Almost a decade ago now, a thoughtful client of mine from Spain, Carmen, sent me an email to ask if I’d be open to sharing my meditations on a free meditation app, Insight Timer. I was using the app myself and loved it, but hadn’t thought to reach out to ask if they’d be open to me contributing my own meditations.
Originally developed in the US in 2009, the app had been recently purchased by two Australian brothers, Christopher and Nicholas Plowman, who were looking for a way to share their love of meditation with the world. After Carmen’s email, I emailed and later met with the lovely Maddy Gerrard, who was head of new content at the app.
Over the ensuing years, I’ve shared many of my meditations and a ten-day course on the app and every Monday morning (Australian time), I meet with a group of meditators to run a live class. It has been a joy to get to know the Insight community and work with the Insight team. In every way, this has been the most rewarding collaboration.
Now home to over 25 million meditators, Christopher and Nicho are doing their bit to create a more peaceful and conscious world, one person at a time, by offering meditation at no cost.
I thought I would share a few of my favourite Insight Timer meditations for absolute beginners in the hope that maybe I too can play a part in continuing to spread the word. Please feel free to share this share these on your own channels.
1. Compassionate Body Scan by Vidyamala Burch (15 mins)
A body scan meditation is probably one of the easiest ways to meditate when you’re a complete beginner. Vidyamala has a lovely voice and her guided meditations are spoken without background music. This track will help you to let go of physical stress and tension.
2. Mindfulness of Thoughts Meditation by Meg James (10 mins)
I’m a bit biased about Meg’s meditations because she’s my daughter. She has a beautiful, gentle voice and her meditation is backed by soothing music. This is a great meditation to help you to become more mindful of the unhelpful ways you think.
3. Breath and Awareness by Tara Brach (7 mins)
Tara Brach is a psychologist and mindfulness teacher, whose work is underpinned by her training in Buddhism. Her work in the self-compassion space has had a great impact in my personal life and also in the work that I do with my clients. This is an excellent introduction to breath meditation.
4. Quick Confidence by Andrew Johnson (6 mins)
Andrew is trained in clinical hypnotherapy so his meditations are both deeply relaxing and powerful in their capacity for helping cultivate mental change. This meditation will help you to feel more relaxed about yourself while also cultivating a newfound sense of confidence. Backed by soothing music.
5. Mountain Meditation by Andy Hobson (15 mins)
Andy is someone who truly embodies his work. He composes his own music which is introduced a few minutes into this meditation. Andy’s meditations offer patches of silence, which I personally really love. This is an excellent track to help you feel more stable, grounded and calm.
6. Healing Through Letting Go with Sarah Blondin (12 mins)
Sarah’s meditations are quite unique. Her voice is beautifully soothing and her writing is insightful, reflective, vulnerable and poetic. This track includes music that comes in at around the four minute mark. I think you’ll find this meditation deeply nurturing.
7. Mindful Awareness Meditation by me (10 mins)
I thought I’d include one of my meditations too in this collection. This one is a simple mindful awareness meditation to help you pay deliberate attention to internal and external experiences.
8. Yoga Nidra by Zoe Kanat (15 mins)
Yoga Nidra is one of the easiest ways to access a deep state of relaxation while maintaining full consciousness, making it a form of meditation truly rejuvenating for the body and mind. Zoe’s yoga nidra is a great length for someone starting out with this practice. It’s backed by a relaxing music track.
9. Yoga Nidra for Sleep Meditation with Jennifer Piercy (15 mins)
Jennifer is Insight Timer’s sleep guru and this deeply relaxing yoga nidra practice will help to induce sleep naturally. Use it as you transition into sleep.
10. Slowing Down Your Mind by Davidji (20 mins)
Davidji has the most wonderful deep voice and he uses a traditional Sanskrit mantras in his meditations, which makes them feel a little more spiritual. This track is maybe better practised after you’ve tried some of the others as it includes around seven minutes of silence while you focus on the mantra.