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Guided Meditations

MeditationGuided Meditations by Christopher Titmuss. Insight Meditation offers emotional and psychological insights, a depth of awareness, inner peace and a profound and liberating sense of the Here and Now.

Insight Meditation and associated spiritual teachings awaken one to the Truth of things and its presence in daily circumstances.

Insight Meditation belongs to a comprehensive body of teachings known as the Dharma. The Dharma embraces ethics, spiritual inquiry, contact with like-minded people, compassion, wisdom and an enlightened life.

Insight Meditation offers emotional and psychological insights, a depth of awareness, inner peace and a profound and liberating sense of the Here and Now.

The Four Postures

Sitting Meditation: Cross-legged, use of meditation stool or chair without back support (unless necessary). Sit with straight back and neck with chin slightly tucked in, eyes closed with feeling of expansion in chest and diaphragm area. Avoid use of will power to hold posture. Let the whole body settle into the posture with alert presence. Bring full awareness to the immediacy of things.

Walking Meditation: Meditative walking consists of slow, short steps. Heel of one foot hardly goes in front of the toes of the other. Be mindful of each foot touching the ground. Eyes used for seeing ahead and balance. One resting on the other at the abdomen. 5-15 metres to walk up and down with moment to moment awareness. Be respectful to each step on the Earth.

Standing Meditation: Stand with toes and heels close together. Hands together on the abdomen. Eyes closed or open. Experience the presence of whole body from soles of feet to top of the head. Then experience stillness of posture, the vibration of life and sense of being.

Reclining Meditation: Lie flat on the back with heels together or bend knees so heels are drawn close to buttocks. Eyes closed. Head on small, firm pillow or two or three books. Arms at the side of the body, palms facing upwards. Be fully present to intimacy with immediate nature.

Eating Meditation: Vegetarian or vegan food. Initial reflection on world wide inter-dependency that makes a meal possible. Silence throughout meal with alert posture. Conscious and unhurried eating with mindfulness of tasting, chewing and swallowing of food. Concluding with a reflection as a thanksgiving.

Insight Meditation on Mindfulness of Breathing

In the sitting posture be mindful of the full breath experience. Experience the body expanding with the inhalation and contracting with the exhalation.

If tired, keep the eyes open. If restless, breathe long and deep and relax with the outbreath. Allow the breath to flow in and out of the body whether the breath is rough or smooth, shallow or deep.

Be aware of the moment(s) of stillness before the next in-breath. Be aware of change, of the impermanence of all experience. The breath comes and goes like all events, experiences and situations.

Experience the air element stimulating and opening cellular life as a contribution to stress reduction, healing and well-being.

Let the brain cells become quiet. Mindfulness of breathing contributes to harmony of body and mind and direct experience of organic life.

The air element confirms our intimacy and inter-dependence with the surrounding world. Allow this perception to run deep as a liberation from self-centered existence.

Insight Meditation on the Body

Awareness of subtle and gross body sensations cuts through much of the projection, if not obsession, around bodily appearance - size, age, weight, colour, gender and social values that interpret the body in a conditioned way.

Direct the attention to a full awareness of the direct body experience.

Moment to moment, slowly scan the attention from the head throughout the toes and from the toes to the top of the head. Experience directly the sensations and vibrations of the body.

Notice areas in the body where there is tension, pressure, aches and pains. In a relaxed way, direct mindfulness into these areas.

Be aware of the centre of the discomfort and also the outer edges. Observe changes and impermanence of these sensations. Direct mindfulness also to areas where there appears to be a lack of sensation.

Return attention to full awareness of the whole body. Experience the body as organic life, as various vibrations and sensations touching on consciousness.

Ground oneself in direct bodily experience. Be mindful of description and interpretations of the body through likes and dislikes, health and sickness so that one can respond with wisdom to bodily life.

Experience mindfulness of body as the inter-dependence of the five elements - earth, air, fire, water, space - i.e. firmness, lightness, warmth, fluidity or spaciousness.

Realise the body belongs to the nature of things rather than being "I" or "mine".

