Are Guided Meditations Right for Me?
I lived in a space retreat in High school.
Hold on, I know it sounds a little nerdy but I think you can relate...
I bought a mini planetarium, turned off my lights, and listened to relaxing music. It was a way to escape (you remember how hard high school was, right?). I was able to imagine I was floating faaaaaaar from earth where nothing could bother me.
It really relaxed me.
Then in my twenties, I experienced a visual guided meditation. Wow! That was amazing! But it was a one-time thing. There was no internet at the time and I could not find any more and then I came back to my Christian faith and lumped them in with the New Age :-(
When I discovered that the Bible talks about meditation, and part of the work I do is mind renewal and healing, the Lord brought back the idea of guided meditations. So I found some Christian ones on YouTube. But they were not quite what I was looking for. So I created my own! More on that below....
What do you think of when you hear “meditation”?
Yogi's chanting “oooommmm?” New Age crystal wearing tree huggers loving mother earth? I used to be one (well, I am still a tree hugger and love the earth and all things in it that God created)!
And yes, there are plenty of those precious people. But did you know that the Holy Bible instructs us to meditate?
What exactly is meditation? Dictionary.com defines meditation as: “Continued or extended thought; reflection; and contemplation and devout religious contemplation or spiritual introspection.”
Most importantly, what does the Bible say about meditation? The Bible instructs and mentions “meditation” 17 times. The Bible is very clear on what we are to meditate on....God's word!
There are different ways to meditate and I will discuss that in another blog post. For today, we are honing in on my favorite way to meditate....the guided way.
5 Ways Guided Meditations Can Help You.
This is not just about healing—this is about connecting with our Lord and Savior. This is about learning that we cannot live well outside of God. This is about relationship.
So how can meditation help you?
1. You want to grow in your relationship with God/Jesus/Holy Spirit
John 15:13 says “Greater love has no one than this than to lay down his life for his friends.”
Can you wrap your head around that one? He died for you. For me. I don't know about you, but I want to know more about Jesus and His ways. I want to be in His crowd.
Side note: We recently visited Sedona. There is a church there called the Chapel of the Holy Cross. Inside is a cross with a life-size Jesus hanging from it. It knocked me to my knees. I was able to get a glimpse of what the disciples witnessed seeing Jesus hanging there. It was profound and humbling.
2. You want to rest with Jesus.
Jesus says in Matthew 11:28, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.”
Life is hard and heavy at times. When we can go to Jesus to rest and give Him our burdens we can receive tremendous peace.
3. You want to get rid of the false beliefs you have about yourself.
Proverbs 23:7 says “For as he thinks in his heart, so is he.”
We all believe things that are not true about ourselves. We live out those false beliefs such as insecurity, not liking who we are, that we have nothing to offer, we don't belong, and that we are not loved, etc. We need to receive the truth about who we are in Christ.
This is a common theme in inner healing sessions. Healing aside, when we can spend time with the Lord to learn more of who He is and who we are in Him, we can start living in the truth about how much we are loved and cared for.
4. You want to be connected to God/Jesus/Holy Spirit.
Jesus says in John 15:4, “Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.”
Sometimes we choose to disconnect to God. When we are disconnected, God honors our decision of free will and He allows us to go on our own. It is lonely. Being reconnected to God can bring much peace and feelings of security.
5. You want to renew your minds.
Romans 12:2 says “Do not conform to the pattern of the world but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is—His good, pleasing and perfect will.”
What is mind renewal? The bible does not tell us in a step by step manner, which I think is really neat. That way God can direct us in different ways on how to do this.
It would make sense that renewing our minds would get us out of old unhealthy thinking into God-centered thinking. Christian counselors and prayer minsters all have different opinions as to the approach, but the common thread is that it involves the Holy Spirit giving us truth (John 16:13).
Dr. Caroline Leaf talks about the science behind renewing our minds in her book, Switching On Your Brain. I highly recommend it if you are interested in learning how this works.
The more you focus on the truth that God brings you, the stronger the neural pathways in your brain will be developed and you will live your life based on truth rather than false beliefs. Her method takes some time, but it does work. Inner healing and guided meditations can help this process along much faster (IMHO).
How does one meditate? Well, there are different ways. Many ways in fact, but the common denominator is Philippians 4:8. Which says:
Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.
I created something a little different from what I was finding in the marketplace. Because first, my mind could not calm down enough to focus. Second, I found it very hard to listen to meditate by listening to just scripture. That may work for some people, but I needed something to grab my attention, slow down my brain, and lead me to Jesus. I am just wired in my own unique way.
I made own! They are a combination of deep relaxation mixed with a story-like experience with God/Jesus/Holy Spirit.
I call them Guided Experiential Meditations or GEMs for short (cute, right?). I take you to a place of relaxation first so your mind can be calm and you can go on a journey.
These GEM's will help you calm your mind, take you to a new place, connect with God, and receive a little emotional healing. These are meant to help you in your walk with God. The scripts I created are all based on scripture.
As a Christ-follower, I want to grow. I am sure you do, too. To grow, we need to tend to the emotions of our heart, our “issues,” burdens, and wounds that we carry. Jesus tells us to give our burdens to Him. He tells us to renew our minds. My GEM's are intended to help you in these areas.
Part of my life's purpose is to help people walk in freedom. The freedom that Jesus gave us when He died for us. The freedom that my clients crave when they come in for counseling. So I have created my A Journey with Jesus GEM's to help more people walk in freedom. Here is a link to my first GEM.
I hope you like it.
So, are guided meditations right for you?
I think they are right for most people, but only you can decide for yourself. Try one out and see. You may be pleasantly surprised.
May you be blessed in renewing your mind and growing in your relationship with our precious and loving Creator!
Cheering you on!