Many Tools in Your Toolbox
Some schools of meditation say that you should choose just one school—or type of meditation—to focus on, and restrict yourself to a few techniques.
For instance, if you or a friend have done one of those 10-day silent meditation retreats, you probably attended a Vipassana course, an organization started by S.N. Goenka. This organization has a worldwide presence and teaches wonderful, standard insight meditation techniques and forms of meditation. The Goenka school asks its students to use only their techniques—and there's nothing wrong with that!
In addition, some individuals find that when they change meditation schools, they have to learn a new philosophy and a new technique every few months; however, by choosing one type of meditation and sticking with it, they deepen their practice more quickly.
Playing the Field
When you start using the Brightmind app, though, you'll progress through a variety of techniques and forms of meditation. We don't ask you to restrict yourself to any one approach or type of meditation. We're much more "promiscuous", so to speak! Our wide-ranging meditation curriculum has many advantages, especially when you learn to integrate the varying techniques together.
One advantage of the Brightmind Meditation app is that Brightmind's curriculum walks you through each aspect of your own mental, spiritual, and bodily experience. Its thorough and systematic program will help you to explore the emotional feelings in your body, physical feelings in your body, as well as sight, sound, and more. You'll learn several different kinds of focus and different types of concentration. You'll learn to enjoy each one, like a gourmet meal. By contrast, many schools and forms of meditation work with just one type of bodily sensation or one type of focus.
Another advantage of the Brightmind Meditation app is that you'll acquire a well-stocked toolbox of meditation techniques sourced from a collection of meditation types and schools of practice. Like an expert craftsperson or an artist, as a student of the Brightmind curriculum, you'll learn how to select the right tool for the right time and circumstance. You may find yourself instinctively reaching for a particular technique if you're upset or happy, peaceful or busy, tired or energetic.
A Whole New World
Now let's look a little “higher”. An added benefit of practicing several different meditation techniques is that you will be able to understand and appreciate the richness and diversity of many religious and meditative traditions.
Almost all the world's great religious traditions include a meditative or contemplative approach. By learning to speak the language of each type of meditation, you gain a deep appreciation for this incredible cultural inheritance our ancestors have left us.
Tailoring for Yourself
Of course, you don't have to practice using so many techniques! Taking it the other way around, after practicing so many techniques and varying forms of meditation, you may find that only a few, or even one, works best for you. By exploring many of them, though, you'll be able to make a well-informed choice, based on your own personal experience, on which to focus.
In general, you may want to choose a primary or "go-to" technique or type of meditation that you'll practice, with one or two auxiliary techniques to use depending on how you feel. Or you may prefer to choose a different technique for each part of your day or each activity. Or you may be a "one-technique freak" and stick with one! As Shinzen Young would say, it's all good!
With some guidance and assistance, you can tailor your meditation practice to your own personality and circumstances based on your own empirical experience.
The Skills All Schools Teach
Finally, the Brightmind Meditation app approach teaches unity behind this array of meditation techniques. All schools and types of meditation, no matter the techniques they teach, are helping you increase your concentration, your clarity, and your equanimity. Any exercise or form of meditation that increases one of these three qualities counts as a meditation exercise. Different techniques may benefit one, two, or all three of concentration, clarity, and equanimity.
Our unique approach to the science of meditation lets you savor a deeper approach to reality, no matter the school or technique you prefer. Find the technique that works for you at Brightmind today.