When we think of meditating, we tend to limit ourselves to thinking of yoga classes. While meditation is a vital part of any yoga class, its healing benefits and calming effects make it a more than appropriate addition to other wellness and therapy sessions.
The Benefits of Meditation
Meditation and regular mindfulness practice have recently been linked to lowering blood pressure, boosting the immune system, and improving our mind and body’s ability to cope with stress. Of course, the main focus of meditation is bolstering the mind, and regular practice of it does, in fact, change our brains (for the better). Meditation helps to reduce levels of anxiety and depression and improve attention, concentration, self-control, and our greater overall psychological well-being.
How Can Guided Meditation Help?
By focusing the mind and breath through meditation, we allow ourselves to become completely still, to release and reset and just be, something that can be hard to come by in today’s go-go-go society. In this sense, meditation is like an exercise for our mind, and it’s a rigorous one. Sure, our body gets off easy in this exercise, but have you ever tried to tune out not only everything around you but also the voice in your head, to just sit still?
It’s tough. That’s why many people find it easier to come to this focus through a guided meditation. In a guided meditation, the teacher or therapist will attempt to guide the intention or focus throughout the meditation to keep the student’s mind from wandering.
Creating a Guided Meditation
Since the main focus here is, uh, focus, and we don’t want our guide getting lost as well, it’s okay to write up a script for your guided meditation. Your medi-tees will have their eyes closed so they won’t see you reading, but try to avoid any page turning since it can be distracting.
Before you begin writing, take a moment to consider the purpose of your meditation. On what journey are you being called to take your class/client? Your words have the potential to heal and inspire, so what is it you need to say? If you’re having trouble coming up with a purpose or focus, it may help to get into the right frame of mind and meditate on the idea yourself. Additionally, if you’re deeply relaxed, it’s easier to visualize what you want to write.
If you find yourself needing to jot down bullet points in the planning stage, feel free to do so. Others may find it easier to experience the full meditation before writing anything down. Everyone’s different; so too is each approach to meditation. The most important thing to writing a guided meditation is that it feels inspired and that inspiration must come from within.
Structuring Your Script
While there aren’t really any rules to structuring a guided meditation script, most can be broken down into a fairly sequential outline:
- Prepping for the Journey: Allow your listener(s) to get comfortable. Invite them to come to an easy seated position or to lay down. Offer the option to sit against a wall or chair if sitting for too long is uncomfortable and/or they’re likely to fall asleep lying down.
- Bon Voyage!: Start your script off with a general guided relaxation and breathing exercises. This relaxes your listener(s) and helps them become more open to positive imagery. Here you can begin to describe the environment you wish your listener(s) to experience, attempting to involve all their senses.
- Avoid describing too much here, though; you don’t want their headspace to become overwhelmed and complicated. Try to give your listener(s) the opportunity to expand on your suggestions in their own natural, unique way.
- Going Deeper: Some guides may choose this time to expand on a specific deeper meaning for this meditation. This is generally the intended purpose of meditation, but keep in mind the influence you’ll have on your listener(s) at this point.
- In the dream-like, meditative state, deeper levels of the mind are coming into play. The listener is not only interpreting the literal meaning of what you’re saying but is also subconsciously influenced by the symbolic meaning of what you describe.
- Take for instance bodies of water. Symbolically, they’re often used to represent emotional energy. But a clear, shallow stream calmly flowing through a meadow represents something completely different than a murky pond, croaking, chirping, and buzzing with life around and in it.
- Think of the picture you want to paint for your listener(s). Where could they be that symbolizes a peace of mind? What images heal? What will they see that might represent love, freedom, or clarity? Consider your purpose again; what symbols could bring deeper meaning to your overall goal with this meditation?
- The Return: You’ll want to bring your listener(s) out of their journey gradually, helping to gently bring their awareness back to the world around them. It may help first to bring them back to the starting point of your meditation, bringing the journey full-circle.