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What Are Meditation Readings?

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  • Written By: F. Ruiz
  • Edited By: A. Joseph
  • Last Modified Date: 14 November 2016
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Meditation readings are texts that are used to guide one’s meditation. Excerpts from holy scriptures are often the source of meditation readings. Other sources include wise quotations, proverbs or readings especially designed for meditation. Readings that were especially designed for meditation often focus on a particular goal, such as relaxation, building feelings of compassion or developing confidence. Meditation readings are sometimes referred to as “meditation scripts.”

Across many spiritual traditions, meditation practitioners frequently draw inspiration from holy texts. When doing meditation, many religious practitioners turn to a particular section of scripture, read it, then silently contemplate its meaning in an effort to deepen their understanding and strengthen their faith. This self-directed meditation can be tailored to one's individual needs or to whatever mood one is in. For more guidance and meditation advice, practitioners often choose to consult with their spiritual leader or meditation guide.

In addition to readings with religious goals, there are a wide variety of readings designed for more general spiritual goals — and for secular goals as well. Many readings are designed to achieve relaxation or other pleasant sensations. Others try to build positive qualities such as love and compassion in a general way that is not specific to a particular sect. A few examples of readings designed for secular goals are readings designed for actors to lessen their stage fright before an audition and meditation readings for jobseekers to help them gain confidence before job interviews.

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The majority of specially designed meditation readings are structured, and to complete them, one follows a step-by-step process. Therefore, using a text to meditate is a form of guided meditation, because the text serves as a guide. Instead of reading the text by themselves, some people prefer to have a friend read it aloud to them. Others choose to record themselves reading the script and then listen to it from a relaxed position. Teachers of various meditation techniques also often read meditation readings to groups of students or commit them to memory to recite at meditation sessions.

Meditation readings range in length from very short to very long. Sessions can last from a few minutes to several hours. Depending on one’s schedule and goals, the appropriate length can be chosen.

People who are interested in integrating texts with their meditative practice can find numerous meditation readings on the Internet. They also can draw from spiritual readings that hold meaning for them. Another option that some people choose to explore is creating one’s own readings for personal use or to share with friends and family members.

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