Maximize Your Guided Imagery And Meditation Experience With Writing

If you are doing meditation, or using guided imagery or guided meditation programs, and then drifting off to sleep or getting up and going on about your business, you’re wasting a big opportunity. Writing after your inner work is the way to maximize your experience, as long as you do it in certain ways.

When you meditate, you shift your focus from your intellect and the normal mental chatter of every day living, to a quieter, deeper place within. Depending on the kind of meditation you do, or the kind of program you’re listening to, you may access your heart center, higher levels of your mental body, spiritual guidance from above, or your emotional body.

For example, as your thoughts wind down and drift away from your job and to-do list, your focus may begin to drift to your life purpose here on earth. At that point, you may begin to connect with the higher guidance of your own consciousness, spiritual guides or other figures who work with you, master energies, and so on. Information and energy may begin to touch into your system and be delivered to you.

Or, let’s say you practice a form of meditation where the object is to empty and still your mind as much as possible, and think of “nothing”. As your focus slips from your conscious mind to your deeper levels of awareness, you’re able to let of the “problem oriented” focus, and release negative associations that you may have fixated on. At that point, coming out of the meditation your perspective on problems can be completely new, and you’ll be able to see much more clearly.

Another possibility is that you’ll do a meditation, guided meditation or guided imagery program that will help you focus in on your inner climate, emotional state, and feelings, and bring things up to the surface that may have been hanging around in your unconscious for some time. You may begin to realize that the nagging sense of fear or doubt you’ve been feeling is directly related to a specific person or situation in your life that needs your attention.

In every case, the meditation or guided imagery program has given you access to new or different information than you had going in. But because you’ve been tapping into deep levels of awareness and not in your full waking consciousness, you only have a small part of the information available. In a sense, you’ll come out of your meditation with “nuggets” or very concentrated pieces of information. It’s then up to you to unpack these concentrated pieces and discover all the facets and levels of understanding they hold for you. The best way to do that is through writing, immediately after your meditation experience. Look for my article, The Best Way To Write After Your Guided Meditation, for more about this process.

Guided Meditations Tips

Studies have shown that the brain completely influences how our body reacts to different situations and circumstances. Stress robs the body of good energy. However, experts have shown that, through guided meditation, the mind has the capability to restore the good and healthy energy to our bodies.

You may or may not feel that this is something that you can attain in your life. It is sometimes difficult to accept the fact that we can control our brain. Perhaps you have tried before, but to no avail. Meditation and guided meditation does require some self control along with patience, that when applied properly will yield significant and incredibly positive results very quickly.

The objective of meditation is to get your physical body to work in unison with your mind. When this alliance occurs the ability to effectively and easily respond to the stress brought on by your everyday life is heightened dramatically. Although this sounds too good to be true, it isn’t. The power of meditation is really quite amazing’

With regular practice, guided meditation will allow you to realize the power of your own mind. It is important to keep a positive outlook. This is a key element when learning how to change your thought patterns and develop a better attitude. Tell yourself that good changes will happen. This alone will help guide your soul in a positive direction.

Guided meditations are good tools if implemented on a regular schedule. They will alleviate the stress on your mind and body. Review the various programs and you will find the right one for you. Focus on finding internal peace to control your stress. Meditation is easily learned, and once you begin you will surely find your true center in life.

There are many sources that can help you when starting out with meditation. Guided meditations, as the name implies, are simply meditation techniques with instructions. You can find various guided meditations online, and the Guided Meditations [http://guidedmeditations.net//] website is a great place to get the tools you need to start. Whether you are more comfortable with complete training programs or simple one session samples, the choices are there in formats like, CD’s, MP3 downloads, downloadable videos or books.

How to Use Guided Meditations to Battle Stress and Depression

Guided meditations are an incredible tool for anyone who meditates.

Whether you are new to meditation or have been meditating for years, you should most certainly know the power and benefits you can gain from following a guided meditation.

As you learn more techniques to bring yourself into a meditative state you will probably want to start using guided meditations. A guided meditation is an exercise that is perfect in relieving the daily stress you are facing by simply learning how to concentrate and focus long enough to get a few minutes of peaceful relaxation.

