Guided Meditation
by Diane Linsley

One of my favorite coaching tools is guided meditation. During
meditation, you are in a relaxed state of mind, which creates an
alpha brainwave pattern. This is the pattern of "super learning,"
during which you can assimilate new information more easily.

Guided meditation involves visualization, which stimulates the
creative parts of your mind. Bursts of theta brainwaves can occur, which are the brainwaves associated with dreaming sleep. Theta waves are also responsible for "ah-ha" moments - those exciting moments of insight, inspiration and creative problem-solving.

There are many types of guided meditation. Here are some that I use for coaching. For high-quality MP3 recordings, please subscribe to my page on Insight Timer.

Grounding Meditation and Energy Work

The purpose of a grounding meditation is to calm our energy so we can relax and focus. We breathe deeply and focus inward, noticing the sensations in our bodies. Visualization techniques help to focus the mind. When the grounding is complete, there is a feeling of being fully present.

Grounding is especially helpful for empaths who tend to absorb the emotions of other people. One of my grounding meditations uses the metaphor of a lighthouse to help people learn how to stay grounded in their own energy and let go of codependency.

Some grounding meditations have a story line that has meaning for the unconscious mind. One of my favorite grounding meditations involves going deep into the earth to a cave of crystals. You choose a crystal in a color that attracts you. The color may have a symbolic meaning, or it may indicate where in the chakra system you need to focus your attention.

In another grounding meditation for empaths, you visit an underground lake. The lake represents repressed emotions that are being released and replaced with healing energy.

Guided meditation can also be used for energy work such as chakra balancing. Energy work often involves visualization, but it can also be sensation-based. I use both of these techniques in my chakra balancing meditation.

Future Self Meditation

When you are working on your goals, future self meditation can be very helpful. During the meditation, you are guided to a beautiful place where you meet your future self. This is the wise, mature and compassionate part of you that sees you from a higher perspective.

Your future self knows that you will succeed because it lives in the future where it is already successful and happy. Your future self may give you words of advice or reassurance, or she may show her love and support in other ways, such as through a hug or a symbolic gift.

Future self meditations are set in a relaxed scenario like a beach or a meadow. This helps you feel safe and happy, which is the feeling you want to have about your future. These meditations can help you to visualize your future directly, or they can take a more subtle route through metaphor and imagery. In my guided meditation for life changes, you imagine yourself on a children's playground, and you choose where on the playground you want to be.

Subpersonality Journey is a guided meditation for goals. I like to use this meditation with clients who are doing Voice Dialogue with me because it involves meeting a subpersonality (a "voice") who progresses from an immature state to a more mature state.

Magic Carpet Ride is a fun guided meditation for setting goals. It teaches a coaching process that is especially helpful when you are uncertain about your goals.

Higher Self Meditation

Higher self meditation is helpful when we are feeling confused, lost or disconnected from our life purpose. Sometimes we need to talk with our higher self in order to see the big picture of our life and expand our perspective. In a higher self meditation, we go beyond our everyday, limited thinking. We come away feeling peaceful and ready to face our daily challenges.

Higher self meditation may include a story line in which you go on a train journey, expand your awareness into outer space, or hike up a mountain. This represents a shift in perspective, which enables you to see your life differently and choose a new course, if necessary.

Soul Plane Meditation

Another type of guided meditation involves visiting the soul plane and communicating with spirit guides or the souls of loved ones, living or deceased. In my soulmate meditation, you can meet the soul of your future partner, friend or unborn child.

Soul plane meditation helps you feel the love and connection that you share with other souls. You may have a profound experience of compassion, acceptance and forgiveness. The best meditation for this purpose is the guided meditation for healing relationships.

Self-Compassion Meditation

My calming self-compassion meditation involves progressive muscle relaxation. We bring our attention to each part of the body, and we feel compassion for it. People have told me that this meditation made them cry. That's a good sign that past trauma is being released from the body.

I recommend inner child meditation for people who are learning to love themselves, which would probably include all of us :) It's especially helpful for recovering from narcissistic abuse or trauma of any sort - emotional or physical.

My favorite meditation for self-compassion is the Loving Kindness meditation. It's based on the traditional Buddhist practice called Metta Bhavana, which increases compassion for self and others. It helps us replace negative feelings with loving kindness and forgiveness.

Tonglen meditation is another traditional Buddhist practice that helps us transform pain and suffering into love and compassion.

Mindfulness Meditation

Guided meditations are great for increasing mindfulness. My mindfulness meditation guides you through a body scan during which you become aware of all parts of your body, starting with your breath. Then you observe your thoughts and your emotions. You practice accepting every part of yourself just as it is without judgment.

In my guided meditation for expanding consciousness, we experience 4 levels of consciousness, based on Ken Wilber's model of human development. These levels are egocentric, ethnocentric, worldcentric and kosmocentric. We experience what it feels like to be at each of these stages, and we integrate them. This expands our perspective and increases our compassion.

Other Types of Guided Meditation

Guided meditation can be used to heal past trauma, overcome fears, phobias or negative emotions, recover from addictions, prepare for an upcoming performance, or discover creative solutions to problems. Guided meditation can reduce the symptoms of pain, illness and anxiety. It can help us relax and increase our self-confidence. Sometimes guided meditation is done just for fun :)

Guided meditation can also be used in dreamwork to explore dreams more deeply or to solve the problems in a dream. For example, a nightmare can be revisited in order to create a better ending. This is a powerful way to work with the unconscious mind, which communicates through the imagery of dreams. In this case, you are setting a goal for the unconscious mind to help you achieve a happy outcome for whatever real-life situation the dream may represent.

Roger Woolger, author of Other Lives, Other Selves, says, "Visionary imagination is the most powerful spiritual faculty we have."

In guided meditation, we are enlisting the power of the unconscious mind. Being led through a guided meditation is like being given the gift of a beautiful dream.

You know those dreams that you always remember and treasure? They become part of your identity, setting an unconscious goal for how you will create yourself in the future. This is the power of imagination.

Be well,
Diane Linsley

As a life coach, I use many different processes to help
people with their personal growth. Click here if you are
interested in coaching with me.

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