The Benefits of Guided Meditation
'By the practice of meditation, you will find that you are carrying within your heart a portable paradise'
There are many scientifically conducted studies about the benefits of meditation. In Guided Meditation, sometimes known as Guided Visualisation, the Meditation Leader literally guides you through a "story" with an introduction, middle (where the "work" of the meditation is done), and an ending. This can be easier than trying to meditate in an approach of 'thinking of nothing' for 10 minutes and it also can have a more varied and wider application. For example, rehearsing for an event, for example a job interview, the meditation leader will guide you through a visualisation of the event, surroundings, feelings etc from a positive view. The saying 'what the brain can conceive, it can achieve' is true and widely used in sports psychology...rehearsing a scenario in a positive way means it is easier for the brain to respond positively when the situation actually occurs. Visualising and creating a memory is as good to the brain as an actual memory and when rehearsed from a positive outcome then the brain responds again in the same manner when faced with that situation in reality.
In scientific medicine the effect of the placebo is recognised and accounted for in scientific studies. The placebo has no physiological effect on the body, but the patient is not told they have received the placebo and the simple act of belief sometimes has the same effect as the medicine. This is a very similar process at work, as the brain believes it is receiving healing and the body reacts accordingly.
Visualisation is the ability to use your imagination and your feelings to energise an idea and gradually draw it into your reality. It can be used to build confidence or to enhance wellbeing or to visualise a successful outcome. Contrary to belief, you do not need to see vivid pictures, some people may instead get a sense or a strong feeling when visualising.