What is Guided Meditation?
Posted by Meera Grace Hoon on 16th Apr 2015
Guided meditation is a form of meditation where someone else, whether in person or through an audio recording, is taking you through your meditation. The purpose of guided meditation is generally to connect the meditator with calmness and clarity that can be found within themselves. Some guides do this by asking you to imagine you are in a beautiful, serene place, while others guide by suggesting you bring your concentration to certain parts of yourself to raise your awareness. Most guided meditation consists of visualization.
Being guided through meditation can be helpful in slowing our mind down and helping us draw our awareness inward to peace. It can be challenging to tame our restless thoughts on our own, and listening to careful instructions can be just the thing we need to help us ease our minds.
In most guided meditations, it is asked that the meditator sits or lies down comfortably (though, we recommend to not lie down, as lying down allows your energy to disperse throughout the body, opposed to guiding it up toward the spiritual eye when seated upright). Then the guide will bring the meditator through visualizations that help cultivate awareness and calmness.
In one of the more recent guided meditations we experienced, Devi Novak, a longtime meditator who practices Kriya yoga (which we mentioned in our last blog), led a group of over 200 people through a meditation for peace. She asked us to sit with a straight spine, eyes closed and gently told us to visualize the light within us growing brighter and brighter. Devi asked us to see that light within us radiating out toward the world, with rays of light shining across the vastness of this earth until it was covered in bright light. This guided meditation helped many feel the peace within that is needed to start inspiring peace outwardly.
The essence of guided meditation is to connect with your stillness within. Though there are many types of meditation, the main principle behind various types will remain the same, as you will see in our upcoming posts discussing other types of meditation in depth. We hope that our posts will encourage you to go deeper into your meditation practice, or inspire you to choose a type of meditation that works best for you. To go deeper in meditation it can be helpful to get more comfortable. A meditation bench, zafu, or crescent cushion, especially when used on top of a zabuton, can help greatly in that regard. As always, please ask us any questions about meditation. We wish you a blissful meditation experience!
Enjoy this video of Devi Novak leading a guided meditation for inner peace and world peace!
(Video by Josh Wood; above photo of Nicole DeAvilla by Barbara Bingham)