by Diane Brandon

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 Guided imagery meditation and regression are modalities that have been used with more frequency over the past several years and are powerful tools for both transformation and empowerment.


 What is guided imagery meditation?  Actually, guided meditation is somewhat of a cross between relaxation, hypnosis, and meditation, in which a relaxed state is induced and a deeper level of consciousness is reached, a state somewhere between the waking state and the unconscious or sleep state.  In this state, we can go "within" and quiet outside influences and distractions to tap our inner core.  Various types of imagery may be used, depending upon what the guided meditation is attempting to do.  In some way, because imagery is utilized, this modality draws on our imagination and may allow us to more easily be pulled "into" the meditation and dissolve blocks that may otherwise have been barriers to finding answers.


 Guided imagery meditation may be used for a variety of purposes.  At its simplest, it may be used for relaxation, to still and calm anxiety.  It may be used to access spirit guides and to obtain guidance, and to reach our Higher Self.  It may be used to face and deal with fears, thereby overcoming them.  It may be used to deal with childhood issues and pains and heal them.  It may be used to attain self-esteem and self-love.  And, as we attempt to move toward living consciously, it allows us to plumb our own depths, know ourselves better, and bring unconscious things to consciousness.


 One of the very positive aspects of guided imagery meditation is that it can allow us to find our own answers within.  Thus, it is a powerful tool for empowerment.  The practitioner who uses this technique can facilitate his/her client's process of empowerment, rather than just giving the client answers that he/she could have found within or telling the client what to do.  For the client, encountering one's own guides and finding one's answers can be a very powerful and transformative experience and can greatly accelerate one's process of healing, growth, and empowerment.  There can be spontaneous transformations and emotional breakthroughs.


 In addition, a skilled and intuitive practitioner can individualize the session to your needs and, moreover, can also actually "be there" with you and sense how to steer the imagery and, thus, the experience.  This can elicit much more powerful results than may be gained through preprogrammed guided meditation tapes that may not be individualized to your needs (although, in lieu of individualized sessions, tapes can definitely be helpful).


 Regression sessions are a modality similar to guided imagery meditation, in that a relaxed state is induced and a person is taken to a deeper level of consciousness.  Age or past-life regression may be attained either through guided imagery or a more straightforward approach.  The key component of regression sessions is that of being taken to a different time -- usually to a younger age in the present lifetime or to a past lifetime.  One may do regression for a variety of reasons:  to tap into childhood issues and primary causes of pain and fear, so as to facilitate insight and breakthroughs; to explore past lifetimes in order to identify possible past-life causes of present life problems, fears, relationship issues, etc.; to

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