This hour-long guided meditation was made in 1982, and is thus forty years old now.
And you can tell from the production values available at that time to the hospital. Originally, it was marketed to hospitals as a VHS video. Doctors would prescribe it to their patients lying in bed in the hospital — i.e. “take this twice a day and let me know how it is affecting you.” It is now available for both hospital and home use in DVD, On Demand Streaming Video, and CD (sound track only) formats. It is potentially valuable for anybody recuperating at home from a serious illness or injury, and having to spend significant periods of time in bed. Of course, it is also potentially useful for anyone wishing to cultivate mindfulness of the body and deepen intimacy with our intrinsic well-being, available in even the most difficult circumstances.
The World of Relaxation was and still is a radical use of television and now streaming. It was originally developed as a way of reaching out to hospitalized patients. It extends an invitation to them while lying in bed, whatever their condition, to experiment inwardly with bringing mindful awareness and acceptance to their present moment experience and circumstances as they follow along with the guidance and are entrained into the present moment through the beautiful soundscape of Georgia Kelly’s harp playing. The invitation is to use the occasion of having to lie in bed for some time — whatever the viewer’s medical condition and prognosis — for the person to do something for him, herself, or themself to promote healing of the mind and the body as a vital complement to whatever the health care team and one’s doctors are able to offer in terms of medical treatments, nursing care, and rehabilitation. Over 100 hospitals use or have used this program on their in-house television channels. The program is meant to be “done” by the viewer/listener by actively participating in the instructions, rather than “viewed” or listened to passively. During most of the time, the listener is encouraged to have his, her, or their eyes closed — another radical use of television.
Georgia Kelly plays original improvisatory harp music, the sounds of which have been associated with healing since pre-Biblical times. They invite release into the present moment and the body as it is in that moment. It establishes a flowing rhythmicity that entrains the listener’s attention and carries it through the various stages of an extended body scan meditation. The notes of the harp have the remarkable quality of emerging out of silence and disappearing back into silence, singly and in raining curtains of sounds, just as do our thoughts and emotions when we lean how to attend to them as “events” in the field of awareness. Mindfulness, one’s capacity to inhabit the present moment with non-judgmental awareness, deepens over the course of a single session and even more, through repeated practicing with this program over days, weeks, months, and years. The learning occasioned by practicing with this program on a regular basis, just as with Jon’s other guided meditations, can stand one in good stead from moment to moment and from day to day in the on-going unfolding of everyday life.