What is the best guided meditation? Top 5 Best Value for Money

What you need can change!

What is the best guided meditation is really a personal thing and comes down to what resonates with you and what is needed in the moment.

Consider the following.

1. Sound or no sound

It’s about what works best for you and this can be influenced by many factors including a person’s voice and even accompanying sounds.   What might be soothing for one, may be irritating for another.

Some prefer no background noise (whether it’s music or the sounds of nature) and yet others like it. 

Some days you may want very little interference and on others it won’t be a concern for you and you will enjoy it.

What we enjoy can vary on any given day depending on our emotional mood/state and what we need.

 2. The long and short of it!

The duration of a meditation can also have an impact and can be influenced by how much time we have.

Some days I want something short and on others I don’t want it to end.  This is fine though as I can just continue in silence or if I choose to, I can play the next track. 

Being able to continue in silence (apart from the sounds around you of course) after a CD track ends is great though as sometimes we just need to rest in that space and can gently begin to come out of our meditaiton when we are ready.

What I have found with listening to free meditations on YouTube etc (although handy at times) is that they can now be interrupted by advertisements (and that’s just about the worst kind of intrusion mid-meditation).

Then, the next video comes up automatically and starts to play and it may or may not be another meditation video.  Regardless of whether it is or isn’t though it can interfere with your meditative state.

3. Areas of focus

Another factor to consider is that guided meditations can have different areas of focus.

For example, the focus might be a body scan, or a meditation on developing loving kindness or self-compassion or yet still it might be on growing personal awareness.

It’s really a matter of trying a few out to find what you like and perhaps compiling a little bit of a library to cater to whatever you are feeling in the moment.

Some days, I can find even a voice intrusive and so I will go for music or silence.

Ask yourself the question – What do I need now?

In the Beginning 

In the beginning though, it definitely helps to be guided through your meditation.

Fortunately, even the best guided meditation cds are not expensive and so we can begin to gather what we need at little cost.

Essentially though, you just won’t know until you try and all I can say from personal experience is that it helps to have choices.

Today I might feel like listening to Eckhart Tolle, tomorrow I might prefer Jack Kornfield or Tara Brach.

But there are so many, how do I choose?

There is a plethora of guided meditations out there attempting to cover every possible area and issue that affects people and this can be overwhelming.  (Meditation can help with those feelings and experiences too by the way which may be one of the reasons you are seeking it out).

If you can remember though that meditation is really about being present and realising our true self beyond the mind.  It’s about awakening.

This in itself helps us with a myriad of issues that we may be experiencing.  Meditation can help with right thought followed by right action regardless of the area you want help with.

My advice is to go with what resonates with you today and collect some others along the way if you need.

The Best Guided Meditation – Top 5 Picks!

I’ve done a little research for you to seek out those CDs that have variety and the best value for money.  I’ve also included those where a ‘taster’ is available.

In no particular order, drum roll please:

  1. Guided Mindfulness Meditation Series 2 – Jon Kabat-Zinn
Guided Mindfulness Meditation Jon Kabat-Zinn

CD Price: $29.95
Review Rating 5/5

Sample it here

Intended to be used in conjunction with his book Wherever You Go, There You Are
Guided sitting meditations—the basics of mindfulness meditation

      • Mindfulness while lying down—guided sessions for learning how to “fall awake” rather than fall asleep, which, teaches Kabat–Zinn, is what mindfulness is all about
      • The Mountain Meditation and Lake Meditation—evokes two powerful images to deepen concentration and expand one’s feeling for the inward gesture involved in mindfulness practice
      • Silence, with bells to mark the passage of time—5–, 10–, 15–, 20–, and 30–minute timed sessions

Jon Kabat-Zinn developed the Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction Program and has been around for years. So, there is credibility here.

2. Meditation for Optimum Health – Dr Andrew Weill & Dr Jon Kabat-Zinn

CD Price $19.96Meditation for Optimum Health Andrew Weill & Jon Kabat-Zinn

I can’t wait (audio download) $13.98

Review Rating: 4.5/5

Sample it here

The same ability that helps ordinary men and women achieve extraordinary success is also the secret to optimizing your life span, letting go of stress, and even enhancing your body’s self-healing powers.

In Meditation for Optimum Health, you will join bestselling authors Dr. Andrew Weil and Dr. Jon Kabat-Zinn for a practical introduction that makes it simple to enjoy the life-changing benefits of meditation ­ even if you’ve never tried it before.

Developed by two experts on alternative health.

3. Guided Meditation: Six Essential Practices to Cultivate Love, Awareness and Wisdom – Jack Kornfield

CD Price $15.96 Guided Meditation Jack Kornfield

I can’t wait (audio download) $11.18

Review Rating 4/5

Sample it here 

      • Basic sitting practice—The essential starting point for nurturing nonjudgmental spaciousness
      • The heart-opening techniques of lovingkindness and forgiveness meditation to help you discover liberation from suffering
      • A visualization exercise for overcoming difficulties by making direct contact with the voice of your highest wisdom
      • The gratitude and joy meditation, which nourishes an innocent rejoicing in life itself
      • Mind Like Sky—a practice to enter “original mind,” the pure space of awareness that is consciousness itself

Another reputable and credible source.  Again, he’s been around for years and works in conjunction with Tara Brach alot.  Which brings me to number 4.

