Meditation is not something that you learn overnight. It is a habitual skill that takes time and effort to learn. You can start out doing mediation with as little as five minutes in an empty room with a chair. But to get better, you need to take time. In fact, some popular psychology state that it can take as much as 10,000 hours to master a skill. Although this is a highly debated notion, what is known is the fact that psychologists agree that it takes deliberate practice to get better. And by practice, they mean pushing your skills set as much as possible. And this holds true for meditation.
You are not alone, however, in improving your meditation practice. Aside from group classes, there are plenty of resources to help you improve your meditation practice. Below are five of the best resources that will help you push your meditation skill set further.
UCLA Guided Meditations
UCLA offers free guided meditation you can listen to online or on your portable device through their mindful awareness research center. There are 12 overall meditations, four of which are in Spanish. Each meditation is of a different length with the longest at 19 minutes long and the shortest at 3 minutes in length. Each meditation is on a different topic as well. What makes these meditations exceptional is they come from a well-known research university, and you can use them anywhere at anytime.
This website is all about mindfulness. From the design to the contents, it will give you some great resources on mindfulness meditation. These include a blog, a list of apps, and guided meditations you can download and listen to anywhere. The meditations are categorized into different sections. For example, body scan is one section with separate meditations. Thus, you can choose what you want to work on and use a meditation from that section. Plus, there are some self-guided meditations in case you decide you do not need a guide. Also, the meditations vary in length.
The Chopra center, named after Deepak Chopra, offers a very clean and easy to use interface. This means you will find the audio meditations right away. With other sections on important health topics like nutrition and wellness, the center gives overall holistic health information. The guided meditations, however, are very useful. Each meditation has a special name and purpose. There are meditations on gratitude and dreams, for example. The only downside here, which is offset by the fact that it is from such a great source, is that the audio takes some time to load and it is not downloadable.
This app is the mecca of meditation apps. Designed to not only allow you track your meditation progress, but also to offer you a community of meditation users, this app has it all. From single use to guided meditations in a series, you can truly grow your practice here. The app, which is also available as a website, has easy to follow videos and audio. The meditations start simple and grow in difficulty. You can see your progress on the home page. There are series on a wide range of topics such as health and depression. Plus, you can learn the science behind meditation and much more. Headspace offers a free trial before you have to pay, but it is worth the cost if you are serious about improving your practice.
This site [http://palousemindfulness.com/] offers a free series of mindfulness-based stress reduction. Because stress reduction is one of the core benefits of meditation, this course is invaluable. The course runs for eight weeks, and you get a certificate at the end. Each week has videos, worksheets, reading, and supplementary resources. Each week is also a different topic. For example, week one is about body scan. This is not for the faint of heart however. This is for those who are intent on improving their meditation practice and making it sound and great. But, if you want just the meditations, you will find some here, but not a large repository diverse or enough to keep you going for a while. This is like taking a short college course on meditation, but for free!