Meditation is an old-age practice, existing for eons in many cultures. There are many different forms and sub-types of meditation. One form, which has now become very popular in the west, is guided meditation. Guided meditation is great for beginners, or seekers wanting some guidance and direction during their meditation practice. While more traditional forms of meditation tend to be about silencing or focusing the mind, guided meditation often keeps the listener’s mind active and alert. Guided meditation recordings are also available to stream or download. They are very popular, so you don’t necessarily have to join a class or meditation circle. If, on the other hand, you wish to make like-minded friends, you may prefer to join a local meditation class or group. These days, many people own smartphones or an mp3 player, so you can listen to a guided meditation anywhere you wish. You can listen while walking, while commuting, or simply in the comfort of your own home.
Many guided meditations also feature relaxing background music to enhance the listener’s experience of calm and tranquility. With such a wide choice available these days, listeners can choose between a male or female instructor and also what accent they prefer to listen to. I would say that probably 70-80% of all available meditation recordings are from American meditation teachers. There are also teachers from, for example, countries such as Australia, Ireland and the UK, available to download or stream online.
Meditation really does help to benefit and balance your entire being – your mind, body and soul. The following information is not definitive, but discusses some of the many benefits that meditation and guided meditation have to offer.
The physical benefits of meditation for the body are numerous, with science discovering more of these benefits all the time. The following is an overview of some of the physical benefits:
Meditation can help lower pain, including chronic pain, as these types of conditions are often related to emotional stress, muscular tension and an unhealthy lifestyle.
Meditation can strengthen your immune system and lower inflammation in the body. Meditation practice can help reduce the severity of headaches, by reducing stress and creating a sense of calm. Meditation can help people recover from chronic diseases such as cancer and heart disease, giving them a sense of peace of mind and comfort. It can also help lower the risk of obesity and overeating, by assisting your ability to cope with stress in healthier ways.
Meditation is beneficial for the mind and brain. Meditation can teach you to exercise control over your thoughts and emotions. Meditation is also great for your mental health. With regular practice, it can help reduce depression and anxiety naturally. Meditation helps you to remain in the present moment, rather than in the past or future. It can help you make peace with your past and assist you in forgiving people that may have hurt you. Meditation truly does give you a different perspective, allowing you to see your challenges and setbacks in a more positive light.
Meditation also improves memory, focus and mental performance. This means it can help you to focus better and for longer on tasks, thereby reducing any tendency to be distracted. Meditation lowers the stress hormone cortisol, helping you to adapt and cope better with stress. Meditation can help you fall asleep quickly, as well as improve quality of sleep, by helping you to relax and thereby let go of any built-up tension accumulated during the day. Science is also finding that regular meditation practice can change the neuroplasticity of your brain, as well as regenerate cells in both your brain and body.
Meditation is also great for your soul! Meditation can be a spiritual or religious experience for many people, not simply a means of taking time out to rest from a busy routine. Meditation can help to raise your vibration and make you a more loving, heart-centered, human being. When you learn to silence your mind and ego, your soul and higher self can have greater influence over your life. For many people, meditation practice allows a gradual process of awakening.
There are techniques that you can practice to balance or open your chakras, for example the third eye chakra. This can allow you to see auras around other people, trees and even perceive nature spirits. It is also possible to perceive the spirit guides and angels that surround and protect you. For those interested in developing intuition and psychic abilities, meditation can be useful. For others, meditation practice will simply give participants more peace of mind and connection to the world around them.
Meditation has been practiced for centuries to heal body, mind and spirit. In the western world, science is beginning to reveal conclusive evidence of the healing power of meditation. Guided meditation is probably the most popular form of meditation in the west, but there are many other types of meditation to explore as well. The key with any meditation practice is to set aside some time each day, when you wont be disturbed, to meditate for 10 to 15 minutes or longer.
Some people prefer to meditate first thing upon rising, others during the day, and some before bed. Guided meditation can sometimes keep your mind busy, so if you find it makes your mind overactive, you may prefer to follow guided meditations during the day. If you have an overactive mind in the evenings, you may prefer instead to listen to some gentle relaxation music, without spoken word. Please do try meditation for yourself, and experience the benefits first-hand.