Guided Meditations / Exercises used in our meditation classes
All of these guided meditations are intended to be used as introductory techniques. The trick is to find the ones that work best for you, and use them on a daily basis. It is also advisable to explore different meditations from time to time, as our receptivity increases and our stillness becomes more profound. During any single meditation course, you are unlikely to experience all of these concepts below. This list is intended to give you a glimpse of the many methods described by Sri Chinmoy.
Over time if you practice any of these exercises regularly, you should feel certain benefits. This includes being able to focus more clearly on the exercise, go deeper within yourself (possibly in a shorter period of time), and to more easily ignore disruptive thoughts. Over time a single exercise may develop new aspects, as you experience inner inspirations that lead you along new pathways of concentration.
- The best method is just to think about nothing at all, but that usually requires some training, such as learning some of the techniques below.
- Relaxation: Relax all muscles in the body (I prefer starting from top of head, others prefer starting at feet). Breathe in Peace, breathe out restlessness. Once your entire physical body is relaxed, let that relaxed sensation spread to your mind & calm all thoughts there & release any mental tension.
- Chanting: Chant Aum together (or at home alone). You can vary the speed & volume, or use different mantras (Aum, Shanti, Peace, Om, Gratitude, Supreme, etc.)
- Concentration: Focus your vision on a candle-flame, a photo of something pure & inspiring, or perhaps a fresh flower. Concentrate as if you are an archer aiming an arrow at a target – very one-pointed and intense. Nothing else exists except what you are concentrating on. Keep your eyes relaxed and do not worry if you get blurry or double vision.
- Breathing: Breathe in life-energy (or prana). Feel it entering your heart and flowing all through you. Feel the breath flowing through your nose, and expanding into your lungs. Imagine a tiny red thread in front of your nose, and breathe so gently that the thread is not even disturbed.
- Visualization: There a whole series of visualization exercises, often with a component of imagining that you are comfortable and happy in a natural environment. A few brief ideas include: imagine you are in a garden; walking in the forest; on top of a mountain; gazing out over a peaceful calm ocean, etc.
- Music and song: Playing sweet calm gentle music in the background and just meditate to it. Or sing and play music yourself, is one way to focus on what you are doing, and ignore outside worries, etc.
- Poetry reading with music in the background.
- Prayer is also a valid technique which can lead us towards a meditative focus.
- Focus on your positive qualities – love, simplicity, self-giving, purity, joy, oneness, etc.