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I’ve talked about the benefits of meditation over and over again. Mostly, because more and more studies are proving the impact of practicing this habit instead of medication, with zero negative side effects. However, finding the time to sit still and not think is harder than it sounds. While there are numerous techniques to achieve this blissful state, it’s important to find one that works best for you. I initially began my meditation journey using guided apps and progressed as necessary. This biggest obstacle for me was spending so much time searching for the perfect meditation that I ended up overwhelmed, frustrated and in the exact opposite position I wanted to be! Too many choices meant I wasn’t able to make a decision that fit what I needed. To ensure you don’t run into the same mental block, these are the top resources I’ve found that have allowed me to spend more time in peace than in distressing territory. Choose one and stick to it, for at least a week. If it fits you, awesome! Keep it up! If not, try another resources and go from there. Ultimately, I use a mix of guided meditation and recordings of ocean waves as a background to silent meditations. Whether you’re a beginner or meditating pro, there’s a resources to fit exactly what you need.
This app has been getting a lot of buzz recently. Headspace is perfect for those who have zero experience with mediation as it creates a plan just for you, starting in small time increments and extending them to fit your need. Their tagline says it all, it really is meditation made simple. However, this is one of the few resources that’s not free, ranging from around $5-$20 monthly memberships. But, if you think of all the new habits that meditation can help you maintain, it will more than pay for itself.
Similar to Headspace, Buddify is built for the working world for people who believe they have no time to just sit and exist. Rather than a monthly fee, you get all the bells and whistles for the cost of one morning latte. The meditation recordings are broken into 15 parts to fit your day, including “traveling, being online, taking a work break and going to sleep”, to cater your time to your life. Personally, I found this to be one of the most user-friendly apps, especially if you’re new to meditation and don’t want to fuss around looking for the perfect track.
How To Meditate
Brand new to this art form? This all-in guide will give you the information you need starting with the very basic. How should to sit? When’s a good time of day? This guide goes over the ins-and-outs of meditation and provides short one minute recordings to help you adjust to the practice. This is an awesome way to dip your toes in get comfy.
UCLA Mindful Awareness Research Center
This free resource offers a variety of meditations in varying lengths, from five minutes all the way up to 20 minutes. While there are a limited number to choose from, they offer a consistent practice and allows you to spend more time actually meditating than fussing around trying to find the perfect track (guilty as charged).
Weekly Podcast at the Hammer
Connected with the UCLA Mindful Awareness Research Center noted above, the MARC MARC holds a free, drop-in, 30-minute guided meditation session at UCLA’s Hammer Museum. Can’t make it in person? No worries. The podcasts can be downloaded or streamed at your convenience. Each week has a different theme, and usually includes some introductory comments, a guided meditation, some silent practice time, and closing comments.
Do Yoga With Me
This free resource offers more beyond the doors of meditation. Interested in other relaxation techniques? Ever thought of dabbling in yoga nidra? This is your go-to for all things centering and mindfulness. Mediation is just the beginning.
Types of Meditation
Sometimes it’s easy to get caught up in a person’s voice or the background music in a track, making it infinitely harder to find clarity. If a recording is not your thing, this site provides written explanations of different types of meditation, form body scans to love and kindness, that you can read through and then perform during your own practice. This works best if you have experience in meditation and are able to recall the details needed to elevate your mind.
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If you get bored easily, Tara Brach offers hundreds of guided meditations on numerous topics. The Compass of Our Hearts, Letting Thought Clouds Come and Go, and Sitting Like a Mountain are just a few of the recordings available,
Her site is best if you want lots of options to pick and choose.
Insight Meditation Society
If you’re a podcast enthusiast, this site is best for you. Along with guided meditations, this site offers talks on the benefits and purpose of meditation. If you’re still unsure on whether or not to start your practice, this site will give you just the boost you need to find a routine that fits you best.
The Chopra Center
Work best with others? Along with guided practices, The Chopra Center offers the opportunity to join a “community of like-minded individuals for a weekend of relaxation and renewal”. While meditation practices are unique to each person, a community to turn to can help keep you consistent and dedication to bliss time.
Do you meditate? What resource speaks to you the most?