Q: I would love if you could tell me if mantra meditation has the same results as just sitting and being In open awareness, because I’ve been doing both, but I want to do only one. What type of meditation is best? Many thanks!
A: That is a very good question! I can share that my friend, Jeffery Martin, who is a neuroscientist studying awakening has found that the well known spiritual practices or kinds of meditation that are widely practiced all tend to work in bringing about a shift in consciousness for about 5% of the people who encounter them. And it is not the same 5% for all, but different people respond differently to different practices and types of meditation.
So my advice to you is to maybe focus on one meditation technique for a week or two, and then switch to meditating with the other type of meditation for another week or two. That should give you a sense of which kind of meditation works best for you at this point in time.
However, I would also encourage you to explore more widely over time and see if you can discover a different spiritual practice or form of meditation that is best for you. My friend suggests that someone should be able to tell if a particular spiritual practice or type of meditation is having a particulary powerful effect on them within a week or two. No one kind of meditation is best for everyone, and so you may need to explore a bit to find what form of meditation is best for you.
PS: For anyone who is just trying out meditation for the first time, here are some simple instructions for a good way to start meditating.
And for anyone who wants to explore many different practices and types of meditation to possibly find the one that fits best for you, you can check out my wife, Gina Lake's, online course, which is an in depth exploration of spiritual practices and spiritual awakening that includes several different styles of meditation. More info about this extensive online course, 'Awakening Now'.