In this guided visualization, you will experience a northern climate where you will find the top of the waterfall.
All that remains of the lava field is a barren, angular, rust coloured landscape. The ground underfoot is rough and in places even jagged.
Within the hollows, carved by the rain, the wind, the snow and the ice, whole landscapes of moss and lichens flourish. They have managed to thrive over aeons despite the severe climate and remind you of sponges or corals found in tropical seas.
There is a cloudless bright blue sky, and the air is pure enough for you to see for miles-- may be further than you have ever seen before. In the distance, black hills frame the cone-shaped volcano covered now by snow.
On the lava field's fringes, blooming wildflowers indicate the first signs of spring. Here, the rowan trees grow together, creating a tunnel over a trail. Looking up, the trees are also beginning to bud—Half-formed, bright green.
The tranquillity and silence here make you feel peaceful in your heart.
The trail opens up to an expanse of soft, tufted grass that is springy, faded, and bleached by the elements. After a while, you find the trail again where the tussock grass has been flattened.
You arrive beside the wide river, which is a shade of sapphire blue. Water tumbles over large boulders.
A flock of about eight eider geese chase clumsily off, running on the water, honking as they fly gracefully away down the river. Some other smaller snowy waterbirds remain searching for food in the sand next to the river. The gentle sound they make blends with the sound of the rapids.
The path leads back into the Rowan trees and begins to wind upwards around large rocks covered by patches of sage green coloured lichen.
At the top of a slight rise, you reach a translucent spring-fed emerald green pool. The surface of the water is perfectly placid. Falling away from it is a great waterfall, separated into several sections by immense slabs of rock. You stare at it, amazed by the volume and the contrast of the white spray. Rainbows flutter, fading in and out of the mist.
The view, the wall of noise, and the sun's feeling on your back have a combined hypnotic effect. You feel drowsy.
You walk over to a large, low flat rock and lie down. You put your hands behind your head, creating a pillow, and gaze up at the sky through the branches of a rowan tree. The sound of the cold clear water falls around you cleansing your mind and soothing your soul.
In this meditative visualization, you will experience one of the only old-growth forests in Ireland. Only a fraction remains of the native woodland that once covered the island from coast to coast since the ice age. The remainder of all those forests was long ago felled for houses, ships, fuel or other things.
The sun is low in the sky when you arrive at the edge of Elk Wood. The pathway has long ago disappeared covered now with knots of blooming wild rose and brambles. As you walk around looking for the way through, you pass clusters of wildflowers-- foxglove, wild angelica, and red campion.
The wood is ancient. Fifty years ago a pair of fossilized giant elk antlers were discovered here. The antlers were 10 feet wide with seven points and considered to be about 12,000 years old.
Finally, you discover the entrance through the briars. You have to crouch down to move through the tangled tunnel leading into the forest.
The forest is hushed. The pine trees envelop all sound, diffuse the light, and still the air in a way that only they know-how.
The trees seem vibrantly alive and charged with wonder. You breathe in their earthy scent. Looking up, you imagine the things they have endured and survived together over the centuries. Events like windstorms, ice storms, lightning strikes, wildfires, droughts, and floods, to name but a few.
With each footstep, your senses become more tuned in to the forest and the hypnotizing cadence of your footsteps. As you walk, you notice a trail has been marked with low flint cairns, which you follow. In places, wild mossy gardens of fern and fungi grow around the roots. The fungi are pale and reminiscent of coral.
Somewhere in the distance, a blackbird sings and the faint drumming of a woodpecker.
The treehouse blends into the forest so that you hardly notice it.
A massive rustic ladder leads up to a deck and a door. As you climb up the ladder, you notice the gigantic tree's bark, ancient, with reptilian scales.
The house is built of pine and has a ridged shingle roof. Inside the cabin has a wide wood board floor, minimal furniture. All the beams in the house fit perfectly together. A wood stove crackles and glows in the corner with a small iron kettle steaming on the top. A mug with tea is waiting for you.
You pour the hot tea and walk back outside to the covered veranda overlooking the spires of treetops. As you sit down in the wicker chair, a light rain begins to fall. In the distance, the sound of thunder.
The light is beginning to fade into the shadow of sunset, so you light a candle.
You free your mind of all thoughts and focus on the present—the forest—the sound of the wind and the rain harmonized together in a single chord.
