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Alternate Activity 1: Guided Meditation - The Stone
Activity time: 12 minutes
Materials for Activity
- Chalice, candle and matches
Preparation for Activity
- Read the guided meditation so that you are prepared to lead it.
Description of Activity
This activity is a guided meditation written by Sienna Baskin from Blessing to All Beings: an anthology of spiritual writing by and about Young Religious Unitarian Universalists.
If the chalice is not already lit, ask a volunteer to light it.
Arrange participants in a loose circle, so that everyone has space around them and a clear view of the chalice. Invite them to find a comfortable sitting position. Then lead the following guided meditation, speaking slowly and leaving space for silence and reflection.
Take a few moments to arrive and enjoy this space together. [pause]
Now focus all of your attention on the chalice flame. Imagine that the flame is an eye, and that you are seeing and meeting a very steady gaze.
Start humming, so that it resonates inside and out. [begin humming so that others will follow]
Imagine that the hum has opened a great cavern in your body and that you are a tiny explorer peering into its depths.
At first, all is darkness, but soon your eyes adjust and you see that the walls and floors are sparkling with jewels of all colors. Behold this wonder. [pause]
Now through the tiny opening, you throw a slender, strong rope.
You slowly lower yourself deep, deep into the cavern by climbing, hand over hand, down the rope.
Now you are completely surrounded by open space and the soft glitter of the jewels.
You hold yourself aloft by the strength of your arms, but in your awe, you feel entirely safe. [pause]
Looking all around, you see beneath you a small stone that shines brighter than all of the rest.
You fix your sights on this stone.
All of the glittering fades away as you descend toward this stone.
See it as you gaze at the chalice flame. [pause]
"One of those stones is precious
It can change everything.
It can make the darkness shine.
It's the light switch for the whole country.
Everything depends on it.
Look at it... touch it... "
(From "Further In" by Tomas Transtromer, New Collected Poems (Bloodaxe Books, 1992))
Leave your stone. And climb, hand over hand, out of the cavern, never looking back.
Now you know what is inside of you - what you carry around inside of you.
It is the immense treasure that is your creativity, the simple stone that is your soul. [pause for a few moments to let people bring their focus back to the group]
Invite participants to turn to a partner. Explain that each person has one minute to describe the simple stone they just saw. What color and how big was it? Was it smooth or rough? How did it make you feel to see this stone?