Our visualization will begin with a quote from the Vietnamese Buddhist monk and peace activist, Thích Nhất Hạnh.
"Around us, life bursts with miracles--a glass of water, a ray of sunshine, a leaf, a caterpillar, a flower, laughter, raindrops. If you live in awareness, it is easy to see miracles everywhere. Each human being is a multiplicity of miracles. Eyes that see thousands of colours, shapes, and forms; ears that hear a bee flying or a thunderclap; a brain that ponders a speck of dust as easily as the entire cosmos; a heart that beats in rhythm with the heartbeat of all beings. When we are tired and feel discouraged by life's daily struggles, we may not notice these miracles, but they are always there."
You find yourself deep in the European countryside. You are walking through a vast grassy meadow. The wind pushes the grasses one way and then another. The field undulates downwards and upwards. It flows and looks like water. In the distance, you notice some of the grass has been cut for hay, and large circular bales lie strewn about randomly on the hillside.
In places, the swaths of bright crimson poppies swaying in the breeze give an impression the fields have flares. You also notice blue cornflowers, clover, teasels and high purple thistles.
Soon the path takes you through a field of sunflowers. They are taller than you are, and their flowers are all facing away from you toward the east. The big blooms are busy with life- not just bees, but butterflies and emerald-toned beetles. You can see the swifts flying overhead. The sun warmed sweet haze of the yellow flowers fills the air.
After a while, the field of sunflowers ends, and you are walking through a vineyard. The vines are knarled and stretch out for acres in lines of trellises. The clusters of grapes are budding green. A grasshopper jumps on your arm and then hops off.
You come to an ancient, crumbling wall with an archway and a thick oak door. When you push, the door opens easily, and you find yourself in the courtyard of a monastery with lemon trees and a small fountain in the centre.
Some white turtle doves are drinking from the fountain, and when you approach, they fly up and land on the terracotta tiled roof of the monastery.
An elderly monk in a black habit walks over and greets you in broken English. He has silver hair, and his deep-set eyes are kind. He explains that the monastery is also a retreat, and you are welcome to stay overnight.
You accept his kind invitation, and he leads you through the courtyard to a vaulted covered walkway overgrown with roses. When you look up at the monastery, you notice a couple of gargoyles crouching under the rooftop. They look weathered from centuries of being exposed to the elements, one has the face of a lion, and another resembles a monkey with a wide mouth.
The monk leads you through a large kitchen. A group of people are sitting together at a long table, having lunch. They smile at you as you pass through. You follow the monk down a wide corridor to your bedroom.
The room is whitewashed, with oak floors and a simple wooden bed, desk and chairs. You walk over to the window; the view overlooks the places you have just walked. It is dusk, a grapy dusk, a purple dusk over the sunflower fields and the long grass pastures the sun the colour of pressed grapes, slashed with burgundy red. On the horizon you see a small village nestled in the between the faraway hillsides.
You turn around and see the monk has left. You walk over to the door and close it then you lie down on the soft linen quilt. The room is peaceful. And quiet. A balanced inner calmness radiates from your heart. You breathe slowly and deeply. Your eyes are still under your eyelids, your mind is still, and soon, sleep.
〰️ Clara 〰️
I am bringing my favourite outside experiences and imaginings to create visualizations that encourage peace and relaxation.