Meditation sessions for me, for free!
March 7, 2012 2:37 PM   Subscribe

Free, online audio resources for mindfulness meditation and body awareness sessions?

Hi. I'm already in therapy to keep working on longstanding anxiety issues*, especially related to hypervigilance. To be brief, my therapist and I are working together on cognitive restructuring stuff, and I am probably going to go in for a psychiatric consult for a diagnostic session (and possible medication) in the near future. A lot of what we are doing is going to utilize mindfulness-based approaches, especially since they really do seem to help with certain acute anxiety issues that crop up.

The thing is: due to a scheduling thing, we are working through a mini therapy break, which means I won't be able to meet with either my therapist or a psychiatrist until the very end of the month or early next month. I have one body awareness meditation audio session to work on during this time, but I am experiencing a lot of additional stress and escalating anxiety, some of which is being triggered by a stressful personal situation that has popped up and requires my ongoing attention during this time.

A part of me kind of wants to go to my GP and ask for a prescription to help deal with the extra anxiousness, but I feel that is an action that is probably best saved for the upcoming consult. So I was wondering whether you know of any online resources for guided meditations and/or mindfulness/body awareness sessions. Basically, anything that can help me during this downtime to reign in and work on what appears to be rapidly accelerating anxiety.

In particular, I am looking for:
- sessions grounded in mindfulness techniques, but that take a mindful therapeutic approach (as opposed to a straight-up buddhist approach: I am not religious at all, and the heavily buddism-oriented stuff makes me feel like I'm in church, which makes me check out)
- sessions that I can only describe as calm, but straightfoward (as opposed to some of the more woo-sounding stuff that I've encountered in the past that seems to get a bit silly with the "calm blue ocean" imagery, as that either makes me giggle or makes me really annoyed)
- audio or video clips, as opposed to text-based resources (I already have a stack of books I can't read, due to concentration issues, but sitting with a really good audio session for 10-20 minutes seems to be more doable)

I saw this, but some of the links were broken or outdated, and some didn't seem to fit the characteristics that I am looking for.

Any resources that you know of that might help me work positively on myself during this break would be awesome, especially anything that will help me manage free-floating anxiety that is being made worse by some unfun situational stuff. There are sites that come up in a google search, but it's time-consuming to slog through the unprofessional, ineffective, or just not-my-style clips in an attempt to find something really great; I want to hear about any resources that you've used successfully.

* If it helps, let's just say I am working that issues that are connected to chronic PTSD
posted by anonymous to Health & Fitness (6 answers total) 42 users marked this as a favorite
Tara Brach is awesome and has a free podcast that's relatively light on woo-woo.

That said, the "imagine a calm blue ocean" stuff can be helpful if you give in to it. Yes, it can be kind of silly to consider with your "rational mind"...but then again, consider that your "rational mind" is exactly what you're working on detaching from :)

It's not meant to turn you into a hippie new age whatever, its meant to place you into a relaxed state of mind with gentle imagery.
posted by softlord at 2:50 PM on March 7, 2012 [1 favorite]

Try searching for Jon Kabat Zinn audio or 'bodyscan'. I am at work and can't check any of the sources I found, but I'm sure that will give you lots of results to try.
posted by Trivia Newton John at 2:50 PM on March 7, 2012

There are more Tara Brach led resources here:

and a shorter mediation here:

I think she's really good and relatively low on the religious aspect for the meditation itself. There's more explicit Buddhism in the dharma talks that are also on the first site, but those are separate.

If you're just getting started, give yourself permission to check-out before the end of the mediation. It can be really hard to start with the 25 or so minutes that are standard for a lot of guided mediation. It's also why the 10 minute one, linked above can be nice.
posted by mercredi at 3:02 PM on March 7, 2012 [2 favorites]

John Kabat-Zinn's meditations are available for download here.
posted by embrangled at 8:29 PM on March 7, 2012

Check out Buddhify. It's not religious at all, and focuses specifically on mindfulness.
posted by bwerdmuller at 9:12 PM on March 7, 2012 [2 favorites]

You might find Gail Brenner's website helpful. Her audio meditations are here. Sorry you're having a tough time of it and I hope things ease up for you soon.
posted by LuckySeven~ at 10:31 PM on March 7, 2012

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