Insight Meditation on Feelings

Acknowledge feelings whether pleasant, unpleasant or in-between. Feelings give support to activities of body, speech and mind.

Experience what is felt Here and Now, and be aware of any descriptions or label of it. Be aware whether a feeling within is deep or shallow.

If the feeling intensifies and becomes emotion - ecstasy, sorrow, excitement, fear, bliss - let the experience unfold without struggle.

Neither detach oneself from feelings nor indulge in them. Neither fight difficult emotions nor flee from them.

Acknowledge feelings of love, friendship, compassion, gratitude and equanimity. Be conscious of and receptive to their presence and expression.

Be mindful of interpreting past, present and future in the face of pleasant, painful or in-between feelings.

Be mindful of the inter-dependence of feelings and states of mind.

Clinging to pleasant feelings leads to desire and pursuit of self-interest. Clinging to unpleasant feelings leads to withdrawal, aggression or other forms of reactivity. Clinging to in-between feelings leads to ignorance and blindness to the way things are.

Recognise the difference between spiritual feelings that contribute to ethics and wisdom and worldly feelings where ego interests are paramount.

Realise That where perceptions and feelings have no foothold.

Insight Meditation on States of Mind

Be mindful and conscious of the Here and Now.

Be aware of the state of mind, calm or restless, focussed or wandering, clear or cloudy, alert or dull, without desire or with desire, positive or negative, grounded or flighty.

Witness the state of mind rising, staying and passing in consciousness. Notice times of pure observation of the state of mind and times of being lost in the state of mind.

Regard any state of mind as the opportunity for "self" learning and insight into inner life.

Witness a thought, opinion or judgement just as that. Know the difference between thoughts supported with wisdom and unwholesome thoughts.

See the mind as belonging to a process. Observe the presence of the motivation and use of "I" and "my" in the unfolding states of mind.

Be aware that an experience forms through conditions, not through choices.

Be aware of the inter-dependence of events, feelings, perceptions and consciousness forming the state of the mind.

Learn to explore the depths of meditation and religious experiences. See such experiences as the opportunity for insight and realisation.

By not holding onto any experience the heart-mind does not become the centre of existence. Realise liberation and the free mind.

Insight Meditation on Choiceless Awareness

Know that contact with the world through sight, sound, smell, taste and touch. Experience the senses without desire to fix or substantiate anything.

Abide with choiceless awareness though experiencing a deep sense of intimacy with all things.

Neither indulging in memories, nor pursing future dreams, nor looking for something to happen in the present.

Not choosing to focus on the personal or impersonal, unity or diversity, the static or evolution - since all positions refer to sentient and insentient objects.

Allow one's whole being to rest in this choiceless awareness.

Allow claims and possessiveness over existence to fade away.

Permit a palpably transforming silence and stillness to pervade one's being.

In this choiceless awareness, there is nowhere to go, to stay or to come from. Embrace the three fields of time, past, present and future.

Realise the Emptiness of claims on things, experience or on relative or Ultimate Truth.

In this receptivity, regard any liberating insight into the Ultimate Truth as expressions of Truth rather than fruits of "self" effort.

Loving Kindness Meditation (Metta)

Be relaxed and comfortable. Close the eyes and access a warm, caring, loving heartfulness towards life.

Be aware of the absence of ill will, desire to hurt or hate in the heart so that one experiences an authentic kindness and compassion towards one and all.

Generate this warmth to those who are in the immediate vicinity and far away.

Develop this meditation so that kindness of the heart becomes firm and steady despite the vicissitudes of existence.

May my teachers, community, loved ones, friends and contacts be free from suffering and pain.
May my mother and father be free from suffering and pain.
May my brothers, sisters and relatives be free from suffering and pain.
May people appreciate their inter-dependence with each other and their environment.
May animals and creatures in the earth, on the ground, in the air and under water live in safety and security.
May I abide with a warm heart, clear mind and be free from pain.
May my daily activities through body, speech, heart and mind contribute to the contentment, healing and insights of others.
May I find the resources for the welfare of others. May I be willing to take risks for their well-being.
May all beings know happiness.
May all beings know love.
May all beings be wisely supported.
May all beings be free.
May all beings experience awakening.

