Meditation requires more than just sitting, breathing deeply and closing one’s eyes. After five years of meditating, I still sometimes find myself wandering off to my dream vacation — or to the pile of laundry in the other room, or to the list I made for the almost empty pantry, or the chores I haven’t done — during meditation. And the occasional times when I’d end up having conversations with myself.
Even if I’m in a quiet place, I would still find it a bit challenging at times to keep my mind still. I realize that no matter how quiet my external environment is, it is the noise inside my head that keeps me from being able to concentrate.
The thing about meditation is: the more you try so hard to concentrate, the more it gets noisy inside your head. This happens because you pressure yourself to get into a state of calmness, which is unnatural. Both your mind and body are not in sync — the reason why you feel you’re losing the battle with putting them in a harmonious, serene state.
Why Can Meditation Sometimes Be So Damn Difficult?
There are some limiting beliefs that we impose upon ourselves when we think about starting a meditation practice. One, that you should be sitting in a lotus position near Buddha in a nice garden somewhere because when you look at photos about meditation online that’s what you see. Two, that you should be in a certain position to start meditating. You can meditate in the car (just tell the driver not to do the same thing), when you’re commuting, while you’re standing gazing at the sky, when you’re taking a break from a book you’re reading, or whatever. Three, that you should be burning incense or diffusing an expensive oil.
While it’s true that being in a serene place and having the right elements make up for what you would consider a good meditation practice, there is no reason why you shouldn’t meditate if all you have is the time to breathe.
If it’s your first time to practice meditation, it would help to be with a teacher to guide you. And yes, doing it in a nice garden or a mountainside view with Buddha and an incense burning on your side would be nice. But given the situation on the ground, it may be a long time from now until you can sit with a teacher to practice meditation.
I meditate in the morning upon waking and at night before I go to bed. However, since we moved to this small town, the clucking of chickens has completely taken over my life. Being the flawed human that I am, I either bring all my neighbors’ chickens to the happy, calm place inside my head, or I kill them all — yes, in that same head — during meditation. So, it sometimes helps when I put on my earphones and play a meditation guide to unplug from the world.
There are so many guided meditations available online, the place for anything between chaos and peace. I have not even explored the apps yet and have no intentions of doing so very soon. I use YouTube for guided meditation. In my years of navigating meditation guides, I have found a few that I find both helpful and effective, not only in drowning out the massive clucking, but in helping me relax at night or helping me get ready first thing in the morning.
Here are 5 Meditation Guides for Self Healing, Chakra Cleansing, Meeting Your Spirit Guides While Sleeping, Deep Pain Relief and Forgiveness
Louise Hay. She was a metaphysical counselor who spent a huge part of her life going around the world helping people understand why human beings develop dis-ease; why our bodies get sick. Most importantly, Hay has taught the world how much thoughts affect the physical body. If you, for instance, believe that you will never heal from whatever sickness you have, then that’s what your body will listen to, and there is a huge chance that you will never heal. Be very careful of where your thoughts lead you.
Hay has guided meditation for the evening, deep sleep, morning, as well as affirmations. My favorite among her collection of guided meditation is her self-healing meditation. She spends the first part of the recording explaining about how powerful our thoughts are and how they’re continuously shaping our world. The guided meditation starts on the 37th minute in case you want to go to meditation right away, but I found that no matter how many times I’ve listened to her, there is always something new to learn. Don’t skip anything if you don’t have to.
Listening to Hay, I often can’t help but smile when I hear her say, “See you on the other side of the tape.” Her guided meditation recordings were done between the 70s and the 90s when tape was what the world used to record everything. I myself was a big “tape person”.
Michael Sealey. Not all who do guided meditation come from the deep forests or from beauteous Himalayan mountains like I used to think. That’s dragging you down to my moments of ignorance, you’re welcome. Sealey is a trained and certified hypnotherapist and is also an Australian actor.
If you just want a very calming voice to guide you, he has sleep relaxation, sleep hypnosis to cleanse destructive energy, and sleep meditation for clearing negative blockages, among others.
My favorite among his guided meditation is the chakra cleansing. I have done chakra cleansing with Filipino parapsychologist Jaime Licauco and it was one of the most interesting experiences of my life. If you just want to explore chakra cleansing, you can begin with this one.
Jason Stephenson. He comes from an interesting place in his meditation practice. Before he became a meditation teacher, he spent a number of years downing drugs. It wasn’t until he was diagnosed with HIV in 2005 when he realized that it was time to heal, and that was when he found meditation. He can’t help but shake his head in disbelief when he thinks about what he subjected his body, mind and spirit to during those tumultuous years in his life. It is a place we find ourselves in sometimes even if drugs are not always in the equation.
Stephenson has guided meditation on detaching from overthinking, forgiveness, sleep hypnosis, releasing negative energies and deep positivity guide. Over the last 10 years, he has released hundreds of meditation guides, so you will find everything you need on his vast playlist.
My favorite from him is meditation to meet your spirit guides while sleeping.
Helen Ryan. She is a clinical hypnotherapist and creator of the Channel Progressive Hypnosis on YouTube. I have used her guided meditation for relieving pain, particularly lower abdominal pain when it’s that pesky time of the month. Her soothing voice always helps the pain go away and puts me to sleep easily. Perhaps it’s the fact that she’s also a woman that makes me feel comforted because only women understand what period pain is like.
Here’s my favorite from Channel Progressive Hypnosis.
Sandra Rolus. If there is one word I wish I paid attention to a long time ago, it would be Ho’opono Pono. It is healing through forgiving, an ancient Hawaiian practice that has become widespread in the last few years. I would always encounter Ho’opono Pono, but for some reason — maybe it was difficult for me to read? — I’d ignore it. It’s one of the bad decisions I’ve made in the past. Imagine ignoring a very important word, a technique even, just because I could not pronounce the word?
I recently found myself finally trying the Ho’opono Pono guided meditation by Sandra Rolus last year. I was amazed at how powerful it is even in its simplicity. Rolus guides you with just four phrases. These are I’m sorry, please forgive me, thank you, I love you.
I directed this meditation towards my mother and myself, having lived through a difficult relationship with her all my life. All my dis-ease have come from that relationship and not being able to forgive. As soon as I learned to truly forgive, it has helped comfort me through physical pain. Forgiveness is the medicine, sometimes the only one, that we need in this life.
Rolus is an Arizona-based timeline trauma release facilitator. Experience her guided meditation using the Ho’opono Pono technique here.
Is Guided Meditation Safe?
I see this question get asked a lot. I personally don’t see how or why guided meditation can bring anyone harm. As long as you choose a guide that is trained and experienced in this field, then you have nothing to worry about. The word hypnosis can be intimidating for those who have never tried guided meditation before, but don’t let it stop you from exploring what could be a very important aspect in your life. No, you will not get into paralysis, and no, you will not lose control over your mind and body.
It doesn’t matter where you are in your meditation practice now, you have to remember to keep going. And yes, even if it feels frustrating sometimes.
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