What is it?
Guided Meditation is when a participant follows along with a professional practitioner either through audio or text guidance. The participant is brought through visualization practices, that typically incorporate body and breath awareness, as well as the recreation of sensory information. Guided audio meditations are typically accompanied by soothing music or binaural beats.
Guided meditation is a fantastic alternative to silent meditation. In fact, many beginners prefer these, as it is easier to stay focused and develop your seated attention span. As you progress in your spiritual journey, guided meditation will prove extremely beneficial, and can introduce you to deeper and more profound states. In this article, we will briefly explore audio guided meditations, as well as binaural beats – both of which i use frequently.
Where do I begin?
Click here for my favorite free guided meditations – these are a great place to start, and allow you to try a wide variety of audio meditations without purchasing anything. You can listen to the audio through speakers, but I highly recommend using headphones, as many of the guided meditations utilize the stereo effect of headphones, producing an immersive surround sound atmosphere (I use cheap skullcandy headphones, such as these, and they work fantastic).
If you are like me, and prefer to have physical copies, there are some fantastic guided programs available on amazon. If you are just beginning, I highly recommend Dr. Kabat-Zinn’s Mindfulness Meditation Program. It is a four part home program, and will be a fantastic starting point for anyone interested.
Binaural Beats – Gateway to Deeper States
Let’s talk binaural beats – these are some of my favorite things around, and I utilize them daily to deepen and enhance my spiritual practice. A Binaural Beat (BB) is when two tones of differing frequencies are introduced to the brain. The brain then detects a third frequency (the mathematical difference between the two given frequencies) and resonates here, resulting in scientifically proven state of deeper consciousness. The use of BB’s are vast, and they are widely used in clinical settings to treat a variety of psychological issues, such as insomnia, depression, anxiety, tinnitus, and ADHD, to name a few.
As mentioned, BB’s work by introducing two separate tones to your ears, so the use of headphones is a must. The beats will not work properly if you only have one headphone in, or if you use speakers. The producers of binaural beats create their frequencies to match that of the bainwave states – so very specific states of consciousness can be achived by listening to these. The four brainwave states are outlined below:
Again, you will find my favorite free binaural beats here!
Advanced Audio Practices
The Gateway Experience is absolutely one of the best programs I have ever encountered. These are extremely in-depth audio practices that utilize guided meditation and binaural beats to produce profound states of consciousness, and are well worth the price tag. There are six ‘Waves’ (CD bundles) that each incorporate six practices – ranging from 20 minutes to an hour for each.
The creator of these, Robert Monroe, is also one of my favorite authors. I highly recommend his book Journeys Out of the Body (warning: this book will open up a whole new area of spiritual exploration for you. Out of body experiences are extremely captivating and will completely change they way you look at things)
William Buhlman’s Out of Body Techniques is another phenomenal program that I use regularly. This includes six separate CDs, and extremely effective practices to induce out of body experiences.
William Buhlman also has a book in my top 5. Check out Adventures Beyond the Body
I will save the topic of out of body experiences for a separate article, but I will say this here: Out of Body experiences are, in my opinion, the pinnacle of spiritual practice in this physical body. The things you will explore and come to know through first hand knowledge will absolutely change your life.
The above will serve as a brief, yet proper introduction to guided meditations. I will let the experiences prove themselves to you, without boring you to death with text. I highly encourage you to try out the free guided meditations here, and when you are ready to take your practice deeper, obtain some of the CDs I have outlined in the Advanced section above. You will not be disappointed!
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