What is meditation?
Meditation has been practiced for thousands of years, so there are countless variations and definitions of the practice. Most forms of meditation offer relaxation – primarily through a quieting of the mind – and create a “pause” from the rapid pace of our life to let our mind and body “catch up,” rebalance, and re-center.
Some meditations rely on complete silence, some employ the repetition of specific words or “mantras,” some offer guided imagery and/or affirmations. Some techniques focus on specific energy centers or “chakras,” while others utilize sound (specific tones, rhythms/beats, melody), light and color. Some meditative practices take a modern, “scientific” approach, while other meditations have very ancient roots, rituals, and religious traditions. And there are many more varieties and combinations.
Some meditations focus primarily on relaxation and the well documented health benefits associated with this (e.g., stress release, improved concentration, increased well-being). Other meditations, like Meditations2Go audio meditations, go beyond relaxation to help us reconnect with the deeper clarity, power, peace and wholeness within each of us.
What’s the best meditation for me?
It’s hard to imagine any of the wide variety of meditations that would not be beneficial. Of these varied types of meditations, the “best” type is simply the one you find most beneficial … the type that best matches you. So do experiment … and trust your feelings and instincts.
It’s also worth noting that though we may begin meditation for one reason (stress release, improved concentration and focus, deeper rest, etc.), we may soon discover other and more profound benefits (inner peace and balance, stronger sense of self and purpose, physical and emotional healing, etc.).
What kind of meditation does Meditations2Go offer?
Meditations2Go audio meditations certainly fall into the “guided” variety … and they certainly offer deep relaxation, complete rebalancing, and a welcomed soothing for the mind and body. They do, however, go well beyond this to help you discover and access your abilities to replenish your own strength, to bring natural and powerful healing where it is needed within you, to find your clarity, and to awaken your natural joy.
Perhaps most importantly, Meditations2Go help you reconnect with your own “inner” guidance and integrate your own “higher knowing” … so that what you do, what you create, and how you use your new strength and power truly support you and your life. [For more information, see Our Approach]
Are Meditations2Go audio meditations religious?
No … nor are they meant to replace or conflict with traditional religious beliefs and practices. The Meditations2Go meditations do, however, have a “spiritual” component, in the sense of “mind, body, spirit” – and are meant to address your deeper nature. The Meditations2Go audio meditations also make references to “life-force energy,” to “chakras” (or energy centers), and to “energy fields” – as do other types of meditation, and other practices like Tai Chi and Qigong.
Meditations2Go meditations do not make references to “God,” though they do reference “higher-source” knowing (your “higher-source” knowing) and may be suggestive of a connection to a “universal” or “divine” light.
How often should I meditate?
Meditation should not be or feel like an “obligation” – though, needless to say, you will have to make time to do it. (Also see next question.) Once a week is a good start. If you can meditate more often, all the better.
Doing a “brief” morning meditation can be extremely beneficial, as it sets the right tone for your day. The morning is a very powerful time, and even spending five or ten minutes in meditation can establish an inner balance that will support you throughout the day. It’s also an ideal time to align yourself and your energy with your intentions, your power, and the higher support for what you wish to create that day.
Likewise, a brief meditation in the evening, or at the end of your work-day, helps you rebalance from the rigors of the day. Over the course of a day, these demands (work, school, family responsibilities, etc.) can gradually "draw" us out of balance and out of our “center.” A brief meditation helps us recover this balance and re-center. It also gives our mind, body, and emotions an interval for some much-needed rest.
How do I know if I am meditating correctly?
The first rule of meditation, at least for Meditations2Go meditations, is: You cannot do it wrong.
These meditations are designed, first and foremost, to return you to you. And you cannot experience you (or your process) incorrectly. In fact, trying to “do it right” – efforting – is really the only obstacle to meditation. So when you find yourself “working at it” or struggling … that’s simply your signal to pause, return to your breathing for a moment, and let this impulse go. Also see the next few questions.
