Our guided meditation is from a faraway corner of Baja, Mexico.
You find yourself alone on a deserted beach by the side of the Sea of Cortez. The sand under your feet is coarse and grainy. As you walk, you can feel the texture of the sun warmed sand massaging the soles of your bare feet.
Away, to your left, you see a stark landscape of tall, rugged mountains. The mountains are covered with Cardon cacti, they remind you of the saguaro cacti that grow in the Sonoran Desert of Arizona.
There is not a cloud in the blue sky, and the air is still and has the scent of soft sage. In the distance, you see an eagle lazily riding a thermal breeze in circles high over a mountain peak.
You shift your gaze now to the sea. The aquamarine water is lazy and gently laps up against the beach. You decide to walk along the shoreline. The water is slightly colder than the air and refreshing.
A line of pelicans glides in front of you in formation. One of them breaks away from the group and powerfully dives into the sea. After a while, it returns to the surface, and you notice it has a large silver fish in its bill, which it gulps down hungrily.
As you continue walking along, you see a small yellow wooden boat coming toward you. At the helm is a woman with long, black hair. The dress she is wearing is almost the same colour as the sky.
When she reaches the shore, she invites you to join her on a boat ride to the small island you can see faintly in the distance. You climb easily on board. A white canopy shades you from the bright sun, and as soon as the boat clears the beach, you feel a pleasant breeze coming off the surface of the water. The gentle motion of the ship makes you feel a bit sleepy.
A few seagulls are following along behind the boat; their insistent cries ask the question... do you have any fish? Any fish?
You can see the island in more detail now. Ths lone mountain peak rising in the middle reminds you of a hat.
Now and again you can see other birds, or at least you think they are birds diving for food. But as you look closely, you see they are great black manta rays randomly jumping high out of the water, hanging suspended momentarily in the air, flapping their large fins like birds, then noisily belly-flopping back into the sea.
The boat drifts peacefully along; you can now clearly see the dramatic mountains from behind the shoreline from where you were. At this distance, they look like jagged pale purple folds.
The woman points over the starboard side of the boat. You can't see what she sees at first, but then squinting you can make out some fins in the water.
Soon you see more, and more fins. Then you hear a hiss. The hiss amplifies in intensity, and you realise the hiss is the power and sound of thousands of dolphins racing past the boat. The sight of so many of them brings tears of joy to your eyes. They leap out of the water, some are quite large, and others are small and look like calves. When you look down into the clear water, you can see layers of them swimming below the boat too! In what seems like seconds, the dolphins have vanished. The calm and the peaceful sea breeze once again envelop the vessel. You feel emotionally overwhelmed by what you have witnessed.
The boat continues sailing towards the small island. After a while you notice the woman looking intently over the bow of the ship. In the water, you see several huge perfectly formed pads of ripples.
You can't believe your eyes when a large, barnacle-encrusted black body arcs sleekly beside the boat. When the whale exhales, the mist from its breath captures the sunlight, and two rainbows arc above the massive creature. Next, you see the tail rise high out of the water. The tail is pure white. It hangs suspended for a while, then gently glides back into the sea. The whale disappears, and again you are left breathless by the brief encounter.
The island is getting closer now.
The small ship pulls into a shallow lagoon, and the woman beaches the boat on the sand. She tells you to explore the island, and she will wait for you. No rush. The water here is a fantastic shade of green. You follow the beach up to a cave. The cave feels cool inside away from the sun. Encrusted in the limestone walls are fossils of sea animals and seashells. You recognise the shells of giant clams and nautilus and some sort of sea urchin. The sheer number of the fossils in the cave makes you wonder about all the life that must have teemed in the sea water here. You wish you could have witnessed it.
You sit down in the cool sand and gaze out of the cave. You are in no rush. You dig into the sand to create a pillow for your head and slowly drift off into a deep, deep sleep.
The music to the video is by a musician called Aydio. His work is amazing, inspirational, and deep. You should check him out!
