When I hear the word “meditation,” I think of Buddhist monks sitting in the lotus position, reciting “Om.” I remember words about clearing the mind until it is empty, and I ask myself how the hell I’m supposed to do that with a mind that seriously won’t quit.
At the same time, I’m drawn to meditation. There’s something about it that appeals to me on a soul level, my deepest core. So I had to find a way to practice meditation that would work for my brain that is firing on all cylinders all the time.
I use guided visualization. In short, I go to my happy place.
I start out by sitting in a chair that I find comfortable with good back support. It’s definitely not a straight-back chair. That would be too much for me. My chair has a gently rolling back, and I find that it allows me to hold my neck and head easily erect.
Closing my eyes, I relax. I’ve done this for many years now, so it’s almost instantaneous. Basically, I start by relaxing my face and head and neck and shoulders on down to my toes. I’ve read in many places that relaxation should start with the feet and work up, but the opposite works for me.
I next imagine a line of light from the heavens piercing my head also working its way down my body until my whole being is glowing with eternal, healing light. I’ve studied a bit of Eastern religions, so at this point I open my chakras, allowing them to glow and spin freely.
Knowing that my body is safely anchored to the Earth, my next step in my mind is to leave it. I simply imagine myself stand up out of my body and take a few steps forward. Sometimes I turn around and look at myself and give a kiss on the forehead. It took me years of practice–honestly years–to perfect the ability to turn around in my mind and look at myself.
But that’s not necessarily the most important part of what I’m doing, because next I head up a flight of stairs to a hallway that leads me to a door. I pause at the door and gather my concentration, open it, and pass through. I immediately feel a renewed sense of relaxation, for I’m in my happy place.
The first thing to greet me is the green grass dotted with flowers, buzzing with dancing butterflies, and there are birds singing overhead. The ground slopes down gently to the various elements of my happy place. The sky is always clear and blue, and the sun is always warm and never hot.
There have been days of turmoil in my real world when I’ve opened the door to find a place very much out of whack. I decided a long time ago that my happy place was not allowed to be that way. It is required to be always fair and happy, so I just snap my fingers, and the scene changes instantly to the happy place I know.
The scene contains elements, many of which were simply present from the very beginning. They were just there: a small Grecian round temple over to the left, a stream running right straight across the whole expanse of the place from one side to the other, and a bridge over it. On the near side of the bridge is a seat where I can sit and stare into the stream. The far side of the bridge slopes up and over to a house surrounded by a garden of sunflowers and other flora buzzing with bees that never pay any attention to me.
There is a gate to enter the garden where I pause again to gather my concentration, and once more, I feel a renewed relaxation as I pass through this portal. The house is an adobe style. After entering the gate, I turn to the right and follow the way along a wall to a patio where a fountain flows from a wall. There is a table with a goblet, and I drink the water sparkling with the lights of a million stars, renewing myself yet again.
If I wish, I can walk to the edge of the patio where a beach begins. I can sit there and listen to the sound of waves gently lapping at the shore.
Many things have changed of their own accord in my happy place over the many years I’ve been going there, and I think it reflects changes in myself. Other beings have appeared there as well. They are not angels but wise ones.
I have gone into the temple and sat in the center and actually entered a new phase of meditation in that place, too. It is revitalizing and amazing.
I think the key is that all of it is built to enhance my ability to relax and renew and refresh myself. I note that there are passages to cross over: entering the temple, crossing the bridge, going through the gate of the house. All these serve to place me in deeper meditation.
In closing my meditation, I reverse my journey and very quickly pass back through my happy place and down the stairs to my body which I reenter and open my eyes. I have never done this exercise that it did not energize me.
It makes me happy.