I have been meditating on a daily basis for about seven years now but like most people had heard about it nearly all my life. A relation of mine, who began meditation in the 70’s often told me of its benefits.
I certainly tried it over the years but concluded that I was doomed to be useless at it since I could not quiet my chattering mind. If I ever did slip into a state which I would call meditation now, it tended to be almost by accident. Then, it was easy, especially when listening to the wind in the trees or the sea, or a stream running nearby. I did not call it meditation, but I could enter such a blissful state that my body would feel as if I were floating above the bed. If, however, I actively tried to meditate, I could not.
Guided Meditation for Mental Health
A few years ago now, myself, Kev and Rick, who make up ‘The Honest Guys’ on YouTube, were talking over a cup of tea about our lives which, as can happen, became an airing of our woes, mental and physical health and what we were doing (or had done) to improve our well-being. The discussion particularly centered around anxiety, depression, panic attacks, insomnia and ailments such as severe IBS, which both Rick and myself had suffered for years.
By that point, I had given up anti-depressants several years prior, simply because they were not helping me and the side-effects had become awful. The subject of meditation came up and we all agreed we could see that it must be helpful to the mind and body, but that we had all tried it and could not do it.
Very soon after, and none of us remember precisely how it happened, we saw an advertisement online for guided meditations. This was new to us, but we decided to try it. The package was quite expensive and there was nothing free online at that time, so we shared the cost and bought the set. Each of us decided to do it for about a month and see what we felt like at the end. As someone who has always been a reader, I found guided meditation easy beyond belief. I could be there within the scene described, aided by ambient nature sounds. The exercises in breathing and relaxation were amazingly effective.
I was almost instantly within the meditation experience and completely relaxed. It took me back to my childhood and being read stories by my grandmother before I went to sleep. There was a great comfort in it on many levels.
Changes Happening Within
We began to monitor our blood pressure before and after meditation and the results were absolutely clear. My blood pressure can tend toward being a little high; every meditation session saw it go down to normal. And there was more. Over time, we all agreed that there was a cumulative effect of greater calmness. It did not mean that any problems vanished, but rather that our attitude toward them changed. Instead of panicking, stressing over things, I (and all of us) discovered that there seemed to be an inner barrier of deep peace that deflected or absorbed worry.
I have, once before in my life and long ago, experienced a profound and almost magical peace that occurred in the very middle of a panic attack when I was alone and screaming for help from anyone or anything. The peace descended upon me instantly, enfolding me in a bubble where it seemed nothing could ever touch me or hurt me, that everything was going to be all right.
It was the most beautiful and wonderful feeling I had ever known and lasted all that day from morning to night, only slowly dispersing. And although I felt panic, fear etc, again in my life, it was never as dreadful. The peace I felt with regular meditation was familiar. It was not as intense, but the sense, the ‘touch’ of it, was exactly the same, just as the relaxation was the same as I had felt long before when ‘accidentally’ meditating. It felt like discovering a long lost and dear friend.
Helping Others Experience the Same
After a couple of years, we at The Honest Guys thought we would create our own guided meditations so that people who had never tried it might do so for free. There was nothing freely available at that time. Some people simply cannot afford to buy such content or go to classes, and they might be the very people who could benefit the most.
As a writer, I found it easy to create. I wanted those who listened to imagine the scenes I wrote and experience the same feelings that were within me as I described them. As I wrote, I felt such love for those people out there who were struggling in any way, for any reason, who might listen to the meditation. I didn’t know who they were, but they were real and suffering. I wanted to reach out to them and comfort them. This was the only way I could do it. All of us felt that way, and it grows. There is an endless well of love; it never exhausts itself.
I do have positive ‘triggers’ that lead me into meditation. I don’t have to listen to a guided meditation anymore, or music, (although sometimes I do) I just lay in a relaxed position and count myself down from 50 – imagine walking down a flight of stairs – then I envisage myself in a place from my childhood or a holiday. The peace comes over me like a gentle wave that takes me into stillness. There is no past, present or future, just an infinity of peace, oneness, love. In that state I have experienced and seen some amazing things, beings one might refer to as guides or angels, although I don’t seek them or strive to see them.
I also meditate while practicing self and distance Reiki, and last year I experienced a most profound insight of what we (all of us) actually are. I was sending distance Reiki to a family member and had my eyes open. I was aware of watching myself from within, knowing that my physical sight was purely physical while I was within this body, but my ‘sight beyond sight’ was in a different realm entirely. For an immense and incredible moment I ‘saw’ with my consciousness and had a glimpse of how vast it was, almost beyond description. All this began with a simple need to relax, by using equally simple techniques, but the benefits have been deep, lasting and beautiful. My love goes out to all who read this.