsible for self-regulation.
Harbor Healthy Emotions
According to Altered Traits, regularly meditating for just two weeks can bring positive changes in your behavior. It’s because our behavior is linked with brain activity, and advanced meditation impacts this neuronal activity from within.
Increase Kindness and Altruism
An fMRI study shows that compassion meditation triggers experienced meditators to move and help a person in distress while still attached to a brain scanner.
Loving-kindness meditation stimulates the brain’s center for happiness, which, by extension, makes one more compassionate.
Which Advanced Meditation Practice Is Right for You?
Advanced meditation techniques steady your heart rate, increase your well-being and minimize feelings of anxiety. Practice these advanced techniques twenty minutes a day and sense the changes in your entire body and mood.
Mantra meditation helps to calm a racing mind. The chant of a mantra is scientifically proven to reduce distractions. It restores tranquility within the self and makes room for positive energy.
This meditation is useful if you want to—
- Make peace with distressing thoughts
- Become more focused on your everyday life
- Increase your attention span and awareness
How to Practice Mantra Meditation?
A mantra is a phrase that acts as your spiritual anchor and aids your practice. A gentle repetition of words, a mantra becomes the focus of attention as you meditate.
This advanced technique is similar to other techniques, focusing primarily on the breath.
Sit comfortably on your cushion, and as you delve deeper into a meditative state, chant a simple mantra. When you voice the mantra, direct your mind to the sound, and feel its gentle reverberations touch your soul.
Also known as insight meditation, Vipassana meditation guides you towards self-observation without feelings of judgment. In Pali, the word “Vipassana” translates to “perceiving things as they are.”
If you frequently dwell in the past, you can practice this advanced technique to cultivate self-acceptance.
How to Practice Vipassana Meditation?
Practice this advanced meditation technique for about 15 minutes a day. Retreat to a quiet room, take a seat and breathe normally.
Keep your eyes closed and sense how relaxed you are beginning to feel. Find time to sit quietly, focusing on your breath, body parts, and internal organs, and draw from the infinite pool of divine energy.
Meditate on the natural rhythm of your breath and observe your thoughts. Let yourself feel these thoughts and sensations, and slowly let them go with relaxed exhalations.
Self-reflection meditation allows you to contemplate your innermost thoughts and life choices from a neutral point of view. It is similar to reflective practices and movement meditations like yoga and Tai Chi.
Mindful reflections provide a healthy way to settle your mind and rein in overthinking habits. It helps you break free from self-fulfilling boundaries.
How to Practice Reflection Meditation?
Reflection meditation comes in various forms. It works by focusing the mind and recognizing the emotions as you go. The advanced technique shows the way to move past your inhibitions and embrace contentment in your daily life.
Notice Your Physical and Emotional Cues
Take shallow breaths, close your eyes, and think about the thoughts that you fixate on or brush aside in your everyday life. Notice how your body reacts to these feelings.
The back of your neck might be stiff, your eyebrows furrowed, and your shoulders tensed. Register these cues so that you know what is going on with your body when you encounter these thoughts.
If you feel confused from a past experience or argument, let your emotions flow and give them a name— discontent, anxiety, fear, or sadness. This will help you become more aware of your emotional state.
And, with practice, you will be able to recognize these feelings in the present time.
Practice Deep Listening
Listening is a part of whole systems healing, which cultivates gentle responses, leadership, restorative dialogue, and effective solutions. Mindful listening is acknowledging the other person’s emotions without being argumentative.
When you allow yourself to hear first, you have the time to structure your response proactively, leaving little room for regrets.
Qigong is an integral part of healing practices rooted in ancient China. Qi meaning “vital life force,” the technique helps one become the “master of one’s energy.”
According to traditional Chinese medicine, energy travels in our bodies through twelve meridians. When this energy path is blocked, we fall ill to mental, spiritual, or physical illnesses.
