Below is the very first guided meditation I ever wrote and led which I presented to my Clinical Pastoral Education class. I hope it will provide nourishment for your soul:
Please take a moment to feel comfortable in your chair. Feel the ground beneath your feet, feel supported by the back of your chair, notice what is happening within your body. What emotions are arising? What thoughts are coming to the front? What distractions are present? Thank them and send them on their way.
What are the noises on the outside? Cars going by? Birds chirping? People talking? The hubbub of life? What are the noises on the inside? Incessant chattering? Persistent thoughts that just won’t go away? Cares, concerns, anxiety? A raging to-do list? Mental notes of things you don’t want to forget? This is a safe space. Rest comfortably knowing that for the next few minutes you can put these worries to the side, and return to them later if you need to.
It is natural for the mind to wander, but please try to stay present and in the moment. Ask yourself: what do I need today? What do I need to let go of? What do I need to keep? What do I need to leave behind? What do I need to pick up? And if you are ready, please take a deep breath in through the nose and out through the mouth visualizing a colour you associate with happiness as you breathe in and a colour you associate with negativity as you breathe out. Your whole body being filled with gold dust.
Before us, we see a pile of stones. These represent the things which are currently weighing us down. If we just pick up one rock, it feels heavy. If we continue to pick up rocks it soon becomes impossible for us to move. What is weighing you down today? Guilt? Secrets? Shame? Anger? Grief? Greed? Depression? Addiction? Rage? Pride? Doubt? Illness? Anxiety? Insecurity? Fear? Envy? The past? Something else? Take a moment to acknowledge your emotions. How do you feel physically? How do you feel mentally? Spiritually? Take a deep breath out releasing the negative emotion as if it is a balloon. Thank it for the lesson it has come to teach you and send it on its way.
Now turn your attention to the feathers. The feathers represent what we need for today to help lighten our backpack. What do you need in this moment? Love? Support? Encouragement? Honesty? Vulnerability? Self-belief? Self-Compassion? Courage? Tenacity? Passion? Sometime else? Take a moment to acknowledge this presence. How does it make you feel? Physically? Mentally? Emotionally? Spiritually? Take a deep breath in, welcoming and consuming the positive energy and cuddling it as if it were a young child or your favourite teddy bear. Invite it to stay with you as you begin this day, knowing you can return to it at any time.
I now invite you into this prayer: God of lightness and wonder, God of belief, and God who welcomes doubt, thank you for your presence in this place. Source of hope and life, comforting presence in distress and pain, thank you for walking with us on this jagged path and journeying with us when the rocks avalanche and we lose our footing. We pray that we might be attentive to ourselves and to one another today and we offer you our whole selves and all our being – body, mind intellect, emotions, spirits, voices, and the unexplored crevasses of our souls. We thank you for giving us the courage and strength to be in this place today. In the Name of the Trinity. Amen.