The Effects of Guided Meditations

You will feel a sense of calmness overcome you and it will make the rest of your day go smoother. Following a Guided meditation only take a few minutes and they can easily be done after you have enjoyed your lunch and before heading back into the daily grind. It is a proven method of bringing the world back into order and making you feel less stressed by the things going on around you.

Psychologists Recommend Using Guided Meditations

Guided meditations have been so successful in helping people through stressful situations that many physicians have actually prescribed these exercises to patients who suffer from anxiety attacks and depression from being under such overwhelming stress and a sense of hopelessness. They are also extremely helpful for increasing self-awareness, self-love, and self-confidence.

Meditating makes it much easier for you to cope with the stresses that daily life may throw at you. They have proven to be so powerful that many mental health patients have been able to go off of their medications and move on to being more productive members of society in every aspect of their lives by following a guided meditation on a daily and regular basis.

There is no doubt that any style of meditation is a helpful form of treatment for the body and the mind. This is why I created The Big List of Guided Meditations, the largest list of Free Guided Meditations in audio and video format online.

When a person is dealing with their everyday mind, they are distracted by things as mundane as their pets to the more stressful aspects of their professional working career. A person cannot relax or maintain an even keel so to speak when the mind is in this much turmoil. The stress continues to build until the mind finally shuts down due to overwhelming exhaustion. A mind that is concentrated is more centered and focused but it is still dealing with the distractions of everyday life. It makes it hard for a person to be able to meditate without going back to the distractions that were plaguing them in the first place.

How to Make Meditation a Part of Your Life

Finding the Calm.

“Meditate Schmeditate”, my mother-in- law, Dora once said to her son, my husband, Mark as he headed off one summer day in Long Beach to find a quiet bench on the boardwalk to attend to his twice daily meditation practice. From that day on, every time Mark would go sit down to meditate he would say to me, “I am going to go meditate-schmeditate” and we would both laugh about it.

Twenty minutes a day, twice a day for over thirty years. Rarely did Mark miss taking time out to do his meditation practice. When he was an educator in the New York City Public Schools, he rose 45 minutes early to meditate then showered, shaved, dressed, made his coffee and peanut butter sandwich (for the energy he needed in his high-stress -very- hectic- job as school principal) and then pack himself an apple, a few clementine’s and some almonds. He would then get into his car to drive to East New York, Brooklyn. In my eyes Mark was a true enlightened warrior.

Mark took his training for TM in Manhattan in the early 1970’s. Once, when I asked him what meditation was for him, he said something like this, “It helps me to focus meditation rests my mind. It helps me to relieve stress. helps me to come up with solutions to problems. I get more done.”

I often noticed he seemed happier and more relaxed when he completed his daily meditations. I admire how he stuck with it day in and day out.

When I asked him if meditating meant he turned off his thoughts he said, “No, the opposite, what it does is that I just notice my thoughts and let them go while focusing on a mantra. ” A mantra is a syllable or sound to keep your mind from wandering over to list-making and looking ahead to the busy-ness of the day ahead.

Meditation has become a bit of a buzzword. In a recent interview at the 92nd Street Y, Ariana Huffington spoke about the many CEO’s who meditate including most famously the late Steve Jobs.

Studies using MRI’s have shown that the brains of Tibetan Buddhist monks who meditate daily and for long periods of time have shown brains with increased gamma wave activity, which help with many cognitive functions including increased compassion, improved memory and test taking abilities. In short, Gamma brain waves are those that get you “into the zone “.

There are health benefits too. Science has shown that meditation can reduce stress, helps to lower cortisol, adrenaline production and in turn lower blood pressure.

In a recent article in the New York Times, The Path meditation center in Manhattan is focused on networking for fashion and tech millennials, through meditation. According to the article, many post-meditation deals have been made and jobs have been found. In Los Angeles, there are “Drybar” style meditation centers popping up.

If you ask me, meeting your true love or business partner by way of meditation is more promising than over cocktails at the latest trendy bar. At least you know the person is in the moment.

