Monday, March 10, 2014

Monday Mindfulness ~ four pebble meditation

Photo by Ginnie Sams
This meditation, which I found on a blog post from 2010, was adapted fromThich Nhat Hanh’s LivingWithout Stress or Fear.  The idea is to gather four different pebbles to represent "distinct aspects of your true nature to live in happiness and free of fear and suffering.  The first pebble shall represent a flower; the second a mountain; the third, still water; and the fourth, space."  The whole meditation can be found here, but today I want to focus on what each pebble represents.
flower ~ represents freshness
mountain ~ think of solidity
still water ~ is about reflection
space ~ equals having freedom
Pick up the first pebble and visualize it as a flower.  As a matter of fact, see yourself as a flower and feel fresh as you breathe in and out three times.  Become fully a flower, as much as you are able, again.  I think I'll imagine myself like those jonquils above, which are growing now at my friend Ginnie's house.

The second pebble serves as your mountain. See yourself as a mountain and feel solid.  We can be solid because there’s a mountain inside each of us.  Think of yourself as solid, stable, and steadfast in spite of any mental or emotional winds.  It's possible to stand confident and unmovable like a mountain.  See the strong stones behind the jonquils — Ginnie lives on the top edge of a mountain.

Pick up the third pebble and visualize it as still water.  Reflect on things as they truly are, and feel calm.  Don't let anger, jealousy, or fear bring turbulence to inner waters.  Cultivate peace of mind by being calm.

The fourth pebble represents space.  Feel free by freeing up space and emptiness.  With freedom and space, there's room for happiness.

This YouTube presented by Plum Village brother Thay Phap Huu remind us of our flower freshness, mountain solidity, calm water clarity, and spacious freedom ("Pebble for your pocket meditation," YouTube, 6:22 minutes).  Ha!  The video even shows jonquils like Ginnie's.


Amy said...

This is lovely! Thank you for sharing.

audreygeddes said...

What a wonderful concept and video. This is something very needed in our busy society today :}. Thanks for sharing this gem. I just finished a good introductory book to meditation and healthy living by author, Lynne Goldberg, entitled, Get Balanced, Get Blissed: Nourishment for Body, Mind, and Soul. The author shows you how to make more conscious choices from a place of self-awareness, which I found to be extremely helpful.

Bonnie Jacobs said...

Thanks, Audrey, it sounds good. Neither my library nor my nearest bookstore has it, so I'll probably order that one online.

audreygeddes said...

You're very welcome, Bonnie. That's a 'beautiful' name and is also my mother's name :-). I know you will enjoy Lynne's book!

Ginnie said...

Beautiful thoughts, and I'm honored to see my jonquils on your page. Thanks for sharing. Those jonquils are descendants of my Granny's flowers that she planted during the Great Depression. When I was five years old I wanted to help Granny dig up and separate the bulbs. I did not understand why she did not allow me to help. I retreated into a hidden corner of the house for about an hour, and spent all that time alone, deep in thought. Initially I felt useless. I berated myself for knowing little, not even how to read. As I continued to sit alone and examine my five year old life, I realized I was not a happy child, but it was important for me to figure out what would make me happy and then focus my life on pursuing that happiness. My first step was to learn to read.

Bonnie Jacobs said...

Thanks for the story, Ginnie. And thanks for calling me after you posted this comment so we had that nearly-hour-long talk. I value your friendship, your stories, and your excellent advice when I need it. It sounds to me like you were a very precocious child.