Begin sitting in a chair, feet flat on the floor, in a dark room lit by a candle. Before you close your eyes, take a moment to notice your surroundings. Perhaps there’s a carpet beneath your feet, or a painting on the wall. Observe, do not linger. Just notice what you can see. Don’t try to see anything that’s not lit, and don’t judge what you can see. All you’re doing is noticing.
Take a deep breath, and allow your eyes to point forward. Don’t focus them, allow them to sit softly on a single focal point. If your eyelids start to droop, don’t fight it. If not, take another deep breath, and allow your eyes to flutter shut.
You stand in the middle of a field, facing a forest. It’s the end of summer. The day is bright, the breeze is warm, and the trees are green. Directly ahead, there is a path carved out underneath an archway of branches. Take a few deep breaths, and smell the air around you. When you are ready, take ten slow steps towards the edge of the trees. One… Ten. Another breath in, and out. In, and out.
Step forward onto the path, and notice the darkness of the shadows cast by the leaves overhead. Continue to walk, and pay attention to how this forest looks. [Pause] As you proceed, you begin to notice little sparks of color in the treetops. Some red here, yellow there, and orange speckling the in-between. [Pause]
The trees become more and more colorful, just as the air becomes more chill. The leaves begin to fall around you, covering the ground, and the path you walk on. Take a deep breath in, and breathe out. The sky is getting dark with an incoming Autumn storm. A deep breath in, and out. You can no longer see the path, but you know exactly where to go. No longer following man made trails, you create your own. The trees become more and more sparse until, in the distance, you can see a small cabin with a thin plume of smoke escaping its chimney.
Take a deep breath in, and realize that you can smell someone baking bread within. Take another, and notice the medley of scents from the other foods being made. Smell how this combines with the fall air and fallen leaves of the natural world. These smells are blissfully woven together like colors in a painting. [Pause] When you are ready, walk forward to the cabin. It is small, and rustic. Only one room would fit inside.
Walk to the door. Knock. You can hear footsteps inside on the wooden floor, hushed and unhurried. They approach the door, and you hear it creak slightly as it opens. [Pause] Standing in front of you is the Autumnal Goddess. She gives you a striking, hearty smile, and welcomes you warmly into her home. She’s tall; much, much taller than you. Besides this, her appearance is perfectly balanced; neither homely nor beautiful, thin nor overweight. Her long, thick hair is only barely tamed into a heavy yet neat bun on the back of her head. She hugs you, and you feel at home.
As you noticed outside, the cabin is very small. There’s only room for a bed, a loveseat, and a hearth. It’s cozy, warm, simple, and perfect. The goddess invites you to sit with her on the couch. She’s an imposing presence, but sitting next to her is almost like sitting next to a mother or older sister. Love emanates from her.
You two talk over a hot cup of tea. You tell her about yourself, and she tells you about herself. She discloses the secrets of the season, and reminds you of all your happy memories from this time of year. Listen well, for the words of a goddess are a thing of beauty.
When the conversation has lulled, she gets up and fetches a veil, light and soft, and places it over your head so that it covers your eyes. It’s opaque, and blocks the light. She instructs you to close your eyes, and she will bring you back home.
Take three deep breaths. On the first, hear her walking back to the hearth to bake her bread. On the second, hear the sounds of the outside world. On the third, bring your hearing back into the corporeal room you began in. Continue to breathe slowly as you bring yourself farther and farther out of that cabin. Out of the forest. Back into yourself and your room. When you are ready, you may open your eyes.
For the guided meditation video click here.