While I enjoy practicing a variety of meditation techniques, I have noticed that I tend to gravitate towards some styles (Zen) more than others (Mantra). This concept got my team thinking: which personality types are most likely to gravitate towards each meditation style? We believe this is especially useful information for newcomers to meditation, who may want to begin their practice with a style they’re more likely to enjoy.
As my team and I have begun to cover meditation topics more deeply, in this article we’re releasing our analysis comparing five major meditation traditions with the common characteristics of the 16 different Myers-Briggs personality types.
Let’s dive into how people of various Myers-Briggs personality types may naturally gravitate towards these five types of meditation.
Mindfulness Meditation (ISTJ, ISFJ, ISFP, INFJ)
Mindfulness is the ability to be completely present, becoming aware of our entire surroundings and our actions. The tenets of mindfulness meditation are awareness and attention to the present. This style of meditation usually involves sitting in a comfortable position while paying attention to the breath; mindfulness meditation can be practiced anywhere.
ISTJ, ISFJ, ISFP, INFJ Myers-Briggs types may find that they enjoy mindfulness meditation, as they are often more introverted and appreciate solitude more than some of the other types.
Zen Meditation (INTP, INFP, ISTP, ENFJ)
Zen meditation (zazen) which translates to “seated meditation”, is a type of meditation that is often practiced in the Zen Buddhist tradition. Zen is a school of Buddhism that originated in China during the Tang dynasty. It was strongly influenced by Daoism and eventually developed as a separate Chinese school of Buddhism. The zazen meditation style utilizes a seated position and proper posture.
INTP, INFP, ISTP, and ENFJ Myers-Briggs types may enjoy zazen meditation, as they potentially employ more a more logical thought process than some other types of people.
Spiritual Meditation (ESTP, ENTJ, ESFP, ESFJ)
Spirituality is the quality of being concerned with the soul instead of physical things. Spiritual meditation is a type of meditation that stems from the belief that there is something more to life than just our individual selves. This type of meditation allows us to connect to a higher level of consciousness by letting go of everything except the eternal truth. Spiritual meditation is often practiced at home or in a place of worship. Essential oils, including frankincense, myrrh, and sage, candles and at times psychedelics are often used to enhance spiritual experiences.
ESTP, ENTJ, ESFP, and ESFJ Myers-Briggs types may likely enjoy spiritual meditation, as they are often more open-minded and imaginative than others.
Mantra Meditation (INTJ, ISTP, ISTJ, ISFP)
Derived from Hinduism and Buddhism, mantra can be defined as a word or sound repeated to aid concentration in meditation. Some mantras have literal meaning, but most mantras derive their meaning from their sound. One of the most famous and classic mantras is aum, while a more contemporary mantra is Gandhi’s “be the change you wish to see in the world”.
INTJ, ISTP, ISTJ, and ISFP Myers-Briggs types may enjoy mantra meditation, as these types of people usually appreciate structured and well-defined processes.
Movement Meditation (ENTJ, ESTJ, ENTP, ENFP)
Movement is an essential aspect of life, and its absence is analogous to the absence of life. Movement or moving meditation is a type of meditation that parlays slow-paced movements into meditation. Movement meditation is an optimal type of meditation for individuals with high levels of energy, including meditation into walking, subtle movements and other physical actions.
ENTJ, ESTJ, ENTP, and ENFP Myers-Briggs types may enjoy movement meditation, as they often are more energetic than other types of people.
Deepak Chopra Meditation (Bonus Type)
Mostly women who watch Oprah.
I want to finish by saying that even though you may gravitate towards a particular meditation style, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t practice other types—we should practice a balanced variety of styles to achieve our greatest personal development. There are also many meditation styles left off this list, including metta or loving-kindness meditation, which I have found to bring a strong feeling of love and connection to all things that exist in this universe.
If you haven’t done so already, most of my friends have used the test on 16Personalities to identify their Myers-Briggs personality type, and it may help you determine what type of meditation is best for you if you’re just getting started. I don’t get paid for you using it by the way. Give me a shout on Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, or Discord and let me know if these results were true for you—they certainly was for me (INFP).
Jaron is the CEO of Influential Capital. Previously he founded Coinsetter, one of the first digital asset exchanges launched in 2012, and acquired Cavirtex, a leading exchange in Canada—both acquired by Kraken in 2016. Before entrepreneurial life, Jaron was in private equity and investment banking.