Meditation on the Buddha

Read slowly and mindfully to allow yourself to absorb whatever in the following meditation seems appropriate. The purpose of this meditation is to break free from the mindset that the any waves in the mind of another states who they really are. The world appears flat but that does not make it flat. A person appears up and down but that does not make them up and down.

If we look deeply enough, we will know that the true nature of a person abides without measure, without limitations. To see this is to see a Buddha. After this mediation on a Buddha, be still and quiet for several minutes.

Just as the sun shines, despite the clouds
So all beings are enlightened, despite the issues
Let me acknowledge this
All beings are liberated
Let me acknowledge this
All beings are ground in the Truth
Let me witness this
Everybody is a Buddha
Let me be respectful to everybody
Let me not be deceived by the superficial conditioning of others
So that I have no doubt that greed, hate and delusion remains empty of substance
So that I have no doubt that boredom, anxiety and fear stand empty of reality
Let myself not be deceived with such impressions
May I end preoccupation with such mind states of others
May I see the abiding Buddha nature in everybody
Even in times of difficulty and disagreement
May I realise that all beings share the same undivided nature
May my communications and actions reveal this understanding
Just as the Buddha is revealed equally everywhere
May I be mindful of the world
As a Buddha abides mindfully of the world.

A Daily Meditation

Look around your home and find what you feel is the best spot for regular meditation.
Place the items that you feel would be supportive for that place. A mat, sacred object, a flower, a candle, a small bell or just a chair, or meditation cushion. To begin the meditation, play some meditative music. Read out loud from a book that you appreciate
Play an extract from a taped talk on meditation or spiritual teachings
Bring your mindfulness to the breathing. Practice initially for 15 minutes and extend your daily meditation times. Up to 45 minutes.
You can practice once a day, twice a day, morning and evening.

I am breathing in
I am breathing out
I am breathing in a long breath
I am breathing out a long breath
I am aware of the breath as it comes into my body
I am aware of the breath as it leaves my body
I am aware of the in breath as it enters my nose
I am aware of the in-breath as it goes into my lungs
I am aware of the finish of the in breath
I am aware of the out breath as it departs from my nose
I am aware of the out breath as it departs from my lungs
I am aware of the finish of the out breath
I am aware of the moment (s) before the next in breath comes in
I am aware of the coming of the breath
I am aware of the going of the breath

Meditation on Compassion

I do not have to look very far to seeing suffering in this world.
I know that pity is not the same as compassion.
Compassion calls me to respond, to offer words, gestures, gifts.
Compassion demands something from my love, from concern.
I cannot ignore what I know.
I can only respond as best I can.
I am not perfect.
I am not a Buddha or a Christ
Yet, I can respond.
I can offer something
I can share something
I can express something that reveals a compassionate concern.
I know that my gestures for others is as nothing
Compared to the suffering in the world.
Yet, I act anyway,
Never expecting anything in return
Knowing that it is a small token
But these gestures of love
Regularly expressed reveal my humanity
Take the power out of selfishness
In addition, show that we are all connected
All in this web of life together.

Meditation on Absence of

Sometimes we get stuck with views about ourselves that are untrue, unfair and as a result we place ourselves in the worst possible light. Others also do that when they make harsh generalisations about us. This meditation serves to remind us of the absence of views manifesting towards others or ourselves as "always," "never" "only" etc. This meditation makes clear to us the lack of inherent truth to the tendency to put others or ourselves down due to identifying ourselves with such thoughts or thoughts of others. We become much more mindful of bare actuality. We practice these meditations when there is nothing in particular going on in our mind.

Right now, I experience the absence of any anger
Right now, I am not caught up in the judgmental mind
Right now, I am not blaming myself
Right now, I am not blaming anyone else
Right now, I know the impermanence of my negative views
Right now, I know the impermanence of the harsh critic within myself
Right now, I know how false it is to say "always" "never" "only"
I am mindful of the absence of unpleasant states of mind
I am mindful of not being in conflict with others or myself
I am mindful of the absence of intense thoughts and ideas
I am mindful of feeling cool inside and not burning up
I am mindful of the absence of fixations about anything
I am mindful of the absence of trying to use my will power
I am mindful that this troublesome mind state
Came and went like a dream.

