Thursday, June 21, 2007

Where do you go?

One of my favorite techniques when preparing to meditate (or just take a break to relax when my mind is hyperactively racing around and I can't sleep) is to stretch out, close my eyes, take, deep slow breaths counting up to 10 with each in- and exhale, then I slowly work my way from my toes to up to my head, tightening and consciously relaxing each muscle until I reach the spot where my eye would be, if I were a cyclops. Another similar way to do this is to picture the color of relaxation (whatever color you think it might color varies, but it always has a little sparkly silver like starlight mixed in with it) and imagine it slowly infusing you, relaxing as it travels the same path up your body. Yet another means of doing this is to imagine yourself descending a staircase, going deeper into relaxation with each step.

The writing book I'm currently working my way through (Janell Moon's Stirring the Waters), uses a variation of this final method in a focusing technique to prepare for writing. Moon calls the familiar exercise "Gazing into the waters", but poses a question I've never really considered in all the years I've used it for relaxation: "Where does the stairway take you?" Much to my surprise, it is not a beach (though in my head, the ocean or at least a stream of some sort are well within walking distance). Upon consideration I've decided that the white, marble stairway to relaxation leads me to a garden surrounding a white ruin overgrown with old-fashioned climbing roses of the sort that could be found in a Waterhouse painting. It has stone benches, trees with ripe fruits, peacocks, an abundance of wildflowers and birdsong. It is a place where the sun always shines, it's never too hot, and my fingers never cramp from holding a pen too tightly. When I want it, there's always a cool breeze. It is a place where I can be alone or meet new characters and where poetry spills forth, always sounding better than it does in the real world. It is a place of my own creation where I can sit, talk, think, breathe without the worry of being interrupted by anyone unless I want to be. Best of all, unlike the real world, it's a place limited only by the boundaries of my imagination.

So, because everyone is different and my place even surprised me, I wonder: Where would you go?

No comments: