I wrote An Inside Look at Meditation: Experiences for healing, support, and transformation

because my experiences with meditation are more mind-blowingly cool than any science or yoga books I have read. I wrote this book because I want to share the joy and possibility of the kind of meditation I study, practice, and design.

stack of An Inside Look at Meditation books

An Inside Look at Meditation weaves together meditation stories, explanations, commentary, examples, illustrations, and big ideas from yoga and science.

You’ll encounter many of my own personal stories. You’ll read about experiences of the seven long-time meditators who I interviewed.

If you are new to yoga meditation, you’ll gain a tangible sense of what meditation can be. Perhaps you will be tempted to try it.

If you already do yoga meditation, my simple explanations will feel familiar and you may gain new insights.

If you teach yoga or meditation, this book may inspire new ideas and meditation objects to use in your teaching.

You can purchase the paperback or download the free digital version.

You can explore sample content and try some of the 10-minute meditations I describe in the book.

Join the Inside Meditation community by subscribing to my newsletter.

And then, why not keep exploring the web site? There is much I want to share.

Meditation is... a way of knowing; a way of becoming; a way of life


Meditation can be... profoundly playful; incredibly interesting; transformational

Four meditation titles: A walk in the park; A cup of kindness; Don't worry, be happy; Nourished by beauty

I should probably introduce myself

I'm Carrie Heeter.

Ten years ago I encountered life-changing hints of the wonders of yoga and meditation. I aligned my professional and personal life toward learning more and digging deeper.

I have designed and directed development of more than 50 interactive experiences including meditations, games, online learning systems, virtual reality, and patient empowerment software. My many awards include Discover Magazine’s Software Innovation of the Year and Meaningful Play’s Lifetime Innovator Award. I have published more than 100 scholarly books, chapters, articles, and proceedings about meditation, individual and social impacts of interactive technology, virtual reality, and serious games.

I recently retired from a long career as professor of Media and Information at Michigan State University to be able to devote more time to my work with meditation.

What could be more awesome than designing transformational meditation experiences that are unique to each person, using the technology of their human system—their mind and body?

(The colorful bubbles are four of the hundreds of meditations I have taught. Read about them on page 230 of chapter 19 — Support Meditations.)

Carrie Heeter, Ph.D., RYS 200
Meditation Designer
Director of Yoga Mind Tools
Professor Emeritus of Media and Information, Michigan State University
contact Carrie at [email protected]

The kind of meditation I design and practice includes connecting with a meditation object

Connecting with a meditation object gives your mind a new experience. Your mind takes on qualities of what it connects to and, as a result, operates in a different way. 

An object of meditation can be almost anything, including but not limited to:

objects in the natural world—such as the moon or a lake,

tangible and subtle qualities—such as vastness or stability,

ideas—such as freedom or kindness,

aspects of the body—such as the breath or the spine,

aspects of our self—such as our habits or activities of our mind.

Meditation objects resemble or seem like something else in your life. Your experiences related to a meditation object make it meaningful to you. If you have no connection with a meditation object, the meditation is unlikely to be effective. There has to be a seed. – Chase Bossart, Yoga Well Institute

Why you need an inside look

The awesomeness of meditation reveals itself through ongoing experiences over time. How can someone new to meditation fathem what is possible?

Instructions about how to meditate can explain how to have a beginner experience. As someone who has been studying and practicing meditation for a decade, I assure you that early experiences don’t begin to hint at the magic that comes later.

An explanation of how bicycles work conveys nothing of the experience of riding a bicycle across the Golden Gate Bridge. An explanation of how meditation works conveys nothing of the experience of meditating about the moon every day for a month.

The experience of meditation evolves and keeps getting better with expert guidance, ongoing practice, and exploration.

In my book I explains key elements of how meditation works intertwined with stories and examples of what the process looks like from the inside. 

Carrie is one of Marcel Allbritton's students. Marcel is one of Chase Bossart's students. Chase is one of Mr. TKV Desikachar's students. Mr. Desikachar is one of Sri Krishnamcharya's students.

My Yoga Lineage and Community

I’m on a lifetime journey of exploration and personal transformation. Though I started my journey late in life, stopping is unimaginable.

I’m part of an informal community of learners who I have met through Yoga Well Institute classes, each of us on our own journey.

I study one-on-one with my mentor, Marcel Allbritton. I have continuously participated in formal programs and courses offered by Marcel’s mentor, Chase Bossart. Chase was a long-time student of Mr. T.K.V. Desikachar, who studied with his father, Sri Krishnamacharya.

The lineage of yogi and student extends back thousands of years. 

I interviewed 7 long-time meditators

In the book you will encounter stories from me and from these 7 meditation enthusiasts. They share personal experiences with one-time meditations and daily meditation practices.

They also reveal ways they use meditation professionally as yoga therapists, mentors, and yoga teachers.

