“Meditation is like a gym in which you develop the powerful mental muscles of calm and insight.”
– Ajahn Brahm
In this time when everyone is struggling with mental balance, I have decided to use this podcast/blog to create a series exploring the types of meditation and offering audio online.
We live in uncertain times. While that is perhaps always true, many of the things that I was certain about just a couple months ago have changed and continue to change. The world is full of 24 hour news updates, but sometimes I need to take a break from the worry and anxiety. The brain needs time to relax.
Guided Imagery Meditation
Today we’ll explore a type of meditation that does just that. I laughingly call it … “Go to your happy place.” Guided imagery meditation uses the imagination to travel to your favorite relaxing place. Whether self-guided or guided by someone else, guided imagery as meditation can decrease the stress levels and bring us back to balance.
This type of meditation calms your nervous system from the fight-flight-freeze of anxiety and panic. It allows you to enter the rest-digest-relax state of being. This “mini-vacation” helps the nervous system get unstuck from the chronic anxiety state and find balance.
Meditation: Imagine Your Favorite Place
- Silence all the media, devices, and distractions. The world and the news updates will be there when you return.
- Find a comfortable position and space where you won’t be interrupted. (If you share space with others, consider doing this as a group.)
- Optional: Use a timer. Start with 5 – 10 minutes.
- Decide if you will do this in silence or with music. If you decide on music, find something that is calming without words that will blend into the background.
- Here is the important step. Activate your imagination. Imagine going to your favorite place. Arrive there and activate all of your senses of sight, sound, smell, touch, maybe even taste. What does your skin feel like? Is there sunshine or wind? As you look around, what do you see? What sounds do you hear? Let your self experience this place. Explore and walk around if that feels right.
- If your thoughts intrude and take you somewhere else, just bring yourself back to your favorite place and start again. Meditation is a practice that trains the mind.
- When the timer goes off (if you choose to use one), allow yourself to come back slowly to your present moment with the renewed sense of this small vacation from the “real world.”
Guided Imagery Meditation
If you have trouble “going to your favorite place” on your own, then guided imagery might be for you.
I’ve included a guided imagery meditation that will take you to one of my favorite places–the beach. Try it out and see if this type of meditation is for you. Enjoy!