My definition of “meditation” is a somewhat broad one. I consider it’s an opportunity for each of us to realize our higher consciousness (or to realize our oneness with our higher consciousness) and to let go of resistance.
Benefits and Techniques of Meditation
There are many benefits to meditation, which I see as side effects or extras, rather than the primary purpose of meditation. However, many individuals are inspired to meditate because of the benefits or perceived benefits, such as improved health, greater calmness, less sleep at night. Regular meditators are generally more attentive, aware, and calm.
Given my broad definition, you can perhaps understand that I recognize the existence of hundreds of techniques and advocate a variety. Some are more supportive than others; some are more conducive to continuing a long term practice than others; some are easier to learn than others. A technique is a means to assist you in reaching the deeper purpose of meditating.
Guided Meditation: One Approach
One of the techniques I use with people is the “guided” meditation. A guided meditation is one in which a voice is used to guide the process. The voice can be your own or someone else’s. Some folks feel more relaxed or more clear as a result of guidance and support of another’s voice.
A soothing voice is more conducive to a meditative state than a harsh one. Simplicity is more helpful than complex words or complicated ideas. A slow pace, rather than a fast cadence, tends to foster greater depth. A regular practice is helpful for going deeper.
Enhancing Your Guided Meditations
Here are suggestions for the most effective guided meditations or guided visualizations, whether you wish to lead others verbally, or you wish to benefit the most from being guided by someone else, or you wish to guide yourself.
Align with the Divine. When we are in touch with our higher consciousness, words flow through us. Or perhaps they do not flow through us, in which case, silence is a perfect condition.
Establish Intention. A guided meditation that begins with a stated intention will find perfect rhythm and sound and depth, regardless of the spoken words. The best statements of intention are simple and broad, like “to relax” or “to align with the divine” or “to be more aware.”
Be Present. New meditators are often concerned with “getting the words right.” However, a satisfying guided meditation is deeper than words. Showing up fully will do more for lifting consciousness than a well-edited script.
Breathe. Breathe and instruct others to breathe to enhance grounding and relaxation. Some meditation teachers have rules about breathing. I keep in simple: breathe in and breathe out. And notice.
Be Conscious of Energy. You may see energy or feel it or sense it or know what is happening energetically. If you feel confusion, invite clarity to be present. If you sense resistance, give your attention to safety or ease or comfort or relaxation.
Honor Both Uniqueness and Universality. If you guide others into a meditative state, remember that individuals are unique beings with their own set of beliefs which are not to be undermined, but honored. The deeper we move into a meditative state, the more universal are the experiences, with space for each of us to have our own unique expression.
Let go of Expectations of End Results. Sometimes we get fixated on how we think things “should be” and miss living right now. A guided inner experience can provide power to open to new possibilities, if we just show up for the experience.
Feel and Express Gratitude. It’s a joy to do inner work, which usually prompts us to greater and greater gratitude. Gratitude is a powerful consciousness from which to live and to express outwardly.
Live in the Consciousness of Loving Kindness. Sometimes when we are carrying on our daily lives, we forget the calmness of a meditation. It’s important to train ourselves to live this calmness and joy.
Practice, Practice, Practice. It’s important to practice until meditation is part of your life style. If one approach feels good one day and another another day, then you are trusting your own inner guidance if you shift from one technique to another.