Meditation Exercises

 

A secret garden meditation

The Secret Garden meditation takes you on a deeply relaxing journey where you contemplate any issue of your choosing while you relax.

 

Close your eyes and make yourself comfortable. Take a breath in and a breath out start to let your body relax. Now take a deep breath and smell the damp earth and the tang of last year’s meadow grass. You now find yourself standing in an open field. The wind is brisk, but it is warm enough to be out without a coat. The ground around you is muddy in spots with yellowed grass, but feels springy beneath your feet. The sun above you is not yet strong but you can feel its growing warmth.

You stand for a moment trying to get your bearings when you hear the chirp of a bird behind you. You turn and see a robin. It lands on the ground in front of you and chirps, then hops towards the eastern edge of the field, cocking its head as if encouraging you to follow. You begin to follow it and it takes to the air. Your feet squish in the damp ground of the meadow as you make you way towards a break in the stone wall and the forest beyond the meadow.

Once you reach the edge you see a footpath between the trees and set off between the trees are some evergreens their needles still dark and vibrant. Some have bare branches with only the hint of leaf buds. White birches glimmer between the brown bark of the other trees.

You can hear animals moving around in the woods. You see a rabbit cross your path, several squirrels and then you hear a rustle that might be a deer leaping away from the soft noise of you feet. As you walk, the robin flits from branch to branch waiting for you to catch up. The path curves shallowly down and around until you find yourself in a small clearing before you is a cottage. There are signs of weeds grown tall and crushed down by the snow. The paint is old and peeling and there are no footsteps in the soft ground around the front door.

You peek in the window. Dust is thick as velvet on the furniture and floor. As you stand there the bird chirps again off to the right. You look towards the sound, just in time to see the bird disappear around the corner.

You follow to find a tall wooden fence curving out from the back corner of the cottage. Directly in front of you is a heavy door with a large padlock some gardening tools are pushed into the corner between the cottage and fence. You walk closer noticing more detail. Above the door is a simple sign a back text painted on a white board which says open to all who would use their talents. You reach out testing the padlock but it is solidly locked.

You take a step back and see that the wall on your left is covered in a mural. Like the rest of the cottage, it has been neglected but many of the colors are still bright. The mural shows pictures of people do things cooking, sewing and making all kinds of crafts. People celebrate with friends, playing with children and talking with others. Some people are doing chores or working hard. Others are helping.

Looking at the mural, you realize these people are all doing things. They are taking action in their own lives, and they are doing the hard work that sometimes needs to be done. Your eye catches on scenes of particular meaning to you. Some are things you enjoy. Others are things which make you uncomfortable, but which have to be done. You look more closely at those uncomfortable scenes and begin to think about changes you might make in your own life.

Eventually your eye is drawn downwards towards the gardening tools. A glint of sun catches on something just behind the watering can. You bend down to find a golden key the right size to fit the padlock. Three short phrases are painted on the wall above the key in clear black letters. The first says clear the old the second nurture growth and the third embrace beauty. You take the key off the hook and pick up the basket of gardening tools and the watering can nearby. Turning to the door, you try the key in the padlock.

It unlocks and you open the door to find yourself in a walled garden. It is in disrepair there are weeds everywhere and it is overgrown. A fountain in the center is clogged with fallen leaves. This garden would have been alive with color and life. Now it looks lost, alone and neglected. It upsets you.

You could turn away and find you way back to your familiar surroundings. But there is a challenge in this garden. You start wondering if you could make a difference in how it looks.

You look around and spot a rake leaning against the edge of the stone fountain. There is a wheelbarrow pushed by the wall. As you clear the leaves, you uncover pure clear water. The water feels invigorating and cleansing. As you clear the last of the leaves you spot a lever under the water. You flip the lever and the water starts falling from the center into the fountain pool.

You watch the water for a time and then turn to do something else. You look through the basket of tools and find a pair of gloves a gardening trowel and a bag of seeds. You start on one side of the door clearing away the leaves and debris. As you clear a small patch of ground, you suddenly see a shoot of bright green springing up from the damp earth. You clear around it revealing a bright yellow crocus.

As you start clearing away, again you move more carefully so as not to damage other things after a time your knees and back begin to ache slightly. You stretch and look at what you have done. A good patch of ground is cleared the wheelbarrow piled high with leaves. The ground is rich and pungent from the water.

It is a good beginning. You can see a difference already. You realize however that it will take tome and continued effort to finish the job. What you have done is a wonderful start a good day’s work. You wash off your hands and dump the leaves you have cleared at the edge of the woods where they can decompose and feed new life. You put the tools away. When you are ready to do some more work you know where to find everything you need.

As you walk back up the path to the field you think about other goals in your life that might work the same way as this garden little steps taken over time. As you enter the meadow, once again you feel a warm breeze gently blowing your hair. As you count from 10 it carries you back to your physical form 10 9 8  you feel warm and safe 7 6 5 you remember all the things you saw in the garden and you all you gained from it 4 3 2 1 as you come fully back to your physical body you feel energized and inspired. Breathe deeply and when you are ready open your eyes.