How Guided Meditation Audio Helps Kickstart Mindfulness Practice

How Guided Meditation Audio Helps Mindfulness PracticeIf you’ve been picking up mindfulness meditation from online resources or books, you may face similar struggles like many beginners, despite having clear instruction on what to do. You may find yourself floating away with your thoughts moments after closing your eyes. Or your first few attempts of meditation could bring more frustration rather than relaxation. That’s when guided meditation audio comes in handy.

Truth to be told, there was no guided meditation audio during my days of learning meditation (but I can’t complain much as I learn meditation from an experienced meditation teacher).

Why I highly suggested guided meditation audio?

Simply because it’s been helping me relax on the days that my mind decided to turn itself into a messy state of a circus. Believe me, sometimes it’s hard to meditate on stressful days especially for if you are trapped in the busy city life.

What Seasoned Meditation Practitioners Thought About Guided Meditation?

Without a doubt, if you are starting mindfulness meditation, you would find that guided meditation audio does calm your mind down quickly and get you started on the right foot. Let’s check what other seasoned meditation practitioner thought about guided meditation.

atillaAtilla Orosz
Author of The Essence Of Meditation

Guided meditation can be a good way for someone to start out. The guide’s voice can be useful to keep the student’s attention focused, and instructions can be delivered directly throughout the session, so the student can focus on what they are doing instead of how it should be done.

That said, it is important to remember, guided meditations are only the beginning. For the more advanced practitioner these can be more useful for the purposes of relaxation. Listening to a guide means less applied effort from the listener, making it ideal for stress release, but probably less useful for deep meditation.

melissaMellisa Eisler
Meditation Teacher & Author Of MindfulMinutes.com

I absolutely think that guided meditation is a helpful way for beginners to begin a meditation practice. Quieting and focusing the mind comes easier for some people than others, and having the tool of a voice to follow assists this process tremendously, especially when you’re first starting out with a meditation practice.

Different personalities will gravitate toward different techniques; for some guided visualization works best, while for others breath awareness or mantra-based meditations are most supportive. Starting out, it’s best to experiment with different guided mediations to find out what’s best for you.

lindaLinda Hall
Meditation Teacher and Personal Development Coach

Guided meditation actually facilitates the experience of meditating. It enables you to reach the physical and mental state of ‘just being’ in a way that would otherwise be difficult to attain on your own without lengthy and regular practice. It’s a great way of training the body and mind to enter relaxed, positive states: creating new neural pathways during the process of meditation to help you reach those positive states again more easily. Guided meditations cover a wide range of genres and all of them support a more harmonious sense of health and wellbeing.

Looks like I’m not the only one advocating guided meditation to assist in meditation practice.

Will Guided Meditation Affect The Practice Itself?

There are always going to be some traditional meditation practitioner who argues that you won’t develop mindfulness, concentration power or even these scientifically proven benefits if you depends on guided meditation heavily.

Good point there.

When you learn driving, you have an instructor sitting next to you (probably drenched in cold sweat when you’re finished). The point is eventually you have to take the wheel on your own.

Which is why I never suggested guided meditation audio to replace mindfulness meditation. I only suggested to use it sparingly and wisely in your practice. Because it helps beginners to focus in their first few session.

The added intensity of a guided meditation arises because somehow we’re more receptive to verbal suggestions that are made out loud.

In fact, Boddhipaksa of WildMind echoed this view on his article Guided Meditation VS “Flying Solo”.

Pheew. (cold sweat).

I risked going against “tradition” by suggesting using guided meditation to aid the practice. But I remind myself that the substance is more important than the form.

How To Use Guided Meditation For Mindfulness Practice?

How Guided Meditation Audio Helps Mindfulness Practice

Keeping Focus With Guided Instruction

It depends on what you are trying to achieve.

Some people use guided meditation for the narrated instruction it provides. It helps you in keeping focus and also providing instructions on what to do on your first few sessions. It’s pretty helpful because new meditator will have their mind wandering away barely 10 seconds into it.

If you think such guided meditation is useful for your mindfulness practice, I suggest you check this FREE resources from UCLA.

I never use word-by-word guided meditation because I learn meditation from a teacher. And the instructions are pretty simple. But it could be helpful for others.

Calming The Mind With Relaxing Meditation Audio

If a troubled mind after a stressful day is your main concern, then this could be a better way to start meditation.