Additionally in another article it was shown that meditation has the potential to help students to increase their scores on the big tests such as the SAT and ACT exams.

It seems that Mark was really onto something so many years ago. Meditation served him well throughout his life, working in some very complicated situations in the school system and when he was losing his battle with cancer, meditation helped him to stay centered and uncomplaining even when I know he wanted to just scream.

It was because of Mark that I began my thirty year journey to yoga and meditation. As someone who is high energy, active and has the need to move, I found that for me to meditate I had to do a little yoga or dance around the living room, take walk or just move in seated circles to limber up and release excess energy. Then I could sit and enjoy the stillness. I am grateful to Mark for starting me on my yogic path. He used to say, “I have great instincts. I grew up on the streets of Brooklyn that taught me plenty about people.” And I appreciate that he shared it with me.

Being a social person my favorite way to meditate is in a group with my fellow yoga practitioners it is there that the practice really unfolds for me.

But it is at home on my own it becomes something else. To do the practice is to commit myself to grace for a few minutes each day. Even for just 5 minutes to give my busy, monkey mind a break. Productivity does rise when I give my mind and my body a rest.

For those who want to give meditation a whirl there are many places to look. There are many different types of meditations to try on YouTube.com, where you can practice in your living room.

Do your best not to judge yourself. According to meditation teacher and American Buddhist teacher, Jack Kornfeld, it takes many lifetimes to master meditation so why not just enjoy it? There is no right way to do it. Just sit and it will unfold.

The UCLA Mindfulness Awareness Research Center is a good place to get some free training and introductions to meditation, marc.ucla.edu and look for the link to Free Guided Meditations. Or look on iTunes for both free and paid meditations.

There are also numerous APPS available to help you to learn.

Though when I think about it the whole concept is a bit of an oxymoron. Meditation App. Kind of like the old “jumbo shrimp”. The idea is to turn down the noise in your head. If you can do that without checking text messages, putting phone on do not disturb then here are few apps to try some are free and some charge a fee:

Breathe2Relax helps you practice working with the breath,

Buddhify 2 short to long meditations and information,

Omvana has music, talks, guided meditations and much more. Search your APP store to see what’s available read reviews try a few different types of meditation.

I have had great success being consistent with yoga nidra meditations I listen to on YouTube.com Google: yoga nidra and many variations will appearl

Yoganidra has been one of the building blocks of my being able to stand back up after losing my cherished husband Mark to cancer. Grief can be overwhelming. Yoga nidra let me be okay.

One thing I know for sure, meditation is neither weird nor complicated. It can be as simple as finding a quiet spot, closing the eyes and telling our mind to follow the breath. I say to myself, “breathe in, breathe out” until I don’t need to say it I just follow it.

My best suggestion is to find a meditation center or yoga studio where meditation practice is offered.

Some, like Yoga Nanda in Garden City, NY offer free community meditation each week.

Or just find your calming place by simply doing what Mark always did: put on a cozy hoody and sit wherever you are.

Follow your breath and give your mind a rest.

Notice your thoughts as they roll by and let them go.

Keep following the breath for 5 minutes or longer. Make a date with your peaceful self.

Go find your calming place, I am betting you will be glad you did.

Healing Meditation – Your Guide to Balancing the Chakras

Do you believe that happy and positive thoughts can actually cause healing? This is due to the fact that your body and mind will follow to your thoughts. If your thoughts go the other way around, the body will also experience a negative change. With such, you will come to realize that Meditation as a healing technique can greatly help in providing wellness.

Balancing Chakras

Basically, your body condition can be in a good state when you think of good things. So, when you fill your mind with negative thoughts, the same thing follows. This is the way that your body can influence the Chakras. It can be either through direct messages, through direct thoughts that we select to enter into.

In essence, the spiritual body is not different from the physical body. For instance, if you consume unhealthy food, this will result in becoming overweight and suffer from various ailments like diabetes, high blood pressure and others. If your thoughts are negative, the body aura takes in all these in the same way that your body absorbs food. Similar to the physical body, the aura does not have the capacity to determine what is bad and good for you. What it does is that it absorbs what is available at a certain time and makes use of it. Due to this, balancing Chakras through Meditation is very essential.

