Finding Relaxation Techniques - Try Bodhipaksa's CDs with Guided Meditations to Open the Heart

On the subject of "Guided Meditations: For Developing Calmness, Awareness, and Love" (Audio CD) by Bodhipaksa; Interesting…some people prefer new age music and sound effects in their meditation CDs, while others consider it hokey. Such were the other reviews I ran across regarding this CD. It is hard enough for westerners to learn relaxation techniques, meditation can be challenging if you are distracted by music-or the lack of it-during guided meditations. Some CDs are nothing but music and sound effects, but if you are just beginning to learn how to meditate yourself to sleep, you may end up "listening" to the CD rather than using it as background for meditation. (Not that either way will do damage, anything that helps you sleep without the aide of pills is good, in my book.)

This CD has no music in the background. No whale calls, no rain forest, and no ocean waves. It is simply a guide for relaxing and calming yourself to begin meditation via the presenter's soothing voice. I enjoyed it very much.

There are three basic meditations on the CD. The first is the mindfulness of breathing-which is especially helpful if you are just beginning to study the discipline-the loving kindness meditation, and the particularly good walking meditation. All of them are step by step and easy to follow and are the perfect meditations to open the heart after a stressful day.

Stress is on the upswing in this busy world of technology and transmissions. We are constantly bombarded with outside information, supposedly designed to make our lives easier, but the effect that all of this can have on your psyche is a high price to pay for convenience. We have night terrors, sleep disorders, and brain dysfunction-and that's only the half of it-so the Buddhist way of inner reflection and calmness is definitely something to look forward to as an exercise right before bed.

Which brings us to the guided sleep meditations: These are so helpful in calming your spirit and easing your brain functions as you drift off. How many of us lay awake and worry about tomorrow or "busy brain" about unfinished business? Pre-sleep meditations put everything back into perspective and help you on the road to a peaceful night's sleep, which we all deserve. It won't be long before the peace you feel as you drift off is apparent in how calm you are in the morning, as well. The breathing exercises, relaxation techniques, and meditation are all an integral part of a healthy mind and soul.