In fact, this is one of my favorite methods to relax before I do meditation or even writing a blog post like this.

I listened to guided meditation audios (some with brainwave technology) to calm my mind. I do that for around 15 minutes before proceeding to actual mindfulness meditation itself (or writing a post like this).

In this case, I’m not so particular if the guided meditation is related to mindfulness meditation or not, as long as it managed to calm my mind quickly.

Here’s where I normally get my guided meditation audio from. You can get a free copy of Blissful Mind Meditation Audio or preview their various ranges of meditation audio.

Either way, I hope guided meditation audio does help you in your mindfulness meditation. Meditation should not end in frustration. Hope this helps.

Over To You :

What’s your greatest frustration in meditation? Have you given up meditation because you don’t know what to “think” or “focus” after you close your eyes? Share your thoughts here.

Related :
Best Ways To Meditate When You Are Tired and Stressed
Meditation Experts On Why “Clear Your Mind Of All Thoughts” Is Impossible
Why Meditation Is Difficult For Certain Personalities

About the Author

I am an engineer-turned-writer who once struggle with social anxiety. After overcoming problems inflicted by low self-esteem and the fear of interaction, I realize the need for taking a holistic approach in developing our mind. I'm sharing my experience, remedies, and techniques that interest me in my quest to be a better self.

Leave a Reply 30 comments

Dave - October 7, 2016 Reply

I’d love to enjoy the benefits that meditation brings, however, I’ve tried this a number of times but found it almost impossible to calm my mind from the thousands of thoughts racing through it.
Anytime I tried to focus on it, I’ve lasted 5 minutes and dropped of to sleep, surely that’s not supposed to happen?

    Kenny Lee - October 7, 2016 Reply

    Hi Dave,

    Falling asleep after 5 minutes is perfectly normal especially for beginners.

    Even more so when you are slotting meditation session in your busy schedule.

    You may want to check this out instead.

    Best Ways To Meditate At Home When You Are Tired and Stressed

    Thanks for reading.

    Kenny

Roopesh - October 7, 2016 Reply

Hi Kenny
I must say that guided audio meditation works wonders for me. To be honest with you, it has helped me in two significant ways.

When I tried normal meditation without a guide, I used to get distracted very quickly and loose my focus, sometimes even fall asleep. Guided meditations keep me focused and actually allows me to feel a sense of calm and peace.

The second way guided meditation has helped me is by been committed.If I know I will have a guide, then I will do my meditation more regularly.

Thanks
Roopesh

    Kenny Lee - October 7, 2016 Reply

    Hi Roopesh,

    I think you have utilized guided meditation in a wise way. Don’t worry about the falling asleep part, it happens to me too.

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts here.

    Cheers,

    Kenny

James W D - October 7, 2016 Reply

Interesting thoughts on this subject Kenny, you definitely have me thinking about it.

I flew solo to learn and develop how I meditate, but in saying that I am sure I am probably the only person that does it the way I do. I know I was hesitant at first just because I really had no clue what to do.

I have used some guided meditations since starting my practice and I always seem to pick up a nugget or two that I can incorporate into what I do. So I guess you could say that I did learn from using them.

I used one from Deepak Chopra that focused on enlightenment / healing and liked it a lot. Others I found not so much, but it will vary as there are many to choose from.

I think when it comes to meditation though, you have to find what works for you. Maybe you always use a guide or just sometimes. Maybe you do like I do and take what works and leave the rest. In the end though, if you are working on your practice you will find a way to make it work.

    Kenny Lee - October 7, 2016 Reply

    James,

    Eventually we will find the practice that suits us. But it’s helpful to have guide for beginners who find it frustrating, especially if they pick up meditation partially from here and there and trying to piece them up together.

    I’m also into energy healing. Not sure if you’ve heard of Christie Marie Sheldon. I like her course and it’s done wonder for me.

    Cheers,

    Kenny

Melissa - October 7, 2016 Reply

Meditation is new to me and I definitely think it is needed for everyone, now that I’ve read your website. Its very hard for me to relax when I go to bed and fall asleep. My mind is always racing from things that happened that day to a lost of things that need done tomorrow (nothing specific)? Which resource would you recommend for me ?

Thank you!
Melissa

    Kenny Lee - October 7, 2016 Reply

    Hi Melissa,

    I wouldn’t recommend jumping right into solo meditation if you are new to it and you find it hard to relax and sleep. Meditation is known to give you better sleep but trying to force yourself and possibly doing the wrong way could be frustrating. Instead, I recommend you to check out my post How To Get A Good Night Sleep Naturally and Best Ways To Meditate When You Are Tired and Stressed

    Let me know if you need further suggestion.

