Saturday, May 06, 2006

Guided Meditation

I'd like for you all to close your eyes. Now, imagine
that your body is a sandbag, tightly packed with sand.
You are tight, tense, almost uncomfortable, being
filled with sand. Until finally you spring a leak,
and all the sand starts to run out. First your feet
empty, becoming limp. Then the bottom half of your
legs empty out, and become limp. Then your thighs
empty. Your stomach slowly drains of sand and becomes
empty, and slack. Your chest and your shoulders
empty, becoming limp. Your arms empty, right down to
the fingers. Your neck and finally your head, all
empty. You are completely limp, and relaxed, empty...

Now, in your minds eye, I want you to see yourself
outside of a garden gate. It is springtime, and the
sun is warm on your skin, but not too warm. The gate
is locked, but you have a key. Look at the key, turn
it over in your hands, feel it's cool weight. Now,
put the key in the lock. It turns, and you know that
the gate is unlocked now. You may come and go as you
please. You open the gate and step through into a
beautiful garden.

There is a narrow path that leads straight through the
garden. There are huge beds of your favorite flowers
on both sides of the path. Take your time strolling
down the path, enjoy the flowers, smell their
perfumes, let their colors dazzle your eyes.

The narrow path leads you into some trees. Their new
leaves cast a dappled shade over you. There is a
slight breeze now, and the sun shifts in leafy
patterns over you as you walk on, deeper into the
trees. The air is cool on your skin, but not too
cool. You can hear the sound of chirping birds all
around you in the woods, and up ahead you can hear the
musical sound of running water.

Soon the narrow path leads you to the water you have
been hearing. It is a creek, a stream, that cuts the
narrow path neatly in two. In order to go on, you
must go down into the stream and wade across to the
other side. The cool water feels good as you cross
the stream, you do not mind getting a little wet, and
the other bank is easy to climb.

On the other side of the stream, is a small clearing.
The ground is covered in grass, like a lawn. In the
very center of the clearing is a box. You know that
the box is for you, so you go over to it and open it.
Inside the box is a present for you. The contents of
the box make you happy. Take your time, enjoy your
present. Maybe you sit or even lie down in the grass,
where you can hear the sound of the stream running
merrily by.

When you are done, make your way back up the narrow
path, across the stream, through the trees, through
the flower garden, and eventually to the garden gate.
Then open the gate, and step back out into the world.
Close the gate behind you and take out your key. Turn
it over in your hands, feel it's cool weight. Then
put it in the lock, and turn it, locking the gate
again. Know that the path, and the garden, and the
stream, and the clearing are yours, and that you may
visit them again any time you wish.

When you are back, you may open your eyes, and sit up.


Leslie said...

Yeah, it's Sunday and if I went to church I'd be getting ready. But since they moved service to 11:00 I haven't been - it cuts the day too much in half and I try to share Sunday with my husband.

But - have you ever thought of using this guided meditation as a sermon? I know one of our student ministers used the idea once as the "reading" but I thought then, and still do believe, it would make a most effective sermon. A sermon is to teach, no? And what's better in this world than to teach people how to take time for themselves, to relax, to disconnect from the babble and find some peace?

At any rate, thanks for the quiet minute, Josh :)

Rev. Josh said...

I understand what you mean about needing Sunday to share with your hubby. I find that there's something missing in my spiritual life when I disconnect from the community tho.
Anyway, I've used this meditation for youth group (it's a great follow up for the HaHaHa game, which I might post about at some point) but hadn't considered it as a sermon... interesting! I might do that at some point.
So you're welcome for the quiet moment, and thank you for the insightful comment!