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Guided Meditation

Can You Buy Your Way to Enlightenment?

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We examined the science behind five high-tech meditation aids to find out if they’re worth the hype.

From virtual reality to the Somadome, Yoga Journal investigates five meditation aids to find out if they actually work.

I don’t want to mess with your meditation practice. Not today, not ever. And if you haven’t joined the countless who have discovered meditation’s gifts, now may be the time to start—because we know that it’s doing something good for us. Those who have a regular practice (myself included) tend to feel happier, calmer, and less likely to lose it when the cold winds blow (which inevitably, they do). And ultimately, that’s all that the Buddha ever wanted for humanity—a little loving kindness, a little more compassion, a little less torturing ourselves (and each other) with our criticism and judgy nonsense.

But before you start investing in classes, spendy cushions, or trendy in-home meditation space, Steven Leonard, a mind-body personal trainer who runs a meditation workshop at the Kripalu Center for Yoga & Health with Dartmouth College neuroscientist Andrew Heusser, says you might want to begin with defining your intention. “There are countless reasons why people might meditate, so someone developing a practice should ask themselves: What are my goals? What am I looking to cultivate? Relaxation? Focus? Spirituality? Am I looking for the nature of reality?

See also Get Your Sit Together: 7 Best Meditation Cushions to Support Your Practice

Once you understand your goals, tracking your practice may help you focus more quickly, and there is a wealth of high-tech meditation aids available—think phone apps and EEG-sensing headbands to $35,000 isolation pods—all promising to launch your journey into higher consciousness and well-being. In fact, the meditation industry itself is estimated at $1.1 billion in the United States alone. (Not exactly what the Buddha had intended.) You can now spend mucho bucks on gadgets that claim to clear out the junk in your brain in a fraction of the time it takes to attain enlightenment through more traditional practices (several lifetimes for some). But do any of these devices actually deliver?

To find out, we turned to the science.

So we’re going into this technology-assisted meditation thing with a world of hope and a healthy dose of, if not outright, skepticism—and an understanding that the science may not be there yet to justify the expense (or download). The important thing to remember, as meditation teacher Steven Leonard noted earlier, is that when it comes to meditation, intention is the whole ballgame. The why will help inform the how.

See also Inside the ASMR Meditation People Are Calling a Brain Orgasm

His point is that if you know what you’re looking for, you’ll find the right tool. “People are multidimensional beings: physiological, emotional, spiritual,” he says. Which is why having a meditation practice, however you do it, may lead you to the ocean of possibilities that exist in the world. “The clearer a person is about why they’re meditating, the clearer they can be about their own success with it.” 



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Guided Meditation

Tantra 101: A Guided Visualization Practice to Open Your Heart

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Envision your heart cne as a blossoming flower in this beautiful meditation from Sally Kempton.

Want to invite more love and bliss into your life? Try tapping into the sacred source that emanates from your heart center. Here, Sally Kempton—who teaches YJ’s upcoming course, Tantra 101—guides you through a simple practice to deepen your divine awareness: A beautiful visualization of your heart as a blossoming flower.

Watch also How Tantra Makes Positive Thinking Actually “Stick”

Want to learn how to tap into your innate power? Join our new online course, Tantra 101: Awaken to Your Most Divine Life, led by meditation teacher Sally Kempton. In six weeks you’ll discover Tantra’s potent teachings and practices, so you can transform every breath, movement, and feeling into a pathway to greater insight and peace. Sign up today!



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Guided Meditation

Feeling Scattered? This Meditation Practice Will Bring More Peace Into Your Life

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Do this practice when you want to come back to your true self.

Do this meditation practice with Susanna Barkataki when you want to come back to your true self.

See also A Short Mantra Practice to Stay Open and Grounded



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Tantra 101: This Mantra Is Key to Experiencing Divine Energy

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Feeling small? Try this short Tantric practice from Sally Kempton to expand your sense of self.

The ancient tradition of Tantra says that every being originates from a sacred source—so why don’t you always feel so “divine”? The next time you’re feeling small, try this simple mantra from Sally Kempton to help you reconnect to the universe and powerfully expand your sense of self.

Watch also What, Exactly, Is Tantra?

Want to learn how to tap into your innate divine power? Join our new online course, Tantra 101: Awaken to Your Most Divine Life, led by meditation teacher Sally Kempton. In six weeks you’ll discover Tantra’s potent teachings and practices, so you can transform every breath, movement, and feeling into a pathway to greater insight and peace. Sign up today!



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