21-Day Meditation Challenge – Day 11: Clear Lake Meditation
Take a comfortable seat sitting cross-legged on the mat, or in a high-backed chair (with your feet resting evenly on the floor), or lie down comfortably in a bed or on the floor. Let your body sink into your seat, the chair, or the floor, and bring your attention inward to the breath. Let go of your thoughts and concentrate on your breath for several inhales and exhales – following the breath all the way into your body and all the way out of your body.
As you rest here, envision a lake. One you know and frequent, one you’ve seen an image of, or even one you imagine. Sense that the lake is gently held within a depression in the surface of the earth. Start to imagine details of the lake. Imagine the area surrounding the lake, see its shore, see the trees nearby, imagine tributaries or streams running into the lake.
Imagine the changes on the surface of the lake under different weather conditions, different seasons. In the calm, imagine sunny or lunar reflections on the surface of the lake. In the breeze, imagine the play of waves or ripples on the surface of the lake.
Now let your mind fuse with the lake. Let your mind be held in the lake valley. Observe the play of the environment on the surface of the lake. Imagine that these environmental effects are your thoughts gently passing over the surface of the lake. Notice that the ripples created by your thoughts are only part of what it means to be a lake.
Let your mind reflect the calm, let the surface of your mind reflect sunlight, starlight and moonlight. Experience the waves that might arise and see under them to the calm, steadfast tranquility below the surface.
Rest here in silence. Become the lake. Be the lake through strong winds and deep, abiding calm.
If this meditation moves you, practice it often, depending on your needs. You can practice it for 5 or 50 minutes; practice it on the plane or at your desk; practice it indoors or outdoors; practice it as you break for tea; practice it as you drift off to sleep.
(adapted from Jon Kabat Zinn’s Lake Meditation)