What the Heck is Guided Meditation?

Photo by Erik Brolin on Unsplash

If you are new to meditation, guided meditations are just the place to start! In the Buddhist tradition, a restless mind is often referred to as the “monkey mind.” The goals of mindfulness meditation include calming the monkey mind, reducing stress, and increasing focus.

A racing mind that reacts sensitively to little things indicates thinking that has lost its spiritual strength. Meditation restores that power.

~ Innerspace

 However, meditating with a full and busy mind can be distracting. In fact, when I first began meditating, I often felt as if I were going into battle with my mind. Needless to say, this was more stress-inducing than calming. Guided meditations give you the benefits of meditation while providing you a guide through the process. They are a great way to begin a mindfulness meditation practice.

What is a guided meditation?

In guided meditation, the practice is led by a teacher who frequently reads from a script to guide you through the meditation process. This person might be in person in a meditation or yoga class. Or, they may have recorded the meditation as an audio or video file.  

How do I find a guided meditation?

1. Try a phone app.

Several meditation apps are suitable for beginners. Some apps to explore include Calm, My Life, and UCLA Mindful. Each app has several meditations on different topics including gratitude, breathing, and kindness. The meditations are primarily audio files.

2. Try a recording.

YouTube and UCLA Mindful Awareness Research Center are both resources for a variety of meditations. Many guided meditations found online are audio files, however several meditations on YouTube include videos of peaceful scenes such as forests or beaches.

3. Record your own.

There are many scripts available online. Record yourself reading the script and play it back during your meditation time. Feel free to play soothing music in the background as you record to make the audio more enjoyable.

Start your meditation practice with a guided meditation today.

Whether you choose to take a meditation class, try a recording, or an app, it does not matter. What is important is that you throw yourself into beginning a mindfulness practice today so that you can start to realize the benefits and calm your own monkey mind.

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Seeking Health and Happiness One Day at a Time.

Marcy Berg is a writer and therapist living in the Pacific Northwest and exploring thoughts on mental health, wellness, and happiness. She can be found at Growing Through Life and Seeking Greener Pastures.

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