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Led Meditation

My first retreat introduced me to led meditation. Pretty much every Mindfulness Based Stress Relief ("MBSR") session, involves a led meditation. And every meditation app I've ever listened to, is a form of led meditation.

As the term clearly suggests, led meditation is basically group meditation that's led by someone to whom attendees or app subscribers listen, for guidance. Wisdom is shared by the leader, through insight or observation that is typically organized in a manner that leads listeners to a particular quality or state of mind such as kindness or empathy, improved response to stress or, perhaps, improved sleep and regeneration.

I've attended multiple retreats organized around led meditation. I've also had the privilege of personally leading numerous led meditations. Full disclosure: I'm a big fan of led meditation, and it clearly has a place in meditation practice. We can all learn from others, and listening is a skill that has been minimized and overlooked for far too long.

For people new to meditation, or those who may be conscious of perceived or real social criticism, led meditation is also a private practice. If we choose to attend a retreat on our own time, it's nobody else's business.  Similarly, if we choose to listen to a led meditation on our earphones or earbuds while walking around the block or even walking around the office, who's going to know? Who's going to care?

If led meditation strikes the right chord, maybe consider an occasional Self-Guided meditation. It typically takes longer and is more demanding (because we're not listening to someone else), but it can be richly rewarding.

Self-Guided meditation is not a seed. And it's not a seedling, or even a healthy young sapling. It's the mature-growth version, and-- at least some of the time-- it could be right for you!


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