This guided meditative visualization is from a retreat.
A retreat can be a time of solitude. An opportunity to withdraw from routine. A time of soul-searching and reflection. A chance to refocus and adjust energy that might be stretched thin in multiple directions.
Retreats can be held in silence, at rural or remote locations, and sometimes they can be taken at a monastery. Spiritual retreats allow time for reflection, prayer, or meditation.
This visualization is from a monastery, but first, I will begin with a quote from Ralph Waldo Emerson.
"Guard well your spare moments. They are like uncut diamonds. Discard them and their value will never be known. Improve them, and they will become the brightest gems in a useful life."
You wake up, and for about ten strange seconds, everything is unfamiliar. You don't know where you are. Then you remember, you're staying at the retreat.
Pale morning light filters through the open window—the sound of whispering rain falling outside blends with the birdsong from the courtyard. You recognize the sound of the cinnamon sparrow, the swifts, and the doves.
The air from outside carries a delicate fragrance of earth and citrus from the orange trees in the courtyard.
You get up, walk over to the window and sit down on a weathered stone window seat which overlooks the terracotta roof, the fountain and the tops of the lemon trees.
Beyond is a landscape of sunflower fields, pastures and straight lines of vineyards stretching away and disappearing over the horizon.
A man walks across a field with two white dogs herding a flock of goats through a gate in the fence.
You imagine the people who have sat at the window. The view probably hasn't changed much over hundreds of years.
The sun breaks through the clouds—a perfect prism of brilliant colours arc in the sky above the landscape. In a matter of moments, the rainbow fades away like a dream.
After a while, you decide to carry on your journey. You open the antique door, walk down the empty stone passageway and out into the courtyard, and the sunshine.
You pick an orange from one of the trees. The fruit fits neatly in the palm of your hand and smells irresistibly sweet. It peels easily, and the flavour brings back sweet memories from your childhood.
There is a fragrance of incense. A whirl of smoke hangs suspended in a shaft of sunshine. You walk across the courtyard following the scent to an open room.
The room is cavernous with flagstones on the floor and a vaulted ceiling overhead. As you gaze up at the rafters, the loft of the height is dizzying.
There is an unusual rose window at the end of the room. It appears to float in the darkness, almost without any support and casts deep jewels of red and blue light about the floor and the walls.
In the corner, rows of white candles sputter and burn.
The essence of frankincense is pleasant. There is a peaceful, sacred hush. You feel connected with your breathing and your heart, and for a delicious moment, time stands still.
Like all moments, this one has to end, as you feel it's time to continue on your journey back across the fields from which you walked the day before.
〰️ Clara 〰️
I am bringing my favourite outside experiences and imaginings to create visualizations that encourage peace and relaxation.