defining guided meditation

What is guided meditation?

Guided meditation is a type of meditation led by a meditation facilitator or meditation teacher.  Whether in person or via video or audio recording, what makes guided meditation different is that the process of entering a meditative state is achieved with the help of another’s words or guidance.  This form of meditation can be experienced in a group setting (e.g. at a meditation studio) or in a 1-on-1 session (e.g. with a coach, therapist, practitioner, etc.).

In a guided meditation, the facilitator first takes their participant(s) through a progressive relaxation, focusing on the breath & releasing muscle tension in the body.  Then, the meditation teacher might lead their participant(s) through guided imagery, invoking mental images that promote physical & psychological well-being. Lastly, the meditation facilitator’s job is to gently guide their participant(s) back to waking consciousness.

benefits of guided meditation

What are the benefits of guided meditation?

There are many benefits of guided meditation, for both the participants & the meditation facilitator.  For one, guided meditation is a great starting point for those who have scarcely or never meditated before.  Meditation experiences led by a trained professional can enable those who have a hard time quieting their mind to focus on the guidance of the teacher.

physiological effects

Health benefits

The physiological benefits of guided meditation are many, though you may have heard them all before.  Slow, focused breathing signals safety to our survival brain, activates our parasympathetic nervous system, increases our heart rate variability (HRV) & more, all serving to reduce stress, release bodily tension, and disrupt dysfunctional patterns stored in the brain.  However, these benefits are not unique to guided meditation. Mindfulness & simple breathing exercises have the same effects on the brain & body. So, what makes guided meditation uniquely beneficial?

An image of a brain creating new neural connections as a result of guided immersive meditation
An image of certified meditation facilitator guiding a coaching client through an immersive guided meditation

practical use cases

Professional utility

The unique benefit of guided meditation is found in the ability of a meditation facilitator to focus a given meditation on a specific goal or outcome.  In this way, guided meditation can be thought of as a tool that a teacher can use to promote healing or provoke insight. A well-trained facilitator, who understands how to guide an outcome-oriented meditation, can specifically focus a meditation experience to benefit a client or group in a multitude of ways.  From overcoming fears (e.g. the fear of flying) to promoting healthy contemplation around a specific topic to inspiring creativity, the true benefit of guided meditation is found in its targeted use & application in overcoming mental & emotional roadblocks.

leading a meditation

How to lead a guided meditation

Knowing how to guide someone through a meditation effectively takes training & experience.  Guiding a meditation is different and more difficult than teaching meditation. Learning how to teach meditation involves learning breathing techniques, body positioning, history & religion, etc. and how to convey that information back to an audience.  

Learning how to lead a guided meditation experience is much more involved.  For one, facilitating a guided meditation is a performance, requiring the teacher to overcome their nerves & deliver an experience their participants will enjoy.  Additionally, a well-trained guided meditation facilitator must know how to use guided imagery, and how tailor that imagery to the specific needs of a client or group.

For reasons such as these, it’s imperative that those seeking to lead meditations get proper training if they wish to do so effectively.  However, there are a few basic guidelines to follow for those seeking to learn how to lead a guided meditation that will stand out from the rest:

Simple 7-step guided meditation structure:

  1. Select a topic & desired outcome for the experience (e.g. promoting practical introspection)
  2. Choose a quote around the topic & discuss it with the group before beginning
  3. Make sure all group participants are comfortably seated or lying down
  4. Play some featureless meditation music & take your group through a progressive relaxation
  5. After around 6 min, ask a targeted question aligned with your desired outcome (e.g. What am I tolerating?)
  6. Tell your group your voice will be quiet & allow for a time of silent reflection
  7. When the time is right, gingerly bring your group back to waking consciousness

While these few points may barely scratch the surface of how to guide someone through a meditation, they illustrate a practical approach centered around the facilitation of targeted, insight provoking experiences.

Guided meditation training

Learn to lead guided meditations with us

For coaches, therapists, practitioners, yoga teachers & other professionals in the personal development industry, knowing how to facilitate a quality meditation experience is invaluable.  In The Guided Meditation Framework®, we teach personal development professionals how to use meditation pragmatically, to increase the effectiveness of their work & their ability to lead memorable group events.

In our professional training, you will learn everything there is to know about guided meditation.  From how to utilize this powerful tool inside of a 1-on-1 session to how to lead memorable classes, workshops & retreats infused with impactful immersive experiences.  If you are looking for in-depth training & 1-on-1 mentorship from a guided meditation facilitator with over 30 years of professional experience, Heather Hayward, then look no further.

Watch our free training with Heather today, and see if The Guided Meditation Framework® is right for you!

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