    Thanks.

    Cheers,
    Kenny

Joshua Thomas - October 7, 2016 Reply

Thanks for this Kenny, it was interesting. I’m fairly new to meditation and have been dabbling with it on and off for a bit. My main background is in martial arts so focus and concentration are both skills I am always trying to master. Are these skills transferable to guided meditation? I’ve tried doing meditation on my own and it’s always been more of an ordeal than a relaxant. Are there publicly available guided meditation tracks that I can try before looking at a product to help?

    Kenny Lee - October 7, 2016 Reply

    Joshua,

    I am also doing martial art myself, Taekwondo to be specific. Meditation helps in building those quality that we need to train with.

    Guided meditation is supposed to facilitate the learning of meditation but not directly replacing them.

    You can get some good track on Youtube. Or the UCLA link in my post if you want guided instruction.

    Alternatively check out Linda Hall and Christopher Lloyd Clark’s work from the link I’ve mentioned in my post to get some good meditation track. Both of them are my favourite.

    A calm mind and clear instruction is key to learn meditation. When you’ve learned the basics, then you can calm your mind on your own.

    Let me know if you need further info.

    Cheers,

    Kenny

Ellie - October 7, 2016 Reply

Hi, as a mother of a couple of very naughty toddlers, I need to start meditating in some way so that to be able to relieve some of the stress accumulated during the day.
I would like to start with Guided Meditation, especially because I have never used this technique before.
How long does one need to practise before achieving some results?
I would appreciate any tip you can share.
Best regards

    Kenny Lee - October 7, 2016 Reply

    Hi Ellie,

    I know how it feels. I’m also a single father to a naughty 4 year old kid.

    I wouldn’t rush into solo-meditation if I were you. You can start with a calming guided meditation audio that you can get from here. Just go to the “Sleep Meditation” section. You can check out Sleep Well if you want a narrated version or you can check out Sleep Music from Christopher Lloyd Clarke. I personally like his works.

    It is easier for beginner to learn how to meditate when their mind are calmer.

    As of how long it shows result? The music does provide calming effect in about 5 minutes for me.

    As for solo-meditation, if you are doing it the right way and consistently, you should experience some positive effect in 1-2 months. Again, that was based on my own experience of meditation.

    Hope it helps .

    Cheers,
    Kenny

Linda Watson - October 7, 2016 Reply

I’ve been using guided meditations for my clients who think they cannot meditate or cannot focus for long. It’s a great way to get them accustomed to strengthening their focus, but I agree it’s not a forever thing. I usually give them 3 months of guided and then to start incorporating mindfulness.

    Kenny Lee - October 7, 2016 Reply

    Hi Linda,

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts. May I ask how does your clients fare in mindfulness practice after using guided meditation?

    Cheers,
    Kenny

Dr. Erika - October 7, 2016 Reply

Thank you for this great post, Kenny.
It is so true. Sometimes the mind is so busy and full of stuff it can be very hard to focus and meditate. In those cases I feel like I just want to jump up and keep going. It can be very frustrating to sit and meditate. On those day it is just so nice to listen to a guided meditation program or relaxing music. Guided meditation is also a great way to start the practice of meditation for beginners and just to get used to being relaxed and centered. Thanks for the useful post.

    Kenny Lee - October 7, 2016 Reply

    Hi Dr. Erika,

    Thanks for the thoughtful comment.

    Guided meditation solves common issues that leaves meditator frustrated especially after a long and busy day.

    Cheers,

    Kenny

Jana Perkins - October 7, 2016 Reply

I have actually tried something like this recently. I had trouble sleeping and no matter what I tried I could not fall asleep. It was due to stress as well. I decided to try and listen to a audio of a women talking calmly while soft music played in the background. It took some time but it eventually made me sleepy. I cant remember though if I actually fell asleep. Whenever I have trouble sleeping, I go to my husbands Ipad and use the audios he has on there. They work tremendously.

    Kenny Lee - October 7, 2016 Reply

    Hi Jana,

    Apart from relaxing music and a guided hypnosis or meditation you could also check out those that are made with binaural technology. Look for those that trigger Thetha brainwave. That’s useful for sleep.

    Thanks for reading.

