Archive for the ‘Guest Posts’ Category

postheadericon Meditation and Hypnosis: Similar Practices with Different Outcomes

It’s not uncommon for people to make the generalization that meditation and hypnosis are largely the same practice. In both you are relaxed and in an almost trance-like state, focusing on inner reflection and tapping into your subconscious, focusing entirely on one solitary thought. However the two should not be mistaken as the same practice, because their differences define them more so than their similarities.


1. With meditation you practice achieving a completely blank mind, devoid of any and all thoughts. The goal of meditation is to empty your mind and eliminate stress from your body through calming thoughts.

2. While practicing meditation the emphasis is usually on controlling your breathing. By focusing on only this you are quieting your mind. We tend to not realize how much is actually going on in our brains until we try to silence them.

3. Usually you have a mantra (or mantras) that you repeat throughout the meditation process that bring you to a state of peace. This chanting of a mantra – whether it’s out loud or internal – tends to have an almost rhythmic and calming effect on our bodies and minds.


1. With hypnosis you are targeting a singular, defined result, which is one key element that differentiates hypnosis from meditation, such as breaking a bad habit or ending an unnecessary fear. Many people use the process of hypnosis to help them quit binge eating or to finally stop smoking.

2. Hypnosis is achieved through someone else guiding you to a hypnotic state. A hypnotherapist is a highly trained professional employed to lead you into a state of hypnosis before targeting your subconscious mind and helping you to remove the barriers preventing you from achieving your end goal.

It’s not uncommon for people to be turned off to the thought of hypnosis, as many associate it with magic shows and being made to do ridiculous tasks in front of an audience while in a hypnotic state. But the truth is we experience hypnosis more often than we realize – anytime we zone out for an undetermined amount of time we have experienced a type of self-hypnosis.

Meditation, on the other hand, is more widely accepted as a beneficial practice, and something many people embrace on a daily basis. Achieving a true absence of thought, however, takes a lot of time and practice.

Both meditation and hypnosis have the power to help us reduce stress and achieve a more well-rounded sense of self; and both can help us reach a predetermined desired outcome. However it’s the practice and the desired outcome that usually differ, with meditation focusing on lack of thought and hypnosis aiming to change a behavior.

Author Bio

Melanie Slaugh is enthusiastic about the growing prospects and opportunities of various industries and writing articles on various consumer goods and services as a freelance writer. She writes extensively for internet service providers and also topics related to internet service providers in my area for presenting the consumers, the information they need to choose the right Internet package for them. She can be reached at slaugh.slaugh907 @

postheadericon Live Musicians Providing Meditation Soundtracks

I had a roommate who was learning the guitar. He was overly apologetic about all the noise and made efforts to not practice anytime I could be disturbed. But I loved it. His soft, repetitive strum of acoustic strings was soothing and the perfect sort of light background music. I meditate frequently and it wasn’t long before one of my meditations and one of his practice sessions coincided—harmony.

In my opinion, meditation is about submission. It’s about letting go. I’ve become used to meditating to a metronome or a fading gong, but there was something newly challenging about meditating to music I had no control over. It was powerful.

Many people practice with music and, of course, I dream of an in-house meditation studio with luxury mats, a gurgling fountain, a customer home theater system to play meditation music and soft, ambient light. While my personal studio may never happen, music is the next best way to create a perfect environment for meditation. In the meantime my roommate’s guitar music drifting through apartment was enough.

Now, I have well-worn CDs of rainstorms and Japanese flutes that make a great background for meditation, but practicing with live music is different. Before long you get used to your recorded music and know what is coming up next. With live music it is less predictable. Meditation is all about letting go of control. Live meditation music adds another element of surrender.

Using live music to accompany meditation is not a widespread practice. Not because of unpopularity–I’m sure many more people would adapt the practice if they could. But to do it you need a musician. This artist seamlessly integrates his music into meditation sessions. The experience is similar to what happens when a group gathering has each member hold a tone. The individual hums collect into an emotional harmony. One person cannot control the sound beyond himself or herself.

Dave Antonio uses a didgeridoo, which sends out high vibrations. This makes the experience of the sound physical as well as aural. He navigates the room of meditation with his didgeridoo resting on the floor. The vibrations from the instrument increase as Antonio gets closer. The participants feel the pulses intensify and yield but are never touched directly by the instrument.

I think it’s important to experiment in meditation. What works for someone will not always work for another. Things that assisted me let go at one point in my life may no longer channel that release. But I think music is a fantastic way to encourage and structure your meditations. Recorded music quickly creates a relaxing and harmonious environment while live music provides are extra element of surrender that can really help one slip away. No matter the type of music, vibrations of sounds can easily help you channel the vibrations of the universe.

postheadericon Why Morning Meditation Works

A Chicago State of Mind

The best thing about living in Chicago is the energy. It’s not fighting the hustle and bustle but enjoying being in the middle of it. I benefit very much from having the low hum of Windy City humanity buzzing in my ear. However, I firmly believe I can handle that burden because of my morning meditation routine. Every morning, before most people have even hit the snooze button, I face east, begin meditating and greet the sun.

Meditating in the morning is ideal because at 5 a.m. my day is clean. Not too long after I roll up my yoga mat, businesswomen begin sipping coffee, children grab their lunch boxes before heading out the door and the day’s first tourists start photographing Chicago attractions. When I give myself a chance to meditate, I prepare myself for the day. I never wake in a frenzy, being thrown into something. I rise up and greet my day, I accept it. I am in control of my morning.

My practice is a patchwork at best. As an avid pirate of free yoga classes, YouTube meditation videos and Native American jewelry, sometimes I fear the practice I’ve constructed resembles a failed actress trying to meditate for B roll, but it works for me. There is no religious aspect tied to my meditations. I do not ask for anything. I do not bend myself into shapes or prick my finger over herbs and crystals. I sit the way I was taught in a meditation class a few years ago: straight with open palms on my knees. My eyes rest closed and I try to look through my heart. I breathe deeply.

Most mornings I sing or chant a song I learned at summer camp when I was younger. They told us it was a Native American song to greet the sun. I just think it sounds pretty and appropriate. When I meditate I try to think about nothing. When that doesn’t work I think about breathing. When that doesn’t work I think about tea or rivers or how my back used to ache but so much straight-up sitting has made me stronger.

When I explain my practice it so often sounds futile. There isn’t really a tangible goal. I’m not trying to reach enlightenment, enhance my flexibility for develop my physic healing. By each morning, making the choice to sit with myself and simply be I have control over the direction of my day. So many people experience their first moments of the day on a crowded city bus or amidst honking rush hour traffic. This can easily get you in a foul mood or even “ruin your day.” When I’m on my way to work my day already has a clear direction and it would take a lot to disrupt it. I’m protecting myself.

Chicago is a wonderful place to live and the life of a big city is electrifying. Meditating is perfect for bringing more peace into your life. In my opinion meditating in the morning, before mixing with the energy of so many, not only helps me to appreciate the city more but know myself better and my place in the family of things.