One of my favorite meditations allows me to transport myself to a place I love. Sometimes I imagine sitting in front of a roaring fire. Sometimes I walk along the the ocean. Sometimes I feel the rough surface of a dock I used to frequent over 20 years ago. Our bodies respond similarly whether we actually visit our favorite locations or simply imagine ourselves there.
The next time you need a vacation, there’s no need to wait save up money or accumulate vacation hours. Try this simple visualization meditation instead. The more senses you involve, the more deeply you will immerse yourself in the experience.
Safe Place Visualization Meditation
- Sit comfortably, with your spine erect and the crown of your head floating up to the ceiling. Sitting either in a chair or on the floor is fine, as long as you are physically comfortable and your spine is in “neutral.”
- Allow your eyes to close and your focus to go internal.
- Notice your breath—without intentionally trying to change it. Feel the warmth and coolness of the breath at the tip of your nostrils. Allow your mind to focus on and pay attention to this feeling of the breath. The breath will be your anchor.
- Bring to mind a place in which you feel calm and at peace, whether real or imaginary. Any place will work as long as it feels serene and safe to you.
- A cabin next to a crackling fire
- Your grandmother’s kitchen
- A beach, lake, or other body of water
- Cuddling in your living room with your dog, cat, or favorite human.
- Imagine yourself in your peaceful place using all of your senses.
- What do you see? Be as specific as you can, down to the details of colors, textures and individual blades of grass.
- What do you smell? Freshly mown grass? The brackish smell of the ocean? Vanilla candles? The delicious aroma of baked cookies?
- What do you hear? The crackle of a fire? Purring of kittens? The breath-like sound of the ocean? Birds singing or chirping?
- What sensations can you feel? What textures can you feel under your fingertips? Is your skin warm or cool? Are your muscles tight or relaxed?
- What do you taste? Is your tongue bitter, sweet, salty?
- What do you feel internally? Are you hungry? Satisfied? Do you feel happy, relaxed, or peaceful?
- If your attention wanders (and it will!) just notice it, and invite your attention back to the sensation of the breath at the tip of your nose. Then return to your peaceful place and begin again.
- Continue this meditation for 10 minutes or longer if you’d like.
No matter where you are, you take this safe place with you. Visit it any time you need to feel safe.
Come visit Whole Life Yoga in Seattle, and check out my author page for information about the Downward Dog Mysteries series. MURDER STRIKES A POSE is available for preorder now from Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Whole Life Yoga, and other retailers!