After a while, guided meditations seem irrelevant. They are a great starting point. Perhaps for a year or so. After that, it’s kind of annoying when somebody interrupts you. How are you meant to focus on your breath if you have someone’s voice lecturing you on what you should and shouldn’t be feeling? It’s distracting. After about six months to a year, it seems like it is time to up the game.
But how do you remain focused? Meditating without any guidance can also be tough. I think it’s a good idea to follow Pavlov’s advice here. Create a ritual. Do it the same way every day. In theory, this helps to get into the same mood and should ease meditation. For example, I have a cup of matcha first thing in the morning, sit down on my cushion in the same spot in the room and practice.
It will also take more intense focus in the absence of guidance. Rather than just focusing on the breath, it is better to focus on something more particular – like the feeling in the chest, the throat or the nose.
Lastly, it is not like once you move on from guided meditations, you can’t go back. You surely can and should. With so many varieties of meditation, so many podcasts and approaches, it helps to keep it fresh.
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