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September 2017

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Yesterday was a somewhat stressful day. On top of ongoing current events, it was just hectic, full of meetings and small fires to put out. About half an hour before bed, I picked out a guided meditation from Spotify's playlist of guided meditations. I picked a "body scan" meditation, which is typically done lying down, so I lay down in bed. I woke up about 30 minutes later, having slept through most of the meditation, but feeling more relaxed than I've felt in days.

I figure I'm not the only one who can use a little relaxation, so I thought I'd share a few of my favorite guided meditations.

Guided Body Scan Meditation by Mark Williams. This was the one I listened to last night. Strictly speaking, I'm not sure how it works as a meditation, but it's excellent for relaxation and falling asleep. You can find it on Spotify, on Youtube, or buy the book from Amazon/Audible.

Banishing Depression by The Honest Guys. The Honest Guys are a little more woo-woo than I usually go for, but their guided meditations are fun because they really take you on a journey - you're usually asked to visualize yourself in some place, and very vividly imagine the sensations of being there. (They have a whole set of guided meditations centered around locations in The Lord of the Rings for example.) In this guided meditations, you visualize handing over bundles of negative thoughts to a spiritual guardian, who crumbles them into dust. I now sometimes use this as a visualization technique even outside of meditation for dealing with an anxious thought that I'm having trouble letting go of - I imagine wrapping it in butcher paper, labeling it with a Sharpie, and handing it over to my guardian, who looks at it, says, "Nope, you don't need that," and tosses it over his shoulder. (My spiritual guardian looks like a Finnish heavy metal singer. I find this mildly embarrassing and yet entirely predictable.) You can find this meditation on Spotify and on Youtube.

Guided Meditation I - Breathing Calming Body & Mind by Erica Rayner-Horn. This is a really good basic guided mindfulness meditation. It's great if you're a beginner or just want a simple meditation experience. You can find it on Spotify, on Youtube, or buy the CD/MP3 from Amazon.
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