Meditation: Guided, Zen, Mindful…

a woman meditating in front of an ocean with the sun on the horizon What’s the difference between Regular Meditation, Mindful Meditation and Guided? So my good friend asked me, as we partook of another Friday afternoon Happy Hour. Good question, Elizabeth!

Meditation, What’s the Difference?

Any form of meditation is intended to reduce stress levels and increase joy levels. The basic purpose is the same. The journey, however can be wide and varied. Time and again I’ve heard people claim that they cannot meditate. Obviously they haven’t been introduced to Mindful Meditation. Because Mindful Meditation is a state of awareness, not so much sitting on a pillow and chanting OM. It is being aware of the thoughts, feelings, actions and reactions that drive us and developing the ability to separate ourselves from those energies, learning to look upon them with love and compassion. I love this form of meditation. There is nothing more powerful than being fully present in our daily interactions… powerful and liberating.

Guided Meditation is as the name suggests. Usually there is a leader, or a podcast to guide you, as you sit with eyes closed; relax your big toe, relax your ankles, etc. Now imagine yourself in a beautiful field and yada, yada. Not to knock it, by any means! For some, this is the perfect tool for finding their bliss. And, you can be your own guide; consciously scanning your body and releasing stress points, mentally journeying to your happy place. I use this method too.

Finally, Zen Meditation is all about emptying your mind of all thoughts by focusing your attention on a mantra or your breath, bringing yourself back, over and over again, to a point of stillness and receptivity to your higher self. This is the one that presents challenges for many people. They can’t sit still, they can’t stop thinking. In fact, the more they try, the busier their little monkey-minds become!

So don’t beat yourself up. There are many paths. The mere act of looking for the right way for you, is empowering in itself. The more doors we choose to walk through, the more will open, eventually bringing us to the one that is meant for us. But if you don’t bother setting out on the journey…

I have read that knowledge is power. I have heard that cleavage is power!  But I know that awareness is power; awareness of ourselves, others and our surroundings. It is a big beautiful world. The more aware you become, the more there is to enjoy, like you’ve never enjoyed before!
Thanks, Elizabeth.


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