When you imagine Egypt, what comes to mind? The Pyramids, The Pharaohs, The river Nile? Ancient antiquities or all of the above?
In this nature-based meditative visualization, you will discover an out of the world place in Egypt that you may not know about. If you are interested in visiting Egypt once it is safe to travel again, please contact my friend Amr at Bastet Tours. His website address and contact information are in the podcast episode show notes.
I want to begin with a quote from the Egyptian philosopher Muata Ashby.
"By living a life based on wisdom and truth, one can discover the divinity of the soul, its union to the universe, the supreme peace and contentment which comes from satisfying the inner drive for self-discovery."
Although the journey has been long, the camel continues steadily. It has no problem navigating the deep sand—the cadence of its pace and the saddle's comfort rocks you lightly into the endless sea of desert dunes. You travel into the peaceful coolness of the night.
The camel knows the route which is practically stamped into its DNA. Passed down through generations of ancestors who have travelled this caravan trail over the aeons of time. The Pharaohs, Alexander the Great, Cleopatra, Herodotus and countless others have all crossed this way.
The atmosphere is pure absent of moisture or dust, so clear the stars are revealed in a way unrivalled by any other place on earth. They illuminate the sky, lighting up the night to show the route. Some stars are enormous and surprisingly low on the horizon. While in other places, they appear to rise out of dunes or creep under heaps of rock.
Along the way you pass colossal ruins from long ago, crumbling into the sand. The history and memories eroded into dust by the wind, fading away and blending back into the desert.
The sky slowly lightens, and the stars begin to diminish. An invisible hand slowly draws back the curtain of night. The sky pales, and then the sun slowly appears. A glowing orb in front pouring the light and revealing the landscape. There is so much space out here in the desert. It is like seeing infinity, feeling insignificant yet at the same time strangely totally significant.
At the edge of the horizon, the dunes end at the top of a rocky slope. Far below you see an ancient village nestled among groves and groves of palm trees.
The camel descends down the narrow trail leading to the village. The rocky escarpment is riddled with caves and other depressions—the only evidence of the tombs broken into by cave robbers long ago. The rock debris underfoot is mixed with shards of shattered ancient pottery.
You arrive at the village of Siwa, which means land of the palm trees. It is still early in the morning. Everyone except for the birds is asleep. You pass through the town of adobe houses, then by a fort, two crumbling temple ruins, and several large ancient wells filled with pure spring water. At one of the pools, the camel stops to take a drink. The motion of his thirst moves the glassy surface of the water in waves. Palm trees tower above. All kinds of palm trees are everywhere, along with orchards of olive, pomegranate and other fruit trees. Their gentle aroma fills the air.
The camel continues on through the outskirts of the town and back into the wilderness. The village fades away into the distance and then finally disappears behind a dune. Back in the desert, you wonder where you are going.
Out of a mirage, a mesmerizing pool appears encompassed by a white salt flat. The water is gin clear, jewel green.
You are tired, and your bones ache from the journey through the night. The camel lies down indicating your destination has been reached. You dismount, walk gingerly over the salt granules, take off your clothes and carefully lower yourself into the water, which is the same temperature as the morning air.
When your feet and legs are in the water, they seem to be pushed up. The deeper you go, the lighter and more buoyant your body becomes. Weightless. The heaviness in your body and soul drifts away as you are suspended without gravity. You close your eyes, put your arms behind your head as a pillow and allow yourself to completely relax in a way you never have before.
Thank you for joining me, Clara, on Your Sleep Guru Podcast and allowing me to help you relax and fall asleep.
In the middle of wintertime, sunny days may seem a long way away. The darkness is part of life, a backdrop for the stars at night, the shadow cast by a cloud on a hot summer day, the space within what you know. Darkness has a way of reminding you of the light you’ve been given on all those other days.
This meditative visualization is a brief respite from the cold and darkness. Please join me on a sunny break to the Island of Happiness.
Before we begin the visualization, I will start with a quote by Howard Zinn.
"To be hopeful in bad times is not just foolishly romantic. It is based on the fact that human history is a history not only of cruelty but also of compassion, sacrifice, courage, kindness.
What we choose to emphasize in this complex history will determine our lives. If we see only the worst, it destroys our capacity to do something. If we remember those times and places—and there are so many—where people have behaved magnificently, this gives us the energy to act, and at least the possibility of sending this spinning top of a world in a different direction.
