Home » prayer » Sister Alma Rose’s Morning Meditation: God’s Meadow

Sister Alma Rose’s Morning Meditation: God’s Meadow

There are two versions of this meditation. Version 1 (20 minutes) is cleansing and invigorating, leaving you serene and grateful. Version 2 (30-45 minutes) is almost identical, but it is more focused on healing the mind and body.

I do this in bed first thing in the morning, cross-legged, leaning back against pillows. Assume whatever position is comfortable for you. At a leisurely pace, relax your muscles, bones, and organs, beginning at the feet and working up to the scalp. Close your eyes. Take several deep, relaxing breaths, feeling each breath move upward from the pelvis to the forehead. Feel the movement of breath in your abdomen, in your heart, in your throat, your nose, and your forehead. You might feel the breath as if it is entering and leaving through the center of the forehead.

When you are comfortable and relaxed, begin the meditation, eyes closed.

1. Gratitude for cleansing

You are sitting comfortably cross-legged in a grassy hollow, in the early morning, on a soft, white, light flannel blanket, as if you were going to have a picnic. Perhaps you are leaning against the broad, smooth surface of an ancient tree that seems perfectly formed for the contours of your back.Next to you is a glazed earthenware cup full of cool spring water.

The sun has already cleared the trees in the grove behind you, and has dried the dew from the grass. The sunlight is warm and comforting on your back. You have nowhere to be but here, nothing to do but enjoy the gentle breeze, the faint hum of a few adventurous bees, the birdsong-quail, dove, mockingbird-the delightful massage of the sun’s sweet warmth, the colors, the small critters, and the soft scents.

There is no one else in sight, but you are not alone. There is a silent, comforting Presence. It does not intrude. It is simply There. You are exquisitely safe.

The sky is baby blue-not deep, not pale, just a lovely pastel. A few pure white clouds move lazily beneath the sun. The grass is soft and richly green. You have never seen anything so green. There are flowers among the blades-white clover, yellow buttercups, bluebells. The breeze stirs them, oh, so slightly, and brushes your face like a caress. What is the scent in the air? Lilacs? Oh. You are allergic to lilacs. Well, then it is honeysuckle. It is clover. It is newmown grass. It is whatever  you want it to be – perhaps the pure crispness of the ocean, brought to you on the wind.

Nearby, just at the edge of your sight, is a crystalline stream, bubbling over rocks between grassy banks.

Now just sit for a while and let your senses be filled. In your mind’s eye, survey the scene: the lazy clouds in the baby-blue sky… the soft, green grass waving carelessly… the wildflowers. Perhaps there are trees or mountains in the distance, but most of your attention is focused here, in this cozy, sun-drenched hollow. Fill it with details that comfort you, if you like… lilac bushes, honeysuckle or trumpet vine climbing a stone wall.

Listen to the splash and murmur of the stream… to the birdsong… to the breeze ruffling leaves of cottonwood or sycamore….

Feel the sun massaging your back and neck, warming you through. Lift your face to it, exposing, your neck to its radiance. Turn your raised head from side to side, feeling the sun on the right and then the left side of your neck. Bow your head and let the back of your neck soak up the sunlight.

Breathe in its light and purity. Notice how it feels inside your body-warm, pure, cleansing, relaxing. Feel it melt away any remaining tension.

Feel the wind caress your face and neck.

Breathe in the pure air, perfectly scented to suit you. Just as you did with the sun, breathe in the purity. Let the soft motion brush you clean inside, cell by cell.

Finally, drink from the cup of spring water. It is sweet, slightly earthy, ever so slightly tangy with minerals. It is the water of life, and it fills you completely. You lack nothing.

Inside and out, your body is completely restored. Your mind is at rest.

You are grateful. Thank the Presence for life. Let the gratitude settle on you, like silk that settles into your skin, glowing. As you rise and go about your day, be aware from time to time of that silken skin, and of its glow.

2. Gratitude for healing

You are sitting comfortably cross-legged in a grassy hollow, in the early morning, on a soft, white, light flannel blanket, as if you were going to have a picnic. Perhaps you are leaning against the broad, smooth surface of an ancient tree that seems perfectly formed for the contours of your back.Next to you is a glazed earthenware cup full of cool spring water.

The sun has already cleared the trees in the grove behind you, and has dried the dew from the grass.

Just as you begin to relax and enjoy the warmth of the sun on your back, a cloud slides across the sun.

