Although the exact date of origin of meditation is unknown, its origins are speculated to be as old as humanity – with the oldest written record indicating its beginnings over 5,000 years ago. Today, people are turning to spiritual benefits of meditation as a form of alternative or holistic healing as a means to improve health, increase mental clarity and focus, create harmony between the body and mind, reduce stress and deal with personal issues.
Guided meditation is a form of focused spiritual benefits of meditation lead by another individual. Learning to meditate, meditation techniques, guided imagery, quieting the mind and focusing thoughts can be difficult and overwhelming for beginners. Using guided or coach meditation, individuals of all experience levels can find and utilize proper techniques – maximizing the benefits of meditation.
Guided Meditation at Home
It is possible to learn guided meditation and meditation techniques at home through a variety of audio and video script found on CD, DVD, mp3, YouTube or other audio or visual file sold and found in-store or online.
One method of guided meditation utilizes a narrator reading a script allowing the individual to focus on a specific physical and mental journey. The narration uses verbal cues for the individual to focus on breathing, mental clarity and other meditation techniques.
An alternative form of guided meditation allows for the focus on a specific sound, word or phrase – repeated verbally and mentally. Regardless of the method, the results using meditation techniques are the same but the technique used is based on personal preference. All brings spiritual benefits of meditation.
Maximizing the Benefits of Guided Meditation
Using guided imagery at home allows for anyone to fit meditation into a busy schedule. However to maximize the benefits of guided meditation, the following factors should be considered:
Create a meditation space – The size of the area used for meditation and meditation for spiritual benefits of meditation does not matter, but it must remain an undisturbed area for the entire length of the guided meditation.
Clothing for meditation – Wear loose, comfortable clothing during meditation. Tight or uncomfortable clothing creates a mental and physical distraction, limiting the benefits of a meditation session.
Start slow when beginning meditation – Starting with a 30 minute meditation session can be overwhelming for beginners. Choose a guided meditation session able to suit individual, personal and schedule needs.
Group Guided Meditation
Group meditation sessions are led by experienced individuals enabling meditation beginners to quickly learn and perfect meditation techniques, while advanced students can tune their skills, share their mediation techniques and experience to get perfect spiritual benefits of meditation.
Although this may take additional time out of a busy schedule, this method has the advantage of providing individual learning and uninterrupted time for meditation.
Guided Meditation for Children
Typically meditation and meditation techniques are associated with adults, but many believe that guided meditation can benefit children as well. Guided meditation for children does not need to be complicated, can be done at home and can aid a child’s physical, mental and emotional focus. Meditation for children contains the following differences from adult meditation:
Time – Meditation sessions can range from one to five minutes depending on the age and child’s personality.
Guide – The guide in these meditation sessions is usually the parent. Hearing a familiar voice will make meditation and focusing easier.
Sitting – Being completely still during meditation is not a requirement for children. Allowing the child to be comfortable will allow them to achieve greater mental focus, increase physical benefits and promote relaxation.
The Guided Meditation Experience
Practicing daily guided meditation on a daily basis can bring spiritual benefits of meditation and improve the overall mental and physical health of both adults and children. Based on personal preference mediation and meditation techniques can utilize a variety of methods – and be performed in a group or personal “at home” setting.
Why Meditating Decreases Stress
According to experts meditation helps to invoke a state of tranquility and relaxation in the mind. It brings about a sense of calmness, peacefulness and emotional stability. The benefits of meditation extend into your life, long after your meditation session has ended.
It is explained that meditation allows you to “clear away the information overload that builds up every day.” Clearing your mind of distracting thoughts, helps you gain new perspectives and develop fresh, productive ways of handling stress and problems. Meditation encourages self-awareness and teaches you to be in the moment, focusing on the present, not your ever-growing to-do list. This is why meditating decreases stress and has lasting effects on your emotional and physical well-being.
How to Meditate
Meditation is convenient and can be done in the comfort of your own home or office. Author and meditation expert Sakyong Mipham explains how to meditate in his book Ruling Your World.
Sit upright with your hands resting on your thighs. Your arms, shoulders, back of the neck, face and jaw should all be relaxed. Gaze downward with your eyes half-way shut.
Start your session with a positive thought that indicates the beginning of your meditation such as, “Now I will begin to work with my mind and develop peace.”
Place your mind on the breath. If you are having difficulty staying focused on the breath, count the in and out breaths. Breathe in and out and count, “one”; do it again, and count, “two”– up to 27, then start over.
When you find yourself thinking, simply label it “thinking,” and return your attention to the breath. Don’t judge the thoughts or berate yourself for having them, just notice that you’re thinking and continue meditating.
Begin meditating just 5 minutes at the beginning of your day and gradually work your way up to 10 minutes or more. You can also implement breathing/meditation techniques throughout your day. If you begin feeling anxiety and stress set in, close your eyes and take 5 deep breaths—breathing in for 10 seconds and then breathing out for 10 seconds.
Use meditation to combat stress and begin enjoying the positive effects on your overall well-being and quality of life.