How to Design Guided Meditation
By:Mackenzie Wright

Guided meditation, sometimes called creative visualization, is a meditation session in which a person is guided vocally through the meditative state from start to finish. A good meditation begins with a well-thought-out script that brings the listener on a journey down a very carefully constructed path with a deliberate destination. The purpose of the journey can be to help the person work through problems, prepare for challenges, heal or to simply stop and live in the moment.

Inducing a Meditative State:

Write a beginning that guides listeners into physical and mental relaxation. Paint a pleasant, relaxing scene of walking down a spiral staircase, traveling a winding road or floating up in the basket of a hot air balloon. Suggest that the farther the listener goes, the more relaxed and peaceful she feels.

Draw attention to different body parts, going from head to toe, suggesting he notice how pleasantly rested each muscle is becoming. Note 15- to 30-second pauses throughout the opening to give the listener a moment to acclimate and take in the scene.

Make the opening all-purpose so it can be used during subsequent sessions. A standard beginning will act like a ritual for the listener, inducing a meditative state more quickly and deeply each time she hears it. It will become so familiar she eventually will be able to do it whenever she pleases without being guided.

The Creative Visualization:

Choose one topic for a guided meditation, such as eating healthy, quitting smoking or relieving emotional pain.

Jot ideas about that theme down the left side of a page as they enter your mind. For example, your "eating healthy" ideas might include "no more junk food," "eating fruits and vegetables," "losing weight," "lowering cholesterol" and "having more energy." Don't worry about wording or forming sentences at this point.

Think of visual images each idea gives you. Briefly describe them down the right side of the page. For instance, "no junk food" might give you an image of you bypassing a fast food restaurant, or flushing potato chips down the toilet.

Outline a story for your creative visualization, with a setting and activities that move the listener towards the goal. Using the "eating healthy" example, the story might involve the listener looking at a table full of unappetizing, unhealthy food, throwing it all out and replacing it with healthy, wholesome foods that make him feel lighter, happier and full of energy.

Flesh out the story with vivid details, describing sights, sounds, scents, tastes, how things feel and emotional states. Guide the listener through the story as though she were living it and bring her to the planned destination. Add 30- to 60-second pauses during the journey so she can fully experience the event.

Closing the Meditation:

Guide the listener down the same route, back to where he began, to end the meditation. If he walked down a staircase to enter the meditative state, guide him back up the stairs to leave it. Describe how he is becoming more aware of his body and surroundings, feeling more alert, refreshed and rejuvenated with each step.

Mark pauses, lasting no more than 10 to 15 seconds. The speaking pace should pick up slightly as the meditation comes to an end. This gradually quickening pace will bring the reader back to an alert state of mind.

Revise the script until you are satisfied. Use a thesaurus to be descriptive without repetition. Set your guided meditation to instrumental music to help drown out external noises.