A guided meditation is where a leader takes control of the group and guides you through the process. Here, he or she will use his or her own process and then let the group experience his or her meditative journey.
But when it’s about time for you to take up the lead, you might feel anxious or even lost. This article will help you manage your nerves as well as guide you through effective choosing or composing a meditation.
There are three categories that we will point out on how to lead a guided meditation: Voice, cueing, and instructions.
For leads, it’s better to start first with using the normal speaking voice. There’s no need to use a “meditation voice” if it’s going to be your first time through the process. When you’re one of the followers, you think the lead’s voice is mellow and soft, even hypnotic to some extent. But he or she hasn’t done anything special at all.
When you’re in the lead, you have to use your normal speaking voice so others will be able to hear you from across the room. But tread lightly as you’ll want your range to be somewhere between relaxed and imposing at the same time. You don’t want to come across as someone who’s yelling out instructions from across the room.
Voice also plays a factor in keeping other people alive and energetic all throughout the journey.
Cueing is the act of bringing back the participants their attention. Sometimes a meditative journey can often be distracting as the mind starts to wander off the path set forth by the leader. The cueing process is simply to remind people where they are at this point in time during meditation.
However, he or she will also not want to interfere too much with the group’s meditative journey. That’s why leaders often lead with questions like “where has the mind gone?” or “if the mind has wandered, breathe in and bring yourself back”.
For beginning leaders and facilitators, they often make the mistake of talking too much. This might stem from nervousness or from the pressure of “having something to do always”. But too much is not as bad as too less either. Silence can be just as awkward for the new leader.
When you’re cueing, vary your pauses during the practices. Counting your breathing also helps. When in doubt about your cueing, talk less.
When you’re leading a meditation, you’re giving instructions or providing cues. Instructions are more of a how-to part of the journey. Your own journey into leadership will be more on instructions then moving in between cueing and silence.
You have to be clear on how you give out instructions because you are taking people with you on a journey. You’ll want them to experience the journey through listening. When you’re explaining an instruction, do not go overboard as you’ll take their attention out of the journey and into the outside world.