Last week sometime, my therapy bitch and I got to experience one of the most unique meditations, ever. It was on a day that both of us really needed some mindfulness and stress relief and were, in fact, in her acupuncturist's office. The lights were dimmed and a heat lamp was going, and she lay on the table with needles sticking out of her head, hands, and feet, while her daughter and I sat in chairs quietly. I suggested, to keep her daughter mellow, that perhaps she could lead a meditation for us, the way either one of us does when we are putting her to sleep. She eagerly agreed, and made sure each of us was comfortable with pillows, and a leg rest for me.
She started by asking us to close our eyes, in her softest, airiest, 10 year old voice. "I want you to take a couple of breaths in, and out. Now imagine yourself in a forest...there are lots of trees, and in the trees are monkeys. You can see them, and imagine just what they sound like. Now I want you to focus on the very top of your head. On the top of your head...there is a monkey..." I couldn't help but crack a smile. I bit my lip to keep myself from laughing. Focus. "Take another breath in and out. Let your whole body relax...Now I want you to focus on your eyes. And now you can imagine a cat. The cat is in your lap, and all warm, and cuddly. She is looking into your eyes...and at your thick, bushy eyebrows...Take another breath in and out...notice how relaxed and warm you feel." I wasn't sure I was going to make it. Did she just say bushy eyebrows? "Feel the pillow behind your back, and under your head...let your body just relax into the pillow. Take a breath in, and relax some more. You feel so calm and cuddly and warm...Focus on your belly, and be grateful that we have food in our bellies. Some people don't have food, so we need to be thankful our bellies are full, and warm." My fight will the giggles had passed, as I listened to her little voice lead us gently through each body part, telling us to be relaxed, and calm, and grateful for what we had.
And then we got to our knees. "Now focus on your knees...they help you stand, and walk, and you should be thankful for your knees...some animals don't have knees...specifically....snakes." The smile cracked on my face again, and I bit my lip as hard as I could so I didn't laugh. She was completely serious. And correct...snakes do not have knees. She led us back to our breath, and down our legs, goeasing me from a laughing fit, to a tranquil state. When she got to our feet, she reminded us how important it is to have toes. "They help you stand, and stay balanced...pay close attention to your big toe. Your big toe, is kind of like your thumb. Except it can't move as much. Think about your thumbs. They can move back and forth, and side to side, and practically in an entire circle. Can your big toe do that? No...We have nice, straight toes. Some people don't...like my Grandpa. His toes are all crooked and on top of each other. Be thankful you don't have crooked toes. Now you are going to take a couple deep breaths, and then when you are ready you can open your eyes." My therapy bitch and I praised her for such an interesting meditation, and how much we enjoyed being reminded to be thankful for what we had. That is something neither of us do when we lead the nighttime meditation. We also don't incorporate animals into the mix.
When we had a moment alone, my TB and I laughed about the monkeys, the cat staring at our eyebrows, snakes that don't have knees, and crooked toes. We wondered how either of us had kept it together. The truth is, while we found the meditation quite amusing, she had us both captured in that moment. She kept a soft voice and rhythm going the entire time. She was constantly bringing us back to our breath, reminding us to relaxp our muscles, and giving us suggestions to be grateful for the simple things. There was no point, during the entire meditation, that my thoughts went anywhere else. I wasn't thinking about anything that was stressing me out, things I had to do, people I had to call. I wasn't focused on anything, except the next thing that was going to come out of her mouth. It was mindfulness in it's most innocent form. Complete with a genuine smile.