And if we do act, in however small a way, we don’t have to wait for some grand utopian future. The future is an infinite succession of presents, and to live now as we think human beings should live, in defiance of all that is bad around us, is itself a marvellous victory.”
It is a bright sunny afternoon, and you are walking along a tropical beach. The tranquil turquoise water laps lazily on the sand.
On the horizon, beyond the turquoise water is an inky line marking where the sea plunges fathoms into the depths of the ocean. Above it, steep ranges of cumulous clouds swell to the heavens.
The fine powdery sand has been heated by the sun, so you walk in the seawater to cool your feet.
Broken pieces of coral and seashells are scattered about on the shoreline. The intact seashells have hermit crabs inside. They scurry quickly away using brawny forearms.
Palm trees rustle in the soft ocean wind. Coconuts have also fallen on the beach waiting for the turning tide to float them away to faraway shores.
Tropical flowers like jasmine, pale frangipani, scarlet hibiscus, and bougainvillaea bloom among the foliage growing near the edge of the beach.
When you stop to gaze at the magical, clear water, a large head surfaces. It is almost the size of one of the coconuts with gentle hooded eyes. You can see the tip of its massive shell as it glides along the top of the water. The sea turtle is unaware of your presence. Soon it vanishes, leaving behind a slipstream.
Soon you arrive at a palapa with a colourful woven cloth hammock hanging from the beams underneath.
When you lie down on the hammock, it starts to swing gently from side to side. The shade feels cool.
When you close your eyes, your senses become more tuned in to the sound of the water lapping on the shore, the ocean breeze and the distant sound of joyful music. You can also hear laughter, and you imagine the people having a fun time together.
You feel calm and peaceful here in this place. The sound of the soothing waves and the laughter are hypnotic, and you allow yourself to be lulled off to sleep.
The year has been a challenging one for all of us, and I would like to thank you for joining me here on Your Sleep Guru podcast to find some relaxation and peace. I wish you all a very healthy and happy new year.
Have you ever thought about how the ancient natural world looked? In this visualization, I imagine a pocket of the world forgotten by time. A secret plateau where trees, plants and animals thrive without any intrusion. In this secluded place, the creatures have no contact with humans, so they are without fear.
You have travelled a great distance following the ribbony path through small villages, mountain passes, over rapid rivers and through broad valleys.
The last part of the journey is within a narrow canyon where the sun barely shines. You climb carefully over the lush, velvety moss that covers every surface, cushioning each edge and corner, creating a silence of green.
The mystery of what lies beyond the end of the canyon lures you further and deeper inside it. Occasionally you notice tiny springs flowing from fissures buried somewhere under the moss.
The further you travel into the ravine, the more you feel that each footstep you take is one back in time and one step deeper into another realm.
A massive boulder blocks the top of the canyon. At first, it seems as if there is no way around it, but you notice a small hollow big enough to crawl through—a layer of fine sand lines the passageway.
You scramble through some thickets on the other side, and suddenly you step into a forest glade.
Time seems to have folded back on itself. Trees are beyond any green you have seen, their leaves broader, more abundant. Luxuriant ferns cover the forest floor. Birdsong permeates the air.
These trees are old-growth. Ancient and tall. Gardens of maidenhairs, moss, bromeliads, mushrooms and waterfalls of yellow orchids spread like weeds over the massive trunks and spill over onto the ground.
When you start to walk out into the clearing, you disturb a cloud of blue butterflies. Hundreds of them flit in and out of sight like short-lived punctuation marks without beginning or end. Some of them descend on you, adorning your hands and arms like jewellery before they fly away.
Even the clarity of the sunshine and air feels different in this place— the atmosphere of then.
A flock of colourful small birds fly overhead and land on the ground near you. Their proximity allows you the delight of examining every feather and the bright nuances between each individual. They preen and chatter together entirely oblivious of your presence. Before long, they tuck their heads under their wings and take a nap. You have to tread carefully to avoid them.
After a while, you find yourself beside a pool of water. Lotus flowers bloom pure white in contrast to the dark glossy surface. Giant speckled fish bask in the warm sunlight. Your presence doesn't trouble them; instead, they swim curiously over their mouths, kissing and bubbling under the glassy water.
