Meditation Monday: Guided Meditation

Guided Meditation

All the Basics: 

Guided meditation is a modern practice, which is considered an easier way to start. It fits into most traditions of meditation.

With the distractions of modern life, guided meditation is an ideal way to begin a meditation practice. 

Guided meditation consists of listening to a meditation, in person or on recorded, by a specific person or meditation leader. 

How to Perform the Meditation: 

You can find guided meditations on podcasts, CDs, audio and video, or even on YouTube. Choose one.

There are a number of different categories of guided meditation: 

  • Traditional Meditations - The voice of the teacher is there to guide you through your meditation. There should be more silence than voice. You can find one offered by Thich Nhat Hanh or Tara Brach, which are rooted in Buddhist tradition (Live and Dare). 
  • Guided Imagery - This meditation requires the imagination and visualization powers of the brain, guiding you to image a scene, object, color or journey. This is often done for healing or relaxation.
  • Relaxation - This meditation is aimed at allowing you to achieve deep relaxation and is usually accompanied by music or nature sounds. Yoga Nidra would fit under this category.
  • Affirmations - These are usually coupled with relaxation and imagery, to imprint a message in your mind.

Mantra, Sound or Visualization: 

Depending on the form of guided meditation, you will likely have to use a mantra, sound or visualization, or all three. The mantra use is common in affirmation meditation while mantras are used in affirmations. 

[Related: Mantras 101: Sacred Sound, Meaning and Myth]

Origin + History:

Although it is a newer form of meditation, guided meditation comes from all forms of meditation and can be made into a number of different meditation styles. 

Guided meditation has been made popular through challenges by Oprah Winfrey and Deepak Chopra, as well as number of other modern meditation teachers/enthusiasts. 

Photo Cred: Daniel Grozdanov for Wanderlust