Our visualization today will begin with a Maori blessing.
"May the peace of the sky above and the earth below and the all-embracing universe rest upon us. Behold, it is life."
You find yourself walking in the middle of a vast forest, and you have a sensation that you have travelled back to prehistoric time. A luminous gauzy fog floats like a whisper around the trees — the smell of moisture in the fern forest like an elixir.
The ferns adorn every tree-trunk and cover the floor of the forest. You notice all the ones you have seen in books with names such as "adder's tongue," "moonwort," "maidenhair" and "spleenwort". You admire the natural elegance of their curving fronds and at the ends of some fresh uncoiling fiddle-head.
When you look upwards, you notice the foliage of the trees also resemble long fronds of ferns and form such a dense canopy over your head that you cannot see the sky.
The carpet of moss you are walking on muffles your footsteps. Your footsteps are so soft you startle some small birds in the undergrowth. At first, you imagine you have disturbed a kiwi, but then you see three quail run away quickly and melt into the clusters of ferns lining the path.
The path crosses a small stream. You hesitate for a few moments to listen to the sound the water makes, before carefully walking over some stepping stones and continuing along the trail.
You disturb a cloud of red cardinal butterflies. They hover closely around your legs and your face for a few moments on wings of jet black and red before flying away.
The trail begins to open up, and you see the ocean and then a cove with a volcanic stone beach. There is a striking contrast between the aquamarine water, black rock, and the lacy foam on the edge of the waves. The surface of the rocks has been worn smooth by the tides. You take off your shoes and walk along the curve of the bay until you reach some large rocks that block your path and prevent you from going any farther.
Tucked away here is a perfectly round, clear rock pool, that has also been carved and etched out by the waves. You dip your toe in the shallow water and decide to take a soak.
The temperature of the water is perfect. The pool is long enough for you to stretch out pleasantly. The high clouds look like layers of gauzy cobwebs. You feel relaxed by the remoteness of this place, the sound of the surf and the gentle ocean breeze.
Someone has recently carved a small Maori twist design into the smooth black rock by the side of the pool, and you trace the shape with your fingers. You understand the traditional knot symbolizes the bond between two people-- it could be between friends, or family or lovers. The knot represents drawing the relationship together across space and time. Like the unbroken, eternal shape of the twist, life for both people will continue no matter unexpected twists and turns may occur, inevitably bringing them back together again as the knot travels full circle.
You notice the sun has shifted lower in the sky and it's time to dry yourself off and retrace your steps through the fern forest.
We will begin our visualization today with a quote from Don Miguel Ruiz, The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom
"God is life. God is life in action. The best way to say, "I love you, God," is to live your life doing your best. The best way to say, "Thank you, God," is by letting go of the past and living in the present moment, right here and now. Whatever life takes away from you, let it go. When you surrender and let go of the past, you allow yourself to be fully alive in the moment. Letting go of the past means you can enjoy the dream that is happening right now."
It is a hot afternoon, and you are walking along a tropical beach. The tranquil turquoise coloured water laps lazily on the shore.
On the horizon, beyond the turquoise water is an inky blue line where the sea plunges fathoms into the depths of the ocean. Above it, steep mountain ranges of brilliant white cumulous clouds swell to the heavens.
The sun has heated the fine powdery sand, so you decide to walk in the seawater to cool them off.
While you are walking along the shore, you see small broken pieces of coral and seashells. When you look closely, you can see the intact sea shells have hermit crabs inside. They scurry quickly away from you using their brawny forearms.
Tall palm trees rustle in the soft ocean wind. Here and there you have to walk around coconuts that have fallen on the beach. They are about to be taken out to other shores by the turning tide.
You can faintly detect the scent of frangipani. You can see the pale yellow blooms amid the foliage growing near the edge of the beach along with the hibiscus and other tropical flowers you don't remember the names of.
You stop again to gaze at the magical, clear water — all of a sudden a large head surfaces. The head is about the size of one of the coconuts with gentle hooded eyes. You can see the top of its massive shell as it glides along the top of the water. The sea turtle is completely unaware of your presence. Soon it vanishes, leaving behind nothing but a slipstream.
You start walking again.
A little further up the beach you arrive at a palapa with a colourful woven cloth chair inside. You sit down on the chair. It feels cool in the shade. When you close your eyes, your senses become more tuned in to the sound of the water lapping on the shore, the rustling of the thatched roof, and then on the breeze, you catch the sound of joyful music. You can also hear laughter, and you imagine the people dancing and having a fun time together.