Qigong Meditation for Beginners
The basis of Qigong (pronounced as chee-gong) meditation is to channel the healing energy of nature through your physical body. The two types of Qigong meditation are—
Active Qigong (Dong Gong)
This practice involves synchronized breathwork and body movement. It boosts yang energy, which represents active life force, vitality, and strength.
Active Qigong promotes a greater sense of one’s body in physical space— a sensation called proprioception, often regarded as the sixth sense.
Practicing Dong Gong the traditional way helps with—
- Increasing balance and kinesthesia
- Lowering stress and anxiety
- Improving balance and posture
- Reducing the risk of chronic diseases such as type 2 diabetes
Passive Qigong is based on yin energy that promotes calm and peace within the soul. It requires body stillness and slow exhalations and inhalations.
This advanced technique invigorates your whole body and reaps many benefits with active use. You can meditate by sitting still. With your back straight and shoulders down, let your mind relish the abundant flow of Qi energy.
How to Practice Qigong Meditation?
Unlike yoga, active Qigong consists of free-flowing body movement cues. It entails moving your body in sequences and balancing your breathwork.
This meditation practice is as harmonious as a soulful dance. It is generally practiced in a control group or by following a video where an instructor guides you through the process.
The loving-kindness meditation cultivates self-love and fulfillment. Also known as metta meditation, this practice allows us to share and receive love amidst our deepest insecurities.
If you want to increase self-compassion through meditation, this is your way to go.
How to Practice the Loving-Kindness Meditation?
This technique is aimed toward our innermost feelings of love and compassion. It promotes selfless love, the kind that doesn’t bother with reciprocity or worthiness.
Focus on Your Breathing
While lying down or sitting comfortably, sense the rise and fall of your chest. Breathe deeply and allow your mind to be still.
Conjure a Loved One from Your Memory
As you relax your body and mind, we want you to imagine someone who loves you unconditionally. Bask in the comfort this feeling evokes and stay in the moment.
Imagine Someone Extending Love and Compassion to You
If you are unable to recall a loving partner, parent, or friend, think about someone from your imagination. Now, indulge in this warm and fuzzy feeling of fondness. Take slow breaths, and dive deep into their aura of love.
Become the Giver and Receiver of These Feelings
Put yourself in the spot of the person and channel that evergreen love to yourself. Linger in the affection and tenderness that you are now extending to your inner child.
This feeling is akin to the love of a mother for her baby, where you are simultaneously both the child and the parent.
Say Positive Affirmations to Yourself
Enfold yourself in the compassionate and restful state of your mind. Notice how safe and secure you feel in your own embrace. Resting in this protective aura, gently utter these phrases—
May I feel happy and content with myself. May I experience the joys of life. May I be safe from every harm.
A deep meditation session will help you feel refreshed and ready to take on the day. You can meditate for ten minutes now and make it a part of your daily routine as you go.
This technique will help you stabilize your mind and stay in control of your thoughts. Whether you are overly reactive or unable to pay attention, you can practice this simple meditation on the go.
Committing to mindfulness practice will increase—
- Mental clarity
- Emotional intelligence
It is your stepping-stone into advanced meditation practices, which require pure consciousness and deep breathing.
So, how to practice mindfulness? Let us show you!
Practicing Mindfulness Step by Step
This advanced technique helps one to become more intuitive and self-aware. Here’s how you can practice such a thing in your daily life—
Have a Seat
Find a suitable meditation spot such as a chair, cushion, or a park bench. The seat should feel comfortable and not hurt your back in any way.
Straighten Your Upper Body
If you’re seated on a cushion, gently cross your legs. Or, if you have a favorite yoga position, relax your body into that posture.
When seated on a chair, make sure that your legs are touching the floor. Our spine has a natural curve. So, do not shrug or stiffen your back while sitting upright.
Drop Your Chin and Lower Your Eyelids
First, rest your arms on top of your legs. They should be parallel to your upper body. Close your eyes, or gaze gently downward.
