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Meditation as a Tool

to Ease Stress

Are you new to meditation? An intermittent or experienced meditator? Maybe slightly resistant. Or just curious. Wherever you are at, whatever brings you to meditation at first, there's something here for you. Explore and see what feels good!

"Whether you’re looking to reduce stress or find spiritual enlightenment, find stillness or flow through movement, there’s a meditation practice for you. Don’t be afraid to step out of your comfort zone and try different types. It often takes a little trial and error until you find the one that fits."

“Meditation isn’t meant to be a forced thing...If we’re forcing it, then it becomes a chore. Gentle, regular practice eventually becomes sustaining, supportive, and enjoyable. Open yourself up to the possibilities. There are so many different forms of meditation that if one isn’t working or isn’t comfortable, just try a new one.”         

--Holly Bertone,

Author, Speaker, & Wellness Expert

A significant body of research provides evidence for the many physical and emotional benefits of meditation. Studies have shown meditation's effectiveness in reducing stress, lowering blood pressure, and assisting with anxiety, depression, and insomnia. People come to meditation with so many different physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual goals. 

Find out more about the research on meditation 

There are so many kinds of meditation practices! Meditations can be as short as a few minutes or 30 minutes or longer, depending on your needs. They can be spiritual or not spiritual. They can be unguided or guided (by listening and following a meditation teacher's voice). Specific types of meditation experiences range from focused attention meditation, visualization meditation, movement meditation, transcendental meditation, and mantra meditation to mindful meditation.  Some meditation practices are spiritually-oriented (incorporating both Eastern spiritual traditions such as Buddhism, Hinduism, and Taoism as well as Judeo-Christian traditions), whereas others are secular in nature. 

Explore a few different types of meditation practices below and see what feels good to you. If you are someone who is less comfortable sitting down and meditating and you prefer more active movement, you may want to try a


Doing even just a few minutes daily can be so great for the body, mind, and spirit!

Learn more about different types of meditation 

Tara Brach, Ph.D.


Tara Brach, founder of the Insight Meditation Community of Washington, DC, offers a wealth of free guided meditations and talks online.

RAIN Meditation For Working With Difficulty

Library of Downloadable Meditations

Resources for New Meditators

Justin Michael Williams

Justin Michael Williams


Meditation teacher, speaker, musician and author of Stay Woke:  A Meditation Guide For The Rest Of Us, Justin Michael Williams offers meditation talks entitled Meditation For The People:  A Free, No Bullshit, 3-Part Series For Type-A People who Can't Stop Thinking.

Meditation For The People

Belleruth Naparstek, therapist 


The Health Journeys app with Belleruth Naparstek offers free guided imagery meditations for relieving stress, supporting a healthy immune system, mindful breathing, and energizing/focusing. Health Journeys partners include the Mayo Clinic, US Dept. of Veterans Affairs, and several universities. The meditations are evidence-based, accessible, and user-friendly!

Guided Imagery for Stress Reduction

What is guided imagery meditation?

Kristin Neff, Ph.D.


Kristin Neff offers downloadable guided meditations featuring mindful self-compassion. Some favorites:

Self-compassion guided meditations 

  • Self-compassion break (5 min)

  • Compassionate friend 

  • Affectionate breathing

  • Soften, soothe, allow -- working with emotions in the body

What is mindful self-compassion? 

Rhonda Magee

Rhonda Magee, J.D.


As a Professor of Law, author, and teacher of mindfulness trained in Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction, Rhonda Magee offers a short mindfulness meditation

Awareness of Breath Meditation (10 min)

designed to help you notice your breath, body, and thoughts, and provide you with opportunities to pause, renew, feel a sense of support and notice what is well within you at this moment. Great for beginners or those wanting simple support.

Jack Kornfield, Ph.D.


Psychologist and meditation leader Jack Kornfield offers a brief discussion on the coronavirus pandemic and then offers two powerful guided meditations for feeling grounded and nurtured/held in love during these challenging times. 

Jack Kornfield Guided Meditations

Deepak Chopra, M.D.


Deepak Chopra is a physician, author, and meditation teacher. He frequently partners with Oprah Winfrey for free online 21-day 

3 Meditations on Gratitude, Success, and Healing 

meditation experiences on hope, health, and healing.

Breathing Meditation for Stress and Anxiety

Breathing Meditation for Stress/Anxiety
00:00 / 10:37
Ruth King

Ruth King, M.A. in Clinical Psychology


Meditation teacher, educator, and author of Mindful of Race: Transforming Racism From the Inside Out, Ruth King uses the breath and other mindful meditation tools to increase awareness of individual and societal perceptions around race, and to cultivate a culture of kindness. 

Quieting the Inner Emotional Storm Meditation

Mindfulness Meditation 

Meditations on Equanimity, Compassion, and Racial Awareness

Elisha Goldstein, Ph.D.


Elisha Goldstein is a psychologist, author, and co-founder of the Center for Mindful Living. He offers many guided meditations and has created a free online community called the Mindful Living Collective. 

Breath as an Anchor

The ACE Practice (Awareness, Collecting, Expanding)

The STOP Practice (Stop, Take a Breath, Observe, Proceed)

Additional Meditations

Image by Jose Mizrahi

There are many, many other meditation resources and wise meditation teachers to explore in person and online, including (but not imited to) InsightLA Meditation, Pema Chodron, Eckhart Tolle, Sharon Salzberg, Jon Kabat-Zinn, and UCLA's Mindful Awareness Research Center. Apps such as Headspace, Calm, Dan Harris's Ten Percent Happier, Sam Harris's Waking Up, Insight Timer, and Liberate Meditation App for BIPOC can also be instrumental in helping guide a daily meditation practice and can give insightful tips on starting a meditation practice!

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