Week 4

Week 1: Sharing Circle 101
Grounding & Guiding 

Download the PDF for Meditation

Using Meditation in Circle

Starting off your circle with a grounding meditation is an excellent way to transition from the ‘outside world’ into the container of your workshop. Remember that most people have busy and complex lives, and their heads are likely full of mind chatter about past experiences, or checking their mental to do list.


Through this practice you are bringing people into the present moment, to fully engage with the group, and to give themselves an opportunity to check in with what is going on in their physical, mental and emotional landscape. Depending on your audience, this may be the first time that some people have sat down and connected to their inner worlds, so using simple language is usually the best tack.


There are thousands if not millions of meditations that one can do, and part of your job will be to research and find out which ones resonate with you most. They are used for all kinds of purposes from grounding, relaxation, visioning, inner child work, shadow work, increasing sensitivity in the body, connecting to loving-kindness or gratitude, etc etc. 

We won’t be covering all of them in this course, but I’ll introduce some of my favourites that I find are useful in a variety of situations. 

Top Tips for Guiding Meditation

While there is no one way to guide a meditation, there are some general tips and pointers that will help you to develop this skill.


Things to Consider:


The Intention

  • What is the purpose of this meditation? To feel relaxed, to settle the mind, to feel into your emotions, to speak with your inner child?


The Journey

  • What is the journey you’re taking people on? 

  • Most meditations have a clear beginning, middle and end. Some will have multiple steps, make sure you have it planned out in advance


Cadence and Tone

  • You want the rhythm of your voice to feel present and always with the person, but not over invasive. If you’re speaking the whole time, then there is no space for the participant to have their own experience

  • Slow down your speaking, and leave pauses between each bit of guidance

  • Allow the tone of your voice to be relatively calm and gentle. (not so gentle that people fall asleep!)

  • Get feedback on how your voice sounds, some people have calm soft voices naturally so you won’t need to change it at all. Other people have harder, more commanding voices, and you may need to learn how to soften it for this practice. 


Invitation over Instruction

  • Keep your language invitational and open, rather than directive. It doesn’t feel good being bossed around in a meditation, or feeling like you’re being forced into something.

  • E.g. directional: ‘I want you to…’ ‘Now you’re going to...’

  • E.g. invitational: ‘See if you can…’ ‘bringing your awareness to…’ ‘if it feels good you can…’


Using Open Questions

  • Questions are great for being invitational, and makes the participant more active within the experience

  • What sensations do you notice in your chest?

  • Is there a colour or sound associated with that feeling?


Space and Acceptance

Some of my top phrases/ bits of guidance are:

  • ‘Whatever you’re feeling, see if you can create even more space for that feeling to be there.’

  • ‘See if you can allow yourself to experience this emotion without trying to push it away, fix it, or change it in any way.’

  • ‘Can you give yourself full permission to feel this way?’

  • ‘See if it’s possible to approach this experience with curiosity, acceptance and compassion’


Give Options

  • Especially when approaching emotional states, it can be helpful to list some emotions so people know that the more challenging ones are on the menu

  • E.g. ‘perhaps you’re feeling anxious and sad, perhaps you feel happy and open, maybe you feel stressed or bored. Whatever you feel is ok and allowed’


Not ‘Getting It’ is Ok

  • Whatever you’re guiding, there will almost always be someone who can’t get into it, can’t feel anything, can’t visualise anything etc.

  • Let them know that’s ok, otherwise they’ll be sitting there feeling mega frustrated.

  • E.g. perhaps you feel anxious, sad….. Or perhaps you feel numb, and that’s ok too, just create more space for that numbness to be there. Perhaps you don’t know what you’re feeling and you can’t name it. That’s ok too, see if you can focus on the sensation without needing to know.

Future Self Meditation
Future Self MeditationGaia Harvey Jackson
00:00 / 17:35
Body Scan
Body ScanGaia Harvey Jackson
00:00 / 10:28
Being with Emotions
Being with EmotionsGaia Harvey Jackson
00:00 / 10:33

 © 2021 Gaia Harvey Jackson