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15-Minute Guided Sight Meditation

Welcome to this 15-minute sight meditation, guided by Ross Edwards BSc DipBSoM. This post includes a free audio along with tips on how to get the most from it.

This is perfect for beginner meditators who’d like a taste of mindfulness, and for experienced meditators who would like to experiment with the senses.

In this audio, we intentionally work with the sights around us, bringing clarity to them and seeing the raw phenomena rather than our interpretations of them. In this way, we cultivate a new way of seeing along with the essential skills of mindfulness.

Practice this often, and your experience of the visual field will shift. It will be much richer, alive and satisfying.

If you want to jump straight in, the audio is below. You can go for any of the common meditation postures (cross-legged, in a chair, lying down), so long as your body is comfortable and you feel both alert and at ease. Don’t stare, just let the sights in. Scroll down past the audio for my tips on how to get the most from it.

15-Minute Guided Sight Meditation: Audio

15-Minute Guided Meditation: Tips

Posture and Setup

You can do this 15-minute audio in any of the common postures – it’s your choice, so long as you’re able to loosen your body and let it be supported by whatever is underneath.

Keep a symmetrical posture to help you remain awake and alert while pouring your attention into the sounds around you. I also suggest you remove external distractions to allow your body to relax.

The Goal

It’s crucial you realise that the true goal of this 15-minute sight practice is to be as attentive as possible. This is mind-body training, not a relaxation technique.

And you’ll find that in stopping and paying deliberate attention to the sights, you become absorbed in them. This can be delicious, and the more closely you pay attention, the more delicious it is.

You’ll probably have emotions, thoughts and sensations in the body too. The key is to let them come up while trying to hold your attention on the sights.

Isn’t Meditation Just Relaxation?

I’m always skeptical when I come across “guided meditations”. Many of them seem more like relaxation exercises than real mind-body training. That’s not to say there’s anything wrong with them per se, but simply that we shouldn’t call it meditation if all we’re doing is trying to cool off and bliss out.

As John Kabat-Zinn says, “Meditation is not relaxation spelled differently.” Relaxation certainly doesn’t guarantee you’re meditating; meditating doesn’t mean you feel relaxed.

So what are we really doing here? The key is the attention we have during this 15-minute practice. This is what makes this focused-based exercise into a legitimate meditation practice.

Shinzen Young has defined three skills we need to cultivate to say that we are meditating: concentration, sensory clarity, and equanimity. Here’s how we develop all three in this 15-minute meditation.

  • Concentration: we hold our attention on the sights and return it there when it wanders.
  • Sensory Clarity: as we hold them, we detect their qualities, such as size, location, intensity, movement, etc.
  • Equanimity: we let everything come up, whether it feels relaxing or not.

So long as you’re cultivating these three skills, you’re meditating.

Next Steps

I suggest you practice this every day for a couple of weeks so you can start getting the hang of it. Once you do, you could use it to a way to more fully experience your visual field throughout the day.

If you find this is interesting and productive for you, you can try my 25-minute body scan meditation. This will get you a taste of longer meditation sessions.

And if you’d like to go deeper with meditation, you’ll build a solid foundation in mindfulness meditation in my eight-week meditation course.

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