Meditation on Happyness

There are meditations for each chapter. Sit with a straight back in a quiet place. Slowly and mindfully read the meditation and then spend several minutes silently absorbing the reading. Then read slowly through again at the end of the meditation. Repeat as often as it feels appropriate.

Give 20 minutes to this meditation and then gradually expand the period of time over days or weeks. You can always tape this meditation or any of the others and listen to it in formal meditation times. You can adapt the language of these meditations to suit what feels appropriate to you. Always make sure that you use precise language, not emotive language that can work against insight and understanding.

I am relaxing on the inbreath. I am relaxing on the outbreath
I am extra mindful of my outbreath when my mind easily wanders
I am relaxing on the outbreath
I am staying upright while allowing the mind to rest in the body
I am allowing the brain cells to become quiet to feel harmony
Of the mind with the body.
I feel happy that I am mindfully breathing in
I feel happy that I am mindfully breathing out
I feel happy to have this opportunity to be still
I feel happy to have this opportunity to be silent
I feel happy to have this opportunity to be here and now
I feel happy to be alive.
Right now, there is nothing that I want
Right now, there is nothing that I have to pursue
Right now, I am happy to breathe in
Right now, I am happy to breathe out.
Right now, there is nothing to add to this moment
Right now, there is nothing to subtract from this moment
Right now, I am happy breathing in
Right now, I am happy breathing out.

Meditation on the Dharma

The Dharma refers to teachings and practices that point directly to an enlightened life. The teachings give support to all through providing resources to transform our lives. To see the Dharma is to see the Buddha. This meditation reminds us of the importance of the Dharma for our daily lives and of contact with those (called the Sangha) who practise the Dharma in order to live a noble way of life. Read this meditation on the Dharma, reflect on one's commitment to the Dharma, and spend several minutes in silence, mindful of the Dharma of the here and now.

Nobody will enlighten my life
I cannot enlighten my life
A Buddha cannot enlighten my life
A Buddha can only point out the way
Through the jungle of confused ideas
And troublesome mind states.
Only the Dharma can enlighten my life
Therefore I prostrate before the Dharma
Make myself a servant of the Dharma.
I can only pay respect to the Dharma
Through pure and clear activities of
My body, speech and mind.
I practise to dissolve the differences
Through notions of superior and inferior Dharmas
So that the Dharma and the Buddha abide
Inseparably like honey and sweetness.
I practise the Dharma through morality,
That means non-harming and non-exploitation
Of others and of myself, too.
I practise the Dharma through mindful
And meditating on things that matter
I practise the Dharma through living wisely,
Uprooting the force of selfish desire
Embracing all that enters into my life with clarity
And allowing the Dharma to be my guide and refuge
For to follow these important principles is to
Abide among the Buddhas.

Part 1 | Part 2



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ruleBe sure to choose what you believe and know why you believe it, because if you don't choose your beliefs, you may be certain that some belief, and probably not a very creditable one, will choose you.” -- Robertson Davies (The Deptford Trilogy)

Keywords: meditation, meditation transcendental, meditation technique, guided meditation, meditation stress, daily meditation, buddhist meditation, meditation zen, meditation vipassana, insight meditation, meditation mindfulness, meditation practice

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Christopher Titmuss, a former Buddhist monk, is co-founder of Gaia House, an international retreat centre in Devon, England.

A senior Dharma teacher in the West, he is the author of numerous books including Light on Enlightenment, An Awakened Life and Transforming Our Terror.

He lives in Totnes, Devon, England.
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by Bodhipaksa

"Stress relief in a jewel box. This is hands-down the best meditation CD I've come across. It's not tarted up with hokey sound effects and New Age music but is simply the teacher's (very pleasant) voice, guiding you to calm and relaxation. His approach is highly accessible for Westerners and really taught me how to meditate." -- Listener from Del Mar, CA USA

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