Activity time: 5 minutes
Preparation for Activity
- Read Alternate Activity 1, River Poetry. If you have time, you may wish to add it immediately after this meditation.
Description of Activity
This meditation introduces participants to the water cycle.
Explain meditation if necessary, in words that young participants will understand. You might say:
Meditation is a wonderful, quiet way to connect with yourself and with other people at the same time. It means using your own imagination to be with winds and with waves and with water. It means being here on Earth and, at the same time, part of the whole universe. When you do a meditation, in your imagining mind you can connect with the whole web of life and all its great mystery.
Say that many people like to meditate with their eyes closed while others like to stare at something, such as a flickering chalice or a spot on a wall.
Ask participants to prepare for meditation by making their bodies quiet and comfortable and closing their eyes (or looking at just one thing). Then guide this meditation. Speak slowly and quietly, pausing between sentences:
Imagine that you are very small. You are as small as a drop of water. In fact, you are a single drop of water.
Ten thousand years ago, you were a drop of water being swallowed by a big ape. Today you are a drop of water being swallowed by a woman athlete. You feel yourself bouncing up and down because she is running a long race, a marathon. On she runs, for miles and miles. She keeps drinking more water as she goes harder and faster. And she keeps losing water as she sweats. You feel yourself moving closer and closer to the surface of her skin. Then, you are a drop of sweat on the runner's forehead. But it's a hot day, so soon you dry up. You have evaporated. You are no longer a single drop. You have turned into vapor. Up you rise, higher and higher, into the sky. The air up there is cold. So cold it condenses the vapor. You come together again. You are a drop. You are part of a cloud. But the air is full. It cannot hold so much water. Precipitation begins. You fall back toward the Earth, a drop of rain. You are over a lake and the lake collects you.
You have been through the water cycle. When the sun comes out bright, you might evaporate and rise up again. But there is no time for that because a minnow swallows you. You are part of this tiny fish. You feel yourself moving around, back and forth. You know you are in the minnow's tail. And you like it here now. You like it so much you think you can keep swimming and swimming, on and on. But you cannot. Because now it is time to come back to your real life. So you leave the minnow and rise up in the water. You float up to the top and soon you are you again, floating around in your bathing suit, then swimming back to us, and back to this group, and here you are again, not water anymore but a human being, in all your regular clothes.
Invite the group to talk about how it felt to be on this journey as a drop of water.
- How did it feel to be a drop of water?
- Did you like the feeling of changing so much?
- Did you realize how much you were needed for survival of both the ape and the person?
Ask participants if they would like to be a drop of water. Tell them that human beings are made of water-about 60 percent of our bodies is water. Say that a whole drop of water would not really stay together through centuries. But each tiny molecule inside a drop of water does continue on through time. So one molecule inside them might once have been inside Mary, Queen of Scotland. Another might have been inside a huge elephant. Or almost anything or anyone else. This is all part of the wonder of life, the great mystery.
Including All Participants
If the group includes young or fidgety participants, adapt the meditation to keep it under one minute.