Meditation is one of the most effective techniques for mental and physical well being and its focus is on quieting the busy mind. The purpose of meditation is not to eliminate stimulus, but to guide your awareness to one healing element - one sound, word, colour, movement, thought, image, or one's breath. This creates a feeling of calmness and relaxation, along with an increased sense of mindfulness.
Pic courtesy Jared Rice
Meditation is an inner journey that requires a lot of practice, patience and perseverance. It can be practiced alone, in a group or with a guide. However, a large number of people find it difficult to meditate alone and find it far easier to do so with a guide. When a guide or teacher leads you though your meditative journey, it is called “Guided Meditation.” This process slowly and methodically helps you attain a meditative state of deep relaxation and inner stillness, even without any prior experience or expertise.
The difference between guided meditation and non guided meditation is that in the former, your guide gently leads you in and out of the meditative state. She helps you steer your awareness away from your body and towards you mind, activating your subconscious, and giving you positive suggestions and affirmations, which stay in your subconscious even after the meditation is over. The subconscious can then act on them as and when needed. Another important benefit of guided meditation is that even if you fall asleep during the meditation (which is a common occurrence), your subconscious will keep following the voice of your guide. In this way, your mind and body will still benefit from the session. The goals and benefits of both the approaches are the same. It’s like climbing the Mount Everest -- You can go with or without your guide or Sherpa, but your aim will still be to reach the summit.