what is analytical meditation?

Analytical Meditation is diving deep into your own thoughts, asking yourself probing questions while staying in a state relaxation.

You ask yourself objective questions in a structured way to help you see things more clearly and objectively.

You can use these insights to create life-changing shifts in the way you think; or you just hang onto them on your path to enlightenment and personal development.

How to Do Analytical Meditation

Step 1. Choose a quiet place to sit
Step 2. Pick a topic or question to meditate on
Step 3. Sit comfortably and breathe deeply to relax
Step 4. Start thinking about your topic, Ask The Right Questions
Step 5. When you get distracted, gently bring your mind back to these lines of questioning

Key Takeaways

  • Analytical meditation involves deep introspection and focused analysis.

  • Analytical meditation differs from other forms of meditation by blending analysis and calmness.

  • For once, ‘thinking’ during meditation isn’t ‘bad’ and in fact is encouraged!

  • The practice helps in solving personal puzzles, growing understanding, and finding peace in the midst of problems.

  • Benefits of analytical meditation include boosting brainpower, emotional balance, and enhanced problem-solving skills.

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what is analytical meditation?

Do you ever feel like you’re in the passenger seat of your own body? Like your thoughts are running wild, bouncing around in your head with no clear direction? 

Trust me, I’ve been there and it can be super frustrating. And in today’s busy world, it’s easier to feel overwhelmed than ever before! 

But what if I told you there’s a way to calm the chaos? That you can find some clarity, direction, and peace of mind

That’s where analytical meditation comes in. It’s like creating and using a map. A map for your thoughts, beliefs, and feelings that makes life much easier. 

In this article, I’ll explain what analytical meditation is, its purpose, benefits, and how you can practice it yourself. 

By understanding the fundamentals of analytical meditation, you’ll be able to enhance your cognitive abilities, emotional resilience, and problem-solving skills.

This is from my blog about Meditations and Personal Development in general. Here are the 9 Personal Development Skills that changed my life.

What is Analytical Meditation?

what is analytical meditation?

When I first heard about analytical meditation, I thought it was just sitting quietly and thinking hard. But it’s so much more than that. 

Analytical meditation, also known as Buddhist Analytical Meditation, is a form of Tibetan Buddhism. It’s not exclusive to Buddhist meditation per se, but Buddhist meditation has the most developed teachings around this unique form of meditation.

So what is it? 

It’s you sitting down and asking yourself questions.

It’s all about probing and investigating.

Our insights will at worst case teach you a little more about yourself. In the best case, you might walk away with actionable ways to change your life.

In analytical meditation, you’re the interviewer and the interviewee

Personally, I focus on a specific thought or problem and break it down. It’s not just random thinking; it’s structured and purposeful. 

There are generally 4 types of questions I ask myself:

  1. The Nature – understanding it inside, out, backwards, and forwards
  2. What are the benefits of what I’m observing?
  3. What are the drawbacks of what I’m observing?
  4. Is there a different way to think and feel about it so I can experience the benefits without the drawbacks?

Practically speaking, they might look like something like this:

  • What is the nature of this emotion?
  • What sensations does it cause in my body? In my mind?
  • Why do I feel this way? When do I feel this way? How is it serving me?
  • What are the benefits of this emotion? What are its drawbacks?
  • Is there a healthier alternative so I can experience the benefits without the drawbacks?

This helps me understand how and why I think about certain things the way that I do.

It’s not about finding quick answers. It’s about learning to ask the right questions and being patient with myself.

How It’s Different from Just Thinking

At first, I thought analytical meditation was just thinking hard about stuff. But it’s not!

Analytical meditation is a structured process. It’s like comparing a wild garden to a carefully planned one and I’m the gardener. I get to decide which thoughts to water and which to pull out.

Focus is key here. Unlike daydreaming or regular thinking, I stay on track with a specific topic or question. It’s not about letting my mind wander; it’s about guiding it. 

Here’s what I keep in mind:

  • Stay on topic
  • Question and analyze
  • Reach a deeper understanding

It’s a journey of the mind, where I’m both the traveler and the guide, exploring the inner landscapes of my thoughts and emotions.

And remember, it’s not just about being mindful of my thoughts. It’s about actively engaging with them, sorting them out. I judge my emotions and thoughts, figuring out if they’re mine or not. This practice becomes second nature after a while.

What is the Purpose of Analytical Meditation?

what is the purpose of analytical meditation?

