There are many great, free resources on the web for learning about mindfulness meditation – an ancient practice that is becoming more popular in modern times. This page includes some high-quality guided meditations that are free. Studies show that mindfulness meditation can help people with challenges related to stress, depression, anxiety, chronic pain, and eating disorders. The practice is calming, and helps provide more self-awareness, which leads to more skillful living.
If you’ve never meditated before, you may want to start with some of the offerings in #1, 2, or 3 first.
1.) Guided Meditation – Breath Awareness by Noah Levine (3 minutes)
Noah Levine is a meditation teacher and author of the book, Dharma Punx. This is an excellent and short guided meditation.
2.) Headspace (10 minutes for 10 days program, available as an App or streaming)
This is a great little app for learning how to meditate. Co-founded by a British, ex-monk, and former ad exec, this app provides a nice secular introduction to the practice of mindfulness, complete with entertaining animated feature narrated by Andy Puddicombe. The 10 minutes for 10 days meditation program is free, and other offerings are available on the site for purchase.
You can watch one of his TED talks on mindfulness here:
3.) UCLA Mindful Awareness Research Center Free, Guided Meditations (3-19 minutes)
Below is a link to 8 excellent, free, guided meditations developed by the UCLA Mindful Awareness Research Center. These easy to follow meditations range in length from 3 to 19 minutes and include meditation that’s focused on: breathing, body scans, ways to work with difficult emotions or physical pain, lovingkindness, and meditation to help with sleep.
4.) Guided Meditation – Breath Awareness, by Kim Eng , partner of Eckhart Tolle (10 minutes)
5.) Audio Dharma’s Free, Guided Meditations (longer meditations, ranging from 10-60 minutes)
Another excellent resource for free, guided meditation is from Audio Dharma, which is connected to the Insight Meditation Center in Redwood City, CA. There are over 50 guided meditations on their site, along with numerous other inspiring spiritual talks related to mindfulness and Buddhist psychology. The guided meditations here are longer and more specific to certain topics. If you already have some experience with meditation, then you’ll probably connect well with these. Beginners may want to stick with the items referenced in 1-3 above.
6.) Self-Forgiveness Guided Meditation, by Jack Kornfield, PhD., founder of Spirit Rock Meditation Center (20 minutes)
7.) Guided Meditation entitled “Wheel of Awareness,” by Dan Siegel, MD, neuroscientist and psychiatrist (25 minutes)
8.) Self-Guided Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction Course (MBSR)
This is a fantastic resource that parallels the 8-week course developed by Jon Kabat-Zinn at the University of Massachusetts Medical School. This program would offer structure to those who need that more. Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) is one of the most widely studied forms of meditation.
9.) Guided Meditation by psychologist, Tara Brach, founder of the Insight Meditation Community of Washington, DC (25 minutes)
10.) Meditation for Beginners – Featuring Sharon Salzberg, Co-Founder of the Insight Meditation Center in Barre, MA and bestselling author.
11.) Over 10 Guided Meditations in Audio and Print format from the Book: Sitting Together: Essential Skills for Mindfulness-Based Psychotherapy, by Susan M. Pollak, Thomas Pedulla and Ronald D. Siegel.