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Guided Meditations

We extend a special thank you to OU alumnus David Weibel, Ph.D., for creating and sharing these guided meditations while completing his degree in Clinical Psychology.

Guided meditations are offered here as a way to develop relaxation skills and a sense of inner harmony and well-being. They are not substitutes for professional therapy, and people visiting this page should consider, perhaps in consultation with a mental health professional, whether the use of a particular guided meditation is appropriate in their case.

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Mountain Guided Meditation

In this meditation, we visualize ourselves as a mountain: solid, grounded, and majestic, impervious to all forms of harsh weather (thoughts & emotions). The core essence of the mountain remains calm and centered whether covered by ice or baking sunshine, whether visited by hundreds of travelers or standing alone on the darkest winter night.

Daily transfer: While seated or standing, feel the connection to the earth, to the ground, or to the chair that is supporting you. If standing, you can actually grip the ground with your toes, feet, and legs. Imagine yourself as the mountain, solid, and relatively permanent. Thoughts come and go like the weather while you maintain your grounding.

 

Mountain Scene

 

 

 

Progressive Muscle Relaxation Guided Meditation

This exercise involves alternating tensing and relaxing muscle groups in a sequential fashion. Moving through the body, we will mildly contract, briefly hold, and then release each muscle group, letting tension fade away. By tensing the muscle first, we can achieve a greater degree of relaxation and also learn to notice the difference between tension and relaxation, a skill we can hopefully bring to our daily lives. Eventually, you will be able to simply release a muscle group whenever you want, without necessarily having to contract it first.

Daily transfer:  Simply release the tension wherever you feel it or in the large muscle groups (legs, back). You can tense first before releasing, just as in the formal exercise. Add a little shake to the muscles after you have released the tension.

 

Sand Ripple Scene

 

 

 

Autogenic Training Guided Meditation

This exercise involves saying phrases in our mind to help us connect with our bodies and relax. We consciously attempt to influence bodily processes, which we may normally think of as out of our control. For example we may say phrases such as "My heart-beat is gentle and even" or "My right arm and hand feel warm and heavy." We will gradually gain the ability to influence our bodies, and just trying to do so provides a relaxing break from cycles of thinking and worrying.

Daily transfer:  Simply repeat one of your favorite phrases to yourself and try to generate that physiological state.

 

 

 

 

Visualization Guided Meditation

This exercise involves saying phrases in our mind to help us connect with our bodies and relax. We consciously attempt to influence bodily processes, which we may normally think of as out of our control. For example we may say phrases such as “My heart-beat is gentle and even” or “My right arm and hand feel warm and heavy.” We will gradually gain the ability to influence our bodies, and just trying to do so provides a relaxing break from cycles of thinking and worry.

Daily transfer: Simply repeat one of your favorite phrases to yourself and try to generate that physiological state.

 

 

 

 

Lake Guided Meditation

In this meditation we visualize ourselves as a large lake: lying low, filling the earth, capable of breaking on the shore yet remaining whole. We will become aware that we have a deep part which remains calm even as surface waves/turbulence (thoughts & emotions) may disturb our surface. We practice the ability to sit in this deeper calm place and observe any surface turbulence with a more detached and calm awareness.

Daily transfer: This one works great if you are sitting or lying down. Exhale, relax, and actually sink down a bit more, envisioning yourself as the deep lake, lying low. If you were standing you could bend the knees a tiny bit, sinking down. Picture yourself deep down, under any thoughts that are merely ripples on your surface.  

 

 

 

 

Mindfulness Meditation

In this exercise we attempt to pay attention to the present moment in a nonjudgmental and accepting manner. We will practice by focusing on objects of awareness: the breath, the entire body, and sounds. We will quickly realize that our minds do not stay put, but realizing how scattered our minds can be is a powerful discovery.  Gradually, we will gain the ability to stay present and bring the mind back if it wanders. We will also realize that all experience, including thoughts about how good or bad we are, are fleeting or impermanent, and thus we do not need to be so attached to them. This will help us develop a sense calm or equanimity in the face of life’s daily stressors.

Daily transfer: Take three mindful breaths wherever you are, whenever you want. Check in with your body (e.g., your seat and/or the ground). Then, attend mindfully to where you are and what you are doing.

 

 

 

 

Loving-Kindness Guided Meditation

This practice is based on the premise that cultivating feelings of love and compassion for others can be beneficial for us. We will begin by directing feelings of positive regard, acceptance, and compassion toward ourselves. Next, we begin to direct our compassion outwards in a widening circle, first to family and friends, then our community, then all people, and finally all living beings. We attempt to let this feeling of compassion resonate within us. Although this practice is sometimes challenging, it can provide a break from being caught up in our own worries.

Daily transfer: This is especially helpful if you notice yourself judging people, even strangers. Simply envision all the ways that person is probably like you. That person has issues and struggles and wants to be loved. Silently extend well wishes toward the person. You can also extend the kindness to yourself.