When I guide group meditations, I often start with a grounding meditation, continued by silent meditation. This is not just to support to group to feel grounded and comfortable, but also because it is important for us to be able to experience various forms of meditation in a safe, supportive environment and to sound out what feels good for us as individuals. The group set up of course also makes the meditation more powerful, as our energies are mixing together in what is often a very tangible experience of collective consciousness.
It is important to remember though, that meditation is a deeply personal practice and that the type of meditation we engage in depends on where we are on our journeys, how we are feeling on the day and simply – what resonates in any particular moment. Even after a life time of meditation, we will still find that no matter the meditation modality, those thoughts – worries, anxieties, ideas, to do lists – will come and go. On some days, 5 minutes of meditation will feel like an eternity and on others, 2 hours can pass by almost unnoticed.
Please, remember that there is no need to strive for one type of meditation over the other. If guided meditation is what works for you, then guided meditation it is! If there is more comfort or ‘sense’ in silent meditation, then by all means, engage with the silence! There are bound to be times when silence feels better for You and other times when being guided is more nurturing. There is no right or wrong way – it really is all about You.
To set ourselves any goals or targets whereby we expect to be meditating in a certain way by a certain date, year or age already puts us on a potential collision course with ourselves. It is easy to consider one form of meditation ‘better’ than the other (for example silent meditation over guided ones) and to set ourselves often subconscious targets of needing to be comfortable with that particular form of meditation in order to feel that we have ‘progressed.’
For many, especially the achievers and perfectionists among us, this puts us under pressure to speed up our personal journeys and to reach a state that may never materialise – and may not be meant to materialise! When we don’t ‘get there,’ we feel that we are not ‘doing it right,’ that we are ‘not good’ at meditation or that we have failed. This is not the point of meditation. We all progress at our own pace and walk our own, unique paths.
Be gentle on yourself! Go with the flow, listen to your body, be in the moment and most importantly – treat yourself with love, kindness and compassion. Even 5 minutes of meditation a day has been scientifically proven to make a difference in one’s health, concentration levels and overall happiness. How you spend those 5 minutes – in silence or listening to someone guide you through a relaxation, grounding or visualisation process – is up to you and what feels right for You – in that particular, beautiful moment.