You feel so peaceful in this place. You close your eyes and are lulled by the sound of the thatched roof, the soothing waves, the laughter and the music. Slowly you drift off into a deep, deep sleep.
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, which the people who live here call the season of amnesia. The season when it's not unbearably hot, and therefore the season to forget how hot the desert will be when the summer arrives.
The stark landscape creates an uncluttered and unhurried feeling.
The sky is a bright shade of blue with many fluffy clouds casting long shadows beneath them on the desert floor. As you walk along, you walk in and out of the shadows they cast.
The trail you are on is well groomed and winds through a forest of the saguaro. The cacti are otherworldly and tower over your head. They have several large arms extending upwards, and many are in bloom with a fleshy crown of white flowers at the top. The trunks are pocked marked with large holes, and you imagine the owls who might be sleeping inside.
Also along the trail are creosote bushes covered in yellow blossoms, and buzzing with a variety of small bees and a few butterflies with black and white stripes. Their blooms smell vaguely like the earth after rain. Occasionally you can see purple and green hummingbirds flying around them too.
The air is still, and you feel the harsh solitude of the place.
The immense landscape rolls away; your eyes are drawn to a daunting, rugged range of mountains in the distance which looks to be impenetrable.
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. 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, and the sun glitters in places on the surface. On the opposite side of the lake is a steep canyon wall of red rock.
As you walk closer to the water, a wandering wind lightly brushes the hair away from your face.
The water is crystal clear, and swimming lazily under the surface are a group of rainbow trout. While you watch them a bright red dragonfly skims the surface of the water. The fish don't notice.
You walk along the sandy beach until you find a smooth flat rock where you can rest. While you are sitting there, a fish jumps out of the water. You take your shoes off 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, and slowly you drift off into a deep, deep sleep.
Before we begin our visualisation, I would like to read a quote by the Dalai Lama
“Every day, think as you wake up, today I am fortunate to be alive, I have a precious human life, I am not going to waste it. I am going to use all my energies to develop myself, to expand my heart out to others; to achieve enlightenment for the benefit of all beings. I am going to have kind thoughts towards others, I am not going to get angry or think badly about others. I am going to benefit others as much as I can.”
You find yourself alone on a vast plain in Iceland.
Volcanic peaks surround you. They rise to the blue sky like jagged black teeth. The air is bright and clear. Big fluffy clouds cast shadows on the ground, and as you walk, you occasionally find yourself in an island of the shadows created by them.
The path you are on is carved out of the volcanic black earth and winds along through uneven tufted grass, bleached out by the wind, rain and snow. Here and there you see bunches of purple blooming arctic thyme which vaguely smells like oregano.
In the distance, you see a herd of about eighteen Icelandic ponies. They are roaming free. As you approach them, you see they have long shaggy manes and tails, and thick winter coats. You feel slightly apprehensive not knowing how they will respond to you. You are reassured when two amble over. One of them is a blue roan, and the other is a palomino. You stroke their thick coats. They gently nudge you with their soft muzzles, and you feel their warm breath on your bare arms and hands. Soon they go back to eating the grass, and you decide to sit down next to them and be a part of the herd for a while. Several horses are lying down nearby taking a nap also enjoying the afternoon sunshine.
You decide to continue your walk along the soft, black pumice path. After a while, the trail enters a small thicket. Blueberries cover the bushes. You eat some; they are delicious. Your presence startles a Raven who flies off cawing angrily.
After a while, you come out of the small thicket into a ragged clearing, strewn about with rocks. In the middle of the field, you see a small circular pool which is being fed by a tiny spring. When you touch the water, it feels warm, and you realise you have discovered a natural thermal spring.
The water looks inviting, so you decide to take some clothes off and step into the pool. You can instantly feel the healing properties of the spring, which is just the right size for you. You sit comfortably on a smooth rock. You soak for a while, enjoying the privacy of the blueberry bushes which surround the clearing, the blue sky above you and the gentle breeze. You feel light as a feather.
You forget about the time. You feel relaxed, and your mind wanders to imagine the ancient people who might have felt the same way in the pool. Was there a house here once? Life must have been harsh then.
You get out of the spring and lie down on your shirt on the soft turf. It must be late, but there is no rush. It's summer, and the sun won't set here.
You close your eyes, and slowly, you drift off into a deep, deep sleep.
〰️ Clara 〰️
I am bringing my favourite outside experiences and imaginings to create visualizations that encourage peace and relaxation.