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Why Meditate?

The practice of meditation is simple and accessible to everyone. Meditation can reduce stress, increase clarity and focus, and facilitate an overall sense of happiness and well being. There have been many medical studies performed which demonstrate with a regular meditation practice, we can actually create new neurological responses in our brains.

There are many different types of meditation. Some examples are:

Guided – Led by someone else, either by listening to a recording or in person; may be practiced in groups, such as during a yoga class. Find a comfortable position where the spine can be long, the hips can be even (comfortable seat with or without support for example), allow the eyes to close, & focus the mind on the voice of your meditation guide. Allow yourself to be guided.

Breath-Awareness – Find a comfortable position where the spine can be long, the hips can be even (comfortable seat with or without support for example), allow the eyes to close, & focus the mind on the inhalation & exhalation of the breath. Perhaps count silently to yourself with each inhale and exhale, noticing if one is longer than the other & which one is longer than the other. Without making any changes, without any judgment, just notice.

Mindfulness – Used to create awareness and insight by practicing focused attention, observing, and accepting all that arises – without judgment.

Visualization – Find a comfortable position where the spine can be long, the hips can be even (comfortable seat with or without support for example), allow the eyes to close, & focus the mind on a desired outcome. For example, a visualization meditation might focus on health with the visualization that of the healing process, in stages, until the ultimate visualization of being fully healed.  What does this outcome look like to you? What does this outcome feel like to you? Visualize yourself achieving this desired outcome. Perhaps thinking of the statement, “I am so happy and grateful now that . . . (insert verbalization of desired outcome).”

Mantra (japa) – Find a comfortable position where the spine can be long, the hips can be even (comfortable seat with or without support for example), allow the eyes to close, & focus the mind on a word or short phrase with symbolic meaning to you – or perhaps no meaning at all. When the mind drifts to other thoughts (it will – & that’s okay!), simply return the mind’s focus to the repetition of the mantra you selected.

Metta (loving-kindness) – Designed to cultivate four qualities of love:  friendliness (metta), compassion (karuna), appreciative joy (mudita), and equanimity (upekkha). Friendliness (metta) is expressed as genuine compassion with the intention of surrounding oneself and others with loving kindness.

Transcendental (TM) – Mantra based, effortless, effective https://www.tm.org/

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