Answers to Listeners' Questions
Any and all questions relating to the podcast guided meditations are welcomed. Please check the Q&As below, and if you don't find your answer, email us at:
Do I get the benefit if I fall asleep while listening?
Question: A lot of times when I listen to your CDs, I fall asleep. Do I still get the benefits of what you are saying through my subconscious?
Answer: Yes, you do! You are registering it subconsciously. You are affected, also, by the vibratory quality of the music.
Music on Episode #6...
Question: Where can I find the music from #6 -- Music for Meditation & Relaxation?
Answer: This is actually the fourth (and last) track on our Pure Relaxation CD. That CD has 3 guided meditations with music followed by the music in episode #6. We also have a CD of 10 selections of music called Pure Light, all of which are backgrounds from our CDs and podcasts. The music on #6 is also on that, but only about 5-1/2 minutes of it.
Best meditation for a quiet mind --
Question: Which meditation in your podcast would you recommend to achieve a quiet mind?
Answer: Before suggesting some meditations, I'd like to look at what is meant by "quiet mind", because often people feel a quiet mind is one without thoughts. We feel the need for peace and quiet, and often feel that the endless thoughts in our minds are keeping us from being quiet. We imagine that a quiet mind would be one without thoughts. But thoughts are a natural part of the activity of the mind. If we try to get rid of them and do battle with them, we actually make the mind more active. On the other hand, if we simply allow thoughts to come and go, we can discover the quietness that is present even in the midst of activity. The mind can be full of thoughts and yet feel very quiet at the same time. For me, the gift of meditation is to discover the stillness that is always present.
Everyone will respond differently to different meditations, so it's difficult to say which meditation will work best for you to achieve a quiet mind. Probably the best meditations for this would be Relaxation Break, Breath Awareness, Effortless Meditation or Simply Being. Try them and see which works best for you!
Can you make versions without music?
Question: I love these meditations! Thank you... But I have a request - would it be possible to have versions without music please? I find those MUCH more helpful!
Answer: There are a few podcast meditations without music, but we have music on most because most people prefer that. It's not practical for us to make different versions for the podcast. We do have apps with guided meditations where you can choose to have voice only, or music or nature sound backgrounds. We do have two free apps, Take a Break! and iSleep Easy Free and many that you can purchase.
Is this experience what's supposed to happen?
Question: In the chakra meditation, when I had my attention on a particular chakra, a particular experience happened. Is that what it is supposed to do?
Answer: As you focus attention on a particular chakra, you may feel sensations associated with the functioning of that chakra. Putting your attention on the chakras isn't intended to create any specific experience, however. Whatever happens happens, and it will be different each time you use the meditation. Whatever you experience is a result of the enlivenment of the energy in that chakra. The energy is shifting to create greater balance. (Read more about the chakras.)
Spinning and dizziness during meditation --
Question: I enjoy your meditations, but at times when I meditate I begin to spin and get dizzy. Can you explain this?
Answer: If you become very deeply relaxed during meditation, the body has a chance to "unwind" and release tension. There can be shifts in subtle energies in the body as it moves toward greater balance. You may feel all sorts of things as this is happening, including a sense of spinning or dizziness. If this is happening, be sure to take plenty of time coming out of meditation. If the spinning feels too strong in meditation, you can open your eyes and this should stop the process.
When is the best time to meditate?
Question: I'm wondering if there is a particular time of day that most people choose (find more effective) to meditate. I've been doing it right when I wake up a few times a week, not for any other reason than because it's convenient. Let me know your thoughts.
Answer: Meditating first thing in the morning is a nice way to start the day from a more relaxed, centered place. It's also really useful to take a break later in the day to relax and "re-set" yourself. Often people do that after work to relax for the evening. Taking a break anytime for a brief meditation (such as our Episode One, Mini-Relaxation Break) can be really helpful as well.
Is it OK to listen to guided meditations before bed?
Listening to guided meditations right before bed is a good time as long as they do not energize you and keep you awake. From what we hear, many people listen to our meditations before bed and they help them go to sleep and sleep more deeply. You can experiment with how the meditations affect you and what time of day works best for you. It partly depends on your goal in listening to the meditation.
Which kinds of meditation are good for anxiety?
Question: I'm wondering if you would suggest specific types of meditation for some one who has historically suffered from anxiety.
