Allow your body to relax ... ...
Take a deep breath and as you exhale allow your body to relax. Feel the relaxation flow from your toes, slowly, up through your body, right to the top of your head. Notice each part of your body, the feelings and sensations, the tensions and ligament pressures. Release any tensions and ligament pressures and allow each part of your body to relax.
Allow your mind to relax and be at peace ... ...
Take another deep breath. As you exhale allow your mind to relax and be at peace. Remember a beautiful place where you have been happy, a beautiful sound that you love, a delicate perfume that reminds you of joy, a gentle caress from someone you love. Let go of any worries that are troubling you. Lay them down for the time being. If thoughts or feelings come allow them to float away, like a leaf on a stream, or a cloud on a summer's day.
Let God… …
You are walking down a bare corridor. See in front of you a flight of steps leading to a door. Take the steps towards the door. Count each step as you go. As you approach the door it begins to open. You catch a glimpse of a sunlit garden. As you draw near the door opens wide and you pass through into the garden. The path in front of you leads through beautiful borders to a fountain pool. You walk along the path, aware that this world is a safe place where everything is possible.
After a while you reach the fountain pool. The light plays on the water and the fountain sparkles with reflected light. Dip your hand in the water. It feels warm and soothing. When you withdraw your hand it is not wet. It feels as if it is covered in a comfortable, warm, healing balm.
You are aware of a gentle loving presence encouraging you to bathe your face in the healing water.
After a time you enter the water and feel its healing power envelop you. You are held by loving arms as the magical water works its miracle of healing. Feel yourself returning to full health of body, and of mind, and returning to the perfection of the soul that God created. Know that you are loved and cared for, that here, now, in this place all is well. Stay here as long as you want.
When you are ready, allow the place to fade to the limits of your vision, walk back along the pathway to the doorway and the stairs. Return to here, and now.
See in front of you a pathway. Follow the pathway through meadows strewn with daisies. The sun shines with the gentle warmth of autumn, and the trees in the hedgerow are beautiful with the muted colours of leaves ready to fall. You walk towards a birch tree. Its small leaves are yellow with age, its silvery bark makes a striking contrast to the leaves already gathering around its foot. As you watch a leaf floats gently down to join the others already on the ground. You feel a sense of the rhythm of the year as the leaves gather to rot down and give up their nutrients to the soil to feed the tree next year. There is a sadness in the gentle falling of the leaves, a letting go, a leaving behind of summer days. As you stand and watch the leaves fall, allow the sadness to be. If memories come allow them to come, but don't hold on to them. Let them fall away with the falling leaves.
If thoughts and feelings arise, good or bad, let them come, and let them go again as you watch the falling leaves.
Allow God to receive the past, and use it.
Trust God to take care of the future, and leave it in his hands.
Stand and watch the falling leaves ... ... ...
When you are ready, allow the place to fade to the limits of your vision, walk back along the pathway, and return to here, and now.
We meet at 2pm on the first Tuesday of each month in Rushall Church (or other venues when appropriate). Ring Valerie on 676725 or Gale 740042 for details.
All are welcome, from those who have never meditated before through to those experienced in meditation.
Take a quiet moment three times a day to focus on God and repeat an appropriate prayer.
The challenge: to do this daily for three months and see how your life is transformed!
teach me to be generous.
Teach me to serve you as you deserve;
to give and not to count the cost;
to fight and not to heed the wounds;
to labour and not to seek for rest;
to give and not to ask for any reward,
except the reward of knowing that I do your will.
St Ignatius of Loyola
Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name.
Your kingdom come.
Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread,
and forgive us our sins
as we forgive those who sin against us.
Lead us not to a time of trial
but deliver us from evil,
for the kingdom, the power, and the glory are yours,
now and for ever.
The Lord's Prayer from Common Worship
Lighten our darkness
Lord we pray.
and in your great mercy
defend us from all perils and dangers of this night,
for the love of your only Son,
our Saviour, Jesus Christ.
The Evening Collect (Alternative Service Book)
If you prefer some other version of these prayers by all means use them instead. The words you use are not critical. The most important thing you can do is simply to turn up. If you forget one morning, or one noontime, or one evening don't worry, just say the prayer when you remember. If you don't remember until it is time for the next prayer, don't feel that you have to say both, just say the prayer that is appropriate for the time when you do remember. God enjoys our presence whenever we draw near to him.