We all learn at a young age about our 5 basic senses: sight, hearing, smell, taste and touch, but how often do we take the time to truly experience each of our senses in all their magnificent glory.
This is the first of several posts that will center on the practice of mindfulness meditation.
Steps to visual meditation:
- Choose one of the photos I’ve included below, or choose one of your own that is soothing, calm, picturesques, etc.
- Sit or lie down comfortably.
- Relax and breath fully in and out two or three times.
- Clear your mind… yes, this can be the difficult part! Clear your mind of everything, especially all of those things that are stressing you out or causing you pain. Do not worry at all about anything. This can take a lot of training and practice if you’re not used to it, but keep trying!
- Using the photo that you previously chose, you can do one of two things… or even both, why not?
- Focus intently, but in a relaxed manner, on the photo. Take note of the scenery, the colors and the color varations. What are the wonderful aspects of the photo? The water? The trees? The clouds? Think about all aspects of the photo that you may find pleasing. Place yourself in the setting. Just imagine how much more beautiful everything looks in person. Imagine the vibrance. Imagine the wildlife. Feel free to touch anything you’d like. Nothing will hurt you. Experience running your hands through the cool water or the snow or prickly blades of grass. In every way you react positively to your surroundings, and vice versa. There is no negatively here. Perhaps this is a little like heaven. Perhaps it is heaven itself.
- Alternatively, you can keep a visual picture of the photo in your mind. Close your eyes and do everything else in the point above without needing to look at the photo again.
- Experts advise that you do this for about 20 minutes, yet I find that even five minutes of this will calm my mind and help me feel better about the world in general.
- Consider choosing to follow this with more pleasing endeavors… eat some sweet fruit or drink some herbal tea, take a bath or soothing shower, listen to some calming music, etc.
Stay tuned for more upcoming mindfulness exercises and in the meantime check out my intro to this series: Mindfulness meditation: Not just for pixies and flower children
Good mental health to you!!