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DIY Guided Meditation Audio

You may be familiar with the concept of guided meditations, during which a voice (live or recorded) helps you get into the proper state of mind. Some people find this continual guidance very helpful, especially if they have had difficulties with maintaining concentration during their sessions. Perhaps you have considered trying this, but have you thought about making your own guided meditation audio recordings? That's what this page is about.

Before we get into how to make your own, lets look at what a traditional guided meditation recording has on it. Normally you listen while seated in a traditional meditation posture, although you can do so lying down or sitting in a chair as well. The monologue you hear might go something like this:

This can be a time of complete relaxation... (pause)

Let your eyes close now and take a deep breath through your nose...

Now let your breathing fall into a comfortable pattern as you feel the tension draining from your head and face and neck...

The voice might go on with specific steps to take to relax, and then it will commonly tell you to begin observing your breath as it comes and goes. Many guided meditations use imagery as well, so, for example, you might be encouraged to imagine a scene like a beach, and to hear the waves breaking on it as you walk barefoot on the sand. Background music is occasionally included as well. A session might be as short as ten minutes or as long as an hour, with somewhere between twenty and thirty minutes being typical.

Making Your Own Guided Meditation Audio Recording

We will not have too much to say about the technological part of this process, but here is a short outline. Essentially you can use many different recording programs and your computer. You probably already have one installed. Otherwise, search online for "free programs for making MP3 recordings" and you'll find some good options. Audacity, for example, works well and is fairly easy to understand. Play around with what you have to see if you can save and load a ".wav" file to your player, or if there is a more specific MP3 format that your software creates. After creating the recording on your computer you also have the option of putting it on a CD, but an MP3 player is a better choice, for reasons we'll get to in a moment. Of course, you will have to buy a microphone if you do not already have one, but any one that is sold for around $20 should work fine.

If you want background music there are some technical ways to add it to your audio tracks, but there is a simpler way as well. It is to just have music paying in the background while you record your voice. Make sure the speakers are close to your microphone, of course. Experiment to see if the quality is decent enough or if you might be better off without the music.

A script is a good idea, because ideally you want to produce your meditation recording without breaks, which can cause clicks and other distracting noises. In general you will want to follow this pattern:

1. Say something descriptive and suggestive (you are sitting at the base of a waterfall...).

2. Allow some time for the listener to visualize and otherwise take in what has been said.

3. Repeat steps one and two.

At some point you might even want to have total silence for up to several minutes, depending on the nature of the meditation you are trying to create.

Naturally you want to tailor the monologue to suit the type of experience you want. If you plan to use it during a walking meditation, for example, you might start something like this:

As you are placing your foot, you are feeling the connection between yourself and the earth you walk on...

With the next step you are becoming relaxed yet alert...

With each step now you are beginning to feel more strongly the sensation of blissful tranquility...

You are noticing this sensation, but allowing it to come and go as it wishes...

You are sensing the movement of your muscles as they work together to lift and place your feet...

You can wrap up your recording with instructions to open your eyes, and perhaps the suggestion that you will bring the peace you have felt into the rest of the day.

Some people find that a countdown helps at the start. You might say, "As we count down from ten to zero you will notice that you are going deeper within yourself and getting closer and closer to complete relaxation." Then you would slowly count; "10... 9... 8... " and so on. You can also add something between the numbers, like, "10... your eyes are closing. 9... your shoulders are letting go of all tensions. 8... You are feeling the tension drain away from the rest of your body." You can also count up at the end of the session to end it.

The timing of the count and of all elements is up to you. One of the advantages of making your own guided meditation audios is that you can make them to suit your own needs. Some people prefer a slower start, for example, while others respond better to a faster countdown or introduction. Experiment to see what works best for you.

If you happen to be more technologically savvy you might try buying a good brainwave entrainment product and combining it with your own recording for a more effective session. This is the product we recommend for those who want to meditate using this kind of powerful technology: The Meditation Program.

Another Way

Note: The following practice has not scientifically proven to have any particular benefits, but if you have ever read much about the power of suggestion, you will understand why you might want to try it.

The basic idea of a guided mindfulness exercise for daily life is that you can develop a more relaxed and productive state of mind even as you go about your everyday tasks. One of the great advantages of using an MP3 player for this is that it can be worn almost anywhere (even workers in the post office and many factories are allowed to use their players during work hours). That means you can have powerful suggestions spoken into your ears even as you work, clean the house, or mow the lawn.

For this purpose you do not want to encourage a deep meditative state. That might cause drowsiness, and so could be dangerous. On the other hand, there is nothing wrong with having reminder to "take a deep breath and let your anxieties flow out of you as you exhale." You can imagine many other suggestions to include. You might use this as a "trigger" (see the page on mindfulness exercises for more on this) that just periodically reminds you to breath deep and become aware of your body and surroundings. In that case you could have silence for five minutes between each reminder.

Another option is to have suggestions that are aimed at specifically altering how you habitually think about and respond to events and the world in general. For example, you could include the suggestion to "Stop right now to consider all the things and people around you for which you are grateful." Done often enough this "gratefulness practice" might change how you feel about life. Some consider it to be more powerful to make suggestions in the form of questions, because our normal desire to answer guarantees more participation. So you might have this on your recording; "What can you do right now that will be good for someone else and yourself?" Or your audio voice might ask, "What do you need to be doing at this moment?"

You can probably think of dozens of suggestions and/or questions that would change your perspective and eventually make new healthier patterns of thought habitual. You can make this a guided meditation or simply an audio voice that guides you toward a better mental state as you go about your day. You can have a theme to your creation or include all sorts of different useful suggestions. As we often recommend, experiment to find out what works best for you.

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