According to Eastern philosophy, meditation and guided meditation lead you to be able to quiet your conscious mind, reach your higher consciousness and connect to your God. Some call this place God consciousness. In religions such as Judaism, Christianity or Islam, it is believed that we reach God through prayer. It is often said that God talks to us through meditation and we talk to God through prayer. In all cases described above, it is believed we alter our consciousness, attain a trance state and reach a higher consciousness.
In active guided meditation we reach our unconscious mind. I call this the unconscious mind so that it is not to be confused with the Freudian view of the subconscious mind, which is generally believed to hold repressed sexual, angry or traumatic material that interferes with our functioning. Inspired by the writings of Milton H Erickson, MD, I believe the unconscious mind is the storehouse of all our helpful resources, successful learning, strengths, intelligence and creativity.
Therefore, when I am doing an active guided meditation, your unconscious mind is activated; helping you to integrate the ideas that I suggest, with your unconscious minds’ own assets. The result is that various parts of you move forward supercharged by the unconscious, but only if you want to, to help overcome challenges and change your life for the better.
In the scientific literature, active guided meditation has been called hypnosis. Unfortunately, the word hypnosis today is a very powerful word that conjures up a great deal of inaccurate thinking that turns people off to the many benefits trance-work can do for them. The stigma attached to hypnosis comes from the theatrics of stage hypnotists, exaggerations or complete untruths prevalent in movies and cartoons, trances created from parlor games or notions spread by unethical psychics. The stereotype of the hypnotist is an authoritarian person controllingweak people. If this was true, I would have gotten married 20 years earlier than I did and be a billionaire today. Since I am a psychologist, a scientist and a researcher who has performed experiments with hypnosis, (Tamalonis, A.M., 1990, see my C.V.), to be thorough, I am going to present information about hypnosis in the following section of my website. However, as a clinician, a therapist, and in order to help as many people as I can, I will refer to the trance-work I do as active guided meditation.
We All Need To Alter Our Consciousness
When we were children, we twirled around and held our breath to change the way we were feeling to alter our consciousness. Some teenagers and adults made love, took drugs, alcohol, ate food and listened to our favorite music to change the way we were feeling and alter our consciousness. Other adults take medications to feel better, given by their doctors. When taken as prescribed, these drugs usually don't have the negative side effects that street drugs or over drinking or over eating have but still alter our consciousness. Even the 12 step programs give credence to the importance of prayer and meditation to alter consciousness and reach God in their 12th Step to remain sober.
To be clear, as mentioned, meditation, prayer, active guided meditation, and hypnosis, alter our consciousness and produce a trance, but so do singing, dancing, gardening, exercising, making love, listening to music, reading and enjoying good conversations, to name just a few. The only difference between these various activities is the intention, ones’ purpose or objective. As previously mentioned some of the intentions are to quiet the mind, to talk to God, to listen to God, to feel better, to have pleasure, to get healthy and strong, and to heal. In psychotherapy, trances produced by active guided meditation empower ideas so that people take action and with the assistance of their own unconscious mind to heal from mental and physical disorders.