Did you know that every meditation technique falls into one of two camps? Whatever meditation you practice, it’s either a focused awareness meditation or a free awareness meditation.
Focused Awareness Meditation vs Free Awareness Meditation
Traditionally, focused awareness meditation is called “meditation with seed.” That means that you are focusing your mind on something like a mantra (think TM), your body sensations (Vipassana) or maybe you’re just counting your breath.
Whatever the object of your concentration, focused awareness practices train your attention on one thing. They are simple, powerful, and effective. And normally, focused awareness meditation is taught when you are starting out. In a traditional monastic context, that may last for many years.
Free awareness meditation is also called “meditation without seed.” In this approach to awareness training, you put your attention on the wide open and empty space of awareness itself. This is often considered a more advanced approach to meditation.
The trick with free awareness is this. You must resist the temptation to focus on anything in particular. In response to everything, you do nothing. You accept and let go of everything that passes across the movie screen of your mind. It’s endlessly subtle and difficult to master. At the same time, this practice yields rich rewards.
Today, I’ve recorded a simple guided meditation for you which incorporates both focused and free awareness. I want you to get a taste of the difference between these two fundamental approaches to meditation.
Focused and free awareness both lead to the same goal—equanimity, focus, relaxation, clarity, confidence, and deep ease. Whether you are practicing one of the other, your end game is a mind that’s grounded in the deepest part of you, independent of the trauma and drama of daily life.
Guided Meditation: Focused & Free Awareness
In this special guided meditation, we start with a simple focused meditation to relax your body and mind. It’s a yogic meditation and it’s called the body scan meditation. By following the instructions, you’ll let go into a state of total relaxation. This sets the stage for the second part of this guided experience–a short adventure into free awareness.
While you listen to this guided meditation on focused and free awareness, let go of everything else. Find a quiet and comfortable place where you can give yourself fully to the guidance and relax into your natural state. I guarantee, you won’t regret it.
Also, this guided meditation is set to the sound of the deep forest, with birds gently trilling and a soft brook meandering in the background. I encourage you let these sounds carry you even deeper into your meditation. Enjoy.
If you liked this audio, you’ll love our free How To Meditate Mini Course. You can learn more and sign up here.
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