Solving Personal Puzzles

Ever feel like your life is a jigsaw puzzle?

Well, analytical meditation is like digging through the pile.

Analytical meditation helps you study the pieces. Which ones are the edge pieces? Which ones have similar colors? Similar patterns?

After you’ve become more familiar with the pieces, now you’re ready to start putting it all together.

Skipping this exploration phase is a disaster if you ask most puzzle enthusiasts yet this really is how most of us go about our lives.

Analytical Meditation is about digging deep into our own personal mysteries and figuring things out. 

Sometimes, I get stuck on a problem, like procrastination or not being able to focus as much as I need to. That’s when I sit down, get comfy, and get to meditating.

Analytic meditation helps me break down these issues into smaller parts

It’s like having a conversation with myself where I ask questions and explore different angles. 

Here’s a simple list of what I might do:

  • Identify the problem I’m facing
  • Ask myself why it’s bothering me
  • Think of times when I didn’t feel this way
  • Imagine different solutions and how they could work

This isn’t just daydreaming or letting my mind wander. It’s a structured way to tackle the things that bug me, giving me a sense of control and clarity.

By the end, I often find a piece of the puzzle that clicks, and it feels amazing. It’s not always a complete solution, but it’s a step forward. And that’s what counts.

Growing Your Understanding

When I started analytical meditation, I noticed something amazing. 

It wasn’t just about calming my mind or sitting still. It was a journey into the depths of my thoughts and beliefs. The very core of what made me tick if you will. The essence of who I was.

I began to see patterns in my thinking that I never knew were there. It’s like I was a detective in my own mind, uncovering clues about why I feel and act the way I do.

I’ve learned that by taking the time to really dig into my ideas and emotions, I can find new perspectives. It’s not always easy, but it’s definitely worth it. 

Here are some examples of things I’ve learned along the way:

  • The importance of questioning my assumptions
  • How to recognize my emotional triggers
  • The value of seeing things from multiple angles

By recognizing the connection between meditation and accessing your true self, you’ll be able to not only make good decisions, but decisions that will actually serve you, the real you

This kind of meditation is more than just a mental exercise; it’s a tool for personal growth and personal development

And the more I practice, the more I realize that the journey of understanding is never-ending. And THAT’S what makes it so exciting!

What is the Difference Between Analytical Meditation and Other Forms of Meditation?

what are the differences between analytical meditations and other forms of meditation?

Analytic Meditation vs Stabilizing Meditation (Mindfulness Meditation)

There are many different meditation techniques and when I first started on my meditation journey, I was introduced to stabilizing meditation (aka mindfulness meditation). 

This is the typical focusing on your breathing meditation, the kind you might see on meditation apps like Headspace or Calm. I think this is where most people get started.

Stabilizing meditation is about Mindfulness. And Mindfulness is about being present with your awareness – noticing and acknowledging the present moment, without trying to change it.

In analytical meditation, though, it’s like you’re a detective in your own mind. You pick a topic or a problem and really dive deep into it. 

You ask questions, explore different angles, and look for insights. It’s not just about being aware; it’s about actively engaging with your thoughts.

  • Mindfulness Meditation: Being present
  • Analytic Meditation: Active exploration

It’s a bit like reading a book versus writing one. With mindfulness, you’re reading the book of your mind, just letting the story unfold. With analytical meditation, you’re writing it, deciding where the story goes next.

Analytic Meditation vs Concentration Meditation

Another misconception I had when I first heard about analytical meditation was that it was just another fancy term for concentration meditation. 

Boy, was I wrong! 

Analytical meditation is like going on a deep dive into your own mind, while concentration meditation is more like floating on the surface.

In concentration meditation, or what some call Samatha meditation, the goal is to chill out and focus on just one thing, like your breath or a mantra. It’s all about getting really good at not letting your mind wander off. 

But in analytical meditation, you’re not just trying to stay put; you’re actively exploring your thoughts and feelings.

Here’s a quick rundown of the differences:

  • Concentration Meditation is about focusing on one specific thing like a mantra.
  • Analytic Meditation is about discovery and understanding.

It’s like the difference between staring at a beautiful painting and actually getting your hands dirty creating one.

So, if you’re looking to just relax and keep your thoughts from running wild, concentration meditation might be your jam. 

