You have learned about meditation, or mindfulness, or both, and have found the practices so fascinating that you have decided to get into them seriously.
If it’s meditation, you have already known the different meditation styles there are, you have picked your most preferred style and you are now ready to begin practicing it, but there’s a problem.
You don’t know how the meditation style is done.
So, you choose to read meditation scripts or go through the meditation websites that offer step-by-step instructions on how that meditation style should be done.
Now you have to read the instructions, cram them, and then begin your meditation session. You try to proceed as you refer to the instructions in your mind, which can get very hectic for you.
That’s where guided meditation comes to the rescue.
We will be looking at how guided meditation helps us begin our journey with meditation or mindfulness easily, and get to have a rewarding experience all the while, learning how it is done without the many troubles of reading and cramming involved.
Benefits of Guided Meditation for Learning Mindfulness and Meditation
Guided meditation helps you with your practice so that you can get started with it on the right footing and keep going in the right direction with relative ease.
It involves you working with a guide who is a meditation expert, who is either physically present or in form of recordings made by meditation experts of the practice you are doing, to help you understand every step of the practice.
The guide will often explain the benefits of the practice, the kind of experiences you should expect during your practice, and how to navigate through them.
The guide will also explain the things you should do, such as getting in a relaxed state, preparing to meditate, doing the actual meditation practice and preparing to end your session. This is done to ensure your meditation session is fulfilling and helpful.
Learning mindfulness with a guide helps you understand the concept of mindfulness in-depth, what it is like to be mindful, how it increases your level of mindfulness, and how to blend it in with your daily life.
The same case applies to using it for your meditation practice.
Benefits of Guided Meditation
Let’s take a closer look at the benefits of guided meditation.
1. Takes Away the Guesswork in Your Practice
If you don’t know or you are not sure how exactly your practice should be done, guided meditation helps you know everything without having to do much on your side.
All you do is listen to the guide as they walk you through everything, from the beginning to the end.
Unlike guessing your way through the practice, which might affect the quality of your experience and your chances of enjoying the full benefits of the practice, guided meditation offers you certainty about your practice.
2. Reduces the Effort Involved in Learning and Mastering Your Practice
Whether you are doing mindfulness meditation, Vipassana meditation, loving-kindness meditation, Christian meditation, forgiveness meditation, or any other meditation style, you don’t get to spend a lot of time trying to master the instructions given for doing the practice.
You just listen to your guide and follow what they tell you, and that’s it. Without guided meditation, you would have to read, understand, cram, and remember how the practice is to be done, which can be a stretch for you as a beginner.
3. Increases Your Confidence in Your Practice
Meditation and mindfulness can both be tedious without help for many beginners. And most of them tend to get discouraged when things don’t work out or when they feel overwhelmed by their practices.
Since guided meditation walks you through everything about your practice as you meditate, things become easier for you compared to someone who is doing it alone without guidance.
This, therefore, makes you more positive about your meditation or mindfulness journey and you become more confident that you will get to enjoy the benefits of your practice soon.
4. Provides Support and Motivation to Keep Meditating
We all require support when we are starting something new that may take time to bring the results we look forward to.
We need someone to remind us that we need to be consistent, to bravely overcome the challenges that come with what we are doing, and to be patient too.
Guided meditation offers the support and inspiration you need when meditating.
The guide helps you through the difficult phases of your practice, helps you understand the strange experiences you are having and how to manage them, and also encourages you to keep going until you are ready to meditate on your own.
How to Use Guided Meditation Effectively in Your Self Improvement Journey
Since guided meditation does most of the heavy lifting for you, all you will need to do to make the most of it is to have proper plans for your practice.
Firstly, you should have learned about meditation in general, and you practiced too before you begin doing it.
This it helps you get acquainted with the general idea of how things work.
You can do that on the internet.
Having this background information will help you understand the guide well and not have trouble understanding certain general meditation-related terms that they use.
Secondly, you should create a suitable environment for meditation.
Find a quiet place where you can listen to the guide clearly and comfortably, and be able to follow through with what you are told.
If you are with a physical guide on-site, ask them the best place which they recommend for your practice.
If you’re using recordings such as audios, meditation apps or videos, or other guided meditation resources, aim for a quiet space that has a free flow of air and minimal disturbance.
Thirdly, be flexible with guided meditation.
As you keep working with guided meditation to help you through your sessions, you should be aware that at some point in the future, you will have understood and mastered how the practice is done and grasped the gist of the practice well enough to meditate on your own.
When that time comes, you will have to make the decision on whether to keep using guided meditation or meditate alone. Be flexible enough to try out both options and see which one works best for you when you get there.
Tips to Enhance Your Overall Experience with Guided Meditation
Get Guided Meditation Resources from Credible Organizations
If you are going to get a meditation or mindfulness teacher as your guide, you should ensure you do a background check on them to be sure they are trained, qualified, licensed, and experienced. It helps if you get one from popular meditation centers in your locality.
If you are going to buy guided meditation resources such as meditation audios, videos, podcasts, or use meditation apps, seek to confirm that the guide walking you through the sessions is an expert.
You can do a quick Google search on them to get their credentials. There are a lot of low-quality meditation pieces of training out there from unqualified people and doing your due diligence will help you avoid them.
Start Small and Grow Progressively
Meditation is a journey of a thousand miles that begins with one step and many slower, but sure ones. Don’t rush it. Begin by doing your practice for less than 5 minutes per session and when you feel you are comfortable practicing for that duration, you can move to around 10 minutes and so on.
Don’t aim for an hour as you are getting started. It will weigh you down even if you are with a guide.
Put Your Phone on Silent or Airplane Mode
If you are using an app or audios and videos on your phone to do your practice, ensure it is in silent or airplane mode so that you don’t get interrupted by calls or message notifications.
Maintain your attention on the practice and avoid any external distractions.
Do Your Practice Regularly
Meditation should be a daily exercise for anyone who wants to benefit from it. For you to do it frequently, you should consider creating time for it, adding it to your schedule, and making the effort of practicing it when the time comes.
If possible, you can practice every day, but if you are busy, you can try to do it every so often. The more you meditate the more you benefit from it.
In summary, guided meditation is the best way to step into meditation and mindfulness. If you work well with it, it can help you get grounded well in your practice and see amazing results in good time.
About the Author
David Oscar is a huge meditation and mindfulness enthusiast. He is also a mental health researcher and the editor of Improve Your Brain Power, a website that shares the legitimate and effective ways to improve the power and function of the brain.