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Wednesday, May 27, 2009

How to Relax by Imagination

Imagine you are at the sea shore on a beautiful day. It’s the perfect time of day, and the perfect time of
year for you to be there. Recall the feeling you get in your body when you are at the beach, or what it
was like when you were there as a child. Let yourself explore that feeling.

  • Imagine the warmth of the sun on the top of your head and your shoulders. Allow this image to develop. Perhaps there’s a pleasant breeze, which your feel on your face and arms. Imagine the refreshing, salty breeze off the water, and breathe. Maybe you can even taste the salt spray.

  • Look up and down the beach and notice the expanse of sand, the color and texture of it, the way it sparkles in the sunlight. Imagine that you are standing in the dry, soft, sand, and feel it beneath your feet and between your toes. Imagine taking a few steps, and feeling what it’s like to walk in deep, warm. soft sand.

  • Move closer to the water and walk in the cool, firm sand. Feel it take on the shape of your feet as you walk. Look behind you and see your footprints. Notice the waves gently rolling in and lapping the shore, gradually smoothing those footprints out, rhythmically washing them away as the waves roll back out.

  • Look at the edge of the water and notice the color. Notice that color meeting the sand, and the waves gently lapping on the shore, rolling in, breaking softly, and going back out, over and over, endlessly. Hear the, deep, calming, rhythmic sound of the waves breaking on the beach.

  • Look out to the horizon, and notice the waves as far back as you can see, rolling toward the shore, breaking, glittering in the sunlight.

  • Notice the dancing light moving rhythmically across the whole surface of the water. Notice the place where the surf meets the sky, and see where the colors come together. Notice the light.

  • Let yourself feel the expanse of the sky, and imagine breathing that in, filling yourself with that feeling of spaciousness, brightness and light.

If you like, you might imagine going into the water, and feeling gently carried on the waves, safe in the protected cove, warmed by the sun. Just rolling gently on the surf, carried safely on the buoyant waves.

  • When you come out of the water, find the clean, dry, soft towel you have placed there. Imagine lying down on the towel, feeling the warm sand beneath mold itself to your body.

  • Notice how the warm, firm surface supports your whole body, and allow yourself to relax deeply into it, letting the warmth and comfort fill your body and mind.

When you have finished your guided meditation, take a few minutes to sit quietly, noticing what you are experiencing in your body, what your thoughts and emotions are like.

Other ideas for guided meditation: walking through a meadow, floating in the clouds, snorkeling in a coral reef, sitting by a fire in a cozy cabin, being in lovely, comfortable room, or in bed on a rainy day.

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