With the hectic pace and demands of modern life, many people feel stressed and over-worked. It often feels like there is just not enough time in the day to get everything done. Our stress and tiredness make us unhappy, impatient and frustrated. It can even affect our health. We are often so busy we feel there is no time to stop and meditate! But meditation actually gives you more time by making your mind calmer and more focused. A simple ten or fifteen minute breathing meditation as explained below can help you to overcome your stress and find some inner peace and balance.
Meditation can also help us to understand our own mind. We can learn how to transform our mind from negative to positive, from disturbed to peaceful, from unhappy to happy. Overcoming negative minds and cultivating constructive thoughts is the purpose of the transforming meditations found in the Buddhist tradition. This is a profound spiritual practice you can enjoy throughout the day, not just while seated in meditation.
One form of meditation which has evolved more recently is that of “guided meditations”. In these meditations, either live or recorded, one is voice-guided step-by-step through a meditative experience.
A guided meditation is when your imagination is lead on a particular journey with the purpose of achieving healing and realizations through purposeful contemplation and reflection. The idea is to let go of any thought you may have and allow your subconscious mind to follow the words that are spoken. Many people prefer guided meditation because even if you fall asleep you will still benefit from it subconsciously.
A simple guided meditation will help you to achieve deep relaxation and release negative emotions or beliefs that are preventing you from being further enlightened. When you enter into deep relaxation with such great deliberation you can touch on experiences and feelings that are usually hidden in unreachable parts of your mind. By allowing your conscious mind to sleep, experiences come forward to be acknowledged and released from your subconscious. This enables you to become more positive in your contemplation and reflection relating to past experiences you have had, and you can also replace negative programming with confidence and high self esteem.
There are many different approaches to guided meditation, and they have different purposes. Some have a very specific purpose, such as healing or self-improvement with goals such as creating prosperity, improving relationships, developing forgiveness or any number of other goals. Other guided meditations are more general, aimed at quieting the mind and producing calmness and relaxation. Some are designed to evoke “higher states of consciousness” or to enliven various aspects of the human energy field (for example, various “chakra” meditations).
Many guided meditations use imagery, either describing very specific images which produce certain experiences, or inviting the listener to allow their own images to appear. Others may be body-focused, for example an instruction in progressive relaxation, or there may be instructions with regard to the use of the breath.
Guided meditations invariably reflect the background and orientation of the “guide”. If a meditation guide has a background with some particular meditation tradition, that will invariably influence the style of guided meditation. They might reflect a particular religious or spiritual tradition, such as Buddhism or Christianity, since meditation in one form or another is a practice in most religions.
Meditation can be an invaluable tool for creating health and well-being, as well as personal and spiritual growth. Some people will learn practices they can use on their own, but for others, meditating with a guide may be most effective. Even those with a regular meditation practice can benefit from various forms of guided meditation.
GUIDED MEDITATION as a tool for daily living
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