A flowing river meditation for letting go of worries
- Start in a comfortable seated or lying down position, closing your eyes and settling into your breath. Notice the gentle inward and outward flow of your breath as it enters and leaves your body. Notice how your chest and your abdomen gently rise and fall as your breath flows through you.
- Now imagine that you can see a river in front of you…slowly walk towards the river until you’re standing on the river bank, at the river’s edge. Stop here and take a moment to look around.
- What does the landscape around the river look like? Is the river surrounded by lush green forests or warm sandy river banks with palm trees swaying along its length? Or maybe it’s surrounded by snow-peaked mountains…by grassy fields filled with flowers…
- Now, look at the river itself. How wide is the river? Is it a narrow winding river? Or is it wide and expansive like The Nile? What colour is the water? Is it clear, blue or green? How fast is the water flowing downstream? Are there any rocks breaking up the river’s flow?
- What sounds can you hear around you?… what animals can you see on the land, in the trees, the sky and the water? Maybe you can even smell the fresh scents of nature all around you?
- Now walk down to the river’s edge and dip your toes in. How warm or cold is the water? Allow yourself to feel the flow of water as it streams past your toes…ankles…lower legs.
- Now leave the water and come and find a seat next to the river’s edge. As you look down to the ground you see a leaf there. Pick the leaf up.
- Try to bring something to mind which may be causing you stress or worry at the moment…Now when you’re ready place this worry onto the leaf…come to the river’s edge…and then place your leaf on the water, setting your worry off downstream. Watch it drift off into the horizon.
- For the next few moments whenever a thought, sensation or worry enters your head, that’s fine! Allow it to enter, but instead of getting wrapped up in it, simply find a leaf to place it on and then set it off downstream; returning to observing the gentle inward and outward flow of your breath, like the flowing river in front of you…
- When you’re ready slowly get up from the bank’s edge and begin to walk away from the river. Take one last look over your shoulder at the river, before beginning to walk back to your physical body… getting ready to leave your meditation and continue with your day.
- Finish your meditation by taking 3 long deep breaths in through your nose and out through your mouth, and then gently open your eyes.
Photography: David Robertson @azuraphotography