Our guided meditation this week is from a corner of Anglia on the east coast of England. Before beginning our journey, please make sure you are not driving a car or anything else.
You find yourself by the side of a large tidal river. The river Alde. The tide is in so the river is high. Your path lies ahead through a marsh of tall reeds. The reeds that line the way are almost as tall as you are, and their colour is light gold. A soft whispering breeze makes them sway gently back and forth. In places, some of the reeds have tumbled over the path, obscuring it from view. Now and then you have to push the grasses gently aside to keep moving forward.
After a while, you reach the end of the path through the reeds. The trail disappears, and now you are on a sand covered beach that runs along the side of the river going out of sight around the bend. You begin walking on the sand now. The river water is still, reflecting the sky almost perfectly. It creates an optical illusion on the horizon, and in places, it's hard to tell where the river ends, and where the sky begins.
As you walk, you notice many birds busily foraging for food where the sand and the water meet. A few of the birds you recognise as curlews and sanderlings. They are startled by you and fly away. On the other side of the river, you see two swans swimming together.
Legend has it that long ago in 1607, some fishermen captured a merman in their nets here. At first, they thought they had entangled a seal or a dolphin, but soon realised they had caught a man. He had long hair and was completely naked and wild and unable to talk. The men brought him back to the town of Orford and locked him up for an extended period. Later on, he was able to escape and was again.
As you are walking, you notice a narrow wooden jetty that projects quite far out into the river, no boat at the end of the pier. With the stillness of the river and the optical illusion, the wooden walkway looks like it is hanging suspended in space, a pathway to infinity.
While you are looking at the Mirage in the water, a murmuration of about a thousand starlings appear. They blend, then break apart, then together, then apart, creating a myriad of undulating galaxies of patterns. The sound of their wings beating together takes your breath away. You watch them in amazement.
The birds disappear around the bend in the river. You realise the tide has come in further and the water has started to cover the beach where you are walking. Rather than retrace your steps, you decide to head back inland. Soon you see another path that leads through a tall hedge. You pass through, walk along and soon find yourself in a forest. The trees are English oak trees which have probably been standing here for centuries. Their bark has fissures just like armour. Underneath your feet, you feel and hear the crunching sound of the acorns, the fruit of last summer.
Soon you notice the ruins of a vast structure that once stood here. You see the old chimney and the walls of a grand hall that have crumbled almost to the ground. At the top of the fireplace, you see a small white barn owl drowsily watching you. The stone walls are weathered and worn from all the seasons they have seen. This corner of the old forest feels peaceful to you. You sit down inside the ruined structure and breathe in the atmosphere. It is a broken down place, but you feel safe and incredibly relaxed here.
You lean back and rest your head on a worn old rock. You close your eyes, and when you do, you become aware of the other sounds of the forest. The bees, the grasshoppers, wood doves. The combination of those sounds and the feeling of the sun on your face makes you feel relaxed. You breathe in. Breathe out. And then you fall into a deep deep sleep.
You find yourself alone in the middle of a vast, primordial volcanic landscape. A long time ago, this scene was covered with glowing molten lava. Now the ground rises and falls in angular, uneven brown dimensions and the ground beneath your feet is sharp and jagged, but you don’t mind because your feet are protected in your sturdy, soft boots. Small crevices and hollows have formed in the pumice rock from the rain, the wind, the snow and the ice. In between some of the fractures where the erosion has taken place whole landscapes of moss and lichens are growing in abundance. The sight of it makes you think of the sponges growing over the coral in the seas of warmer, distant places. There is an interesting contrast between their bright shades of green and the hard brown of the pumice rock.
In the distance, you see some low lying rowan trees that resemble small bushes. You decide to wander there slowly over the broken, uneven, bare landscape. You walk carefully, not wanting to step on and damage any of the fragile lichens that have probably taken aeons to grow in this desolate part of the landscape.
After you have been walking for a while, you hear a low metallic clucking sound. You look down at the ground and see a large white bird with bright red eyebrows peering at you from behind a rock. A rock ptarmigan! You stop. The bird eyes you quietly for a few moments before quickly darting away and disappearing behind some lava rocks.