Meditation helps us “release” – release our stress and heaviness, release our mental “chatter,” release our physical and emotional tension, release our fear and judgment. Understand that release is not something we “do.” Holding is something we do. Holding takes effort. Release happens naturally when we let go of our holding – when we cease to effort. (In fact, one of the very powerful longer-term benefits of meditation is that we will integrate this art of “release” into our daily lives … so that we end up “accruing” less stress, less heaviness, less emotional tension, and less fear as we move through our days.)
And as a follow-up to the previous question, if doing your daily or weekly meditation begins to feel like an “obligation,” you’ve likely let your meditation become “work.” You’ve strayed into that “do it right” mode. Meditation should not be hard or heavy. And it’s not something you need to worry about “perfecting.” Meditation should be, first and foremost, your time for peace and lightness: a time in which you have permission to rest, and a space in which you feel safe to release and open.
Certainly, if you’ve had a stressful day, it may take some time to relax into this meditative state. So do have some patience with this. But again, the lighter you are and the less you “work” at this, the sooner and easier this sense of balance and peace will come.
Does Meditation “work” right away?
Yes absolutely … and no. Every meditation will almost certainly provide some immediate relaxation and relief from stress, fatigue, and emotional tension. In any given meditation, however, your experience can range from profound and wonderful (in terms of the depth of nurturing, clarity, release, and healing you find) to simply calming and balancing. And while one day your meditation may be incredibly vivid and profound, the very next day you may struggle a bit. So, be prepared for this.
This “range of experience” is difficult to explain, except to say that meditation is an extremely “organic” process. Because it aligns you with your own “higher” energy and knowing, it will provide what you need and what you’re ready for at any given time. And this will vary.
A key factor in this variation is that, over time, meditation heals and empowers at deeper and higher levels, so there will be peaks and plateaus (… but you’re actually always moving forward). In this regard, the meditations work subtly, but very powerfully with regular practice and over the longer run.
Beyond this, understand that “expectation” can be a bit of a hindrance to meditation. When we are “looking” for a particular experience or outcome, we tend to “close” our energy. Expecting, like efforting, engages the mind and can keep us from the experience we actually need. As we stated elsewhere, it’s often best simply to “open” to the energy of your meditation.
Can I use a particular Meditations2Go meditation more than once?
Yes. Absolutely. Each and every Meditations2Go audio meditation is designed and constructed first and foremost to restore your fundamental balance, calm, strength, and alignment. And all guide you through deep relaxation, energy clearing, healing, and source connection. So you may use any of the meditations for your occasional or regular ongoing meditation practice.
Each individual Meditations2Go meditation also offers a particular emphasis (see individual descriptions), incorporating meditative energies and exercises tailored to specific challenges (e.g., “emotional release,” “creating,” “healing self-esteem,” etc.). We plan to add to the selection on a regular basis, to cover more of these “challenges,” and to give you some variety.
Sometimes I don’t have enough to time to do the entire meditation. Can I do just part of it?
Yes, absolutely. While Meditations2Go audio meditations range from 25-35 minutes in length, the first 8-12 minutes or so of each is designed to establish a firm basic balance, calm, and energy alignment. Meditations2Go meditations are consistently constructed in this way simply because this “foundation” is necessary to properly support the higher-, deeper-level meditative techniques that follow.
Fortunately, this first 8-12 minutes also provides an excellent “foundation” for you (and your day) as a stand-alone meditation when you’re short on time or just need a quick “balancing.” You’ll need to find your own logical ending point in each meditation. And, if you do end the meditation early, you must build in a couple of minutes to “return” gently and fully from the meditation.
Sometimes I can’t follow the imagery in the meditations. Am I doing it wrong?
As for following the guided imagery, you may find some colors and images easier to “see” than others. This too will become more fluid and natural for you over time. But if it’s not there, please do not “struggle” to see or imagine it. You’re not doing it wrong if every detail is not clear. And, again, your key to finding and following the energy of the meditation is in relaxing your impulse to effort and do it right. Try not to “judge” your experience at any given point: be patient and let the experience unfold.
