postheadericon Are Meditation And Hypnosis The Same?

While meditation and hypnosis do share similarities they are not the same thing. Both meditation and hypnosis share many of the same techniques such as visualization and focusing awareness on a single point in the initial stages. It’s in the next stage that they tend to split apart.

In most cases people who use hypnosis do so with a very specific goal in mind whether it’s to lose weight, quit smoking, increase confidence, etc. Meditation is different in this regard as the aim is typically to relax and achieve a heightened sense of awareness.

With meditation and hypnosis it’s not a case of using one or another. Under the right guidance both are skills that can be used to greatly improve your life. Neither is “better” or “safer” than the other so don’t be afraid to experiment with either.

6 Responses to “Are Meditation And Hypnosis The Same?”

  • I personally feel that hypnosis is a part of meditation but its not that important. I have seen some meditators doing this along with there daily meditation.

  • In my opinion the two are different mainly because meditation is usually self guided, and Hypnosis is usually guided by someone else.


  • This has been subject of much debate recently. We must remember that meditation was originally intended to cleanse and purify the mind and soul in order to attain true enlightenment. It was never really designed for relaxation and reducing stress, but there is no doubt meditation achieves this in spades. My opinion is that “guided meditation” is not unlike hypnosis in that the mind is taken on a journey deep into the unconscious and guided by the narrator of the meditation. Hypnosis does tend to have a particular goal in mind whereas guided meditation has more of a spiritual element attached to it. Methodologically, they are virtually indistinguishable.

  • Sophie:

    There is an element of the same in the relaxed trance effect achieved during hypnosis and meditation, especially the inner imagery appearing in that state. But I reckon the difference is that during hypnosis you have someone taking you to that inner state and often quite quickly, and you have them guiding you towards that goal, with their stories. During mediation you go to the trance state yourself, and depending on how accomplished you are, this may happen quickly or with great difficulty. There are actually quite a lot of hypnotists who believe that hypnosis is a totally different state and trance is only a by-product. This is not standard knowledge, however, so if you go to any ordinary hypnotherapist they will probably give you the standard description. Really interesting to study though.

  • I have never really connected the two, but I guess you could use meditation as a means of self-hypnosis.

  • I just stumbled upon this question and had to respond because it’s a good question that has had a lot of thought and research around it.

    The trouble with trying to identify and classify the two is that they are both “meaningful” words; and as such there are lots of things that fall under hypnosis and equally so with meditation.

    In a nutshell, there are some obvious similarities, which can make the two sometimes seem, as Jorge says, “virtually indistinguishable” from one another. However, there are also some subtle differences. For example; the brain wave activity during a hypnotic trance (when monitored on an EEG) shows more alpha wave activity, whilst meditation shows more theta wave activity. That said, both hypnosis and mediation can achieve alpha, theta, and delta brain waves so this is by no means a conclusive difference.

    In my practice I have often described hypnosis as working with the mind. In that way, hypnosis is a tool in which the mind is guided (as Antonio mentions). If you think of both as taking a trip through a city; hypnosis means you have a guide, whilst meditation leaves you free to walk the city on your own. You may end up at the same place and taking the same roads, but then again, you may not!