How to achieve calm, relaxation, focus and mental peace through guided meditation.
A friend once asked me “What do you see over there in those trees?” I said, “I see the colors, the shapes of the trees.” Her response to me was, “There is a whole world out there in that forest: the insects, the small animals, the big animals. It’s like a whole other city out there, and yet from here we see only the tops of the trees.” It made me think….
I asked the same questions that day which I hear you asking now.
“We want to quiet our minds; we want to find some peace and quiet. We are willing and ready to find the time to learn. But we don’t know where to go for help.
We want to calm the chaos in our lives, allow our brains some much-needed breathing space. We need to find a way to get time off from the everyday chaos of work, home, school, family commitments, children, elderly parents, social situations, addiction, anxiety and depression, all the general detritus of day to day life.”
Help is here. Right now. What will tomorrow be like for you if you make the decision today to join me in guided meditation? What will tomorrow be like for you if you don’t make that decision?
Now that I am a meditation facilitator, I can offer an answer.
Meditation is the practice of slowing both the body and mind, of allowing the whole being to come to wakeful rest. When the body is at rest, the mind can follow. A restful mind can better deal with stress, physical problems, emotional entanglements — the day-to-day issues of life. The repetition of a sound, or phrase, sometimes internally, sometimes vocally, aids in the achievement of the restful state.
Guided meditation is the same process led by suggestion from a facilitator and often focuses on a desired result such as deep relaxation, stress relief, personal empowerment or positive thinking.
One profoundly relaxing result of both personal and guided meditation is that twenty minutes of meditation is believed to have the equivalent effect on a body as an hour of deep sleep.
It’s simple. You just need yourself.
Guided meditation can be accomplished sitting comfortably in a chair, lying on a bed, or performing a task or activity while listening to your facilitator guide your visualizations.
A walking guided meditation may, for example, be practiced walking in the woods, listening to the sounds, paying attention to the colors of nature. Your facilitator may guide you to be aware of the activity of the animals and insects that live in the forest. Your facilitator may walk with you, or be on a CD or your iPod.
Guided meditation can be practiced sitting on a beach, enjoying your garden or swimming in calm water. Your breath is directed as your guide suggests your awareness of the air, the sun and the healing hands of a gentle wind.
If you choose a more physical form of meditation, guided meditation may lead you to dancing, doing yoga, exercising, bicycle riding, gardening, sewing, or practicing massage.
Anything that brings you joy and immerses you in the activity can be used as the basis for guided meditation; the simple act of paying attention to your breathing can be a form of meditation. Your facilitator will be your guide to your desired result.
Beat the clock.
Practiced regularly, meditation can help us free our minds from negative thoughts and beliefs that create imbalance and chaos.
If we are — at our very core — calm, positive and loving, we will make better choices in our lives, and this successful living will show the way to those who share our lives. The Maharishi Mahesh Yogi said that one meditating person in a family could change the dynamic of the entire family.
A calm mind will be more capable of making considered decisions; obviously, this can improve personal and professional relationships. If you are struggling with a difficult situation, a guided meditation directed to patience and understanding may offer the calm which will help you find the ten seconds you need to think before answering or reacting.
Pick your method.
Guided meditation focused on self-awareness may help you find enjoyment in the person you are and reduce the stress you feel at being alone.
A guided meditation directed to general relaxation can calm the monkey chatter that your busy life amplifies; it can bring you to a place of contentment that allows you to make more considered decisions.
Perhaps you desire the ability to better communicate. A guided meditation directed to becoming more aware of your surroundings may help you recognize the shared experiences we all know. Understanding the sameness of all may lead you to better understanding of the other, and you may find heightened ability to share, and communicate, as your understanding grows.
Now is the time to start healing yourself.
The calm and stress-relief achieved through guided meditation may help with physical issues; studies have shown * that meditation can be beneficial in dealing with:
High blood pressure
Lowering our heart rate
Increasing serotonin in the brain which helps to elevate mood
Depression and anxiety
Increased ability to concentrate and learn
Give yourself permission to find the time.
I learned a long time ago that if we don’t give ourselves permission to just be and to love ourselves the result is stress and struggle.
I found that by giving myself time, by giving myself permission to be good to myself, I was a better mother, better wife, better friend, better co-worker, and a better daughter. I wasn’t stressed all the time.
Meditation helped me find the time to bring peace into my chaotic world, and it taught me the patience to find those few seconds I needed to become present and make better choices.
The lesson in the trees brought me a lot of perspective about meditating. Without concern, and without conscious practice, we see only the surface of our lives, our hearts, our desires, our problems, and often the solutions.
If we become immersed in the moment when we walk, swim, dance, read, talk, sing, breathe — or whatever we choose — we will be closer to a calm, strong, resilient, resistant, true and conscious state of mind.
Give yourself permission to be present with yourself and all the beauty around you. Even in turmoil, there is something to be grateful for, and through meditation, you can learn to see the beauty that is your whole life.