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There are many reasons why you may wish to learn to guide meditations. Perhaps you have a group of friends who get together to talk about spiritual topics and you want to add another dimension to your gatherings. Perhaps you wish to establish a meditation group (you could trade off the responsibility of leadership). Perhaps you are in a position to demonstrate the power of meditation in business, schools or organizations serving special populations. Please use these resources freely (with acknoledgements, of course). And tell anyone interested in learning to guide meditations about this page!

 

Tips for Guiding Meditations

1. Your confidence lends confidence. Meditate before class and even pray for guidance.
    Remember to breathe.

2. Talk about the benefits of meditation. You print out the list below and read from it.
    You may desire to gather your own info over time.

3. Let them know that meditation is a practice. It is not a thing to necessarily be
    accomplished the first time out. Skill grows with practice and it is only through practice
    that the benefits of meditation begin to manifest.

        In my own experience it took a few weeks of sitting quietly, and determinedly for
    five minutes a day with my eyes closed before I suddenly discovered myself outside of
    space and time. The realization brought me back to "normal" consciousness. But it
    proved to me that I could do it!

4. Speak slowly and gently while leading the meditation. Allow time between suggestions
    — it’s easier to go too fast than too slow. When in doubt, slow down.

5. The entire meditation should take between 15 and 20 minutes (or 10 minutes at the
    end of a yoga session). It doesn’t hurt during the silent meditation to remind people
    that if they are distracted they can gently bring their attention back to their breath as a
    focal point.

6. After the meditation, when everyone’s eyes are open again, encourage discussion. Ask
    each person to talk about their experience after reminding everyone that there are no
    right or wrong experiences. If nothing happened it’s okay to say so. This discussion
    helps build community in the group. Admittedly, people will be shy at first, but if the
    group meets often, that will diminish and folks will learn a great deal from one
    another.

7. Ask for questions. It’s okay if you don’t know the answers. There will always be
    questions to which you do not know the answer, but once the question is asked, there
    is receptivity in you to recognizing the answer when it comes.

8. Recommend meditating daily — if only for five minutes at a time.

Share the Benefits of Meditation

Meditation creates a unique state, in which the metabolism is in an even deeper state of rest than during sleep. During sleep, oxygen consumption drops by 8 percent, but during meditation, it drops by 10 to 20 percent.

 

• Meditation is the only activity that reduces blood lactate, a marker of stress and
   anxiety.

• The calming hormones melatonin and serotonin are increased by meditation,
   and the stress hormone cortisol is decreased.

• Meditation has a profound effect upon three key indicators of aging: hearing
   ability, blood pressure, and vision of close objects.

• Long-term meditators experience 80 percent less heart disease and 50 percent
   less cancer than nonmeditators.

• Meditators secrete more of the youth-related hormone DHEA as they age than
   nonmeditators. Meditating forty-five-year-old males have an average of 23
   percent more DHEA than nonmeditators, and meditating females have an
   average of 47 percent more. This helps decrease stress, heighten memory,
   preserve sexual function, and control weight.

• 75 percent of insomniacs were able to sleep normally when they meditated.

• 34 percent of people with chronic pain significantly reduced medication when
   they began meditating.

• Results show that 24 cities in which 1% of the population had been instructed in
   meditation by 1972 displayed decreased crime rates during the next year and
   decreased crime trends during the subsequent five years (1972-1977) in
   comparison to the previous five years (1967-1972), in contrast to control cities
   matched for geographic region, population, college population, and crime rate.
   Journal of Crime and Justice, 4:25-45, 1981.

 

Except for the last item these statistics are found in "Meditation as Medicine" by Dharma Singh Khalsa, 2001.

 

Script for Breathing Meditation

This is the simplest technique. All it requires is a quiet moment and a set of lungs.)

Sit quietly, close your eyes and turn your attention to your breathing.

 

Become aware of each exhalation and each inhalation.

