Hello, everyone. My name is Harlan and I’m going to lead you in a meditation.
Meditation is simply a way to relax your mind. Your mind is always thinking, even if you’re not thinking of thinking. Your mind is never really at rest unless it is told to be at rest. So, what I’d like you to do is to follow me, because I want to put your mind at rest.
But don’t worry, just because your mind might not be thinking, there are things we cannot silence. We cannot silence our mind to stop telling our lungs to breathe or our heart to pound. But through meditation, we can ask our lungs and heart to slow, which provides us relaxation. Relaxation is something that benefits our bodies and our minds.
There’s nothing to fear in meditation. Meditation is like prayer. There’s nothing to see; nothing to hear; there’s no success; and, there’s no failure. Nothing will happen to you. I promise, nothing. The only thing that may happen is that you may feel calm. Calm like a pond; calm like sleep; calm like a windless wind.
If there are no questions, let’s begin.
I’d like you to close your eyes. If you’re frightened, then keep your eyes open, but bow your head to your lap. I want you to listen to my voice. Try your best to listen to my voice and my voice only. Try to let go of your own voice; that voice you hear all day long; that voice that tries to tell you what to do. Say to that voice: “Goodnight voice, I don’t need you now.” Try repeating it to yourself; it’s okay to say it aloud because sometimes that little voice doesn’t listen very well. Just repeat it to yourself or aloud quietly. Simply say, “Goodnight voice, I don’t need you now. Goodnight voice, I don’t need you now. Goodnight voice, I don’t need you now.”
Soon all you’ll hear are your own words, “Goodnight voice, I don’t need you now. Goodnight voice, I don’t need you now.”
I’ll give you a few more seconds to finish your conversation with your voice. Remember, there’s nothing to fear; there’s no right way or wrong way; no one’s looking at you; no one’s doing anything wrong. Whatever you’re thinking or hearing or feeling is the perfect place for you to be. Simply listen to my voice and say goodnight to your own voice. Simply listen to my voice. My voice. Listen to my voice.
If you feel sleepy, just listen to my voice. Sleepy is okay. But I’m not asking for sleep. Your voice is asking you to be sleepy. If you’re sleepy, simply say, “Goodnight voice, I don’t need you now.”
I want you to think of a place. It could be any place. But I’m thinking of a particular place. I’m thinking of a place that’s warm and sunny and quiet. Any place is okay to think about, but maybe when you tire of anyplace you can think of some place. I’d like you to think of some place. This place is warm and sunny and quiet. Maybe it’s filled with sand or water or mountains. Whichever place you see is exactly the place I want you to be. See that place. Feel that place. Smell that place. Do you see the water or the sand or the mountains? Just see some place, a place that you see is what’s important. It doesn’t have to be a place you’ve been. Just a place. Some place. Some place you can see. It’s a pretty place, a peaceful place, a place that you like.
Now that you see this place I want you to take a deep breath in and blow it out. Breathe in and blow out. Perfect. Now, while looking at your place, I want you to breathe in slowly through your nose and breathe out through your open mouth. Don’t worry, you won’t snore. Breathe in through your nose and breathe out through your mouth. Breathe in and breathe out. Breathe in and breathe out. Breathing this way helps us to bathe our lungs in oxygen. Oxygen helps our whole body. Breathing like this brings lots of air into our lungs and keeps it there which helps us to relax. Oxygen is food for your body.
Breathe in and breathe out. Breathe in and breathe out. In and out. In and out.
Now go back to your place. That’s right, the place that you saw before. Do you see that place? If not, simply see another place. It’s the place that’s important, it’s that you see it. Don’t try, just see. Do the same as you do when swimming: Open your imagination’s eyes and see beyond your eyes. Your imagination doesn’t wear glasses. Does it? That’s a little silly, isn’t? It’s okay to laugh. Your imagination loves to laugh. An imagination wearing glasses! That is funny, isn’t it?
Let’s stay in this place for awhile. I simply want you to see this place, its beauty, its peace. I want you to spend time there. This isn’t any place or even some place. This is your place. Any place you choose is your place. See it, feel it; breathe in and out; breathe in and out; slowly in through your nose and out through your mouth; in through your nose and out through your mouth.
Let’s stay here for a little while.
Now it’s time to go back. I want you to say goodbye to your place. Don’t be sad because your place is your place. It’s in your heart and in your imagination. No one else can see it, only you can see it. It’s your secret place. It’s a place you can go whenever you like. You can return every day and every night. I go to my place many times a day. My place is a place I honor. I go to my place whenever every other place upsets me. My place, like your place, is a place of calm. I sometimes think of it as a hiding place.
But it’s time to go back now. I want you to say goodbye to your place and slowly come back to this place. Just follow my voice as I lead you back. Please come back now. Once you’re back, you can open your eyes or lift your head.
Welcome back . . .