Ready, set, meditate

Daily meditation is part of my self-care and personal and professional development.

Several people have asked me recently about the particular tapes and programs I use. Below are some of my favorites, which I’ve also added to the Next Us resources page.

Meditating alone or with a group, guided or unguided, are all different experiences. Each one is worth trying.

Personally, I find for my daily morning meditation that recorded instruction usually helps deepen my practice, leading to more calm and better insights.

1. Meditations to Change your Brain

This is the companion audio CD to the excellent book Buddha’s Brain by Rick Hanson and Richard Mendius. Half of the tracks explain the neuroscience behind the various meditation techniques, and the rest are guided meditations of 5-20 minutes each. There are some references to Buddhism here and there, but in general the CD uses colloquial language and is meant to be practical for a broad audience.

2. Meditation for Beginners

Jack Kornfield is a teacher famous for bringing ancient insight and mindfulness meditation practices to the West. The frame for this CD is more explicitly Buddhist, with references to concepts like the Four Noble Truths. As with the recording above, half of the the tracks are background teachings; the rest are “listen-along” guided meditations.

3. Appropriate Response

Pamela Weiss is the founder of Appropriate Response, a mindfulness-based leadership development and coaching organization. On the AR website, she offers a number of free .mp3 guided meditations of varying lengths, all very good.

4. Stress-Proof Your Brain: Meditations To Rewire Neural Pathways for Stress Relief and Unconditional Happiness

This is another invaluable CD from Rick Hanson, with an apt title. These meditations are slightly longer, averaging around 15 minutes each.

5. Recover Your Center with Conscious Embodiment: Audio Practices That Develop Presence, Confidence, and Compassion

Tiphani Palmer of Conscious Embodiment spoke at a recent The Next Us event and eloquently shared some of the history and benefits of these Aikido-based centering techniques.

6. Guided Mindfulness Meditation

These Jon Kabat-Zinn meditations follow the Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction program he pioneered. This program requires a more serious time investment but has scientifically proven effectiveness helping people with chronic pain and several other medical conditions.

Reader Interactions


  1. Thanks for the links! I picked up “Buddha’s Brain” back when you suggested it and have been doing daily sits ever since. Good stuff.

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