Marcel Allbritton photo
Marcel Allbritton, PhD, C-IAYT

Yoga for Practitioners




[email protected]

Marcel is a Clinical Yoga Therapist who also mentors students in the study and practice of Yoga. (www.yogaforpractitioners.com)

He has been mentored by Chase Bossart of Yoga Well Institute since 2005. Before he discovered Yoga, Marcel received a PhD in Organization Development. Marcel brings his work in healing and yoga and his expertise in organizational development together to create Core Resonance Works. (

Core Resonance helps individuals and organizations work from and with their core alignment. The foundation of his work is helping individuals and organizations apply, practice, and integrate principles of healing. Marcel has a podcast called Doing Differently about healing and transformation. 

Amanda Green photo
Amanda Green, C-IAYT, E-RYT-500

Innermost Yoga


[email protected]

Amanda has been a student of yoga for over 20 years. In that time, she has studied āsana, prānayāma, meditation, yoga sūtras, Vedic chant and yoga philosophy. She has gone on to guide individuals seeking personal transformation through the tools and teachings of yoga.

Amanda is on the faculty at Yoga Well Institute and an IAYT- certified yoga therapist. You can reach Amanda at www.innermost-yoga.com.

Anina Hutchison photo
Anina Hutchison

Yoga and meditation teacher,

Indigo Yoga, Pleasant Hill, CA


[email protected]

Anina has been teaching yoga since 2001. She completed yoga teacher training followed by years of practice and an advanced studies program. She feels fortunate to have been trained by devoted teachers in the principles of physical practice, sequencing and manual adjustments. In 2013 she completed a multi-year course focusing on yoga philosophy, linking breath with movement, and living yoga off the mat.

After many years of pretzel poses, Anina now believes yoga has a broader definition than physical postures. She has come to value sustained focus more than putting her foot behind her head. 

Grazia Jaroff photo
Grazia Jaroff

Yoga, meditation, and yoga philosophy teacher

[email protected] 

30 years ago, Grazia was a systems engineer when she first heard Mr. Desikachar’s lectures. She soon became a yoga student, first with Ann Rogers, with whom she started teaching. Grazia now studies with Chase Bossart.

She continues to teach individual and group classes in postures, meditation and classic texts, locally, online and through UCDavis Continuing Education Program.

Carol Fulwiler Jones photo
Carol Fulwiler Jones, MA, C-IAYT


[email protected]

Carol is a renowned expert in the field of infertility counseling, coaching, and consulting. She has presented over sixty speaking engagements to medical and patient audiences, has written newspaper and journal articles, and has been featured on tv and radio shows.

She is the author of Managing the Stress of Infertility: How to balance your emotions, Get the support you need, and Deal with painful social situations.

Carol has studied and taught Viniyoga in the tradition of T. Krishnamacharya and T.V.K. Desikachar since 1983 and has been a Certified Yoga Therapist since 2017.

Robyn Love, C-IAYT, E-RYT500

Atha Yoga School


[email protected]

Robyn has two decades of personal practice, over a dozen years of teaching and thousands of hours of training.

All of that is good and important but it doesn’t really convey her passion for sharing the profound wisdom of yoga, particularly as it is presented in Patanjali’s Yoga Sūtra and other foundational texts.

Robyn believes that the ongoing study and practice of yoga deeply rooted in abhyasa (daily discipline) and vairagyam (acceptance) honors yoga’s roots in India and takes up its invitation to explore what it means to be alive in a human body.

See what she is doing over at www.athayoga.ca.

Patricia Van Pelt McDaniel photo
Patricia Van Pelt McDaniel, MBA

Associate Vice President Marketing and Client Services at Hospice of Michigan​

[email protected]

Patricia's passion is helping leaders become the best version of themselves while reaching their personal and professional goals.

Her mission is to build better leaders who build better leaders and end workplace misery! Areas of expertise include coaching for behavior change, building high performing teams and emotional intelligence. 

Patricia served as the Hospice of Michigan liaison and project coordinator for the meditation for burnout prevention research intervention. She continues to champion meditation as a tool for hospice professionals, caregivers, and patients.


Testimonials about the book

An inspiration to keep going deeper

"You have successfully brought a clarity to the tools of meditation into such a user friendly experience not only for long time practitioners, but for beginning students longing to understand how to begin such a path. 

I’m confident this is perhaps the best book I’ve ever seen as a teaching manual for my students. I recommend it also for yoga therapists to remind us how powerful meditation can be and as a tool to use it appropriately.

I so appreciate you including the personal stories of the effects that a practice offers. That meditation is not necessarily a “ feel good” experience. That it’s the willingness to sit at times in the awkwardness of experiencing what is being presented. Sometimes it can reveal more than we realize as the unconscious moves into the consciousness. 

I was so moved by the honesty of the meditators stories. I admire your courageous journey. You and the stories in the book are an inspiration to keep growing deeper.

I am reminded of and appreciate the wisdom of the yoga teachings and the consistent effort of a commitment to the meditation."

Laura Jane Mellencamp-Murphy, C-IAYT, E-RYT 500, MA
Founder and Director
Yoga Among Friends
Downers Grove, Illinois

Approachable meditative experiences

"I have recommended this book to all my meditation students.

