Meditation is a powerful tool. It can be beneficial to the mind, body, and spirit when practiced correctly.
For novice students looking to begin this practice, some say guided meditation is the place to start.
What is Guided Meditation?
Guided meditation is lead by a spiritual leader or trained teacher who offers verbal instruction, music, and breathing techniques to help you achieve calmness.
After signing up for a beginner class, I learned that guided meditation is awesome but it’s not for everybody.
The class started with the woman who refused to take off her shoes before entering the “zen” room, even though it was the yoga studio policy. Class ended with the grunting man and his bad leg who should have opted for a course that didn’t require him to bend and sit for an extended period of time.
When trying to block out distractions in order to reach your happy place, guided meditation in a classroom full of noisy strangers may not be the best way to go.
Meditation is intended to reduce stress and lead to positive thinking. It can even have psychological effects that help with depression. But when your instructor is too busy applying oil to the squeaky wheels of the bunch, it leaves the quiet ones out of luck.
A Brief History of Meditation
Meditation was originally used by religious leaders in different Asian cultures. Meditation dates back to ancient India, and many of today’s practices are derived from early Hindu spiritual traditions.
There is also Buddhist meditation, which is one of a three part spiritual path that results in enlightenment. The other two parts being ethics and wisdom.
And then there is Zen meditation, the Japanese rendition.
Meditation and Mindfulness
More recently came the birth of mindfulness, a non-religious model of meditation with all the good-feeling benefits. Jon Kabat-Zinn is credited with bringing mindfulness to the western hemisphere.
Yoga is often incorporated with mindfulness in the form of meditation, breathing exercises, and body movements. But mindfulness can be practiced in many different ways, not just through yoga. Mindfulness exercises can be done throughout the day while doing everyday tasks.
The science behind meditation is to achieve positivity, one must be aware of the causes of negativity.
The belief that focusing on your chakras can improve your health and mental state is an Indian principle.
Chakras are the spiritual power found in the human body. Chakra meditation promotes balance in your mind, body, and spirit.
There are seven:
- Base/Root Chakra: Sexuality
- Spleen Chakra: Emotional Needs
- Solar Plexis Chakra: Mental Energy
- Heart Chakra: Harmony
- Throat Chakra: Communication
- Brow Chakra: Awareness
- Crown Chakra: Compassion
The right side of the body sends our energy out while the left side welcomes energy in – the good, the bad, and the ugly.
By being mindful of the type of energy you welcome into your body can improve the way you see yourself and the way you see your life.
These beliefs and practices are a very powerful concept that holds truth. I experienced it firsthand.
Our emotions are a reflection of the negative and positive energy we give and receive. Changing the way we think, feel, speak, and act towards others and by even modifying the way we value ourselves is the key to finding inner peace.
I am not an advocate of guided meditation, but I can get on board with mindfulness and silent meditation in solitude.