It’s not important to close your eyes for meditation. You can keep them open without registering the visuals.
Focus on Your Breathing
In this stage, breathe in, take a brief pause, and breathe out. Do not rush the process, but follow the natural rhythm of your breathing.
As you feel the air move through your lungs, choose a focal point. It can be the rising and falling of your chest or the movement of your belly.
Open Your Eyes
Feel positive energy enter your soul and negativity released with every out-breath. Slowly open your eyes after you are done.
Take a moment to look at your surroundings. Notice how energized and level-headed you feel after the session.
7 Advanced Meditation Techniques to Try
Advanced techniques involve increasing consciousness and maintaining focus. They unlock advanced levels of awareness that revitalize your whole body.
- Samatha Meditation
This advanced technique helps maintain calm and composure in the face of adversity. Samatha meditation helps promote the tranquility of the mind, unbroken concentration, and awareness.
It is the simplest of the advanced techniques— one you can practice from the get-go without much experience. According to Yoga Anytime, Samatha meditation helps with—
- Mitigating cognitive decline and drug addiction
- Strengthening the body’s immune system
- Decreasing feelings of anxiety and depression
- Boosting self-love and compassion
How to Practice Samatha Meditation?
Traditionally, Samatha meditation is practiced in the posture of the seated Buddha. However, you can sit comfortably atop a cushion with your back straight and palms up or down on your thighs.
Relax your shoulders and close your eyes. Breathe in and breathe out, and rest between your inhalations and exhalations.
Naturally, your mind will begin to indulge the passing thoughts. Whether they are spiritual, depressing, fearful, or violent, gently acknowledge that you are “thinking” and pay attention to your breathing.
- Satipatthana Meditation
This advanced technique combines the benefits of both Samatha and Vipassana meditations. It simultaneously increases focus and insight, helping one to master self-awareness.
Satipatthana comes from Sanskrit and translates to “establishing remembrance of the present moment.” It is widely practiced for cultivating heedfulness in Indian culture.
The pillars of mindfulness according to Satipatthana meditation are our body, mind, feelings, and phenomena.
How to Practice Satipatthana Meditation?
In this meditation experience, you focus on an object and try to hold your undivided attention on that object. By training your brain to fight undesirable thoughts, Satipatthana meditation puts you in control of your mind.
- Inner Smile Meditation
Ancient Taoists, the founders of traditional Chinese medicine, were the first to reflect on the healing effect of a smile. This Taoist practice entails smiling to our major organs, welcoming energy to pulsate through our bodies.
It fosters loving-kindness within us. Practicing this simple technique, whether real or fake, can have a good impact on your mood.
A study in the Experimental Psychology journal shows that smiling triggers specific facial muscles, which can “trick” our brain to activate happy emotions.
How to Practice Inner Smile Meditation?
Begin by relaxing your facial muscles and body as you sit upright and breathe deeply. Steady your breathing, embrace the openness and search within yourself for joy. You may picture a happy memory, a smiling baby, or a pet.
Feel the burst of giddiness wash over you, and gently lift the corner of your lips. Soften your eyes. Let your tongue touch the roof of your mouth to complete the energy path.
Smile to your inner voice, and thank it for extending you the power of speech. Now, smile at your thymus for its immense healing energy. Soak up these feelings of gratitude. Release negativity with every out-breath.
- Transcendental Meditation
Maharishi Mahesh Yogi created this advanced meditation technique in the 1950s. A new form of mantra meditation, Transcendental Meditation (TM), is known to promote relaxed awareness and calm.
TM enables meditators to access a higher state of consciousness. Neuroscientists, celebrities, and religious and non-religious scholars encourage this restorative practice for its positive effect on human psychology.
How to Practice Transcendental Meditation?
Transcendental meditation is an effortless practice that comes naturally to your mind. Here, you anchor your consciousness to the sound of a mantra.
In TM, a mantra is an unmeaning sound that helps you reach perfect stillness.