Carrie brings basic concepts and descriptions of meditative experiences closer to our everyday life than any other text I have found.

The approach, language and graphics are conducive to deeper understanding and reflections, while keeping the reading light, whimsical and fun."

Grazia Jaroff
Yoga, meditation, and yoga philosophy teacher

Very clear and filled with excellent, accessible information about meditation

"Dr. Heeter has written the perfect book for every person who has ever wanted to begin a meditation practice but didn't know where too start. She describes the process with the clarity of someone who has real, lived experience of the methods and techniques she shares. She also brings in other people's stories so the reader will find a point of view that meets them wherever they are in their own practice.

Experienced meditators will love her explanations of how meditation works and find a wealth of information designed to deepen their practice.The book is practical, easy to use, a pleasure to look at, and fun.

Carrie has a delightful and playful sense of humour and she brings a lightness to a serious topic. Highly recommend!"

Robyn Ikyo Love, C-IAYT, E-RYT500
Atha Yoga School

It speaks to and from personal experience

"This book elegantly combines a knowledge of the way meditation affects and reflects mind, body, and emotions with personal descriptions of different meditations having a variety of purposes and results.

It is thoughtful, charming, and sincere in its approach to the subject and in its obvious respect for and desire to connect with the reader.

The author genuinely seems to delight in her meditation experiences both as student and teacher, mentee and mentor. She vividly portrays both the individual enchantment meditation can offer and the connectedness among people and generations involved in this kind of study and experience.

There's nothing like doing, but learning and reading about such creative approaches to meditation both invites the newcomer and deepens the experience of the already-practiced."

Fred Goldsmith, MA
Philosopher and photographer

A friendly, fresh introduction to meditation

"This book is an easy way to discover meditation as a useful health practice. It recognizes the deep roots of meditation (in Eastern philosophy and yoga) but focuses on specific, simple exercises and their benefits.

There are many personal stories of intentional visualizations and imaginations that have served to improve mood, relieve pain, and change harmful habits. The science on effectiveness is covered, but lightly.

The author’s professional career as a DESIGNER of games (an “experience” with a purpose) shows here in the DESIGN of specific meditations.

For me, the book changed my view of meditation as an esoteric, abstract cognitive/philosophical/spiritual activity (and awkward). I now see it as a form of guided self-reflection that serves as therapy and self-help, and generally as a way to improve your health and quality of life."

Ruta Sevo, PhD
Author of fiction and spirituality books

Want meditation to be playful & offer deep insights instead of just patrolling wandering thoughts?

"Finally, a book on meditation that is fun and welcoming and playful, while also being soundly based on many years of practice and on science. I'm not big into meditation, but this bares no resemblance to the 'notice your thoughts, gently guide them back' stuff. This is fun, no shame, no mental monitoring. Just breathing, moving, and going on journeys. I love it and highly recommend it, especially for people who want to experience the playful, deeply insightful side of meditation."

Chris Heeter
The Wild Institute

Beginner or expert - this book is for you!

"If you're looking for an in-depth, engaging, relatable, and best of all, easy to dive into experience of meditation you owe it yourself to check out this book. What's so special about this approach to meditation is that it truly shines as both a starting block and something to keep coming back to even if you've been around the meditation scene for years.

The book has lots of meditation experiences to play with. There are professional and personal stories along with excerpts/quotes to help you connect with the material presented and, if I'm being honest, even your inner self. Carrie Heeter does an amazing job of sprinkling in research that doesn't take a PhD to understand.

Also, the layout of the book is fun - and it's cool because you don't have to read the content in order, you can jump around to the topics that interest you in the moment."

Tom Day, PhD
Media and Information Instructor

A must-read for anyone interested in meditation

"This book does an amazing job of explaining what is viniyoga meditation and how it works. It is written from a perspective of kindness and compassion, and debunks any idea that if you cannot do a deep meditation every day then why bother.

From play, to healing, to deep inner transformation - this book explains how meditation can benefit anyone who takes up a practice. The book offers a great balance of yoga theory, science and personal stories written in plain, easy to understand language.

Highly recommend also for mental health workers and medical workers who are interested in the mind/body relationship and how meditation can support physical, mental and emotional healing. Highly recommend."

Cindy, C-IAYT
Yoga Therapist

Great Addition To Self Care Bookshelf

"No matter your experience level with meditation, there is something for you in this book. I'm enjoying learning more about the science behind how meditation works and hearing personal stories on the impact meditation has had for others. There are also several ideas for meditation prompts. Buy the book!"

Patricia, MBA

Clear insights and support on yoga and meditation

"This book helped me to deepen my meditation practice and my imagination. It was also fun! That is different from the overly dense style of many books I read. The author suggests ways of thinking that were new to me despite practicing yoga for the past 30 years. I liked the organization of the material -- easy to find and to re-read when I wanted to. The color coding is fun and helpful too."

Jane Baker, MBA