 

Notice how the air feels as it enters your nostrils, fills your lungs and leaves again.

 

Fill your lungs slowly, bottom to top, inhaling as though every cell in your body is breathing. Inhale until you feel you can inhale no more. Then, exhale as slowly as you inhaled.

 

If your attention wanders, bring it gently back. If what draws your attention away is insistent, store it in memory, promise yourself you’ll think about it later and gently return your attention to your inhalations and exhalations.

 

You may find yourself becoming aware of your own heartbeat and pulse.

 

You may become aware of the points in your body where you feel tension and discomfort.

 

Imagine as you inhale that your breath travels directly to those areas and eases the discomfort.

 

Now, turn your attention away from the physical self and inward toward the still center of your being. Let your breath carry you toward it.

 

Let all else float away.

 

Once you have found your core self, rest there for a few moments. Follow inner promptings where they lead.

 

(Allow meditators to meditate for several minutes. Take the opportunity to meditate yourself.)

 

Now, gently bring your attention back to your breath, the physical sensations of breathing.

 

Pay attention to the sensations of your body and hear the sounds in the room.

 

Move, stretch and open your eyes.

 

Script for Meditation on an External Object

For this meditation it is best to use some natural object like a stone, a feather, a shell, or a bit of driftwood. Avoid man made objects.)

 

Place your meditation object where you can see it easily. You can even hold it in your hand.

 

Sit quietly, close your eyes and turn your attention to your breathing.

 

Become aware of each exhalation and each inhalation.

 

Notice how the air feels as it enters your nostrils, fills your lungs and leaves again.

 

Fill your lungs slowly, bottom to top, inhaling as though every cell in your body is breathing. Inhale until you feel you can inhale no more. Then, exhale as slowly as you inhaled.

 

If your attention wanders, bring it gently back.

 

As you become calm and centered, focus your attention on your object.

 

Breathe deeply and evenly with your gaze on your object.

 

Notice its colors, its texture, its personality.

 

Imagine that you love this thing.

 

If you wish, you can close your eyes as you feel your heart reach out to embrace the object, to caress it.

 

Imagine the object loves you in return.

 

Feel it become part of you. You may realize that it always has been.

 

For a few moments allow yourself and the object to become one.

 

(Allow meditators to meditate for several minutes. Take the opportunity to meditate yourself.)

 

Now, gently bring your attention back to your breath, the physical sensations of breathing.

 

Pay attention to your body and the sounds in the room.

 

Move, stretch and open your eyes.

Script for Movement Meditation

(This is a great technique for those who have trouble sitting quietly.)

 

Stand quietly, close your eyes and turn your attention to your breathing.

 

Become aware of each exhalation and each inhalation.

 

Notice how the air feels as it enters your nostrils, fills your lungs and leaves again.

 

Fill your lungs slowly, bottom to top, inhaling as though every cell in your body is

breathing. Inhale until you feel you can inhale no more. Then, exhale as slowly as you inhaled.

 

If your attention wanders, bring it gently back.

 

Begin to listen to the music.

 

Listen until you feel that some part of your body wants to move.

 

Pay attention to how your body wants to move and follow that impulse.

 

If nothing else, allow your body to sway gently.

 

Perhaps a hand might lift in a graceful arc.

 

When you are ready to move your feet, open your eyes and let the music move you.

 

For a few moments, feel the impulse to move that originates in your body—and let your body respond.

 

(Allow meditators to meditate for several minutes. Take the opportunity to meditate yourself.)

 

When you become tired, stop and just listen to the music, paying attention to how you feel and how your body feels.

 

Now, gently bring your attention back to your breath, the physical sensations of breathing.

 

Move, stretch and open your eyes.

Script for Sensory Awareness Meditation

The object of this technique is to expand consciousness outward rather than turn it inward.)

 

Sit quietly, close your eyes and turn your attention to your breathing.

 

Become aware of each exhalation and each inhalation.

 

Notice how the air feels as it enters your nostrils, fills your lungs and leaves again.