You keep walking. There isn't a cloud in the sky, and the atmosphere is so clear you can literally see for miles. Maybe further than you have ever been able to see before. As you breathe in, the air is pure, fresh and new. In the far distance, you see small black hills framing a cone-shaped mountain covered in white snow that dominates the horizon. Must be the volcano that erupted ages ago and left the enormous lava field you're walking on in its wake. Now you reach the edge of the lava field, and you see clumps of tall blue lupines beginning to bud. Spring isn't far off.
The Rowan trees have grown together at the top to form a long tunnel over the pathway. You start walking down it. Looking up you see the trees are starting to bud too. Half-formed and bright green, and the blue sky beyond. The air is still, without any ambient noise except for the sound of your feet on the smooth path you are walking on. You feel very peaceful in your heart.
To your right, you see some wooden steps. You decide to explore and see where they lead. When you reach the bottom of them, you are beside a crystal clear emerald green pool. The surface of the water is perfectly placid and reflects the trees surrounding it. Underneath you see a shoal of small silver fish with designs of black dots covering their bodies. They sense the shadow you cast above them and dart away, disturbing the surface and leaving ripples that expand in their wake across the still water.
You climb back up the stairs to the pathway. Here you continue rambling along underneath the tender rowan trees until you reach a flat open area of soft, tufted grass. The grass is springy and has become faded and bleached from the winter elements. You see a track where the tussock grass has been flattened, and you continue walking along it.
As you walk along, you see a wide river. The river is a deep shade of sapphire blue. Here and there the water tumbles over large boulders, and you see white caps and hear the sound of it rushing, and it reminds you of a loud hiss.
A flock of about eight eider geese are startled by you from below the bank you are near. They run off clumsily on the water, squawking angrily at you as they go. When they take flight, they are slow and graceful. They fly away down the river. Some other smaller snowy waterbirds remain searching for food in the sand by the side of the river. The gentle sound they make blends with the sound of the rapids.
You decide to continue walking along on the track beside the river. The air you breathe is still so fresh, the dampness from the river casts a chill, but the warm sunshine on your face warms your spirit.
The track leads back into the Rowan trees and begins to wind upwards around large rocks covered in sage green colored lichen.
After a while, the sound of the water starts to become more and more amplified. When you reach the top of the small rise, the noise encompasses you on all sides. Below you is a great waterfall, divided into several parts by a series of huge boulders. You stare at it, amazed by the sheer volume and contrast of the water cobalt blue, and pure white.
The enchantment of the landscape spread out before you, the wall of noise, the feeling of the sun on your back all have a hypnotic effect. You begin to feel drowsy. When you turn, you notice a wooden bench behind you. You walk over to it and lie down. You put your hands behind your head to make a pillow and gaze up at the sky through the branches of the rowan tree. Your eyes are feeling heavy now. You breathe in and out deeply. You sink slowly into a deep, deep sleep
Before listening to the podcast, please remember not to be driving a car or anything else.
You find yourself bathed in golden sunshine, alone in the clearing of a forest. The trees are set apart. Each tree is unique. Some have twisted limbs that form interesting shapes, while others are tall and straight. The leaves on the twisted trees are small and angular, while the tall narrow trees are evergreen. Their warm, soft fragrance holds an aroma that dates back to another time, long ago.
As you walk along the broad sandy path through the forest, that was probably made by many ancient people and animals who walked this way ages ago, you see a clearing up ahead. When you reach the clearing, a valley opens up. Fields of grass sway and undulate in soft breezes, and you are reminded of the currents in the ocean. The soft whisper of the wind through the tall grass beckons you out into the open clearing.
You walk ahead. Looking up at the hills beyond you see an ancient stone castle high up on one of them. The villa is surrounded by another forest, this one is thicker than the one you have just walked through. You are mesmerized and feel magnetically drawn to explore it.
