Guided Meditation is a fairly new concept that encompasses topics from ancient teachings. It is ideal for beginners because the meditations are done with a guide. We live in modern times now, our lives are busier, strong will power is uncommon and distractions are everywhere. These reasons are the basis for formation of guided meditation. The premise behind this meditation is to promote better health, enhance performance and to improve oneself.
For these reasons above, guided meditation is a excellent pedestal to start your journey into the mind. Once you gain a firm understanding of this type of meditation it is imperative that you practice other forms of meditation founded on tradition and years of experience.
How To Do It:
Guided meditation usually comes in the form of audio file (mp3, podcast, CD), and can sometimes be a video. You will find that any guided meditation will fall in one of below categories.
Traditional Meditations — With these types of audios, the voice of the teacher is simply there to “illustrate” or “guide” the way for your attention, in order to be in a meditative state; there is more silence than voice in it, and often no music. Examples are the ones offered by Thich Nhat Hanh and Tara Brach, which are rooted in authentic Buddhist practices. The purpose is to develop and deepen the practice itself, with all the benefits that come with it.
Guided Imagery — Makes use of the imagination and visualization powers of the brain, guiding you to imagine an object, entity, scenery or journey. The purpose is usually healing or relaxation.
Relaxation & Body Scans — Helps you achieve a deep relaxation in your whole body. It’s usually accompanied by soothing instrumental music or nature sounds. In Yoga these are called yoga nidra. The purpose is relaxation and calmness.
Affirmations — Usually coupled with relaxation and guided imagery, the purpose of these meditations is to imprint a message in your mind.
Binaural Beats — Binaural beats were originally discovered in 1839 by physicist Heinrich Wilhelm Dove. He discovered when signals of two different frequencies are presented separately, one to each ear, your brain detects the phase variation between the frequencies and tries to reconcile that difference. This is used to generate alpha waves (10 Hz), which is the brain wave associated with initial levels of meditation. There is scientific research into why and how binaural beats work.
While they all have their merits, it is the first type that most naturally evolves into individual unguided practice.
Is It For Me? :
If you feel that you need a firm foothold before starting your meditation adventures, than guided meditations are for you. If you are seeking a particular benefit offered by guided meditation (improving self-esteem, working through trauma or releasing tension) than it is ideal for these isolated cases.