How to Get the Most out of the Podcast
Posture - find a comfortable position
Unless otherwise stated, these guided meditations can be done either sitting or lying down. In general, if you meditate sitting up, you'll tend to stay more alert for the meditation. You might tend to doze or fall asleep while lying down. You can try meditating both ways to see the difference for yourself. In either case, find a position that is comfortable and close your eyes for the meditations.
Listen easily without straining
Listen easily to the meditations, without straining in any way to follow the instructions. Treat the instructions as gentle suggestions, and allow yourself to follow them in a way that is easy and natural. The mind will wander from time to time -- that doesn't matter. Just easily bring your attention back to the voice-guided instructions when you realize it has wandered.
Meditations with and without a focus
Some of the meditations have a focus, such as the breath, emotions or body awareness. It's not necessary to concentrate to keep your attention on these things. Just be easy with the process and come back to the focus when the mind has wandered.
Many of the meditations don't have a specific focus like the breath. The instructions are simply pointers to encourage the mind to let go of its usual patterns and settle down. Listen to them in an easy, effortless manner, simply allowing the words and music to wash over you. The phrases may not make sense to the "logical mind". It is not necessary to understand, or even to hear, all the words.
Ending the meditations
At the end of most meditations, you will be given the option to continue longer with the meditation on your own for a while longer. When you are ready to end the meditation, take time to come out slowly. Stretch, take some deep breaths and gradually return to your activity. Opening your eyes downcast can also help the transition to activity to be more graceful and smooth.
Doing these meditations on your own
Once you've listened to these meditations for some time, you will become familiar enough with the processes to do them on your own. You can always come back to the guided meditation as a "refresher" once you're doing them on your own.
Value of repeating the meditations
Listening to any of these guided meditations should bring relaxation and a shift in your way of being. Listening to them more than once increases these effects and helps you to develop new habits in living. If you need to be more grounded, for example, you can listen to the Body Awareness or Grounding Meditations repeatedly. (This doesn't mean listening many times a day or many times in a row, but rather over a period of days or weeks.)
Beginning meditations - best meditations to start with
We have a number of different meditations for different purposes. Some are designed simply to help you get into a relaxed, meditative state. Others have a focus such as the guided meditations for connecting with nature, support with grief, working with your inner child. These are most effective if you are able to get into that relaxed state first. If you are new to meditation, we suggest that you start with the more basic meditations listed below before trying the others.
Breath Awareness Meditation -- written instructions Breath Awareness Meditation -- (listen) guided meditation from our podcast Mini-Relaxation Break -- (listen) guided meditation from our podcast Simply Being -- (listen) guided meditation from our podcast Effortless Meditation -- (listen) guided meditation from our podcast Letting Go -- (listen) guided meditation from our podcast
Note: Three of these meditations are on our Meditation Oasis CD --Breath Awareness, Effortless Meditation and Letting Go. Order this CD or MP3 download for a convenient way to use these meditations at home.
Regular meditation brings the most benefit!