I started using some guided meditations a few years ago. There is a podcast that I have used, and there’s also a lot of guided mediations on YouTube. I have also downloaded some mediations from Gregory Scott, and from Brittney Carmichael.
Guided mediations have really got me started, and they keep you focused from your mind wondering by literally guiding you. They either guide you through a visualisation process, or through sensory awareness, and even energy work.
When I downloaded a couple of mediations from Gabriella Bernstein, my mediation stepped up a notch. She introduced me to mediation using a mantra. Instead of having to be guided through am meditation, I became confident enough to mediate on my own, using a mantra. I was able to sit and use the mantra for up to half an hour.
More recently, I have been upping my game with meditation.
I have joined Sam Harris’ Waking Up course through his mobile app. I haven’t been meditating everyday, but I am up to about day 23 of his mediations.
Sam does use some guiding in the meditation, but he doesn’t fill all the space. He makes you sit, and then turns your attention to sensation or consciousness, and then lets you sit. Then he seems to know exactly when to interrupt again – just as your mind starts to wander.
This process has been very interesting for me …
exploring my mind in different ways. I am realising that I have thoughts appear in a number of ways. Thoughts appear to me as vivid images, sometimes, like a movie scene playing out. Sometimes my thoughts appear as a very clear voice – my own voice talking to me in my head. Other times, my thoughts are an unclear rambling voice that is not talking to me, but just babbling. Very interesting!
Sam also gets you to turn your attention to the ‘thinker’ of the thoughts, and the ‘feeler’ of your feelings. You soon realise that there is nothing there! But in realising there is nothing ‘there’, I have also realised that my consciousness is me – not my ego that seems to talk back. But my consciousness doesn’t have a concentrating point, or a centre.
Instead of the conclusion that Sam comes to – that there really is no ‘you’ – I tend to feel like our individual consciousness is too big to be located. Our individual consciousness is all around us, and inside us, and even part of something else.
It’s quite profound and difficult to explain, but worth learning meditation.