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What Is Guided Meditation?
Guided meditations are a great practice for Wiccans. First, they relax the mind and let it flow into a fantasy state in which visions are possible. You may catch psychic glimpses of events beyond your normal perception in the past, present, or future. You may receive deep insights into your faith, your needs, your hopes, and your place in the universe. Second, guided meditations give you practice creating a world in your mind with vivid sensory details of sight, sound, touch, smell, and taste. The ability to focus and visualize is essential for spell craft. Think of it as a mental muscle that can be strengthened like any physical muscle through exercise.
There are many types of meditation, including Zen, Transcendental, walking, prayer-bead, and yogic. All seek to quiet the mind and empty it of its restless cycle of thoughts. The Buddhists have a name for that relentless, superficial torrent of random mental images and emotions: the monkey mind. Meditation imposes a focal point on the mind to give it something simple and steady to do, which causes random thoughts to ebb away to whispers and finally dissolve. For most forms of meditation, you focus on your breathing and you count the exhales and inhales from one to four or one to ten and start over. For other forms of meditation, you might recite a prayer in your mind, focusing on every word, or you might breathe and touch a prayer bead, or touch a prayer bead with each word of your prayer. Or you might walk and count your steps from one to ten, or synchronize your steps with each breath. If you just sat there, your monkey mind would start racing all over the place. But with a focal point – something you have to pay attention to and keep in sequence or rhythm such as breathing and counting – you remain alert. And yet the repetitiveness of the action sends you into a trance below the reach of monkey mind where you might see and learn some surprising things.
Guided meditation is slightly different than the standard meditation practices described above. Instead of repeating a cycle of breath or counting, you listen to spoken description and recreate it in your mind. Many meditations to improve health are guided with instructions to slow your pulse and feel your limbs grow warm and heavy. The Wiccan guided meditations I use create a scenario like a movie inside your head. You listen and follow the instructions to image the scenario in full sensory detail. The scenario could be anything from shielding against negative energy to reliving a scene from the life cycle of the Lord and Lady during the turning of the Wheel of the Year.
To get started with guided meditations, write down a scenario (or use mine – see Related Links below) that describes an event in second-person singular viewpoint: for example, you look around … you breathe in the clean air. Record your voice reading the meditation very slowly and pausing to give time for visualization. Sit or lie down somewhere quiet, play back the recording, and follow the instructions.
Try meditation and relaxation in only fifteen minutes a day: Total Relaxation: Healing Practices for Body, Mind & Spirit, Book and CD
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