Having said this, if after giving Meditations2Go audio meditations some time, the “guided” imagery (or any other aspect of the Meditations2Go meditations) just doesn’t feel right to you, try a different kind of meditation. There are many. You might also find a more active meditation-like experience – like Yoga, Tai Chi, Qigong, etc. – more to your liking.
I find sometimes that I get caught up in my thoughts during the meditations. What then?
You should expect this to some extent; more so if you’re new to meditation or if you’re particularly stressed at the time. Don’t let it worry you. Part of the normal process of meditation is allowing your thoughts to “run themselves out.” Your mind is a thinking instrument; this is not a flaw. Even if you were a “master” at meditation, if you use your mind, your mind will need time to “wind down.” The less you worry about this process (worry is actually the mind “at work”), the sooner your mind will rest and recede out of your way.
Focusing lightly on your breathing is a natural mechanism to “shift” you away from your thoughts – hence the emphasis on “breathing” at the start of each meditation and throughout. (“Centering” in our breathing, in meditation practice, also helps us return to our healthy, natural body/energy rhythms.) If thoughts intrude at any time, relax and return your focus to your breathing. If you can, try to treat these thoughts as separate from you: seeing them as clouds moving freely across the sky is a very effective imagery. Don’t attach to them. Just breathe and let your thoughts move lightly on their own way. (Also see next question.)
I feel as though my mind keeps getting in the way of my meditation, especially when I’m worried about something. What can I do?
Again, this difficulty will lessen as you meditate more. Our minds are "on" constantly, so it may take time before we begin to feel some "separation" from this constant stream of our thoughts. But this will come. Again, the key is being patient and not fighting with your mind and your thoughts. (Also see previous question.)
If a thought or worry happens to be weighing heavily upon your mind when you begin a meditation, let this meditation be an opportunity not to “escape” from or “shut off” this thought, but to lighten around it. In other words, use the meditation simply to release some of the heaviness – the worry or fear or pressure or perfectionism surrounding this particular “matter.” None of this heaviness helps you. On the contrary, by releasing it, you restore balance to your mind and free up more of your “knowing” to understand and address the matter more effectively.
And just to clarify … our minds and our meditation should not be at odds. Meditation should support every faculty and strength within us. And our mind is a great strength. In relaxing our thoughts through meditation, we are not so much getting our mind “out of the way” as much as we are giving our mind its much needed time to rest and recover. Yes, releasing from our “mind chatter” certainly plays a key role in our meditation, as this “noise” can distract us from our deeper, more centered awareness. But doing so also gives the mind a chance to settle so that it can more fully integrate the information we have gathered – and draw upon additional information that we may not “consciously” know we’ve gathered.
And again, by helping relieve heaviness and worry from our thoughts – which burden and constrain our mind – meditation helps us and our minds see more clearly and creatively. Indeed, meditation – at least, most meditation, and certainly every Meditations2Go meditation – incorporates techniques that help “connect” the mind with our other faculties for knowing: the knowing of our emotional and physical bodies, the knowing of our heart, the knowing of our higher self. And this “integration” of knowledge will prove very powerful in our lives.
I sometimes just fall asleep soon after I start listening to the meditations?
This is not uncommon. As mentioned elsewhere in this section, Meditations2Go are designed to connect you with what you need at the moment. And sometimes what we need most – for our balance, clarity, and strength – is sleep. Having said this, if you meditate while lying down (on your bed, sofa, floor), you are very likely to fall asleep.
You should be comfortable when you meditate, but the strongly recommended posture is sitting in a chair with your back (reasonably) straight and upright (to keep your spine straight) and both your feet flat on the floor. Some prefer sitting on the floor, as they feel a more “grounding” connection with the earth; this is also fine. As for sitting “Lotus” style, if this is comfortable for you, by all means do so; but, it’s not required.
Sometimes I’m following the meditation just fine and then at some point I just “go away” … and come back later or right at the end of the meditation, not remembering what happened in between? What’s this about?