As you lift your eyes to the sky, you notice the small creatures-nearby, but not close enough to touch. They might be rabbits, squirrels, chipmunks-wary, neither friendly nor unfriendly, but you feel that you must address them. If they have come, the reason must be an important one.

Look closely at one of them. It is whatever physical pain you are feeling. What does it look like? Is it large and threatening? Small and merely annoying? Does it make a sound? Does it have a scent? Study it for a while. Notice everything you can about it. What emotion arises? Is it anger, fear, anxiety? Still, do not turn from it. Let your attention rest lightly on it. Soon there will be no fear between you.

When you are ready, make a little bow to it, signaling that you are open to it. It will come readily, to sit near you on the white blanket, perhaps on your knee or in your lap.

Examine each creature in turn. Perhaps one is anxiety, another might be regret, shame, anger, weariness, inadequacy, illness, an addiction-whatever disturbs your tranquility. Study it as you did the first one, notice the emotion it arouses, and do not turn from it. When you are ready, bow to it, open to it, welcome it to your space on the blanket.

Some will linger, some will stay only for a moment, long enough to touch you-the touch might feel like a brush or a kiss. You might not notice, as you are studying one of the creatures, that another has already come and gone. Eventually, you might discover that all the creatures have departed. A few might remain. One or two might not approach at all. It doesn’t matter. Be patient. Perhaps tomorrow they will come. For now, your intention to welcome them is enough.

There should be no struggle in this interaction, no effort of will-all that is required of you is gentle awareness, attention, and acceptance.

Now you are free to soak up your surroundings. If a creature intrudes unexpectedly, simply notice it, and go on with your meditation. You can study it more thoroughly another time.

The sunlight is warm and comforting on your back. You have nowhere to be but here, nothing to do but enjoy the gentle breeze, the faint hum of a few early, industrious bees, the birdsong-quail, dove, mockingbird-the delightful massage of the sun’s sweet warmth, the colors, the small critters, and the soft scents.

There is no one else in sight, but you are not alone. There is a silent, comforting Presence. It does not intrude. It is simply There. You are exquisitely safe.

The sky is baby-blue-not deep, not pale, just a lovely pastel. A few pure white clouds move lazily beneath the sun. The grass is soft and richly green. You have never seen anything so green. There are flowers among the blades-white clover, yellow buttercups, bluebells. The breeze stirs them, oh, so slightly, and brushes your face like a caress. What is the scent in the air? Lilacs? Oh. You are allergic to lilacs. Well, then it is honeysuckle. It is clover. It is newmown grass. It is whatever  you want it to be – perhaps the pure crispness of the ocean, brought to you on the wind.

Nearby, just at the edge of your sight, is a crystalline stream, bubbling over rocks between grassy banks.

Now just sit for a while and let your senses be filled. In your mind’s eye, survey the scene: the lazy clouds in the baby-blue sky… the soft, green grass waving carelessly… the wildflowers. Perhaps there are trees or mountains in the distance, but most of your attention is focused here, in this cozy, sun-drenched hollow. Fill it with details that comfort you, if you like… lilac bushes, honeysuckle or trumpet vine climbing a stone wall.

Listen to the splash and murmur of the stream… to the birdsong… to the breeze ruffling leaves of cottonwood or sycamore….

Feel the sun massaging your back and neck, warming you through. Lift your face to it, exposing, your neck to its radiance. Turn your raised head from side to side, feeling the sun on the right and then the left side of your neck. Bow your head and let the back of your neck soak up the sunlight.

Breathe in its light and purity. Notice how it feels inside your body-warm, pure, cleansing, relaxing. Feel it melt away any remaining tension.

Feel the wind caress your face and neck.

Breathe in the pure air, perfectly scented to suit you. Just as you did with the sun, breathe in the purity. Let the soft motion brush you clean inside, cell by cell.

Finally, drink from the cup of spring water. It is sweet, slightly earthy, ever so slightly tangy with minerals. It is the water of life, and it fills you completely. You lack nothing.

Inside and out, your body is completely restored. Your mind is at rest.

You are grateful. Thank the Presence for life. Let the gratitude settle on you, like silk that settles into your skin, glowing. As you rise and go about your day, be aware from time to time of that silken skin, and of its glow.

This meditation is from the forthcoming book Unfamiliar Territory, Volume 2: Meditations. Volume 1 (prayers, poems, stories, songs, household hints, and definitions [“What is a spitwad?”] is available at www.LifeIsPoetry.net.
 
 

 

 

 

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