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Monday On My Mind

Several years ago, when I first started meditating, I read the book 10% Happier by Dan Harris. It’s a great introduction to the practice of meditating and one of the ways he recommends for quieting your mind is to picture yourself behind a waterfall. In this analogy, the water is your thoughts and because you are behind them they can just flow by and not let them impact you.

This process never worked for me. I could never quite picture what it would be like to be behind the waterfall, you know?

And then I went to Iceland. And I saw lots and lots of waterfalls. And I actually got the opportunity to stand behind one at the Sky Lagoon. As I stood there, with a stone wall behind me and rushing water falling down in front of me . . . I got it. I could hear the water and it was loud. I could even feel the water splash on me occasionally. But it didn’t really impact me . . . I was separate from it, even though it was there. Just like my thoughts when I’m meditating. They are there and sometimes they are loud and sometimes they distract me but mostly I can just let them go and settle into myself without being impacted.

I find it so interesting that something like this, which I read about and tried and then discarded, came back around for me and worked for me in a positive way.

Sometimes the lessons we need to learn just take a while to become relevant.

This Post Has 10 Comments

  1. Exactly! I enjoyed that book as well, but I have to have a metaphor that works for me, so I use a stream/brook with the thoughts bobbing by. I’m glad that your trip to Iceland was so helpful in ways that you didn’t imagine. Life is full of serendipity, and it feels magical when it occurs! Happy Monday, Carole!

  2. Maybe I need to go to Iceland so I can meditate better! I use the 10% Happier app and it works well for me, but I can’t quite imagine what it’s like behind the waterfall. It does sound very interesting.

  3. What a great experience! This also shows you (us) that the examples we use to explain or teach are ineffective if the example isn’t part of the learner’s life experiences.

  4. I think even if we have a good imagination, sometimes it’s impossible to imagine something unless you’ve experienced it in real-life first. How lucky you are that you finally got this method to click thanks to that amazing trip!

  5. Glad you got to see some waterfalls. There are lots here in WA, too! Have you ever been to Yosemite? It has impressive waterfalls, but you have to go in the right season; I wonder how they have survived the dry weather?

  6. Very cool, Carole! I think sometimes it’s hard for us to imagine something if it’s really different from anything we’ve ever experienced. I’m so glad you got to be behind that waterfall!

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