A few links for Meditation practice
There are many types of meditation practice from many types of contemplative traditions. Some are rooted in the Buddhist contemplative tradition (Theravada or Mahayana) and others from traditions like Kabbalah in Judaism, and centering prayer originating in Christianity. There are many other contemplative practices, but it is those that stem from Buddhism that have been secularized and adapted into the Western medical model for a variety of clinical conditions and are simple enough for anyone who knows how to breathe.
For those interested in some simple guided meditations, there is a large selection of secular Buddhist instructors with different voices and styles, but all have similar basic approaches to helping you cultivate mindfulness, reduce suffering, and improve cognitive and emotional skills like attention regulation and emotion regulation. Keep in mind that meditative practices geared towards cultivating mindfulness are not typically intended for relaxation – they are intended to gain a sense of familiarity with one’s own mental landscape – what and where does one mind go when you let it just go. This requires a fair amount of effort, diligence, motivation, arousal (alert wakefulness), and good posture (Stephanie Nash on Good Posture [Link]) and WhatMeditationReallyIs [Link]. It is suggested that you attempt to experience these meditations in a comfortable, upright, seated position (at your desk or on the floor), but not in the supine position (because then you will simply fall asleep). Good Luck!
caveat for dealing with difficult emotions that arise during meditation – see this excellent interview with Leigh Brasington by Dr. Willoughby Britton [Link]
Focused Attention Meditation
30 min – Breath Awareness from Anapanasati Sutta – [Link] – narrated by Lisa Dale Miller
10 min – Breath Awareness – [Link] – narrated by Margaret Cullen
5 min – Breath Awareness – [Link] – narrated by Diana Winston – MARC at UCLA (UCLA Mindful Awareness Research Center)
3 min – 3 min breathing space [Link] – narrated by Zindel Segal
Body Scan Meditation
45 min – MBSR – [Link] – narrated by UC San Diego Center for Integrative Medicine and Department of Psychiatry
25 min – Body Scan – [Link] – narrated by Sharon Salzberg
12 min – MARC [Link] – narrated by Diana Winston
60 min – Body Scan with nature sounds [Link] – narrated by Florence Meleo-Meyer
Open Monitoring (Insight meditation)
60 min – Vipassana – [Link] – narrated by S.N. Goenka
45 min – Vipassana – [Link] – narrated by Joseph Goldstein
20 min – Refuge in Awareness [Link] – narrated by Tara Brach
13 min – Insight [Link] – narrated by Peg Baim
45 min – Big Mind – [Link] – narrated by Joseph Goldstein
15 min – Meditation on Body, Space, and Awareness – [Link] – narrated by Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche
10 min – Just sitting (Zen Shikantaza) – [Link] – narrated by Shinzen Young
5 min – Mindfulness [Link] – Beautiful Bell for facilitating mindfulness practice
Metta – Loving Kindness Meditation
How To Practice Loving Kindness Meditation:
Finding a comfortable posture, keep your eyes closed and think of a person close to you who loves you very much. It could be someone from the past or the present; someone still in life or who has passed; it could be a spiritual teacher, guide, relative, or even a pet. Imagine that person (or pet) sending you their love, wishes for your your health and happiness. Feel the unconditional love, kindness and warmth coming to you from that person.
Sending Loving-Kindness to Loved Ones
Now bring your awareness back to this loved one. Begin to send the love that you feel back to that person. You and this person are similar. Just like you, this person wishes to be happy. Send all your love and warm wishes to that person.
Repeat the following phrases, silently:
May you live with ease, may you be happy, may you be free from suffering.
May you be safe, may you be healthy, may you live with ease and happiness.
May your life be filled with happiness, health, and well-being.
Sending Loving-Kindness to Neutral People
Now think of an acquaintance, someone you don’t know very well and toward whom you do not have any particular feeling. It could be a neighbor, or a colleague, or someone else that you see around but do not know very well. You and this person are alike in your wish to have a good life, be happy and healthy.
Send all your wishes for well-being to that person, repeating the following phrases, silently:
Just as I wish to, may you also live with ease and happiness.
May you be happy, may you be healthy, may you be free from all suffering.
Sending Loving-Kindness to All Living Beings
Now expand your awareness and picture the whole world in front of you.
Send warm wishes to all living beings on the Earth, who, like you, want to be happy:
Just as I wish to, may you live with ease, happiness, and good health.
Take a deep breath in. And breathe out. And another deep breath in and let it go. Notice the state of your mind and how you feel after this meditation.
42 min – Loving Kindness for Self – [Link] – narrated by Sharon Salzberg
42 min – Loving Kindness towards others [Link] – Sharon Salzberg
30 min – Mindful Solutions [Link] – narrated by Ronald Siegel
30 min – [Link] – narrated by Gil Fransdal
30 min – [Link] – narrated by Sharon Salzberg
Other Interesting guided meditations and Instructions
Insight Meditation Instruction – Ven. Pannyavaro (MP3 Files) [Link]
BUDDHANET – This is a collection of Meditation talks by Buddhist teachers of various traditions – [Link]
Insight LA – Founded by Trudy Goodman and affiliated with Spirit Rock [Link]
Audio Dharma – Links to guided meditation from top teachers [Link]
Vipassana Meditation 10-day retreat – Day 1 instructions – [Link] – narrated by S.N. Goenka (links to full 10 days are available)
If you have any links that you would like to add to this list, please pass them on – I am MORE than happy to share.