Choosing A Guided Meditation

Just about anyone can make a guided meditation recording. That's great, unless you're looking for a good one to use, and then there's a lot of stuff to sift through. Here are some things to look (listen) for when choosing a guided meditation that will ring your bells (softly, of course).

  • Samples. There's no reason to purchase an audio recording from the web at this point without hearing a sample. And you're best bet is to find a vendor who gives you a generous sample of a minute or more, so you have a good idea what you're getting. If the sample is 30 seconds or less, you'd have to wonder what it is they're trying to hide. Of course, if you're searching on sites like Amazon or iTunes the publisher is limited by the web site's 30 second standard. But on the publisher's website those rules don't apply.
  • Voice. Being comfortable with the narrator's voice is essential. How do you feel when you're listening? Does the sound of their voice draw you in and make you comfortable? Does it engage you, or make you simply want to nod off? There's a tendency for guided meditation, hypnosis, and guided imagery voice artists to drone on in a kind of monotone, because some artists think that's the way to get you into a deep trance. In fact, that's the way to get you to lose interest. There's no reason the speaker can't add a dramatic element to the reading, almost as if they were telling you a bedtime story. The softness of the delivery is the part of the vocal quality that will help you go deeper. The narrator should sound like they're interested and engaged in what they're saying, otherwise, why should you be?
  • Background Music. As with the sound of the narrator's voice, you should enjoy the sound of the background music, and feel drawn into it. It shouldn't sound "weird", or hokey, it should be warm, pleasing, and inviting. Unfortunately, when sythesizers became affordable, the world opened up to millions of would-be new age recording artists, and the overall quality of music on the market went downhill fast. Holding down a chord on a soft pad for 20 minutes is not an effective way to make a music background. A good music background for a guided meditation should be an emotional fit for the theme of the script. Ideally, it should be composed specifically for the program.
  • Script. The story, and the writing, should draw you in, and make you feel comfortable, secure, and well supported through the journey. Again, it's easy to write a meditation, but it takes some creativity and effort to write and rewrite until the script is a polished work of art that will make people want to listen over and over.

One of the most famous guided meditations of all time is called The Healing Waterfall. You can hear a sample, purchase a download, and even download a free guided meditation at the website of the same name.

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