GUIDED MINDFULNESS MEDITATION, RELAXATION AND VISUALIZATION

Practicing one or more of these techniques daily for at least 8 weeks can lead to very positive changes in the brain, including the regions involved with decision-making, emotion regulation, empathy, learning and memory.  If you are newer to mindfulness meditation, please practice the first couple exercises until they feel more natural.  Then, you may scroll through this list of recordings and experiment as you like while trying to establish a daily routine.  You can play the audio from your phone with or without earbuds or on your computer, but it may be most suitable to listen with an external speaker placed at a comfortable distance in your quiet space.  Feel free to submit questions or comments and check back for more options.  Thank you!

 

Most meditations involve breath awareness.  Meta-attention means recognizing when your awareness has wandered away and redirecting it.  Distraction is not failure and the "bringing back" of awareness is the exercise for the mind.  Just as physical exercise leads to more strength even when not in the gym, attention training will soon lead to more focus and concentration even when not meditating.    

 

This can be a foundation for practicing mindfulness meditation.  It can be practiced daily, morning and night, and anytime in between as needed.  If you begin with a minimum of 1 meditative breath daily, then you can easily establish this routine.  With only 1 breath to start, even if you forget at the end of the day, there is still time to practice.  You can gradually grow the practice from there.  Try to think of this as hygiene.  Clean the body, clear the mind.

 

Visualizing colors while breathing rhythmically gives the mind something else to focus on and can help with relaxation and building concentration.  Two colors are used but you can practice with different colors as well. It can be beneficial to breathe in colors that you associate with calmness or healing like blue, which is the color of the ocean and the sky and generally grounds people.  But be aware of the meaning any particular color may have for you when choosing.

 

This is a simple guided visualization which can be helpful to reduce stress and take your mind off of worries and other distractions.

 

This technique for relaxation can be practiced anytime and can help you prepare for sleep at night. Please be aware that lying down may lower blood pressure and body temperature.  

 

In this guided exercise, universal values like peace, love, compassion, and gratitude are contemplated inwardly and outwardly.  The breath serves as the pendulum for recharging the inner life and radiating positive energy towards outer life.

 

This guided meditation/visualization can help you accept life on life's terms and go with the flow.  The river is a powerful metaphor for the current of life and time.  Suffering equals pain x resistance.  You can learn to let go and move positively forward while enjoying the ride.  

 

This is a standing meditation/mindful visualization technique.  So, it is important to develop balance and in the beginning, practice with eyes somewhat open and near a chair or bed.  This can also be practiced with a group or your family standing in a circle, a great way to connect with each other more deeply.  It can be particularly effective in a natural outdoor setting with your bare feet touching the Earth.  New research shows that this has important health benefits.  

 

This guided meditation/mindful visualization can be especially helpful during difficult times in life.  The mountain is a good universal symbol of poise and resilience.  It can also be helpful to develop your stable meditative position and build up your ability to sit still and serene and experience inner repose.    

 

This technique involves open awareness. It may be a little more challenging to begin here.  If so, you can easily do attention training with shorter breathing meditations.  It is natural for the mind to wander at some point.  By gently redirecting again and again, you strengthen your attention - just like how lifting weights eventually tires the muscles but ultimately makes them stronger.  It is important to enjoy your practice.  If you actually do less than you can, it will feel like a luxury (which it is) and something to look forward to. 

 

The 5 elements are reflected in different energy centers of our body.  This practices involves longer concentration and contemplation.  Allow yourself to be guided on a journey inward and upward and deepen your relationship with not just others but the building blocks of everything.