Essentially, once you carry a negative thought and focus on it, you can have the matching Chakra to come up with a negative feeling to the remaining Chakras. This makes the whole Chakra system to destabilize. The symptoms of this phenomenon results in physical diseases, negative emotions; as well as relationship difficulties. Thus, creating a balance on the Chakras through Meditation can be your initial step towards mental, spiritual, physical and emotional wellbeing.

Steps in Healing Meditation

Obtaining harmony can be your first step to start with the healing process. These Meditation steps can aid you in balancing your Chakras and exploring or opening a more particular healing practice:

*Ensure that you are sitting in a place that is quiet, safe and filled with neutral energy. Wear comfortable clothes.

*Choose the best position for you. You can either sit on a chair or on the floor with your legs crossed.

*Close eyes and remain focused on your breathing. Make sure that your breaths are coming from the diagram and let muscles relax each time you breathe.

*Continue with Meditation and focus on your Chakras. Think of it as a flowing light while turning it clockwise and spinning it out on the other direction then pulling it in again.

*Do this with the rest of your body Chakras. Take in deep breaths and open your eyes slowly.

By considering these steps in Meditation, you will surely feel relaxed, calm, centered and free from certain body ailments.

Monique Solares

Interested in alternative and holistic therapies,info, news, tips and resources in 19 different categories. Visit my website at: [http://www.holisticandhappy.com/blog]

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Meditation – Your Guide to Meditation Methods – Part 2

Walking Meditation

Walking is a very effective way of exercising and meditating as it combines the movements of the body and the mind.

Technique:

Simply walk at a natural and comfortable pace, concentrate on the sole of your feet touching making contact with the earth. Focus on the spot in the center of your foot at the beginning of the arch. With each step feel this spot making contact with the earth and extending into the earth, repeat this with the other foot. Allow normal, relaxed breathing through the lower abdomen. Let your mind ponder on all thoughts without judgment, and then bring back focus to the sole of the foot or your breath.

Lying Meditation

This is one of the meditation methods that is simple and can be done just before bedtime or prior to a nap, by simply lying down and focusing the attention on the breath. Breathing should be into and out of the lower abdomen.

Technique:

Concentrate on inhaling and exhaling, or counting the breaths. Focus on a spot on the ceiling or the sky if you’re outdoors. Access your thoughts without judgment then bring back your focus to breathing.

Sitting Meditation (Zazen)

These meditation methods involve finding a comfortable sitting position for you.

Technique:

You can sit comfortably either in a chair with your feet flat on the ground or crossed legged on the floor (left leg over right) using a cushion under the buttocks for comfort and to prop up the hips higher than the knees. In either case, the back should always be straight but without straining. The palms of the hands are open and can be placed on the thighs, palms up or you can bring the hands together, left palm on top of the right palm, thumbs barely touching each other, resting comfortably against the lower abdomen.

Once you find a comfortable sitting position for you, you can use spoken or silent mantra, or listen to soothing music or sound, or focus on a candle, burning incense or other small objects, or just simply breathe. Breathing should be natural and through the nose. The head should be tilted slightly downward and the body should be completely relaxed. Accept your thoughts without judgment and then come back to the original object of focus.

Remember that these meditation methods are basically techniques of following any form of meditation; the only purpose being in helping the mind and body to focus and function as a single entity.

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Meditation: Your Guide to Christian Meditation

The purpose of all kinds of meditation is to create a deeper understanding of the self through concentration and reflection. Christian meditation at its best can be described as a form of deep concentrated conversations with God. It does not require the use of praying beads, or mantras or any specific postures; it is merely a channel to free the mind.

Christian meditation is more of a contemplative payer using the mind and is perhaps the most efficient way of communicating with God.

