How to Lead a Guided Meditation
29 SEP 2017
The practice of meditation has its roots in ancient Asian cultures and is most often associated with Buddhism. Numerous meditation techniques exist, most of which have in common the concepts of mindfulness and conscious breathing. Meditation might be practiced for spiritual reasons or for its emotional and physical benefits such as quieting the mind, reducing stress and managing physical pain. In guided meditations, participants listen to a narrator or guide who leads them through a visualization or mindfulness exercise.
Experience a guided meditation for yourself. An effectively presented guided meditation is one that takes into account many factors such as the comfort of participants, the pacing of the presentation and the length of the activity. Before attempting to lead a guided meditation, you should experience the process first-hand as a participant. This helps you understand what components to include and how to present the material at a pace that does not feel too fast or too slow. Numerous websites offer audio guides and training videos to help develop guided meditations that are clear and calming in their presentation.
Develop a script. It can be helpful to write and revise a guided meditation before attempting to deliver it to an audience. By following a step-by-step script, you will be better equipped to deliver a meditation smoothly and comfortably.
Guided meditations can last as short as several minutes or as long as an hour, depending on the style of the meditation, its intended goals and the audience for whom it is written. Most meditations consist of an introduction that helps participants relax and settle in, the body or main visualization exercise, and a conclusion that gently winds down the process and allows participants to "return" to the room.
Practice the script out loud. Once the script is written, it should be read out loud several times to practice the pacing of the words and the volume of the voice. Guiding an audience through a meditation that has not been adequately prepared or practiced can result in a confusing or distracting meditation.
Practice with a small audience. Once the script has been developed and practiced aloud, invite one or more participants for a trial run. Ask participants to share helpful feedback about the experience. Inquire about their impressions of the pace of the presentation, the length of the script, the effectiveness of the visualization, and their overall comfort and enjoyment. The scrip can then be revised accordingly.
Invite participants and present the final meditation. Once the meditation is fine tuned, it is ready to present to one or more participants. Choose a comfortable and peaceful location that is free from distraction. Participants should be welcomed, encouraged to feel comfortable in the environment and introduced to the meditation. Begin the meditation by asking participants to take several deep breaths. At the end of the meditation, ask participants for their feedback and reflection on the experience.