Most Powerful Meditations You Can Do, Ranked By Science

What is the most powerful meditation you can do?

Over the past few years, there has been considerable scientific research into the benefits of different types of meditation.

If you follow our newsletter, you will have seen tutorials on all different types of meditation. But you might wonder what the most powerful meditation you can do is.  

In this list, I will reveal my selection of the most powerful meditations in the world. I have read hundreds of different scientific reports on meditation and its powers to produce this list. If you would like to see that science, simply click any of the links below and I’ll share with you the science around that specific meditation technique.

Most Powerful Meditations You Can Do


1: Mindfulness

Mindfulness—the simple practice of focusing mind on the present moment without judgment—has received more scientific research than any other technique. The research shows the mindfulness helps with stress, anxiety, depression and other complications. And as time passes, we consistently hear more of the benefits of mindfulness. Is this the most powerful meditation in the world? Well, it certainly is the most researched, and probably the one method you should use before any other. Read my guide to getting started with mindfulness.

2: Vipassana

Vipassana is a Buddhist meditation in which we focus on the breath and then label bot mental phenomena and real-world events (like sounds). This method has always been one of the most powerful Buddhist meditations and scientific research shows that it is indeed powerful. Its powers like in the fact that it reduces reactivity to thoughts and feelings, allowing us to maintain inner peace and focus. Read my guide to practicing Vipassana meditation at home.

3: Loving Kindness (Metta)

Loving Kindness Meditation, or “Metta”, is a Buddhist method that is used to cultivate feelings of love and kindness. The primary benefit of this is that it changes the way we perceieve the world and makes us more aware of compassion and empathy. This has been scientifically proven to help with confidence and overall happiness, and is certainly one of the most powerful meditations in the world.

 

4: Tibetan Singing Bowl

Tibetan Singing Bowls are instruments that have been used for meditation for thousands of years. These bowls create sounds at frequencies that relax the mind and stimulate the parasympathetic nervous system. Considerable scientific research has revealed that there are significant health benefits of meditating on singing bowls. If you’d like to try it, read my Tibetan Singing Bowls Buying Guide.

5: Taoist

There are numerous different Taoist meditation techniques but they all share one goal: To stimulate the flow of chi around the body. Methods used in Taoism include Tai Chi, Qigong and Zhan Zhuang.

The philosophy of Taoism is all about living as our true selves and accepting the pure nature of existence, and this is one of the ways Taoist meditations help us.

Scientific research has revealed the power of meditations like Tai Chi and Qigong, which can be helpful for slowing cognitive decline and helping with arthritis.

6: Zazen (Zen)

Zen is one of the schools of Mahayana Buddhism. The principle meditation method used in Zen Buddhism is Zazen. Zazen is a seat meditation practice in which we traditionally sit facing a wall with the eyes three-quarters closed. We place our hands in Cosmic Mudra (hands cupped on lap) and meditate on the breath.

Scientific research reveals that this is one of the most powerful meditations in the world for enhancing focus and concentration.

7: Falun Gong

Falun Gong is one of the lesser known meditations in the West. However, by the turn of this century, there were approximately 100 million people using this technique in China. Many of those people stated that they incredulous about the number of health problems this method was able to ease. The sheer number of people in China who fully believe in the healing powers of this method make it one of the most powerful meditations you can do.

8: Chakra Dhyana

Chakra Dhyana is the most powerful meditation for chakra balancing. It involves focusing on each of the energy centres iof the body (the “Chakras”) while also using a combination of mantra recitations and visualizations. While there is still little scientific research to back this method, it has been considered one of the most powerful meditations in yoga for millennia.

9: Karuna

Karuna is a Buddhist method that is usually paired with Loving Kindness. The difference between the two is that Loving Kindness is about warm feeling of love and kindness and Karuna is about recognising the suffering of others and having compassion for them. There has been little scientific research into thi method, however, because of its similarity to Metta and the research surrounding that method, it is a safe bet that Karuna is also one of the most powerful meditations in the world.

10: Anapanasati

Anapanasati is a Buddhist meditation in which we focus on the breath, notice when the mind comes and goes, and then, in the fourth stage of the method, focus on the feeling of calmness in the mind and body. This is a potent meditation technique for creating calmness and equanimity.  Although there has been little research about this exact method, it is closely related to breathing meditations, which have significant scientific backing, and it is historically one of the most important meditations in Buddhism.

11: Forest Bathing

Forest Bathing is a method in which we enter the forest or a beautiful natural area and practice openness meditation (being aware of our entire surroundings). This is an immensely relaxing meditation that soothes stress and other problems. Research reveals that this is one of the most powerful meditations in the world for cultivating inner peace and relaxation.

12: Various Breathing Methods

There are far too many different breathing meditations to focus on just one. They range from modern methods like Box Breathing and other breathwork to classical techniques like Tibetan Nine Round Breathing. The primary benefits of these methods is that they stimulate the parasympathetic nervous system to cultivate relaxation and inner peace. By improving oxygen consumption they also help with numerous physical health issues, especially those related to the heart. You can learn more about these in my guide to yoga breathing techniques.

