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.
〰️ Clara 〰️
I am bringing my favourite outside experiences and imaginings to create visualizations that encourage peace and relaxation.