This is one of my favorite meditations and I use it frequently to quickly bring me to calm when I need it. Just recently I added a new "favorite place," so my repertoire is expanding.
Preparation (in brief): Begin by relaxing using the basic relaxation technique and the deep breathing 4-4-8 technique. You can either begin this practice session by lying down and sitting up when you have reached the appropriate stage of relaxation for the new exercise or start in a seated position. Your choice. Once you have reached your state of relaxation, let you breathing return to a normal, quiet flow.
With your eyes closed you begin to see a darkness that feels cool, quiet and calm. You discover that you are sitting comfortably on a large rock. You can feel the rock you sit upon that just fits your body. It's not hard, not soft, but a perfect place to be sitting and you are relaxed and quiet in your mind.
As your mind wanders you realize that this rock upon which you are sitting is in the middle of a large, quiet pond, a small lake, really. You can hear the soft swish of the water as it gently laps at the shore. And your ears also pick up a soft breeze in the leaves of the trees surrounding the pond.
This forest of trees is a mix of dark green and light green foliage. Everywhere you look resonates peace, calm and strength. You can feel your own strength and security within this space as you gaze across the smooth water. Occasionally, you see a small movement on the surface of the pond and the ripples spread out and eventually smooth to a glass surface. On this mirror image, the lake reflects the details of the trees on the surface.
As your eyes move across this landscape, something catches your eye. It's a color that stands out. Red against the green leaves holds your attention. It seems somehow out of place, yet the contrast both in the trees and in the reflection create, a point of uniqueness that seems quite natural. It seems like a doorway as you gaze at the bright, sharp contrasting red of that single leaf on that single tree.
As you focus on the red leaf, the vision of its uniqueness plays in your mind and in your mind's eye. Thinking of the security you felt before, think of the uniqueness you see now and allow your thoughts to develop.
Remember, stay with this concept. If you find yourself straying away from this favorite place visualization, gently draw yourself back to the rock, in the pond, in the forest with your red leaf of uniqueness holding your attention. Where does the concept of uniqueness lead you? How does it relate to you and your lifestyle or life attitudes?
This week use this visualization to focus and develop your concentration. Eventually, you will create your own favorite place for your visualization. Use mine and let your mind flow with this visual imagery, not away from it.
Copyright ©2008 TAO Consultants, Inc. All rights reserved.
Chesa Keane has taught meditation and self-help for more than 30 years. To receive your free starter Basic Meditation and Basic Relaxation Techniques and an introduction to a unique meditation tool, the TAO Totem, visit: http://www.taototem.com
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