The early Christian monks would read passages or verses from the Bible slowly and then reflect on the meanings and messages of these verses. They called it the “divine reading”, and this is perhaps the earliest form of Christian meditation. This form of reflective readings of the scriptures led them towards having loving thoughts of God and his greatness. They called this contemplation.

This experience of reading the Bible, reflecting on its meanings and messages which in turn led to loving thoughts of God ultimately ending in deep contemplation came to be known as the ladder of prayer.

During the twentieth century two forms of Christian meditation came into prominence. The first involved the chanting of mantras called Maranatha which is Aramaic for “Come, Lord”. The other form of Christian meditation is the Centering Prayer. This form uses a sacred word to convey one’s intention to be in the presence of God. Another part of this contemplative form of prayer is the individual’s detachment to his psychological problems.

The “Five R” Method of St. Theresa of Avila, which includes: Ready, Read, Reflect, Respond and Resolve is a five step path to complete concentration while meditating on the Lord.

The “Five R” Method of St. Theresa of Avila:
Ready: The first step involves preparing the mind to accept God’s presence by reflecting on your love, devotion and faith in him. Ask pardon for your sins and seek a purpose to your meditation.

Read: Once you have accepted God’s presence the next step is to read a verse or passage from the Bible or read any prayer or even look at a picture and thinking about it.
Reflect: This step is about reflecting on the chosen passage or prayer by focusing your thoughts on it and then seeking answers to questions that will force the mind into deeper contemplation.

Respond: This is the part where the mind is free to initiate a dialogue with God. When you have reached this stage, you can now talk to him more freely and openly from the inner depths of your soul.

Resolve: This is the last part of the meditative process and should be concluded by thanking God for everything he has blessed you with and for his time.

Christian meditation is about focusing the mind on God and shutting the mind off to everything else. While it is a profoundly deep spiritual experience one should keep in mind that it is not a means to salvation. Like prayer, Christian meditation is a mere form of spiritual discipline, a deeper kind of worship, and a more intimate meeting with God.

Meditation – Your Guide to Meditation Methods Part 1

Meditation channels all our thoughts and energy inwards towards the core of our existence. In fact anytime that we concentrate on something other than our thoughts, we are already meditating. We can meditate while we walk, move, lie down, stand, or sit. Meditation is not limited to any one particular position; there are various methods and ways of practicing meditation.

However the one burning question is since there are numerous ways and methods of practicing meditation, which method does one follow? Well the answer to that is any method that suits you and your present particular situation the best. Meditation doesn’t always have to mean sitting down with your legs crossed and eyes closed, it can be as simple as walking and standing.

Although there are various ways in which one can practice meditation, for the sake of easy understanding meditation can be broadly classified into two categories; moving meditation and still meditation.

Moving meditation involves movements of the body such as Qi Gong, Tai Chi, Yoga, dancing, walking and jogging. In this form of meditation the body moves in a series of rhythmic movements while the mind concentrates or is centered on breath. Thoughts are recognized without judgment and then the focus shifts back to breathe.

Focus can also be on the movement itself, the flowing internal energy from the body, the external environment, or even in the case of dancing, and the connection to music.

Still meditation on the other hand means our bodies and minds do not move. Sitting, standing, or lying meditation focuses on anything; breath, counting, a mantra (sound), candles, incense, a rock, a spot on the ground or ceiling, nature, anything that the heart desires. Thoughts are recognized without judgment, then let go, and concentration is brought back to what you were originally focused on. One learns to breathe through the nose in a natural unforced manner.

Let us take a look at some common meditation methods:

Standing Meditation

This is one of the meditation methods that focuses on regaining proper breathing techniques.

Technique:

Stand comfortably with your spine straight and feet about shoulder distance apart, open your left hand and place the thumb on your navel so that the palm of the hand is against the lower abdomen, then place you right hand on top of left in the same manner. Breathe slowly and feel the lower part of your abdomen expand while naturally pushing away your hands outward on your belly. Hold the breath for four seconds and then exhale slowly, feeling your lower abdomen contracting inward as the air is released. Recognize the thoughts without judgment and bring back the concentration to your breath.

