Step By Step Instructions for Guided Meditation
There are five basic steps to guided meditation. This type of meditation includes mindfulness, awareness, and presence. It’s about recognizing and realizing what is happening and experiencing it without judgment, grasping, or judging. You want to learn to pay close attention to what you feel in your body while noticing your instantaneous thoughts without trying to problem-solve or change things. You’ll get to know yourself better through your thoughts, emotions, feelings, and sensations as you keep an open mind.
The benefits of meditation will come after a day or so. They are usually realized as you are out in the world engaging with others. They are not always realized during the meditation process. Here are the five steps for a guided meditation.
1. Set Your Intention First. Your intentions prepare you for the benefits you can take away from guided meditation. When you set an intention prior to meditating, you remind yourself why you began meditating and helps provide a sort of anchor during the practice. Some intentions may be to be more productive at work, improve relationships, or have more compassion on others. These are a few intentions that you can set. Once they are set, you can bring your mind back to them if it starts to wander.
2. Relax your body. As you start the process of meditation, try relaxing your body and letting go. Pay close attention to areas in your body where you are holding tension like your jaw, belly, neck, eyebrows, and chest. As you take a few deep breaths, focus on softening these areas. With each exhale, think about letting go of the tension a little bit more. Think about your in and out breaths as you work on quieting your mind. A “body scan” meditation can also help you relax at this stage.
3. Pay attention to all of your senses. Take time to feel your body and pay attention to different senses. What are you hearing? How does the chair or floor feel underneath you? What is the temperature? By focusing on your sensations, you can become more grounded and settle the mind from wandering. Don’t try to change or push away what you sense, just become aware of it. Use your breathing as an anchor and don’t fight against what is happening.
4. Investigate your feelings. Take a moment to investigate your senses deeper. Question yourself about anything that feels painful, difficult, or unpleasant. Do any past events stick out? If your mind does start to wander, think about where it is going and why. This technique is called “noting” and can help you learn about your thinking process and where it tends to run off to if you are not being mindful. Thoughts may come to mind during this stage that reveal more about what you feel deeply such as your beliefs, plans, emotions, or fears you may not typically be aware of.
5. Keep returning to your body. Recognize the thoughts that arise and see them for the thoughts they are. Don’t consider them as reality or truth, just that they are thoughts. Having a thought doesn’t mean it is factual. Try to refrain from reacting to thoughts, don’t let your emotions run off with them, and don’t go off about the future or the past. Keep coming back to your body and the sensations of breathing. Work on disengaging from the thoughts that pop into your mind. This is normal, for the mind to be wandering all over the place. The point is to stop believing and acting on every thought you have. You don’t let it captivate you and carry you away. Instead of reacting to what goes on around you, you respond.