Answer: Any meditation that you find relaxing should help. See which of our podcast episodes (or other meditations) relax you the most. Then the key is to meditate regularly. If you do that, it helps your mind and physiology to develop a new habit, a more relaxed way of being. Try using the Breath Awareness meditation for awhile and once you get accustomed to the process, you'll be able to use that anytime on your own when you need to during the day. You can even stop to do this for a minute or two to create a more relaxed state.
Also, having a deep, relaxed sleep during the night is soothing to the whole system. Some people listen to our podcasts when they go to bed and fall asleep with that. You'd have to see if that works for you, as there are other people who become more awake from meditation. (We do have a CD, Sleep Easy, especially for falling asleep. You can purchase that as a download here or on iTunes, if sleep is an issue for you.)
OK to lie down during "Going Deep Within" Meditation?
Question: In your most recent meditation podcast, "Going deep within" you suggest sitting up in a chair. I usually meditate lying flat because my back problems make it difficult to sit comfortably. I was wondering why you suggested sitting for this meditation. Does it really make any difference?
Answer: We tend to be more alert when sitting, which may us more aware of what's going on in our mind. "Going deep within" directs your attention to the natural movement of the mind inward. This may be more noticeable sitting upright because of the mind being more alert. You can certainly do the meditation lying down if that's the only way you can be comfortable. It may work just as well that way for you.
Suggestions for grieving --
Question: I just discovered your wonderful meditation CD's on iTunes. Can you recommend anything else particularly for the grieving process? Or just possibly give me some tips on how to get through this?
Answer: There are all sorts of things we can do to help us through, but there's no way we can avoid the pain. The only way through grief is to be right in the heart of it, and sometimes the pain is can feel unbearable. The whole process is truly overwhelming. Obviously you are making a priority of relaxation and self-care, and this is essential. You can read about grief on the website which contains most of what I'd write in the way of tips. There's also a CD called Graceful Passages which was made for people dying, but I find it also very effective for supporting the process of grieving.
Problems with breathing during meditation --
Question: Hello, I recently started to listen to your podcasts and they're very helpful. However I notice that I'm having a hard time breathing and I was wondering if I'm doing something wrong or if it's just that I'm not concentrating well enough. I find that I get out of breath when I take deep breaths, if that makes any sense! My heart starts to race and my chest feels a bit tight. I have anxiety and my heart races often. Is it possible that I'm inhaling too far? Do I have to inhale all the way until I can't get any more air in my lungs, or do I just stop when I feel there's enough air? The difficulties happen usually when I'm trying to meditate, and also when I'm trying to do the breathing meditations.
Answer: It's true that anxiety affects how we breathe. It's very common to be a "shallow breather" and it sounds like you've noticed this during the day. By learning to relax, the breath will naturally get easier and deeper over time.
It sounds like you are trying to breath deeply during the meditations. For my guided meditations, it's better not to try to breath in any specific way. Just let the breath go on its own the way it naturally does. Don't try to manipulate the breath in any way. With the breathing meditations, the idea is to be aware of the breath, but not to try to change how it goes. Try the meditations without trying to breath in any particular way and see what happens.
As far as "concentrating well enough", you don't need to concentrate during these meditations. The idea is not to strain on anything or try to make anything happen.
Love meditation but don't feel I can take the time...
Question: I have had many awakening moments in meditation and realizations that helped greatly. But there are still things that knock me out of patience and the meditative mind - school-related stresses... I fell behind, and now am struggling to keep up with the pace, and it has created an immense amount of stress for me. I know that all I want in life, especially now, is to rest in meditation and relaxing for life, without putting myself up to any false expectations society throws at me; but I feel like I can't afford t o relax because I have fallen so far behind - I would much rather relax and fail everything in school than stay stressed and score well. Would you be able to give me any advice?
Answer: It's interesting that we often feel that we can't afford to relax because we have too much to do. The opposite is true, if we are stressed and "too busy", we actually can't afford not to relax! We are actually able to be much more efficient and productive when we are relaxed than when we feel stressed. We don't have to feel pressured to accomplish things. When we feel stressed, we often don't think clearly, do things hastily and make mistakes. Even if you have a little less time due to the time you meditate, the time you are working with be "quality time". I'd suggest that you take some time each day to meditate. You could use our podcast episode #1 (Mini-Relaxation Break) for a short break anytime throughout the day.