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My Meditative Moments

Exercise- Lake Meditation

by meditative - April 19th, 2010.
Filed under: Attending Meditation Exercises.

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A body of water parts to be receptive then it resumes itself…

The mountain image is only one of many that you may find supports your practice and makes it more vivid and elemental. Images of trees, rivers, clouds, and sky can be useful as well. The image itself is not fundamental but it can deepen and expand your view of practice.

Some people find the image of a lake particularly helpful. Since a lake is an expanse of water, the image lends itself to the lying down posture. We know that the water principle is every bit as elemental as rock, and that its nature is stronger than rock in the sense that water wears down rock…

Water also has the enchanting quality of receptivity. It parts to allow anything in then resumes itself. If you hit a mountain or a rock with a hammer, in spite of its hardness, or actually because of it, the rock chips, fragments, or breaks apart. But if you hit the ocean or a pond with a hammer- all you get is a rusty hammer. A key virtue of water “power” reveals itself in this…

To practice using the lake image in your meditation- picture in your mind’s eye a lake- a body of water held in a receptive basin by the earth itself. The lake image you invoke may be deep or shallow, blue or green,muddy or clear. With no wind, the surface of the lake is flat- mirror like- it reflects trees, rocks, sky and clouds- holds everything in itself momentarily.

When you have established a picture of the lake in your mind’s eye, allow yourself to become one with the lake as you lie down on your back or sit in meditation so that your energies are held by your awareness and by your openness and compassion for yourself in the same way as the lake’s waters are held by the receptive and accepting basin of the earth herself.

Breathing with the lake image moment by moment… feeling its body as your body… allowing your mind and your heart to be open and receptive to reflect whatever comes near. Experience the moments of complete stillness when both reflection and water are completely clear- and other moments when the surface is disturbed, choppy, stirred up- reflections in depth lost for a time. Through it all as you dwell in meditation simply noting the play of the various energies of your own mind and heart- the fleeting thoughts & feelings, impulses and reactions which come and go as ripples and waves… noting their effects just as those various changing energies that play on the lake- the wind, the waves, the light, the reflections, the colors, etc.

Do your thoughts or feelings disturb the surface? Is that “ok” with you? Can you see a rippled or wavy surface as an intimate, essential aspect of being a lake- of having a surface? Can you identify not only with the surface, but with the entire body of the water so that you become the stillness below the surface as well- steady & calm even when the surface is turbulent. In the same way- in your meditation practice and in your daily life… can you identify with the vast, unwavering reservoir of awareness residing below the surface of the mind?

In the lake meditation,we sit with the intention to hold in awareness and acceptance all the qualities of mind and body just as the lake sits held, cradled, contained by the earth reflecting sun, moon, stars, trees, rocks, clouds, sky, light- caressed by the air and the wind which bring out and highlight its sparkle, its vitality, its essence.

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