But if you’re up for some mental gymnastics and want to really get to know yourself, give analytical meditation a try.

what makes Analytical Meditation Unique

It’s the blend of analysis and calm that does it for me.

In most basic forms of meditation, you’re told ‘thinking’ is ‘bad’. But in analytical meditation, it’s actually the point!

While most meditations are performed in either the alpha state or the theta state, analytic meditation actually encourages you to be in beta (the waking state) and think.

It’s like having a conversation with your own mind, where you’re both the talker and the listener. You ask questions, poke around, and explore your thoughts in a structured way.

But here’s the twist: while you’re doing all this brain work, you’re also staying super chill. It’s not just about the analysis, it’s about doing it with a sense of peace.

  • Ask a question
  • Explore possible answers
  • Stay relaxed

This combo is what makes analytical meditation stand out. You’re not just zoning out or letting your mind wander. 

You’re actively engaging with your thoughts, but in a way that’s as soothing as watching the waves at the beach. And that’s something worth trying, don’t you think?

It’s a journey inside your mind that’s both enlightening and relaxing. No rush, no pressure, just you and your thoughts hanging out, figuring things out together.

The Benefits of Analytical Meditation

what are the benefits of analytical meditation?

Boosting Brainpower

Ever feel like your brain could use a little gym session? Well, analytical meditation is kind of like that for your mind. 

It’s not just about sitting quietly; it’s about actively engaging your brain in a systematic investigation. When I do analytic meditation, I can almost feel my neurons flexing! 

💪🧠👌

Analytical meditation helps sharpen my thinking. It’s like my thoughts get clearer and I can focus better. 

Here’s a quick list of the brainy benefits I’ve noticed:

  • Improved memory and recall
  • Enhanced clarity of thought
  • Better quality of critical thinking for longer
  • Better decision-making skills

I’ve found that the more I meditate this way, the more I feel on top of my mental game. It’s not magic, but it sure feels like a superpower sometimes.

Emotional Balance and Resilience

Ever get the feeling you’re a leaf in the wind, all over the place with your emotions? Well, I’ve been there. And it’s part of the human being experience. 

But guess what? It doesn’t have to stay that way. 

Analytical meditation has been a game-changer for me. It’s like having a secret superpower that helps me stay cool and collected, even when things get tough.

It’s about understanding my emotions, knowing why I’m feeling that way, and not letting them boss me around. 

It helps me do a mindful analysis of myself. I use it to identify any negative characteristics that have a destructive nature or have negative effects…

And come up with a solution to help me move into more positive states with more constructive emotions

Here’s the deal: when you meditate analytically, you’re taking a deep dive into your mind. You’re not just sitting there with your eyes closed; you’re actively engaging with your thoughts and feelings.

Let’s use Stress as an example.

  • First, you pick an emotion you’re dealing with – Stress.
  • Then, you ask yourself – What is it? And why is it there?
  • Next, you explore different angles and perspectives – Does it have any benefits? What are the negative effects of stress in your daily life? Is there a healthy alternative that allows you to experience the benefits without the negative effects?
  • Finally, you come to a place of insight and understanding – You’ll eventually realize the nature of stress, what causes this particular pattern to flare up, and how to move into more positive states the next time it tries to rear its ugly head. You’ll understand the triggers and solutions that will give you the benefits of stress while you still feel calm!

I mean, if consciously choosing to be the person you want to be (instead of being swayed by the realities of life) isn’t a SUPERPOWER, I don’t know what is.

You won’t even be on the same playing field as most people anymore!

And the best part? With daily practice, this type of objectivity will become second nature! It’s like building a muscle – your emotional resilience muscle.

Enhanced Problem-Solving Skills

Ever since I started practicing analytical meditation, I’ve noticed a big change in how I tackle problems. It’s like my brain has learned to slow down and look at things from different angles. I’m not jumping to conclusions as fast as I used to.

One of the coolest things is that I can use this skill in all sorts of situations. 

For example, whether I’m trying to figure out a tough business problem or dealing with a tricky situation with my friends, analytic meditation helps me stay calm and find solutions.

It takes the power and potential of human intelligence to a whole new level!

Remember, it’s not about finding the perfect answer right away. It’s about giving your mind the space to explore and discover.

Here’s a few ways of how analytic meditation has boosted my problem-solving skills:

  • I’m more patient when facing challenges.
  • I can break down big problems into smaller, more manageable parts.
  • My decisions are more thoughtful because I consider more options.