    Cheers,
    Kenny

Matt's Mom - October 7, 2016 Reply

I have often thought about using Meditation, but I am one of them “over thinkers,” and a lot of the time there is just no way to turn it off. This might be just what I need. I think of it as giving my brain a break. I see so many benefits from practicing mindfulness meditation. I am going to investigate your suggestions, and hopefully get started to less thoughts!

    Kenny Lee - October 7, 2016 Reply

    Hi.

    Overthinking is common. I’m one of them too. JUst remember that meditation is not about stopping all the thoughts. You can’t. It’s about let the mind sitting back and observing them without letting our thoughts affect us.

    CHeers,

    Kenny

Pete - October 7, 2016 Reply

Awesome post on guided meditation Kenny. I wish they had these when I first learned how to meditate. I actually learned from Buddhist monks who would wake me up at 5 in the morning for meditation before eating and would rap me with a bamboo stick if I fell asleep! Of course this was part of my religion at the time, so I had no real choice in the matter, but I definitely learned how to meditate! I think guided meditation can really help out a beginner, and I have even tried them out some time. I do think it can distract a bit from learning true mindfulness, but we all have to start somewhere!

    Kenny Lee - October 7, 2016 Reply

    Hi Pete,

    I too learn meditation from Buddhist meditation teacher, but I didn’t get woken up 5 in the morning. Despite the religious background, mindfulness meditation itself is secular in nature. That’s what I like about it. Guided meditation is good, but I just can’t imagine the monks suggesting it to the students.

    Cheers,
    Kenny

Evie - October 7, 2016 Reply

I would love to be able to do something like this as I am always very hyper. But I honestly can’t seem to switch my mind off. I then get distracted and go off to do something else. I did try using guided meditation to help me fall asleep as I have issues sleeping for more than a few hours a night but honestly it ended up keeping me awake as someone was talking at me. Instead I end up using a phone app that allows me to play white noise, rain and a relax melody to calm me. Maybe I am a bizarre person but I really would like to be able to do this as it honestly sounds as though it would help with stress and focus

    Kenny Lee - October 7, 2016 Reply

    Hi Evie,

    You can’t just switch your mind off like trying to stop your thoughts. It doesn’t work that way. Trying to meditate with that expectation only leaves you frustrated.
    Some people prefer the non-narrated version of meditation music. It’s totally normal. You can try those of Christopher Lloyd Clarke. It’s really soothing.

    Cheers,
    Kenny

Kevin Bulmer - October 7, 2016 Reply

Another great article, Kenny. The discovery of guided meditations is what got me regularly into the practice. Up until then, I kept telling myself I was “doing it wrong” because I couldn’t sit still for even a few minutes (I still struggle with it sometimes). But once I found some guided meditations that I liked … I was into the practice and building the habit.

I interviewed Jason Stephenson for my podcast this past summer. He has an extremely popular guided meditation channel, which also happened to be the one that got me into meditation on a regular basis, so it was a thrill to speak with him.

Keep up the great work. I believe that what you’re sharing here is very important and will help a lot of people!

Best wishes,

Kevin

    Kenny Lee - October 7, 2016 Reply

    Hi Kevin,

    Thanks for checking out my post and sharing your thought.

    It’s normal that you couldn’t sit still. And it’s not wrong. Our monkey mind just doesn’t like watching itself but that’s exactly what it needs. Keep meditating. You may not notice the difference it made to you but it’s happening.

    Cheers,
    Kenny

Arief - October 7, 2016 Reply

I have to agree with you, Kenny. It is not easy to meditate for the first timer. Meditation is not having an empty mind. It should have a focus mind. That’s why a guided meditation is a better step for the beginner.

    Kenny Lee - October 8, 2016 Reply

    Hi Arief,

    Thanks for sharing your thought. Although, I didn’t get to use guided meditation when I learn meditation, I strongly suggest it for beginners who find it difficult.

    Cheers,
    Kenny

Lawrence - October 10, 2016 Reply

Hey Kenny =)

This is definitely what helped me in my experience.

When I first made meditation a daily practice, I struggled to be patient and consistent.

So i tried guided meditation and it was the solution, at least to start with =)

Very helpful post!

Thanks

    Kenny Lee - October 10, 2016 Reply

    Hi Lawrence,

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts here. Guided meditation helps to get the practice going, ending much beginner’s frustration.

    Cheers,
    Kenny

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