a course in Meditation

Guided Launch

Learn to Meditate Naturally, Right Now
Ted Phelps, Host and Designer of Natural Meditation

Part One: Introduction and First Experience

This is a short course you can take in about an hour. It is based on Ted Phelps’ audio book, Natural Meditation: a guided launch.

If you haven’t seen the opening page, go there first:

Listen or Read

  • Click the arrow in this box to listen to Ted Phelps, or
  • Read written text, below.

Natural Talent for Meditation

Welcome to this guided launch into Natural Meditation. My name is Ted Phelps. I am the founder of Natural Meditation Initiatives. I also wrote the self-paced study called A Course in Meditation which is available as a book. The course is also offered free of charge online, on the Internet at naturalmeditation.org.

Natural Meditation Initiatives is a service organization that helps get the message out to the general population about the natural, healthy effects of meditation in daily life. We emphasize the aspects of meditation that belong to all of us because of a natural, built-in meditative function that we all have.

There’s so much vitally important, healthy goodness built right into our human chemistry, yet it lies dormant until we sit quietly and allow it to work. What you are about to learn will open the door to this meditative goodness. It’s already built, already there within you, like a quiet, spare room that you walk by every day and maybe step into briefly from time to time. The meditative room inside you is waiting for you to pull up a chair and sit a while.

What you will learn about here already belongs to you. It doesn’t come from some other country or culture. It comes from whoever or whatever made us and created the human biochemistry and mind. There are hundreds of ways to meditate, and most of them are surrounded by philosophies and religious ideas. That cultural heritage is rich, it’s colorful, valuable, and for many it is exciting. But here’s your first point to remember:

There is a foundation to meditation that has nothing to do with culture. It is entirely natural.

Even though it has been developed within religious and cultural contexts, it belongs to everyone. The foundation of meditation is something built into the human body and mind. So that means you don’t have to leave home and venture into other cultures, philosophies, and religions to enrich yourself with the natural gifts that come from the regular practice of meditation.

We all have a natural talent for the meditative state, and it is not just a certain frame of mind or way of thinking. It is as distinct a state as sleeping. Of course, our bodies demand that we sleep. Meditation is much less pushy, which is why it remains unknown to most people. The meditative function will sit quietly dormant within us our whole life, waiting for us to sit down and give it the opportunity to come forth. All it takes is knowledge of the art. Learning it is something like learning to ride a bicycle. Probably easier, but it takes some hands-on training. And then, once you get the feel for it, you’ll ride along almost without effort.

Why this is good for us...

If you build the dedication to meditate every day, you’ll enter the meditative journey, with the accelerated health and wisdom that are the classic, traditional benefits of the meditative lifestyle. It gives you energy and brings relief from stress. It develops creativity and an expanded understanding of oneself and others, and greater ability to care for others. 

Meditation gives the mind an inner vacation and gives the body an inner bath. The mind becomes quiet and open, expansive and inclusive, and the body enjoys a synchronized, rejuvenating rest.

Now, if this all sounds new to you, you might be happy to know that there are well over a thousand published scientific studies on many forms of meditation that help explain how meditation works and what its effects are on many aspects of life.

In this brief introduction, you’re going to have a taste — perhaps your first taste — of these gentle, flowing effects that nature has built into you. You may have experienced it briefly at quiet times without giving it a name, but now you’ll have a name for it, and more importantly, you’ll have a method that will let you experience the meditative function for an extended period of time. It does take 15 or 20 minutes for the process to develop its health-enhancing changes in the body chemistry and to bring its ventilating peacefulness into the mind.

I don’t have time in this brief program to say more about the many benefits of meditation and the scientific research done on it over the past 50 years. Also, there are many methods of meditation to choose from. And you can research all of that on your own, later.

Instead, I invite you to come along with me right now and get started with an excellent, easily accessible form of meditation called Natural Meditation. And if you will treat the next hour as a planting of a seed and then take care of it, the seed will grow into a strong and healthy practice. It will grow into a genuine, classic sitting meditation enriching all aspects of your life.

To continue from here, you’ll need to be sitting in a comfortable place that is set up to allow you to be undisturbed for the next hour. To plant the meditation seed, you must go straight through this program from start to finish. You need to dedicate your full attention to it.

Meditation Sitting, Drawing

Guided Experience, Script

READERS TAKE NOTE: This is quite effective and soothing to listen to, but not to read. You should read it only if you cannot listen to it, or want to guide someone else in learning by reading this aloud to the other and doing the timing, shown in brackets. If you need to or prefer to read it, then try this: First read this quietly to yourself. Then go through it and do what is indicated, closing your eyes and doing the timing yourself with a watch or clock. Pauses are indicated here as numbers, such as “…Three…” and brackets, and they specify the number of seconds or heartbeats to pause if you are reading it to another person.
[This is the text of the audio:]

In the next few minutes I will lead you in a meditative experience. You won’t need any special skills to enjoy this because you will be experiencing something that has always been with you, which is the natural flow of the mind. You have always had thoughts and you have always had feelings and in this experience, you will ride with that flow of the mind. Very graceful and accepting. …Three

Sit comfortably. Place your hands on your lap, folded together, and put both feet on the floor. You can lightly cross them at the ankles. Now, close your eyes or lower them. …Three

You will be taking a quiet, solitary meditative ride and I’ll be leaving you on your own once we get going. You can think of this experience as being something like getting into a familiar canoe and going down the lake for a while on a summer evening. The water is calm, there’s a gentle breeze at our back, and a gentle current, a gentle flow, helping us go where we want to go. We’ll be riding along on that flow, gently assisting with the paddle. Now, that’s just an image. And you can let that image fall away or stay with you.

The flow of the lake is a metaphor for the flow of the mind.
The flow is the thoughts you are having…Three
The flow is the background sounds you hear…Five
The flow is the feelings that gently circulate through the body… Seven
All this is the lake. And it flows.
Let these thoughts and feelings flow as they will …Seven
Recall yourself every few seconds …Three
This isn’t concentrating. Just go with the flow and then recall yourself. You’re here, and you just note that…Five
When you hear a sound or have a thought, you’re feeling your flowing mind and it’s helping, it’s carrying you in the right direction.
You may think the phrase I am here to note yourself.
And that is like a quiet paddle in the evening water…Three
I am here…Three… I am here. Like a gentle paddle in the flowing water …Five
I am here…Three… I am here. And so forth. In seven minutes I will tell you how to end. Just stay with this flow until then.

[7 minutes]

Our experience is nearing an end. You can keep your eyes closed as you unfold your arms and move your legs. When you feel ready, open your eyes.