 

Fill your lungs slowly, bottom to top, inhaling as though every cell in your body is breathing. Inhale until you feel you can inhale no more. Then, exhale as slowly as you inhaled.

 

As you inhale, follow your breath all the way in to the point where it turns and you begin to exhale.

 

As you exhale, follow the breath all the way out to the point where it turns and you begin to inhale again.

 

Be mindful of this rhythm: inhale, turn, exhale, turn until you feel centered and at peace.

 

Expand your awareness to include the sounds your breath makes.

 

Listen to the sounds around you. Allow them all to be equally important.

 

Expand your awareness further to include touch. Feel your clothing against your skin?

 

The texture of fabric beneath your hands or the weight of your hair on your head.

 

Be aware of every sensation. Let each one be equal in importance with every other and with all the sounds you hear.

 

Open your awareness to include the other senses one at a time. Smell whatever scent comes to your nostrils.

 

Taste the flavors in your mouth right now.

 

As you open your eyes, keep them still with a soft focus. Be aware of everything in your field of vision equally.

 

Allow yourself to be with all your senses fully extended.

 

If any one thing draws your attention, consciously let go of it and gently stretch out your consciousness once more to embrace everything within your perception.

 

(Allow meditators to meditate for several minutes. Take the opportunity to meditate yourself.)

 

Focus on the weight of your body in your chair.

 

Bring your attention back to a sharp focus on what is before your eyes.

 

Move and stretch.

Script for Zen Walking Meditation

The zen meditation technique provides a surprisingly deep meditative state if the leader walks slowly enough. It forces the meditators to concentrate deeply in order to avoid stepping on the person in front of him or her.)

 

Sit quietly, close your eyes and turn your attention to your breathing.

 

Become aware of each exhalation and each inhalation.

 

Notice how the air feels as it enters your nostrils, fills your lungs and leaves again.

 

Fill your lungs slowly, bottom to top, inhaling as though every cell in your body is breathing. Inhale until you feel you can inhale no more. Then, exhale as slowly as you inhaled.

 

Take several deep full breaths like this.

 

(Allow meditators a few moments to do this, focusing on your own breathing. Four or five breaths should suffice.)

 

Now, as I walk past you and touch your shoulder, open your eyes, stand and

follow. Stay a step or two behind the person in front of you and pay attention to walking. If it helps you can match your breathing to the steps you take.

 

(Walk slowly past the meditators. Inhale as you take a step and exhale for the next step. Touch each person on the shoulder as you pas. Keep your pace slow, but steady. Lead the meditators on a circuit that brings everyoneback within 10 minutes. When you get back to the starting point:)

 

As you come back to your seat, sit down, close your eyes and return your attention to your breath.

 

(Let them sit still for a moment before continuing.)

 

Gently bring your attention back to the weight of your body in your chair, the sounds in the room.

 

Move, stretch and open your eyes.

What is Spirtual Emergency (Kundalini Emergency)?

Sometimes spiritual seekers (even people who don’t think they are on a spiritual path) experience levels of awareness or energy transformation that they are unable to handle or for which they have no reference. This can feel like the person is in the midst of a crisis. They feel vulnerable and oversensitive to incoming stimuli. They can feel overwhelmed, fragmented, fearful, confused and disoriented. They can feel like they are going crazy. Their bodies may even behave in unexpected ways. With their absorption in inner processes, they may not be able to look after themselves.

 

Some types of spiritual emergency mentioned are: Loss, questioning or change of spiritual values; Mystical or unitive experience; Psychic opening; Kundalini; Possession States; Shamanistic crisis; UFO abduction; Near-death experience; Dying, grief, and life-threatening illness.

 

The site that seems most useful to me is Spiritual Emergency. It offers descriptions of a variety of types of spiritual emergency so a reader can get a handle on what might be happening. There are also links to wikipedia regarding psychosis and to an online school on spiritual learning.

 

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