The Lake Meditation
Adapted from Jon Kabat-Zinn’s Lake Meditation
You can do the lake meditation either seated or lying down in a knees-up position. Start by being aware of your posture and bringing your attention to your body and breath.
Picture the most beautiful lake you know – or can imagine. Notice the shape of the lake, its depth, stillness, what surrounds it – maybe gentle hills sloping down, flatness or mountains. Notice the expanse of sky above the lake. Note how still and deep it is, how unmoving, how beautiful.
See if you can bring that lake into your body. Feel the depth and stillness of the waters within your own body – wide, open, calm and unmoving. Be aware of the vastness of the lake and the space it inhabits.
Now take your awareness to the sky above the lake and notice how all the changes in the sky are reflected in the surface of your lake. The sun and blue sky and clouds passing are reflected just as they are, unchanged by the lake and without affecting this body of water. Turbulent weathers may whip up small waves and disturbance at the surface of your lake for a while; you can be aware of this and feel it, but just below the surface the water remains unchanged.
Your lake is in darkness at night, in the light in day. Seasons pass and flow into each other, witnessed by your lake without affecting it; the surface may even have ice in winter, then new life within and surrounding it in the spring, the warmth of the sun in summer and leaves falling on the surface and gently sinking in the autumn.
Feel the depth and calm within you that is always there when you take your attention inwards, the still waters just below any passing turbulence at the surface. Dwell in those depths and enjoy the peace and stillness. See if you can take some of that openness and connection with stiller waters with you as you move on to the next activity in your day.