Meditation – Your Guide to Meditation Retreats

Retreats are not only a major part of practicing insight meditation but can also prove to be very effective as an alternative to group therapy. Working together as a group and spending time meditating together each day helps in building concentration and focus and revitalizes the mind and body with a positive energy.

Man is a social animal and a meditation retreat is just the place where a group of like minded people can meet for the common purpose of practicing meditation. The positive flow of energy among a group such as this can be highly effective in the realization of the goals of meditation.

Although a retreat can sound like a rather radical meditation technique, its advantages are far too beneficial to be shunned. There are a number of meditation retreats centers that offer a number of services all of which pertain to meditation in addition to providing a place for people to get together as a group and avail the joint benefits of practicing meditation.

Meditation Retreats Offered by Awareness Intensive Institute This meditation retreat institute offers programmes called “Who is In?” and “Satori”, a three day and seven day workshop respectively. They also have a highly professional staff of facilitators who can cater to all your basic requirements all within a safe environment. The purpose of a retreat program such as this is to help you channel all you focus and concentration on meditation and meditation alone.

Their meditation technique is called “Self -Inquiry” and “Communication”, which is designed to help you understand yourself better and to contemplate and enhance your “in the moment” experience. In this sate you are encouraged to communicate your thought and emotions with a partner. This enables you to discover the mystery of your personality at a pace that suits you all the while witnessing the movement of your unconscious self.

Who is in? – three day meditation retreat explained Zen Koan or “Who is in?” is a specially designed meditation retreat technique developed to search behind all the masks and layers of a personality that we carry from our birth The structure of this process is designed to help focus all your energy inwards, reaching deep into the core of our minds and souls to unleash the source of all our emotions and the path to self discovery and eternal happiness.

Satori: a glimpse of enlightenment – a seven day retreats This meditation retreat technique of “Satori” is aimed at answering one of the most basic questions of life. Who am I? Satori is not a therapy rather a therapeutic experience with the goal of finding solutions to conflicts which arise within the mind.

Meditation retreats encourage an intense, honest, open and compassionate inquiry into the very core of our lives as a means to understanding our individual personalities and then applying that knowledge in all the other areas of our lives.

Exploring Meditation – A Guide On How To Meditate

Meditation can be considered a way to bring inner peace and joy, help you sleep better, relieve pain and improve physical health. But more importantly, meditation is a doorway into the subconscious. You may be able to understand yourself better through meditation.

If you want to learn how to meditate, this short guide will be of some help. Let’s begin with some simple tips.

1. Sit Correctly

Be comfortable. It doesn’t matter as much if you are cross-legged on the floor or seated on a chair, as long as you feel comfortable and relaxed. It is hard to focus your mind on something when you are physically inconvenienced. Keeping your body balanced and calm will aid your mind in following the same route. Sit straight, imagining that your head reaches the clouds.

2. Open Your Eyes

Staying tuned in to the present can keep your mind more focused than if you close your eyes and let it wander everywhere else. But if you are more comfortable meditating with eyes closed, you can do it also. Try out both approaches and see which one works better for you.

3. Focus Your Mind

Concentration on a particular object or task is conventionally understood to be focus. Think of a beam of light. It doesn’t scatter all around, but is narrowly aimed at a small area, lighting it up brightly. Your thoughts are the same. When you learn how to meditate, your thoughts must be centered on one thing only. You must concentrate all your attention on that single thought for as long as possible.

4. Breathe

Notice your breath as it rushes into your body and exits it slowly. Nothing can anchor your mind in the present as this exercise. You do not need to control or manage your breathing in any way, just concentrate on the breaths entering and leaving your body. That alone will still your mind and focus it on one thing, thus helping you to meditate.

5. Abandon Your Thoughts

If you notice yourself thinking about something, consciously let it go. Return your focus back to your breathing. Do not work to force out any thoughts, as that resistance will only make you more aware of other thoughts. Instead, imagine them as being an unwelcome guest whom you turn away to return back to your work.

These are only a few of many tips and tricks to learning how to meditate correctly. There are numerous benefits from meditation that you can acquire easily through some practice and discipline.