My soul has grown deep like the rivers. Langston Hughes.
In this final week of water practices, we will be using water as a meditation guide.
The sight and sound of water is highly evocative – the roar of a waterfall, the chatter of a creek, the soothing rush of low waves. The rich sensory offerings of water helps us to move into a meditative state, in which we can ground and center ourselves. Regular meditation refreshes our spirits, helps us meet the challenges of the day. Take ten minutes each day this week to meditate to the sights and sounds of water, the elixir of life, which sustains us all. You can either play the video, or read the words before sitting in meditation.
Play the video below, let your eyes go soft as you watch the water. If it is easier, close your eyes and simply listen to the flowing water. It`s okay if your mind wanders; the point is not to empty your mind, but to not get caught up in your thoughts, to let them flow by you as the water flows. Gently remind yourself to come back to the water. Let your emotions – boredom, discomfort, sadness, joy – flow by as well. Breathe in, breathe out, watch the water. Video by Johnnie Lawson, Meditative Artist. (Warning: this video begins with ad).
The words below offer a guided meditation. If you are using it for yourself, read a sentence out loud or silently, then close your eyes and image the scene. To read aloud for others, invite them into a quiet time. Ask them to settle into a comfortable sitting down or lying down position and close their eyes. You might ask kids to wiggle their legs and arms and relax. Wait for calm, then read the meditation out loud, pausing between sentences. Let there be silence when needed.
The Pool in the Forest
Breathe deeply, picture yourself walking along a path in a maple- pine forest. Breathe in that sharp pine scent. Maple leaves crunch under your feet as you soak in the warm sunshine. Mushrooms poke out of the ground, moss hangs off branches. As you walk, the path begins to slope down toward a creek. You pass by limestone outcroppings, pale and solid and beautiful. You come to the creek and wander alongside, stepping from stone to stone.
Breathe deeply. You find yourself walking up to the source of the creek, a clear spring-fed pool. Dip into the water. It is cold and refreshing. Cup your hands and take a drink. The water tastes sweet. It feels bracingly alive as it drips off your fingers. The water is so inviting, you decide to swim. As you dive in, feel the rush of energy as your body is immersed in the cool water. Every cell of your body feels completely alive. The water swirls and encircles you.
Relax into the soft embrace of the pool, let go of tension and breathe. Float quietly, supported by the gently moving water. Let your worries go like leaves floating downstream. Stay floating and drifting in the water. Let your thoughts dance along in the silence. Relax into the sunlit pool.
Breathe deeply. Feel the water in your blood and in your cells. The water within you,the water surrounding you. It is all one. One element. One whole.
Remember this as you climb out of the pool, reinvigorated. Remember this sense of belonging as you leave the pool, walking back along the stream. Remember the wholeness as you walk back out of the pine forest and into your ordinary, extraordinary life.