The place is soothing, relaxing, almost intoxicating.
You find a lush grassy spot to lie down. The forest canopy is a tapestry of branches, vines and flowers: exotic birds, insects and other creatures dart about high overhead.
A speckled fawn comes out of the underbrush. It walks carefully down the bank of the river and takes a drink. Curiously it wanders over, sniffs your arm, then joins in your daydream lying down.
Soon you are aware of your breath in unison. The sound of the forest soothes you. In the other world, you feel an old relaxation, the relaxation of the world before time.
Thank you for joining me, Clara on Your Sleep Guru Podcast. I hope that the podcast is helping you relax and fall asleep. Whatever it is that is keeping you awake, or making you anxious. Let it go. For now, get comfortable, close your eyes, breathe, and focus on the visualization.
Before the nature-based meditation, which is from the Atacama region of Chile, I would like to read a quote by Osho:
“Love is wild; its whole beauty is in its wildness. It comes like a breeze with great fragrance, fills your heart, and suddenly where there was a desert, there is a garden full of flowers.”
In this visualization, you are exploring the Atacama region of Chile, driving East through a dense marine layer of clouds.
The fog breaks, revealing a high desert, stretching away for miles and miles toward a limitless horizon.
The earth is parched, rust-coloured featureless empty apart for some massive boulders jumbled across the barren wasteland.
The elevation makes the sky a stark shade of blue. The contrast between earth and sky creates the impression of another planet or perhaps the end of the world.
A thick plume of fine dust from the dirt road flares out behind the car.
The combination of cold, desert air, high altitude and brilliant sunshine, makes you thirsty and long for your destination.
The desolate terrain appears to change, and small patches of grass appear along the roadside and everywhere else.
A herd of ten or more beige and white vicunas graze by the side of the road. They turn their heads and gaze inquisitively at you with deep brown eyes. When you stop to look at them, they lope away blending into the scenery.
After a while, you arrive at an oasis nestled by low lying hills.
You park the car outside and follow a narrow wooden walkway through towering pampas grasses that whisper in the arid breeze.
At the end of the walkway is a pure azure spring, fed by a waterfall. The tall grasses on either side of it provide a screen that creates a feeling of sanctuary and refuge.
The spring water is warm—heated by the aquifer deep in the realms below the desert.
You take off your clothes and climb into the thermal springs.
The minerals in the water provide an added buoyancy enabling you to float silently along with the gentle flow of the water.
A condor flies high and higher above on a thermal. And watching it makes your spirit soar also.
After a while, we get out of the water and wrap yourself up in a soft towel. The afternoon rays warm your back. You are relaxed, and you remind yourself to release the things that make you anxious and allow them to fly away on a desert wind with the condor.
Thank you for joining me, Clara on Your Sleep Guru Podcast, and allowing me to help you relax and fall asleep.
Because I am feeling excited about the new year, I am giving away an 8x11 inch 2021 Calendar to the first ten listeners who send me a direct message with their address. You can find Your Sleep Guru on Instagram and Facebook. The calendar is one I created myself and based on some of the past nature-based meditations.
Before the guided visualization, which is about the Collector's Cottage, I would like to invite you to completely relax with a simple exercise. Close your eyes. Breathe. Bring awareness to loosening your shoulders. Relax your face, your hands, your stomach, your legs and your feet.
The Collector's Cottage is set slightly back from the tree-lined street shaded and concealed by old oak trees with Spanish moss draping from the branches.
The collector isn't home now. He is shy and prefers solitude, but today he has kindly invited you to explore his house.
As you walk down the tabby path, small lizards dart away and disappear into the dense saw palmettos.
The house has a tin roof and constructed of weathered wood. The front door is slightly ajar.
When you open it, a slight fragrance of cedar wafts by you in the hallway.
On the wall by the entryway is a great wooden mirror. You catch a glimpse of yourself framed by intricately carved leaves, flowers, acorns, birds and squirrels.
Watery light filters through the windows into the main room that is filled with antique glass cabinets. The floors are covered with faded Persian rugs.
The glass cabinets contain rare shells from the ocean floor from all parts of the world. Exotic shells from the South Pacific, The Indian Ocean, The Gulf of Mexico. Shells as white as the surf. Some smooth and polished by the waves with delicate brushes of color. Others combed with spikes or coiling out into perfect rotational designs. While other shells have perfect combinations of all these attributes. Each shell is labelled. Names such as Japanese Wonder Shell, Pilsbry spider conch, chambered nautilus, Giant Tun shell. Imperial Harp Shell, Egg Cowrie.