This also is not uncommon and may happen from time to time. In meditation we draw in energies we need – healing, peace, higher guidance – at various levels. As we move deeper into the meditation, we may reach a level where some aspect of our awareness would impede this needed energy. It may be physical or emotional tension that blocks an area where we need healing or rest. Often it’s information or knowing we need to integrate that simply can’t be filtered through our conscious mind. At such times, we may be “shifted” for a time out of consciousness (or “out of body”) so that we may receive this needed help or rest.
What’s the best "posture" for these meditations?
See answer to “I often just fall asleep soon after I start listening to the meditations” above.
Why the constant emphasis on “breathing”?
See answer to “I find sometimes that I get caught up in my thoughts. What then?” above.
What are "Energy Centers" or "Chakras" … and what if I don’t see them when I meditate?
The notion of “Chakras” is as ancient as meditation itself and also plays an integral role in “eastern” medicine and a variety of spiritual and healing disciplines. Consequently the exact nature of these “energy centers,” their respective roles, even their number and exact locations in the body (and beyond the body) can vary with traditions. Chakras are often represented as “wheels” upon which spiritual and/or life-force energy “turns” (from which the Sanskrit word “Chakra” derives), and together they form the central axis of the “etheric” body. Chakras can be associated individually with specific physiological functions and organs, with particular spiritual and emotional attributes and strengths, with particular colors, vibrations, sounds, visual patterns, etc.
The Chakra meditations incorporated into the Meditations2Go audio meditations do utilize many of these “associations” for specific healing, strengthening, clearing, and integration. You don’t, however, need to understand all the subtleties to receive the benefits. It’s really enough to know that these seven primary “energy centers” run from the base of your spine to the crown of your head. (See image.) And you don’t even need to memorize this, as the meditations walk you through step by step.
If you’re new to meditation, it may take some time before you actually “see” or sense your Chakras. As always, don’t worry and don’t struggle with it. Just try to follow the guided imagery, and be patient. Visualizing a turning “wheel” or a glowing sun at these locations in your body is a good approach.
If you’ve practiced a great deal of Chakra meditation and are accustomed to a different “model” or arrangement of Chakras from that described in the Meditations2Go meditations, by all means feel free to follow what feels right for you.
One more thing. Though Chakras are associated with your “etheric” body, with time you’ll discover that the guided Chakra exercises offer very practical benefits, with an extraordinary power to balance and enrich you physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually – all at the same time. Indeed, the Chakra exercises are a frequent element in Meditations2Go audio meditations, because they both align and integrate all the many levels and aspects of our strength, our knowing, and our nature.
What is the role of "light" and "energy" so frequently mentioned in the meditations? And what do the various colors signify?
“Light” and “energy” are terms used somewhat interchangeably in Meditations2Go audio meditations, referring to both vital and subtle life-force energies within us and available to us. Known by other names in other traditions (“ch’i,” “prana,” etc.), these energies are said to be carried and generated within all living things, within the earth, and within the higher realms. These energies are in one sense universal and all connected, and at the same time widely varied and each unique.
In the context of the Meditations2Go meditations, particular kinds, sources, and colors of light and energy are evoked for their special qualities. They may be drawn in or directed for their power in a particular kind or area of clearing, healing, strengthening, balancing, calming, etc. On an even more subtle level, various shades, vibrations, and modes of light and energy are used singly or in combination because our “energy” (in various states) naturally responds to these.
Through the meditations, we re-energize, re-balance, and awaken our own life-force energies. We also clear and strengthen the pathways through which this energy flows within us, around us, and to us – to support our wholeness, our clarity, and our creative power in the world.
Can I listen to Meditations2Go while I drive?
NO. Never listen to or play your meditations while in the car. Please read:
Disclaimer: Meditations2Go audio meditations are intended to encourage relaxation and may promote sleep in you and/or any person within hearing. Never listen to or play these recordings when you and/or any person within hearing are operating a vehicle or engaged in any activity that requires alertness, or at any time when becoming drowsy or falling asleep may endanger you or others. All content on this website, including texts, articles, and audio recordings, is general information, and is not intended to substitute for informed professional medical, psychiatric, psychological, or other professional advice.
If you have a meditation question that is not answered here ...
We welcome your questions! Please use the Comment form on the Contact page to pose your Meditation question.