We know how important meditation is to holistic health, but we also know how difficult stillness can (sometimes) be. Let these guided meditations help.
Sitting down to meditate can be like sitting down in a jungle. My butt may be on a cushion in a quiet room, but in bringing attention to my mind I notice circling tigers, screeching macaws, and the buzz of a million noisy bugs. The breath is an invaluable anchor into the moment, but sometimes it’s nice to have a little company to help you along in your practice. With guided meditation, there is a quiet, soothing voice offering wisdom and direction on the path.
However, the zillions of guided meditation choices can get overwhelming. To help out, I’ve searched for some great guided meditations. The following meditations are cheese-free (I find a lot of the guided meditations online are pretty cheesy and new-agey). They are direct, helpful, and some are lead by world-renowned leaders in meditation. Enjoy!
1. Guided Meditation with Jack Kornfield (46:14 minutes)
This meditation is great for actively helping your contact your inner guidance, wisdom, or compassion. He leads you through a visualization where you bring up a challenging experience and then welcome a strong, compassionate being at the door who helps you bring that strength and compassion into the challenge. Kornfield is a down-to-earth guide and gentle teacher and his simple but wise support is a really nice experience.
To listen to Kornfield’s visualization, click here.
2. Guided Loving Kindness (Metta) Meditation with Sharon Salzberg (27:08 minutes)
Metta is a practice of loving-kindness that can be directed to whomever you wish to send that energy. By repeating four basic phrases over and over, you attempt to contact your heart and your desire for peace, happiness, and safety. This meditation is led by Sharon Salzberg, and she leads you in a Metta practice to help with centering and heart-opening.
To listen to Salzberg’s guided practice, click here.
3. Guided Compassion Meditation (20:18 minutes)
This is another version of a metta meditation. The guide brings us through a visualization during which we encounter people with whom we have different relationships: an openly loving one, neutral one, and one with someone with whom we have some challenge or conflict. This is a great chance to work on building up the “compassion muscle” and using it in easier and more difficult relationships. Again there’s no music—just a calm voice which guides, normalizes, and supports us in our practice.
To listen to this compassion meditation, click here.
4. Jon Kabat Zinn Guided Meditation Lifescape (Everyday Life) (12:03 minutes)
Kabat-Zinn has a calming, relaxed voice with which he presents a basic mindfulness meditation practice. The meditation gives wisdom about the value of meditation and the purpose of using meditation to bring you back into contact with your direct experience. There’s less silence in this meditation and more gentle speaking.
5. Ekhart Tolle Gives Guided Meditation (11:57 minutes)
This is a great, short meditation. Tolle helps us practice awareness of presence and guides us to recognize the passing through of thoughts without being “completely drawn into” them. There is no music, only the occasional ringing of pure, clear meditation bells. There is plenty of silence with occasional reminders to step away from our thinking mind into our Being.
I hope you enjoy these meditations as much as I have. They’re great to cycle through, doing one a day or to practice individually over and over. The more you practice—the more benefits of meditation you receive.
[image: via Keoni Cabral on flickr]