At one time, a visit to any bookstore would reveal books on meditation housed amongst shelves of alternative religions, later being classified as belonging to alternative therapies. More recently, a trip to those same bookstores would probably reveal meditation being cross-referenced amongst the first two as well as being included amongst self-help books and books on exercise and well-being. This clearly shows how mainstream meditation is becoming. Since guided meditation CDs and classes with live teachers began to de-mystify meditation, it is being seen far more as an exercise in healthy living and relaxation. However, there are still many purists who simply cannot accept that guided meditation is a valid method of achieving the state of consciousness from which meditation is a natural outcome.

Firstly, many of these purists give convoluted arguments about meditation being an individual pursuit, somehow implying that guided meditation is seen as something of a team sport. Can you feel your jaw dropping? Another excuse for decrying guided meditation is the implication that people get together to meditate together in an attempt to gain a deeper connection with them. This is an argument that seems to be skimming across the surface of a lack of understanding in the scientific nature of what meditation actually is and for the reasons why guided meditation is becoming so popular. Just because classes, led by a facilitator in guided meditation, are becoming popular does not mean that people are attempting to ‘connect’ with the person sitting on the mat next to them. It is simply a more economical way to attend a class on guided meditation in order to learn how to meditate effectively, nothing more and nothing less!

Another argument that detracts from the value of guided meditation is that meditation is a solitary activity where you individually reach out into the inner recesses of your brain to achieve an inner peace that you were unable to access any other way. But, the argument goes, having a teacher there giving you instructions each step of the way turns this very individual and personal experience into one that can only be interpreted as an interpersonal activity. The implication from this argument is that, by allowing the facilitator to instruct you in the intricacies of guided meditation then you are also giving them permission to show control over those inner recesses.

It transpires that many of these purists interpret these step-by-step instructions as the facilitator attempting to provide you with psychotherapy because the facilitator might ask you questions along the way. Interpreted correctly, however, those questions are quite valid because guided meditation leads the novice to think of a single thought and focus on that. The question is not relevant any more than the answer is: it is learning how to hold onto the thought that is where the facilitator is going with this. Another argument detracting from the validity of guided meditation is the use of imagery and affirmation.

While these are both valid techniques for teaching meditation, those who object to their use misinterpret the motives of the facilitator in using these techniques, suggesting that these techniques offer more in the way of hypnotherapy than in teaching meditation. Nevertheless, it is quite clear that, regardless of approval or not,guided meditation has put meditation techniques within the reach of many people who might not, otherwise, have had the opportunity to learn such a healthy and beneficial way to relax.

Author's Bio: 

The Silva Life Method has assisted more than 6 million people, including graduates from professional and scientific fields to achieve positive changes in their emotional wellbeing, relationships, careers, health and finances. This method has made a difference to people in 110 countries. To find out more about what the Silva Life Method can do for you, visit:
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