Good trips – Guided mediation

By Black Sheep Straight Shooter and Greg Hamilton
May 9, 2024


3 min read

Recently I went along to a guided meditation session, mainly out of curiosity but also to have some quiet time for myself and a new experience. After a busy day at work, the guide hosted a small group at a nice space in a quiet old house with high ceilings and a gas log fire. I run fairly hot most of the time but it was a cool evening and the heat didn’t bother me too much, later I hardly noticed it at all. I chose to lie down on a mat with a small pillow and the other few participants were sitting behind me on good posture chairs closer to the fire.

The facilitator lady asked about our past meditation experience and we started with some guided light finger tapping for the audience to follow along to. Firstly, thumb to finger-tip both sides, then face, across the chest and down the arms and over the rest of the body. I’m not really sure why we did this or what purpose it served but I did it anyway. I think maybe the tingling it produces and the act of joining in communally perhaps is just to bring awareness to your body and become present in the moment with a focused task. Now eyes closed, we were guided to envision a soft yellow ball of light travelling from each foot, all the way up to brow in a slow and deliberate manner. Again, I think this is just a process to bring you into the present and quiet the mind whilst giving the conscious thinking part of the mind something to do and be guided. It was effective for me. According to the facilitator lady, we have 60,000 thoughts a day and 50,000 are the same as the previous day. From my Self-Sabotage coaching work I am very well-aware of how the subconscious mind and our inner self-talk influences most of our behaviour. I appreciated how this visualization job given to us by our guide is a task to prime us for the guided meditation. I don’t know the real reasoning (I am not a facilitator, it was my first time after all) but I am guessing this is a deliberate compliance momentum training step. You learn by getting the first rep in for learning to be guided. She had a very calm and purposeful tone and cadence with a sweet voice. The majority of interpersonal communication is non-verbal, but when your eyes are closed, how speech is delivered is almost more important than what is being said. The environment and build-up of situational energy mirroring your level of participation is very influential in how your choice of perception affects your experience. There was a study regarding how well you slept compared to how you interpret a photo of someone’s facial expressions. The well-rested groups interpretation of this photo was much less hostile compared to the poorly rested group. This is not a choice, it just is. You will most definitely deal with situations differently based on quality of sleep. I would much rather be around people who aren’t pre-disposed to being cranky before they even see your mannerisms, let alone open your mouth.

We were taken to a place in our mind by our guide to the edge of a forest and given things to focus on along the way. What we could see and feel, smell and experience and even colours were interpretations on what we heard from the guide. These are all interpreted by what we have experienced first-hand consciously through many different experiences over our whole life. For example, if someone’s who is not very outdoorsy mainly lived an urban life, would not have as many reference points to build a scene within their imagination. And if they have just been exposed to violent animals and war movies, strange abductions and various other boogeymen that the screens have delivered up and had to paint a picture of what outside looks like, these people’s imaginations might take them to a dark place and put them on edge almost immediately.

I, myself am quite happy to be out in the bush by myself for a couple of days – I go out of my way to walk around in the dark before dawn and after dusk. Yes, I am usually carrying a bow or rifle, but that’s beside the point.

The rest of the journey was pleasant for myself and my mind didn’t wander too far. I wouldn’t really class this experience as entertainment, but it was very cathartic. I  loved the quiet time that was just for me. It is something I’m craving more and more recently – I think I am working too many 45-50 hour weeks. I made some old man noises as I sat up and got comfortable sitting on the floor.

There was an opportunity then to pick a card from a deck to offer the reader some insight that they could interpret any way they wished. It was a good ice breaker for discussion and have people share as they felt fit. Afterward we all had a chat, I enjoy talking to strangers – so long as the conversations are meaningful and real. I would much rather gather with people who are healthy and trying to look after themselves, rather than in settings where people are bent on harming themselves – like the beer garden or cigar lounge.

I’ll be back.