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MeditationWaters of the Mind

Waters of the Mind

Sitting by a river at Yellowstone, Dora invites us to close our eyes and enjoy some calm and stillness, allowing our mind to mimic the nature of water.

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Hi there, and welcome to this guided mindfulness exercise of sitting with the waters of the mind. (water gurgling) I'm here in Yellowstone National Park, sitting down by a river and I'm reflecting on how inspiring water can be when it comes to understanding the nature of the mind, and also learning how to let go. So, as I'm looking out into this river, I'm noticing the way that water is receptive. It's fluid and adaptable. As the water meets a rock, it parts, flows around the rock, and then continues down on its path. And this movement is something that we can call forth and summon within ourselves as we work with our own thoughts. So, a captivating thought or replaying story may appear, just like a rock in the river, and we can acknowledge its presence, become aware of that thought, notice it, see it for what it is, and then continue back, returning to the present moment. So, let's give this a try. Wherever you are, just take a moment to settle in. The eyes can be open or closed. (water gurgling) And finding a position that feels most comfortable for you and your body. (water gurgling) (birds chirping) And then, we'll take some nice big, deep breaths, breathing in through the nose and breathing out through the mouth. As we breathe in and breathe out, we're creating space for stillness. So, taking a deep breath and letting everything go, continuing to settle in. (water gurgling) And now just returning the breath back to its natural rhythm and pace. (water gurgling) And continuing to rest the focus on the breath. So, noticing that gentle rising and falling of the breath in the body. And whenever you find that the mind has been distracted, lost in thought, just imagining placing that thought into the river and watching it as it continues downstream. So, maintaining that steady focus on the breath, noticing how it feels to be breathing in this moment. And when the mind gets distracted, perhaps by a thought or a feeling, just seeing if you can place whatever is present into the flow of the water, allowing the water to carry it and returning back to this present moment. (water gurgling) (birds chirping) And if it's helpful, you may even imagine yourself sitting in front of a river. So beginning to notice the landscape that you're in, the trees, the grass, noticing all the different colors and textures and just continuing to maintain that sense of focus on the breath. (water gurgling) (birds calling) Riding the wave of each breath. And when a thought arises, surrendering it into the river and letting it go. (water gurgling) And now, let's take a deep breath just to close this practice. So, breathing in through the nose and breathing out through the mouth, just allowing the mind to be free, resting in this space, letting go of any thoughts or any images just allowing the mind to do whatever it wants to...


Duration7 min

About your teachers

  • A former Buddhist monk, Andy has guided people in meditation and mindfulness for 20 years. In his mission to make these practices accessible to all, he co-created the Headspace app in 2010.

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  • Eve is a mindfulness teacher, overseeing Headspace’s meditation curriculum. She is passionate about sharing meditation to help others feel less stressed and experience more compassion in their lives.

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  • As a meditation teacher, Dora encourages others to live, breathe, and be with the fullness of their experiences. She loves meditation’s power to create community and bring clarity to people’s minds.

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  • Kessonga has been an acupuncturists, therapist, and meditation teacher, working to bring mindfulness to the diverse populations of the world.

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  • Rosie Acosta has studied yoga and mindfulness for more than 20 years and taught for over a decade. Rosie’s mission is to help others overcome adversity and experience radical love.

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