Welcome back! This is the third and final installment in “alternative meditation methods” for those who can’t/won’t embrace traditional meditation. In the first segment, we looked at “mindfulness during the mundane,” an easy meditation practice that can be performed during day-to-day activities like folding laundry or rinsing dishes. In part two, we explored the outdoor walking meditation, as nature has a strong and powerful centering effect. In this final segment, we’ll look at another of my favorite alternatives to traditional silent meditation: the guided visualization.
Do you love movies? If you’re like most people, you really enjoy kicking back and allowing yourself to become absorbed in a good flick. Guided visualization is perfect for movie-lovers because it’s like the story is being narrated to you, as it plays inside your head. Which means you can be the leading star in your film, and you can look however you most want to look! You get to set the stage, choose the props and play the part.
Guided meditations that are really well done will have a pace and tone that is pleasing to you (have you ever heard a guided audio and thought, “Ick! I can’t listen to this.” Yep, me too! But don’t give up – try some other ones until you find someone you like.). In my experience, the best guided audios are the ones that I could listen to again and again.
Alternatively, you can make your own (although not everyone enjoys listening to the sound of their own voice, and some find it hard not to critique their own performance). Sometimes it’s just easier to relax when someone else is doing the talking.
A guided visualization may have a specific goal in mind (for example, to help you discover some hidden truth or block inside of you and/or to clear that block), to help you to open up to or become more proficient in something (overcoming shyness or procrastination, for example), or the purpose of the audio may be simply for the purposes of relaxation.
These audios are usually in an MP3 format, and can be downloaded to your smart phone or mobile device, so that you can listen whenever and wherever you like. Some folks enjoy listening while lying in bed, just before sleep (as it is helpful to feel relaxed before falling asleep), while others will carve out time during the day or first thing in the morning. What works best for you? Try different times of day to see what you find most enjoyable.
Even young children can enjoy this form of alternative meditation, such as the MindTime(TM) meditations from KidCentered.com. You can try one for free by clicking here.
Which of these alternative methods is your fave? Post a comment and let us know! I love hearing from you.
Go for it.