Why I Love Guided Meditation

He says, “Be still, and know that I am God;
I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth.”
~Psalm 46:10 NIV

I love guided meditation, especially when I’m not the one who is leading it. Don’t get me wrong, I do enjoy leading meditations. But I’m very aware at the speed of my speech. I always feel like I’m putting on a false “yoga voice” in attempts to maintain a calm demeaner.

It also doesn’t totally help me that almost every time I have led a guided meditation in the last year, I am also holding my infant daughter. It just always works out that whether it’s at a synod workshop or during our Wednesday Lenten worship – she’s in my arms. And she is the opposite of relaxing.

Adorable? Sweet? Full of personality and joy? Of course. But relaxing? When she’s awake? No ma’am, this baby has got things to do and people to see!

And so I’ve been thinking a lot about guided meditation recently, because even in the midst of my yoga voice and my baby trying to smack the microphone. Even with all of that, I’ve still received positive feedback on meditation. It still relaxes. The guided meditation is still a success. Even without me (thinking that I’m) messing it up.

1. It’s something new

Very rarely have I participated in the same guided meditation more than once. Whether I’m the one leading it or someone else. It’s always different. Even meditations that I have heard or done before, each time has a newness to it.

But especially when it’s a guided meditation I have never experienced before, there is something so inspired in hearing the words of someone else guide and lead your mind. And that newness often sparks in me a joy or relaxation, and sometimes even a sense of wonder. It’s like a sense of wonder that your mind and body can participate in the experience.

I know, I know, I sound like a total hippy. But for me there is a sense of wonder that comes from the new experience of guided meditation.

2. Creating space

It might come as a surprise to you, but I am terrible at creating empty space in my life. I tend to always be doing something. Even my relaxation is brain-powered (reading, video games, listening to podcasts). It’s very rare that I actually sit down and quiet my mind on purpose.

Unless someone is making me.

Which is what is happening in guided meditation. Apart from the meditations I have led myself, nearly every one came as a portion of a conference, continuing education, or spiritual/emotional care. Sometimes guided meditation came out of necessity as I searched YouTube hoping to find a video that would help me fall asleep. But rarely is there at time where I have some free time and I think, “Oh yea, let’s do a guided meditation!”

I need this space created for me, and I am so grateful for it.

3. It works (sort of)

In case you didn’t know, guided meditation does, in my experience, work. It’s helps me to create a sense of peace, calm, relaxation, or whatever the goal of the meditation might be. There are times when I’m attempting to use guided meditation as a sleep aid that I don’t fall asleep immediately. But I do experience a calm and a relaxation that eventually can lead me to sleep.

It’s also a way to allow my mind to work, and to do so with gentleness. And even though I don’t seek out guided meditation often, I am always glad when it finds me. I always need it more than I realized.

What are some ways you find peace in your life? Do you use guided meditation? Where do you create space for rest and calm?

Pastor Megan Filer