I’ve been listening to some CDs on Meditation and Relaxation. I’ve realized that (1) I like having some guidance. A calm and steady voice helps me focus on my body and my breath. (2) If there is some kind of sound or music then I’m able to hold the practice longer. (3) I feel like a failure for both of these!

In a way, the right voice (and “right” is very personal so I recommend you try a bunch of different CDs) is like a teacher. In the privacy of my own home, and in the course of my own life’s rhythm I can benefit from having someone “teach” me how to meditate. I follow the guidance and I’m able to experience the benefits. I am more relaxed following at this point in my practice.

Music or some sound has the effect of a boundary. For me it encloses me in a safe and secure space inside my meditation. Perhaps due to my own life experiences I’m a bit leery of all that inner infinity! Music (or even birds’ singing in my yard) helps create a container for me to relax into.

And, once I’ve discovered these two preferences I find myself immediately moving into judgment and criticism. If I were a REAL “meditator” then I wouldn’t need a voice or a guide. I would thrive on silence. I’m not able to “do it right” or “be any good.”

I hear these inner admonitions and, today, I let them go. I know they have created a ground of anxiety and panic for me. It is in that place that my terror, my fear of the world and its workings, has grown and thrived. I no longer want to nourish that ground. So, I touch them and release them. I refuse to hold on to them, to make them “mine” any longer.

This ‘practice’ of letting go the inner critic is increasing my sense of peace and groundedness. I think this is the point of meditation.

So maybe I’m getting there anyway. Wherever ‘there’ is!

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