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VideoYellowstone Eyes-Open Meditation

Yellowstone Eyes-Open Meditation

Sitting by a river at Yellowstone, Dora invites us to observe the nature of water so that we can find a sense of calm and stillness, even when we are faced with obstacles.

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Welcome to this eyes-open guided mindfulness exercise, Sitting with the Waters of the Mind. I'm here in Yellowstone National Park right beside the Madison River, and water is a beautiful teacher in showing us how to let go, how to be more fluid in our thoughts, more open and receptive. As you notice on this river, the top of the river is moving, it's changing, but underneath there's a sense of calm and stillness. It may encounter rocks, debris, and animals and part momentarily before returning back to being itself. It doesn't question or judge. It returns back to its form and continues to rest in the basin of the earth it inhabits. So beginning to soften your gaze and taking a moment here just to settle in, perhaps sitting upright or lying down. Maybe even take a moment here to soften the eyebrows, unclench the jaw, and relax the shoulders. And beginning to notice the sounds that you can hear as we explore and settle in. Noticing familiar sounds, new sounds, and perhaps also noticing the sounds in your space, inviting them to be a part of this practice. Now let's take a few deep breaths here, breathing in through the nose, expanding the belly, and breathing out through the mouth, letting everything go. Breathing in and breathing out. One more time, breathing in and breathing out. And then allowing the breath to return to its natural rhythm and maintaining a gentle focus here. Taking in the surroundings, noticing what you can see, the water, the mountains, the grass, the sky, trees, taking in its vastness, its magnificence. Noticing the different colors, shades, and hues of blues, greens, and browns. And gently noticing the different bodies of water, like the waterfall and its rapids. Yet also noticing its still presence. Perhaps noticing the dancing waves as they ripple along the surface and become one with the river again. Maybe noticing the reflection of the sky on the water, its mirror-like surface showcasing the clouds, and the rest of the atmosphere. And if you'd like now, closing the eyes or continuing to keep them open and imagining yourself sitting on the shoreline, breathing beside a body of water that you resonate with the most. Becoming one with those qualities of fluidity and openness, feeling the gentle rising and falling of the breath, inviting in stillness and presence. And when the mind gets distracted, just acknowledging the thought or feeling, opening to its presence, and then gently returning back, remembering that stillness that lies just below the surface, unbothered by the changing exterior and landscape. Rain and snow may fall, wind may blow, the moon and sun may pass by. And just like the river, the lake, the waterfall, we're aware of it all, thoughts, emotions, sensations, and we're open, receptive. And just resting here for a few more moments, continuing to breathe, resting the gaze on nature and its surroundings. And then taking a deep breath here and letting everything...


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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