Guided Meditation Instructions

Here are some additional instructions for getting the most out of a guided meditation and for dealing with difficulties.

A guided meditation is done in a altered state of consciousness where material from your unconscious and the deeper layers of your psyche is more readily available to you.

The best attitude to adopt for guided meditations is a combination of letting go and staying focused. Letting go allows images from your unconscious to emerge freely. Don't try to control the images or sensations that you feel or the words that you hear. It's important not to doubt or discard whatever spontaneously emerges. You might be inclined to discard something because:

1. You don't understand it. This is actually a plus. Some of the most important information isn't understood at first.

2. An image seems to be obviously related to a recent event or well-known image in your life. Keep in mind that the meaning of this image for you in this meditation may be different from its conventional meaning.

3. It seems unacceptable or even evil. Please trust that the image has come up for a good reason and you don't need to fear your unconscious.

The other important ability is staying focused. This means keeping on track with the meditation directions and with the thread of your own inner journey. During meditation, it is easy to "space out" or daydram about irrelevant issues. This happens to almost everyone from time to time. If you find that you have lost focus, don't become worried or judge yourself, just gently bring yourself back to the track of the meditation.

Don't assume that all imagery has to be visual. Some people don't visualize very well but are good at body imagery. They can sense body feelings, posture, and movement and they can imagine their body in different shapes. This is called kinesthetic imagery, and people can have profound meditative experiences this way. Some people mainly get information through hearing voices, words, or sounds. So if you have trouble visualizing, just notice what information is coming through these other channels.

Sit or lie in a completely relaxed, comfortable position, one that you can maintain for as long as the meditation lasts, up to 25 or 30 minutes in some cases. If you discover that you have a tendency to fall asleep during guided meditations, it is best to maintain an upright, sitting position without head support. This will keep you awake while still allowing deep relaxation. It is especially important to use this position after eating a big meal or if you are tired.