Monday, August 12, 2013

Guided vs Non-Guided Meditation

For about a week now, I've been a participant of Oprah & Deepak Chopra's 21-Day meditation challenge. I wouldn't call it a challenge for someone who already meditates every day. But I'm always looking for new ways to practice, new messages to practice on. It helps keep my practice fresh.

This is my second meditation challenge with O & D. The first was such a positive experience, I decided I'd sign up for this newest challenge. Going deeper into my relationship with myself is always enlightening. I'm always delightfully amazed by what I discover.

Perhaps you too are a participant. If not, this is the way it goes: Each day, I get an email linking me to the day's centering thought. There is the lead-in by Oprah, then the calming meditation by Deepak. Typically, Deepak speaks about the centering thought, introduces us the the Sanskrit manta, then taps a bell for us to sit in quiet focus.

But Day 7 was rather unique to what he usually does.

Instead of leaving us with our quiet focus for several minutes, we were taken through a portion that was guided. It was a pleasant surprise to be guided for a change. And though it's not my first time being guided (I regularly attend such sessions), what surprised me most was the way my own personal experience was affected. In a sense, it was altered. In a good way. An unexpected way.

Ideas were popping into my head. Fast. Almost like a download. Creative ideas. Not like intrusive thoughts that can sometimes stream through during our focus and reflection. No. These were concrete and complete.

Ideas for posts, including wording in sentences for content. Ideas for ways I could do tie-ins with other like-minded people. Ideas for how I could make my child-abuse-effects website even better.

What I experienced on Day 7 is a first for me. Concepts I often get during guiding. Being taken through an enchanted garden or a through a lush forest or even through the stars has opened me to fragments of ideas. But never before so fully developed. Ideas have never before flowed in paragraphs. They actually felt more like calls to action. As though my soul was speaking to me directly, telling me where to go next. I just enjoyed the ride and stayed open to the unique way I was getting information.

And then it was over. As quickly as it had come, it was gone. Deepak took us out of the enchanted garden into our quiet place of focus and reflection.

I'm excited by where my next experience might take me. But no expectations. I'll simply stay open for any and all possibilities.

Whether you choose a guided or non-guided meditation, each provides a different experience. An experience that will be unique to each of us. So I suggest you bring change into your practice. Change that may provide you with an opportunity to explore your creativity. Change that may lead you through an experience that opens your mind more than you've ever dreamed possible.

Have you ever had a unique experience with a guided meditation?

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