What you need can change!
What is the best guided meditation is really a personal thing and comes down to what resonates with you and what is needed in the moment.
Consider the following.
1. Sound or no sound
Some days you may want very little interference and on others it won’t be a concern for you and you will enjoy it.
What we enjoy can vary on any given day depending on our emotional mood/state and what we need.
2. The long and short of it!
The duration of a meditation can also have an impact and can be influenced by how much time we have.
Being able to continue in silence (apart from the sounds around you of course) after a CD track ends is great though as sometimes we just need to rest in that space and can gently begin to come out of our meditaiton when we are ready.
What I have found with listening to free meditations on YouTube etc (although handy at times) is that they can now be interrupted by advertisements (and that’s just about the worst kind of intrusion mid-meditation).
Then, the next video comes up automatically and starts to play and it may or may not be another meditation video. Regardless of whether it is or isn’t though it can interfere with your meditative state.
3. Areas of focus
Another factor to consider is that guided meditations can have different areas of focus.
It’s really a matter of trying a few out to find what you like and perhaps compiling a little bit of a library to cater to whatever you are feeling in the moment.
Some days, I can find even a voice intrusive and so I will go for music or silence.
Ask yourself the question – What do I need now?
In the Beginning
In the beginning though, it definitely helps to be guided through your meditation.
Fortunately, even the best guided meditation cds are not expensive and so we can begin to gather what we need at little cost.
Essentially though, you just won’t know until you try and all I can say from personal experience is that it helps to have choices.
Today I might feel like listening to Eckhart Tolle, tomorrow I might prefer Jack Kornfield or Tara Brach.
But there are so many, how do I choose?
There is a plethora of guided meditations out there attempting to cover every possible area and issue that affects people and this can be overwhelming. (Meditation can help with those feelings and experiences too by the way which may be one of the reasons you are seeking it out).
If you can remember though that meditation is really about being present and realising our true self beyond the mind. It’s about awakening.
This in itself helps us with a myriad of issues that we may be experiencing. Meditation can help with right thought followed by right action regardless of the area you want help with.
My advice is to go with what resonates with you today and collect some others along the way if you need.
The best guided meditation – Top 5 picks
I’ve done a little research for you to seek out those CDs that have variety and the best value for money. I’ve also included those where a ‘taster’ is available.
In no particular order, drum roll please:
CD Price: $29.95
Review Rating 5/5
Intended to be used in conjunction with his book Wherever You Go, There You Are
Guided sitting meditations—the basics of mindfulness meditation
- Mindfulness while lying down—guided sessions for learning how to “fall awake” rather than fall asleep, which, teaches Kabat–Zinn, is what mindfulness is all about
- The Mountain Meditation and Lake Meditation—evokes two powerful images to deepen concentration and expand one’s feeling for the inward gesture involved in mindfulness practice
- Silence, with bells to mark the passage of time—5–, 10–, 15–, 20–, and 30–minute timed sessions
Jon Kabat-Zinn developed the Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction Program and has been around for years. So, there is credibility here.
I can’t wait (audio download) $13.98
Review Rating: 4.5/5
The same ability that helps ordinary men and women achieve extraordinary success is also the secret to optimizing your life span, letting go of stress, and even enhancing your body’s self-healing powers.
In Meditation for Optimum Health, you will join bestselling authors Dr. Andrew Weil and Dr. Jon Kabat-Zinn for a practical introduction that makes it simple to enjoy the life-changing benefits of meditation even if you’ve never tried it before.
Developed by two experts on alternative health.
I can’t wait (audio download) $11.18
Review Rating 4/5
- Basic sitting practice—The essential starting point for nurturing nonjudgmental spaciousness
- The heart-opening techniques of lovingkindness and forgiveness meditation to help you discover liberation from suffering
- A visualization exercise for overcoming difficulties by making direct contact with the voice of your highest wisdom
- The gratitude and joy meditation, which nourishes an innocent rejoicing in life itself
- Mind Like Sky—a practice to enter “original mind,” the pure space of awareness that is consciousness itself
Another reputable and credible source. Again, he’s been around for years and works in conjunction with Tara Brach alot. Which brings me to number 4.
CD Price $15.96
Review Rating 4.5/5
- A Pause for Presence—a short, basic practice that can be used daily to feel at home with mindfulness
- Developing Self-Compassion—a meditation that cultivates a forgiving and caring heart towards yourself and others
- Presence with Everyday Fears—a practice to help you address fear and other emotions in order to find greater freedom and choice
- Mindfulness of Pain—a meditation to release you from physical suffering
- Contacting Our Inner Wisdom—a practice to help you avoid constant reactivity in difficult situations
Tara Brach offers many products and once again very reputable and credible. As with others in this list, her longevity speaks volumes.
DVD Price (he is lovely to watch) $15.96
Review Rating 4/5
- The role of meditation in everyday life
- How to discover inner space as a portal to presence
- The traditional art of meditating on an object, including the breath
- Just sitting and living in alignment with what is
- The true meaning of acceptance—meditation’s central goal
Eckhart Tolle is a Master. If you can explore Eckhart’s teachings please do so.
If you can spend a little more ($69.99), he also offers Essential Meditations with Eckhart Tolle: Guided Sessions and Pratical Teachings. He’s that good that you have to pre-order.
I hope this article has taken some of the leg work away from you having to trawl the internet to find something suitable.
I think any of these are great starting points from respected and credible people.
Take the opportunity to listen to the samples, but also start to build a collection.
I always learn something new no matter how many times I listen and I need something different from time to time.
I would love to hear how you get on in your journey of meditation and/or awakening. Please leave a comment to share your thoughts or ask any questions. I’m here to help.
Go forth with ease and just be!