Your Introduction To Guided Meditation
For many individuals, possibly most individuals, the stress of life is increasing with every year that goes by. There are worries about the economy, jobs, money, the environment, politics, terrorism and war (among other issues.) People have various ways of dealing with the daily stress of living. Many of these coping mechanisms are self defeating, for instance, the abuse of alcohol or other drugs, but a growing portion of population is opting instead, for guided meditation.
Meditation is thousands of years old and has played a part in all the great living religions, but it does not have to be a religious act. It is a way of quieting the mind and allowing the various parts of the brain to synchronize with each other, instead of being scattered. It also gives the mind a break from either, the internal dialogue we constantly have with ourselves, or outside stimuli.
The idea of traditional meditation is to relinquish all your thoughts and concentrate fully onto a single subject. For instance, a koan, which is a kind of unsolvable riddle, like, “What is the sound of one hand clapping?”, or a mantra, which is a particular word, phrase or sound. It might simply be to focus on your breathing.
Do not be surprised by the number of stray thoughts that come up. Just accept that it happens, let them go and refocus each time. You might become amazed how often this happens and how undisciplined your mind is. Most people who don’t have a teacher just give up in frustration, rather than working through it.
This is where guided meditation can be a life saver. The guidance could be live, as in, a teacher in a class setting; but it is usually recorded audio. It generally starts out with step by step instructions to help the individual achieve a meditative state of mind. This is marked by the brain producing mostly alpha waves, which is the state of mind one is in when one first starts to drift to sleep.
A guided meditation can also paint a picture for the listener, of a series of goals they desire to achieve. It is usually done in the manner of putting the person in their own minds eye, having them see themselves doing the actions they want to do, and fulfilling the goals they they hope to accomplish, including feeling the emotions that come with it.
Guided meditation is a blend of hypnosis and meditation. It is not classic meditation because it relies on outside stimuli, but it is just a step away from it. It uses hypnotic induction, to guide you into an altered state which not only relieves stress, but can help you to program your mind to accomplish your goals. Many success stories emphasize the role of guided meditation as part of a daily agenda.