This is probably the question I get most often about meditation….
So here’s the thing…there are many meditation teachers with many different ideas and perspectives, and they are all right!
There is no way to mess up at meditation, which is comforting, but can feel confusing for type A people who want one definitive answer.
I am going to share my feelings and take on this topic because it is what I believe as a meditation teacher.
Meditation apps are great. Guided meditation is a wonderful tool. I guide people for a living! Many people feel most comfortable starting their practice with guided meditations, and I just want people to be meditating so I encourage that….to a certain extent.
Here’s the deal, your breath is the most portable self-help and self-care tool you have. It is always with you, and it can always help you come back to center and balance in times of stress. It should be your BFF I like to say 🙂
You always have your breath, but you may not always have a computer, phone, iPad, or other device to play a guided meditation on. I would never want this to stand in the way of you being able to meditate!
I encourage all my students that like using guided meditations to use them, but not every time. I feel strongly that a practice of doing it on your own must be solidified as well. Mix it up. I never allow my students to solely rely on me. I make sure they know exactly what to do when they are meditating on their own.
My most boiled down answer is this:
Use guided meditations if you like them, but not every time.
Listen to them to get comfortable with the practice when you aren’t with a teacher. Get ideas of focuses that you like. Then practice on your own.
I always recommend using a timer, and I use an app for that, but if I were on a deserted island without one I’d be fine! I’d just meditate 🙂
Some of my favorite apps for guided meditations and to use as a timer are:
The Mindfulness App
Lots of people like Headspace and Calm. I don’t have a lot of experience with them, but check them out.
This may end up being a hot topic, so let me know if you have any questions 🙂