Meditation forms can be classified as concentrative or non-concentrative:

1. Concentrative techniques limit stimuli input by instructing the patient to focus attention on a single unchanging or repetitive stimulus (sound, breathing, focal point). If the patient’s attention wanders, he or she is directed to bring the attention gently back to the focal object.

2.     Non-concentrative techniques expand the patients’ attention to include the observation, in a non-judgmental way, of one’s mental activities and thoughts.

Benefits associated with meditation include

a.     an improved sense of relaxation

b.     lower levels of perceived stress

c.     more positive thinking

d.     self-confidence

e.     compassion

f.      tolerance of oneself and others [1].

Adverse events may also occur and can be disorientation, confusion, depression, increased awareness of one’s negative qualities and emotions, increased fears and anxiety, boredom, and pain [2].

  1. Am J Psychiatry 1982; 139:267.
  2. Shapiro DH Jr. Adverse effects of meditation: a preliminary investigation of long-term meditators. Int J Psychosom 1992; 39:62.