4. Mindfulness Meditation: Nine Guided Practices to Awaken Presence and Open Your Heart – Tara Brach

CD Price $15.96

I can’t wait (audio download) $11.18Mindfulness Meditation Tara Brach

Review Rating 4.5/5

Sample it here

  1. A Pause for Presence—a short, basic practice that can be used daily to feel at home with mindfulness
  2. Developing Self-Compassion—a meditation that cultivates a forgiving and caring heart towards yourself and others
  3. Presence with Everyday Fears—a practice to help you address fear and other emotions in order to find greater freedom and choice
  4. Mindfulness of Pain—a meditation to release you from physical suffering
  5. Contacting Our Inner Wisdom—a practice to help you avoid constant reactivity in difficult situations

Tara Brach offers many products and once again very reputable and credible.  As with others in this list, her longevity speaks volumes.

5. Meditation: Practicing Presence in Every Moment of Your Life – Eckhart Tolle

CD Price $15.96 Meditation Eckhart Tolle

DVD Price (he is lovely to watch) $15.96

Review Rating 4/5

Sample it here

  1. The role of meditation in everyday life
  2. How to discover inner space as a portal to presence
  3. The traditional art of meditating on an object, including the breath
  4. Just sitting and living in alignment with what is
  5. The true meaning of acceptance—meditation’s central goal

Eckhart Tolle is a Master.  If you can explore Eckhart’s teachings please do so.

If you can spend a little more ($69.99), he also offers Essential Meditations with Eckhart Tolle: Guided Sessions and Pratical Teachings.  He’s that good that you have to pre-order.

Essential Meditations Eckhart Tolle

Final Words

I hope this article has taken some of the leg work away from you having to trawl the internet to find something suitable.

I think any of these are great starting points from respected and credible people.

Take the opportunity to listen to the samples, but also start to build a collection.

I always learn something new no matter how many times I listen and I need something different from time to time.

I would love to hear how you get on in your journey of meditation and/or awakening.  Please leave a comment to share your thoughts or ask any questions.  I’m here to help.

Go forth with ease and just be!

Martine

 

 

 

 

 

12 Comments

  • Manuela

    Love the topic of your site and this article. I have been thinking about meditation for a while and I love your gentle approach to it. I am going to check out some other articles. Thank you for sharing!

    • Martine

      Thankyou, my approach is really about ease. Any time we have to really push, resistance can set in, so I find that counter productive. I hope it motivates you to start to meditate even if just a little. Thank you for your feedback.

  • Manuela

    Just a couple of questions: How long have you been doing meditation? Also, the review rating on those CDs, is it your own personal rating or the general rating of the public?

    • Martine

      Hi Manuela, I had touched on it over the years (probably 17 years ago or so – your question actually made me think about it and I hadn’t realised it was so long ago, so thank you) and attended some retreats and meditation courses. But, I would say that it has been the last 6 years that I have really started to implement a regular practice (this was following a time in my life where I felt that I had ‘hit a wall’ and could no longer go on living the same way). The impact has been profound and I know it’s the only way forward to if I want to live with peace, contentment and joy. It’s amazing how how your experience of life changes too. The rating is a public rating of people that have purchased and used the CDs, but I can say that I have experience of all bar Jon Kabat-Zinn and Andrew Weill. Though all (including Jon Kabat-Zinn have a following and are of high regard). Eckhart Tolle changed my life. I have to say though that what you are ready for is what you resonate with at a particular time and it can evolve. That’s why I think the ‘sample or tasters’ are good too. Thank you for your thoughtful questions, they have been helpful to me too.

  • BlueMoon UniqueFashion

    I have heard guided meditation but have never tried it. It was only through your post that I learned that there were different types of meditation. I know a lot of people use these CDs while driving a car, but I don’t know how smart it is and if there is a benefit to listening to a CD when our attention is on the rides?

    • Martine

      No,I wouldn’t recommend meditating whilst driving, but we can still practise being present. Often, Iwill listen to a talk on presence or enlightennent/awakening whilst driving. Just helps to remain aware. Thanks for your comment.

  • David

    Thank you for your article and great examples of meditations. I tend to come at meditation from a Christian perspective. Meditation on God’s Word and prayer are very important elements of my day. For me personally, it is necessary to have this quiet time to close out the distractions of the world and just be still. Guided meditations can also be helpful when we need a little help getting quiet and focusing on something that will benefit us. 

    • Martine

      I’m always happy to hear of people introducing or practising meditation or setting aside quiet time from whatever position they are coming from.  Yes, guided meditations are great in helping us get into the zone or for focusing on a specific area. Thankyou for your thoughts.

  • Jesse Lee

    Very helpful post!
    These are all very reasonable prices for these guided meditations. I want to add more meditation to my routine and I will look into some of these more.
    Eckhart certainly sounds like he is quite good, especially for this price.
    Somedays a little gentle sound can be just right to stay focused but not too much. Other days no music or sound can be key for relaxing to a deeper level.
    Making time for meditation can be key for relaxing to a much deeper level. I hope to add more of these guided meditations to my routine soon.
    Thanks for providing plenty of options for adding meditation to our lives!

  • Renea

    I have never heard of guided meditation until reading your post. It sounds like you can get really relaxed and focused with the meditations. Thank you for sharing and bringing awareness to guided meditation.

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