You walk through the high golden grass towards the forest and the grass lightly touches your bare arms as you go. The ends of the grasses have seeds, and growing in between are tall crimson flowers, purple thistles, and buttercups. White butterflies with black designs compete with scarlet winged beetles to drink the nectar from them.
Suddenly, you hear a loud rustling to your left. As the rustling becomes louder and louder, you see a stout wild boar complete with tusks pushing its way through the grass. At first, you feel a little nervous, but then you relax. The boar isn’t interested in you and passes on the path ahead of you. Following closely behind their coarse-haired mother are eight piglets with have latitudes of brown and white stripes across their small bodies.
You walk on until you find yourself at the edge of the dense forest that surrounds the castle on the hill. From deep within the trees you hear a lot of birds singing. The birds could be sparrows or finches.
The trail through the trees is quite overgrown with blooming honeysuckle bushes. The flowers are still covered with dew.
The path slowly slopes up, but you choose instead to follow the dry river bed that curls along underneath the trail. You stoop to take a look at some of the small stones you see there. They all have edges that have been polished by the water that used to run freely over them, or perhaps by centuries of rain. Something catches your eye. It’s a small smooth black rock, oblong in shape, half black and half white. Onyx and marble melded together by a mysterious force. The stone fits perfectly into the palm of your hand, so you decide to keep it. As you walk on, you rub the stone between your fingers, enjoying how smooth the surface feels.
You decide to follow the river bed for a while. You walk along in the soft sand, meandering around the larger stones that nature has left in disarray.
The melody of the birds follows you as you walk. You sense some of the birds are watching you cautiously from the undergrowth, wondering if you are there to disturb them or if you are just a passer- by.
Shafts of sunlight find their way through the leaves and branches overhead. They throw dappled patterns on the ground all around you.
Ahead you notice an ancient stone bridge. Who built the bridge? The Romans? The people from Medieval times, or the Renaissance? The bridge has seen better days. Regardless, you climb up to the top of it. Here you discover an old cobblestone road. You realize the road probably leads to the castle, so you walk this way now.
The landscape changes as you leave the forest. Lining the road are bushes with brambles. Their thorny branches are heavy with ripe blackberries. You pluck and eat a few. In your mouth, they taste like the summer sunshine.
After a while, you are at the castle. The walls are in a state of decay. The mortar is covered in lichen, and some of it is crumbling away. Tufts of grass have found places to grow in the cracks. The shutters on the ground floor are closed. Old brown paint peels away from them. A speckled green lizard is sunning himself on one of the ledges.
You are drawn to find a way to look inside the castle. As you walk around the walls, you see one of the shuttered doorways is hanging on with a broken hinge, so you are able to open the door and climb inside.
You are in a dimly lit entryway. Pieces of broken plaster, glass, and tile crunch under your feet. When you breathe in the air, it smells musty and unlived in. Old vines have crawled inside through the cracks. Nature is reclaiming this old relic for herself.
You walk up the grand staircase lightly holding the cool marble banister as you go.
Halfway up the stairs is a huge window. The glass inside the windowpane is made up of circles that resemble the thick round bottoms of glass bottles. Windows from an earlier time. You open one of them. The view is astonishing. The golden valley you have walked through rolls away from you, on the other side is a small village with a bell tower clinging to the top of the hillside. You can hear the clock chiming three o’clock, and the chitter chatter of chimney swifts who are nesting everywhere in the old rafters above your head.
You feel a presence. Maybe a ghost. You have a sensation that it’s time for you to go. You retrace your steps and leave the castle, carefully putting the door with the broken hinge back the way you found it.
You follow the road retracing your steps through the forest back to the golden meadows. The afternoon sunlight, the whispering wind, the sound of the birds is hypnotic. As you are walking through the field, you find a patch of grass that is shorter than the rest. You decide to lie down on your back. The short grass is surprisingly soft, and the larger grass surrounding you reminds you of a nest. You look up at the blue, blue sky and close your eyes and drift into a deep, deep, sleep.
〰️ Clara 〰️
I am bringing my favourite outside experiences and imaginings to create visualizations that encourage peace and relaxation.