Is meditation the same as relaxation? 

 Meditation can be relaxing. But meditation and relaxation are different practices.

People can relax using specific techniques designed to achieve just that, and others simply do something pleasurable, like sitting in the sun, walking in the park or listening to music to feel relaxed.

By contrast, meditation is an exercise you practise to train your mind to be more aware of the here and now. It offers great benefits, such as clarity of thought, focus and wellbeing. It can also lead to relaxation but this is perhaps better thought of as a side-effect. It often happens, but the real point of meditation is to become more present and aware.

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List of guided meditations

During the course of this program experiment with different types of meditations and think of what would help you create a regular meditation practice and what gets in the way.

Here is a list of guided meditations you may download and listen to as often as you wish. These meditations were recorded by Dr Richard Chambers, a clinical psychologist and mindfulness consultant.    

The body scan (5 min)

The body and breath meditation (5 min)

Working mindfully with emotions (10 min)

The body-breath-sound meditation (10 min)

The body-breath-sound-thought meditation (10 min)

Tuning into your suroundings (10 min)

The 1 minute practice