And the best part? You don’t need any special tools or a quiet room to do it. Just a bit of time and the willingness to think through my pondering thoughts. 

Trust me, it’s worth giving it a try!

How to Practice Analytical Meditation Yourself

how to practice analytical meditation yourself

Alright, let’s dive into how you can start practicing analytical meditation. 

Step 1. Choose a quiet place to sit.

Step 2. Pick a topic or question to meditate on.

Step 3. Sit comfortably and breathe deeply to relax – You may find entering alpha to begin with is a great way to get started.

Step 4. Start thinking about your topic, Ask the right questions – I stick to those 4 general questions:

  • What is it, What does it feel like for the mind and body, When do I experience it? 
  • What are the benefits?
  • What are the negatives?
  • Is there a healthier alternative that lets you experience the benefits without the negatives?

Step 5. When you get distracted, gently bring your mind back to these lines of questioning.

The longer you spend, the deeper you go, the more you’ll examine your belief around a topic. 

You’ll be surprised to see how quickly, massively, and permanently you can create inner change if you spend some time understanding what you’re working with!

I really do believe that if you can change the way you think about something, you’ll change your life. And Analytic meditation helps you identify your thoughts, and give you the power to change them if necessary.

Remember, the goal isn’t to empty your mind but to analyze your thoughts deeply. If you find yourself wandering off topic, that’s okay! Just steer your thoughts back gently. It’s all part of the process.

Keep in mind that analytical meditation is like a workout for your brain. It gets easier and more effective with practice, so don’t get discouraged if it feels tough at first!

Things to Keep in Mind

When I first started analytical meditation, I learned a few key things that really helped me out. 

Don’t rush the process. It’s like learning to ride a bike; you’ve got to take it slow and steady. And remember, it’s not just about solving problems – it’s about understanding your own mind better.

Here’s a quick list of things to keep in mind:

  • Start with a clear question or topic in mind
  • Find a quiet place where you won’t be disturbed
  • Set aside enough time so you’re not rushed
  • Keep an open mind and be ready to see things in a new way

One thing that’s super important is to be patient with yourself. 

If your mind wanders, that’s totally normal. Just gently bring your focus back to your question. 

And hey, if you find yourself getting tense, get back into a relaxed alpha state using these meditation techniques and go back to your pondering thoughts.

It’s not about the destination; it’s about the journey. Take your time, explore your thoughts, and enjoy the ride.

Tips for Successful Analytical Meditations

When I first started analytical meditation, I found a few tricks that really helped me get the hang of it. 

Keep your sessions short at first; it’s like building muscle, you don’t want to overdo it and end up tired. Start with just 5-10 minutes and gradually increase the time as you get more comfortable.

One thing that’s super important is to pick a quiet spot where you won’t be disturbed. It’s tough to dive deep into your thoughts if your phone is constantly going off! Put your phone on focus mode or leave it in the other room if you have to.

Remember, there’s no rush. It’s not about solving everything in one go. Take your time and enjoy the journey of self-discovery.

Here’s a quick list of things to keep in mind:

  • Find a comfy place to sit or lie down.
  • Choose a specific problem or question to focus on.
  • Don’t worry if your mind wanders, just gently bring it back.
  • After you’re done, give yourself a moment to reflect on what you’ve learned.

Conclusion

final thoughts on analytical meditation

Analytical meditation is a powerful tool for exploring the depths of your mind and gaining insights into your thoughts and emotions

By engaging in this practice, you’ll always have a way of evolving as a person, enhancing your self-awareness, improving your focus, and cultivating a sense of inner peace

Remember, the key to successful analytical meditation lies in patience, consistency, and an open mind

So, take a deep breath, find a quiet space, and I really hope you give it a try!

If you’ve enjoyed this article, you may enjoy these articles about alpha meditations and theta meditations as well!

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Analytical Meditation the Same as Vipassana?

No, analytical meditation and Vipassana are not the same. Vipassana is a specific type of meditation technique, while analytical meditation involves using reasoning and analysis during the practice. 

What Are the Three Major Types of Meditation?

The three major types of meditation are concentrative meditation, mindfulness meditation, and loving-kindness meditation. 

What are the 7 Types of Meditation?

The 7 types of meditation most people are referring to are concentrative meditation, mindfulness meditation, loving-kindness meditation, body scan meditation, walking meditation, transcendental meditation, and Zen meditation.