13: Body Scan

Body Scan is part of the Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction program developed by Jon Jabat Zinn. In Body Scan we gradually pass our conscious awareness around the body. This helps to reduce physical tension and also relaxes the mind. Naturally, the number one benefit of this method is stress-reduction, and it also helps with anxiety and with relaxing the body. Learn more in my guide to Body Scan meditation.

14: Bhakti

Bhakti is a traditional form of yoga meditation that was devised during the rise of the Bhakti movement of medieval Hinduism. Bhakti separates itself from other forms of meditation because it cultivates oneness. When we practice Bhakti we aim to make the mind one with the object of meditation. This has significant spiritual benefits and is an excellent form of relaxation.

14: Chanting

Chanting is one of the most traditional forms of meditation and one of the most ubiquitous. It is found in Hinduism, Buddhism, Christianity and numerous other belief systems. The spiritual benefits of this method are dependent on the religion it is practised in—the Christian method, for instance, is about cultivating oneness with God. Scientifically, chanting creates gentle reverberations of air around the body, which stimulates the parasympathetic nervous system and reduces physical tension.

15: Gong Bath

Gong bath meditation is a practise in which we meditate on the sound of gongs, which are one of the oldest instruments used in meditation. Gongs were traditionally used as auditory markers for the beginning and end of meditation sessions. However, it was later discovered that the frequency of sounds produced by these instruments creates man mental health benefits, which is why it is now one of the most powerful meditations in the world.

16: Dance Meditations

Dance is found throughout numerous spiritualities including Buddhism, Hinduism, and Christianity. Of course, the health benefits of dance itself are well known. However, dance is even more effective when we perform dance meditations. Osho said that these are the best meditations for shaking off old habits, and they also have a profound effect on the mind-body connection. Here’s my guide to Dance Meditations.

17: Osho Meditation Techniques

Osho (Chandra Mohan Jain) was one of the most inspirational spiritual figures of the past 100 years, although people tend to love or hate him due to the various stories regarding his teachings and whether or not he created a “cult”. Either way, there can be little doubt that his methods are some of the most powerful meditations you can do. The majority are movement-based, such as “Dynamic Meditation” and Nataraj (Dance). What makes these some of the most powerful meditations in the world is the fact that they are so unique and so liberating. Here’s my guide to Osho meditations.  

18: Third Eye (Ajna Chakra)

Third Eye Meditation is regarded as the most powerful meditation in the world for cultivating what some consider “supernatural” strengths. This method is use to activate the third eye (Ajna) chakra, which is the seat of spiritua powers, including psychic abilities.

19: Samatha

Samatha is a Buddhist meditation in which we focus on one object, which could be the breath of a physical object such as Zen stones. Traditionally, this method was used by Buddhist monks to develop concentration, so no prize for guessing what the number one benefit of this meditation is.

If you want to develop concentration, Samatha is the most powerful meditation in the world for doing so.

20: Biblical

Biblical Meditation can be a life-changing practice for Christians. There are various ways of of performing Christian meditation. They include meditating on passages of the bible, and meditating on oneness with God. For Christians, these methods can redefine spiritual practice.

21: Tukdam

The single most advanced meditation method in the world, Tukdam is for masters only. It is the continuation of meditation after death for the attainment of Buddhahood and “Rainbow Body”. There are even stories of monks who lived to 200 in Tukdam state.

22: Zen Walking

Zen Walking meditation is a traditional form of meditation in which we mindfully walk around a path of approximately 40 feet in length while using Cosmic Mudra. The reason why this is one of the most powerful meditations in the world is because it combines the health benefits of walking with those of meditation. It is an incredible exercise for boosting present-moment mindfulness.

23: Alpha

Alpha meditation is a method used for generating Alpha Brainwaves. The benefit of this method is that it cultivates alpha mind, which is a restful-but-alert mental state that is incredibly potent for productivity. Because of this, Alpha Meditation is one of the most powerful meditations in the world for productivity.

24: Merkaba

Merkaba is another meditation that is strictly for advanced practitioners. It is one of the most complicated meditation procedures to perform. It is stated that proper practice of this method will allow the practitioner to transcend the three-dimensions and awaken to 4D.

25: Smiling Buddha

Smiling Buddha method is a method used for cultivating joy and happiness. It uses a combination of Kriya, mantra, and meditation to cultivate self-confidence and happiness. Very little research has been conducted to validate the benefits of this method. But if you’d like to give it a shot, here is my guide to Smiling Buddha Meditation.  

 

These are the most powerful meditations in the world. How many have you tried, and which is your favourite?


Paul Harrison

Paul Harrison is a yoga teacher, meditation teacher and writer with more than 15 years experience in meditation and mindfulness. He studied meditation in Oxford, UK, and Hamilton Ontario Canada, and earned his degree at Staffordshire University. Paul has helped thousands of people to discover their true potential through mindfulness, yoga and meditation. You can read his books on Amazon

This Post Has One Comment

  1. Aloke

    You forgot Heartfulness meditation followed by 4 million people worldwide!

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