This advanced technique is practiced by keeping your eyes closed and your body relaxed. Find a dimly lit space, and imagine repeating a silent mantra for 15 to 20 minutes.
You do not have to visualize anything. Channel your entire focus to the mantra and feel the perturbations ebb away from your active consciousness.
- Aura Cleansing Meditation
This type of meditation is focused on enhancing your spiritual radiance and warding off feelings that cloud your aura. It helps strengthen your field of energy and creates a healing circle.
Auric cleansing includes an “om” mantra to clear your mind and help you follow divine guidance. This will allow you to get in touch with your spirit and restore its energy from within.
How to Practice Cleansing Meditation?
Aura cleansing is an energy-based spiritual practice. It involves mindfulness, visualization, healing music, and imagery. To practice this meditation, you need to be able to read your aura.
Facing a white wall, raise your hands and separate your fingers. Meditate on your hands for about a minute. Feel the vibrations within your fingers, and open your eyes to see the color of your aura.
White means harmony and balance, red is passion, blue is sensitive, violet is spiritual, gray exhaustion, and brown greed and selfishness.
Aura cleansing is guided by professionals. It consists of shamanic exercises, breathwork, and mindfulness practices.
- Laughter Meditation
This technique helps you make light of serious situations and embrace your jovial side. It activates the gentleness of the heart and subsides negativity.
Laughter enhances emotional well-being. The positive effects of this meditation may help you make fun connections outside the Internet.
How to Practice Laughter Meditation?
Follow this simple, 10-minute laughter meditation and commit to it for the best results—
- Stand comfortably on your feet and extend both of your arms above your head. Now, gently sway your upper body from side to side. Massage your jaw and yawn a couple of times to release tension from your facial muscles.
- Now, break into a gentle smile, and start laughing without much effort. Try different kinds of laughter and settle into the one that feels comfortable. Next, try a guttural laugh and focus on the sound of your laughter.
- For the last 3 minutes, sit still on the floor and meditate in silence. Notice how refreshed your body is and register the fun memories that start to fill your mind.
- White Skeleton Meditation
The practice comes from ancient Buddhist healing meditation. For this technique, you need to have mastery of breathwork and mindfulness.
White skeleton meditation increases the propensity to be present and be appreciative of the things you hold dear.
This advanced technique requires you to visualize a white skeleton seated in front of you. At first, your mind may produce different colors, but as you heighten your mindfulness, a pure white light will shine through the skeleton.
Half an hour into this meditative journey, the skeleton disappears and becomes a bright, glowing orb. This advanced technique calls for a very high attention span and concentration.
How to Practice White Skeleton Meditation
Sit comfortably, relax your face and shoulders, and bring your chin inward. Voice the names of the thirty-two body parts verbally, and follow up with a silent recital.
Now, visualize the shape and location of every part and be aware of the sensations that rise within that organ. As you increase your meditation time, you will start to see the parts breaking down into air, water, earth, and fire.
Embrace this feeling of the impermanence of your body, and end the session by expressing loving-kindness to your inner self and body, understanding that it is the vessel that transports you on this spiritual journey.
How to Deepen Your Meditation Practices?
During meditation, your mind will start to waver, and it is alright to feel unfocused at first. Instead of feeling guilty and wrestling with your mind, disengage from thoughts as soon as you register them.
Observe without acting. Shift your attention to your breath or the hypnotic sound waves of a mantra. Slowly but surely, you will be able to focus on meditation all the way through!
There are effective tools you can use to deepen advanced meditation practices, and they are—
- A Comfy meditation seat
- Essential oils and incense
- Chakra crystals
- Tibetan Singing bowl
- Mala beads
- Theta frequency music
Committing to advanced meditation practices is challenging. But what can you do? Throw procrastination to the side and find time to meditate every day.
As the meditation teacher Sharon Salzberg says—“The most important moment in your meditation practice is the moment you sit down to do it.”