In another glass cabinet is a fossil dinosaur egg as large as a small boulder. A washed-out label notes it was from the Jurassic Period 208 to 145 million years ago.
Several cases hold different fossils like ammonites, trilobites and pieces of amber with specks of ferns or parts of insects trapped inside.
All these fragments were hidden in the abyss of time until the collector, discovered and revealed them magically in the cases presenting you with a snapshot from millions of years ago.
The last glass exhibits are full of moths and butterflies. Your eyes are drawn to the case of a gigantic moth labelled "Saturnia Atlantica." It is tortoiseshell with a black banded body, two pairs of bold oval eyes on its wings, and long shaggy antennae.
You have arrived at the screened back door, which leads out into a narrow courtyard.
In the centre is a fountain with a pond. Several colourful koi fish gather inquisitively below the surface when they sense you gazing at them.
You walk over to a carved hardwood bench covered with a red velvet cushion under a fig tree. You lie down and look up at the sky through the branches. You feel yourself rest. Letting go of the past and any attachments to the future. Relaxing in this moment—a snapshot in time.
We will begin the visualization today with an Apache Blessing.
May the sun bring you new energy by day, may the moon softly restore you by night, may the rain wash away your worries, may the breeze blow new strength into your being, may you walk gently through the world and know it's beauty all the days of your life.
You find yourself in the Sonoran Desert in Arizona.
It is winter here—the season of amnesia. The season to forget how hot the desert is in the summertime.
The stark landscape is surreal—sparse uncluttered.
You feel the harsh solitude of the place. Banks of clouds cast long shadows beneath them on the desert floor. You walk in and out of their shade.
The trail is well travelled and winds through a saguaro cactus forest. The cacti are otherworldly towering over your head, with large fleshy arms extending upwards. Most are in bloom with crowns of white flowers garlanding the very tops. Their trunks are pocked marked with holes, and you imagine the owls, lizards, snakes or other creatures sleeping inside who will wake up at nightfall.
Also along the trail are creosote bushes covered in yellow blossoms, buzzing with bees and a variety of butterflies. The creosote flowers smell vaguely like the earth after rain. Occasionally hummingbirds fly around too-small green jewels glinting in the sun.
The immense landscape rolls away, and your eyes are drawn to a daunting, impenetrable rugged range of mountains in the distance.
As you walk along, you notice track marks in the sand. They are large paw prints that could be from a coyote, or maybe two like they had been running and in places tussling together.
You arrive at a stand of low lying trees. They are ironwood trees and are also in bloom a dusky pink. You carefully follow the path through them, appreciating the oasis of shade they create.
When you reach the other side of the trees, the landscape unexpectedly opens up to a vast lake. The water is the colour of sapphire that contrasts with a steep canyon wall of red rock on the opposite side of the lake.
As you walk closer to the water, a wandering wind lightly brushes the hair away from your face.
Swimming lazily under the surface is a group of trout. While you watch them a bright red dragonfly skims the surface of the water.
You walk to the sandy beach where you find a smooth flat rock to rest on. Here you take off your shoes and dig your toes into the sand. You lie down on the rock, feeling the heat trapped there from the day on your back. You feel relaxed within the little oasis, and an overwhelming sense of peace fills your spirit.
Thank you for listening to Your Sleep Guru Podcast and allowing me to help you relax or fall asleep.
For our visualization today, you will need to bring an imaginary bathing suit, snorkel, mask and beach towel.
But first, have you ever thought deeply about your experiences with animals, whether family pets or unusual encounters with wildlife. Animals have a more significant meaning in our lives than many of us realize.
Interactions with animals can open a window to the soul and help with spiritual development. Animals from all stages of our lives, and even from the wild appear with messages that communicate their ancient wisdom which can inspire or help navigate our true purpose. Being aware of the importance of our interactions with animals can help heal parts of our mind and soul.
You find yourself walking on a wooden walkway carved through a high grove of palm trees and thick emerald green thickets of sea grapes. You can hear the soft calls of seagulls overhead, and the gentle sound of the surf somewhere in the distance.
