Sheila Mae Hamilton: Blog Number #3

An invitation to meditate

Find a comfortable space, sitting or lying.  Take a couple of deep breaths in . . . .  and . . . out . . . . and then settle into your usual rhythm of breathing.

Let’s do a body scan first.  Bring your attention to the soles of your feet, notice the connection your feet make with the floor, be aware of your bare feet, perhaps inside your socks or shoes, and feel really grounded and connected to the earth. 

Notice your toes, you might like to stretch, tense and relax each part of your body, noticing where there is pain or discomfort, paying particular attention to anywhere you hold tension, breathing into these parts and letting go and relaxing.

Bring your attention to your heels, the balls of your feet, and your ankles.  Then to your lower legs, up to your knees, notice your shins and your calves, connect with your skin, your muscles and your bones and really try to inhabit your body. 

Moving to your upper legs, your thighs and into your pelvis, your groin, your buttocks.  Stretching, tensing and relaxing your muscles as you go. Bring your attention to your abdomen, your chest and your back, your spine and to each vertebra.  Notice your shoulders – we often hold tension in our upper back and our shoulders – and move your shoulders, perhaps in a circular movement, and be aware of any pain, discomfort or tension there.   

Bring your attention to your upper arms down to your elbows, stretching, tensing and relaxing your muscles, feeling more and more relaxed and peaceful and safe. Notice your lower arms from your elbows to your wrists, you might like to rotate your wrists as you do so.  Moving into your hands and your fingers, flexing your fingers and noticing any stiffness there. 

Connect with your neck now, noticing any tension, perhaps moving your head from side to side,  notice the back of your head, your scalp, your face – and an invitation to exercise some of the many facial muscles we have to express ourselves – smiling, grimacing, frowning, opening your mouth wide, notice how your mouth and jaw feel.  Notice your nose, your ears, your eyes, your forehead.  And finally, bring your attention to the crown of your head. 

Go back through your body now, scanning briefly again, noticing any parts which still feel tense, breathing into wherever there is pain or discomfort.  Feeling very relaxed and safe and peaceful.

Welcoming the Rain

We’re going to go on a journey now in your imagination. After many weeks of hot, sunny, dry weather, the air is cooler today and the rain is welcome.  You may be inside, looking out at the rain, you may be sitting outside, sheltered from the rain or you may be outside in the rain, enjoying it.  You might be walking in bare feet or in wellies, boots, shoes or sandals. You feel very comfortable, you might have waterproof clothing on, or you might enjoy the rain on your skin.

Wherever you are, you feel very relaxed and peaceful and safe. 

Have a look around at all that you can see, engage all your senses, notice what you can hear, smell, touch and perhaps taste. You may be somewhere in nature, in a garden or a park, up a hill or on moorland, in a wood or forest, near water –  the sea or a loch or a burn or river.  Everything looks very clean and bright, washed by the rain.  You might see flowers, trees, plants and berries –  heather in bloom, brambles in flower, rose hips. Rowan berries, bog cotton, sweet myrtle, montbretia, meadowsweet – the colours and fragrances are beautiful.  You might see butterflies, and bees, and dragonflies.  You hear, birds and insects, maybe a dog, sheep, cattle. You touch petals and leaves, enjoying the textures

Droplets of rain are falling in the water and spreading out in circles. You might get into the water and paddle your feet, or immerse yourself fully, perhaps swimming.  You welcome the rain and greet it like a friend you haven’t seen for too long. 

Spend some time experiencing this place with all of your senses, enjoying everything and feeling deeply relaxed and safe and at peace.  

Stay in this space in silence for a few minutes. 

Then when you’re ready, have a final look around, notice what you can hear, touch and smell and get ready to leave this beautiful place. You have created this place in your imagination, so you can return at any time in the future if you wish to.   Then perhaps turning your back on this place, retracing your steps, feeling more present in your body, have a stretch, yawn, move your fingers and toes, move your arms and legs, feeling fully present in your body. And when you’re ready, open your eyes gently and slowly and come back into your own space.  Feel very alive, relaxed and peaceful. Take a few minutes in silence to reflect on your experience.  You might like to write about it, make a picture of your experience or share with a trusted friend.   

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