The trail ends at a deserted beach. The damp early morning air has hardened the sand, but the sunshine has fixed the surface into a crust which cracks and crunches under your bare feet as you walk to the edge of the waves.
Someone has been here before. The word LOVE has been etched into the sand.
Here and there are a variety of broken shells, small pieces of coral and sea glass.
The colour of the sea is neon turquoise, surreal and otherworldly.
On the horizon, cumulus nimbus clouds cast shadows on the sea. Patches of sunlight touch down everywhere. White lines of seagulls fly near the shoreline.
You notice dark shadows shifting beneath the surface of the water. When you get closer, you see the inky dots are a group of stingrays congregating in the shallows. They have a roundish shape and are undulating their whole bodies in a wavy motion like large birds flying under the water.
You put on your snorkel mask and push yourself off into the water. The water is clear and warm, so it feels like you are jumping from air to air, and suddenly you are gliding through the water. Floating free of gravity, soaring over a dappled, powdery landscape. Your body is encased in silver bubbles that dance up to the surface.
You are deeply aware of your breath as breathe in and out. The sound has a hypnotic and calming effect.
Within a few moments, you are flying among the rays. They observe you calmly with their large, tender eyes on the top of their heads. The water is shallow here so you can swim near them. They are not afraid of you, nor you of them. Soon you are floating together, and you enjoy the sensation you have of being one of them. A part of the fever of Stingrays as they are known to be when in a group together. Occasionally you can feel their soft fleshy wings brush against your legs. Emboldened by their gentle communion, you reach out and stroke the wingtip of the ray closest to you. The skin is the softest and most delicate thing you have ever felt before.
After a while, you drift back to the beach. Carried in by the current. When you get out of the water, you take off your snorkel mask and lie on your towel. You feel peaceful and relaxed at one with the ocean as your breath matches the rhythm of the gentle waves.
The visualization today will begin with a quote from the philosopher and poet Suzy Kassem. Then we will explore a ponderosa pine forest before discovering a secret, thermal springs waterfall.
"Everybody has a little bit of the sun and moon in them. Everybody has a little bit of man, woman, and animal in them. Darks and lights in them. Everyone is part of a connected cosmic system. Part earth and sea, wind and fire, with some salt and dust swimming in them. We have a universe within ourselves that mimics the universe outside. None of us are just black or white, or never wrong and always right. No one. No one exists without polarities. Everybody has good and bad forces working with them, against them, and within them."
You find yourself walking through a ponderosa pine forest on the Eastern Edge of the Great Basin.
The pine trees tower overhead. Growing in between their tall, straight trunks are brushwood and quaking aspen. Sunlight illuminates their golden leaves, and they appear to glow from within. Their leaves scatter and are carried everywhere by the soft wind.
The wildlife is keeping hidden. The quietness interrupted by the sound of crickets and occasionally by a woodpecker in the distance. The air carries a scent of butterscotch, unique to the ponderosa tree.
Among the wild grasses that line the sandy pathway, you see purple and white asters, yellow rabbitbrush, bush sunflower and horsemint.
After a while, the trail begins to curve through a narrow slot canyon next to a creek strewn with massive granite boulders. Where the rocks block the flow, rapids form and tumble down into shallow pools.
As the ravine walls become steeper, the terrain becomes wilder. You can almost feel the canyon breathe with pockets of warm air in the small patches of sun and cooler air in the shade.
The cliff walls are smooth, the colour of vermillion. In places small grasses and other plants pushing the possibilities of life, growing out of the sheer rock face.
The canyon ends at little waterfalls cascading gently into several deep natural pools. You walk over to feel the water with your hand, surprisingly, the water is perfectly warm. You realize you have discovered hot spring nirvana. You take off your clothes and step into one of the pool, and then float on your back. You gaze up at rock walls and a puffy white bank of clouds beyond. A feeling of tranquillity engulfs you.
After some time has passed, you decide to go to a shallower pool. It isn't as hot as the one you were in before.
The water is crystal clear. You wade in and then stretch out on the flat smooth stones that line the base of it. You can support your head and neck on a large flat rock.
You relax like this for a long time, allowing your body and soul to breath in dreams like air.
〰️ Clara 〰️
I am bringing my favourite outside experiences and imaginings to create visualizations that encourage peace and relaxation.