The Placing Thoughts on a Leaf Visualisation can be done at any time of year but is particularly good to do when the leaves are falling from the trees in autumn. It soothes a restless and agitated mind; it brings focus to the mind and quietens persistent, unwanted thoughts. It can be found on page 106 of the Yoga Through the Year book.
It can be done sitting or lying down and takes about 10 minutes.
The Placing Thoughts on a Leaf Visualisation
Find yourself a comfortable position either sitting or lying down.
If you are sitting, establish an erect but relaxed posture.
Begin by noticing any thoughts and feelings that are passing through your mind. Simply observe thoughts and feelings without judgement as they come and go.
Now bring your awareness to sensations arising in your body. Notice which parts of your body already feel relaxed and where there is discomfort or tension. Become aware of the natural flow of your breath. Notice how your belly rises and falls with each in- and out-breath. Throughout the meditation maintain a background awareness of the natural wavelike flow of your breath.
Now imagine that it is a sunny day and you are sitting under a tree on the riverbank, watching the river flow by. Shafts of sunlight stream through the trees and sparkle on the water below…The river is like a mirror reflecting blue sky, white clouds, and rippling trees. The wind whispers through the branches of the trees and blows autumn leaves onto the water …You watch the leaves, noticing their different shapes and colours as they sail by…
Now once again return your awareness to noticing thoughts as they come and go in your mind. Imagine that as a thought arises you place it onto a leaf and watch the leaf float by. And then when another thought comes into your mind, place that thought on a leaf too and watch it sail away downstream.
If your mind gets carried away by a torrent of thoughts and feelings, congratulate yourself for noticing this, and then simply begin again by placing the next thought that comes into your mind onto a leaf. If thoughts come into your mind that the meditation isn’t working or that you’re not doing it right, these are just thoughts, so just place them on a leaf too and watch them float by…
We’re not trying to get rid of thoughts. You don’t need to push thoughts away. We’re simply observing the stream of thoughts passing through the mind and letting them float away in their own time.
Now let go of placing your thoughts on leaves. Widen your awareness to take in the whole of your imagined river scene. What do you see? Notice shapes, colours, and textures. What do you hear? Use your five senses to picture the scene around you. Particularly, be aware of changes that herald the arrival of autumn. Enjoy the beauty of the place.
Now let go of picturing the river scene. Bring your awareness back to noticing sensations in your body and where your body is in contact with the floor or support. Notice how you are feeling now and how the meditation has affected you. Become aware of sounds inside the room and sounds outside the room. Become aware of your surroundings and when you are ready, open your eyes. Take this peaceful, patient, accepting, and more spacious awareness into the next activity you do today.
The Placing Thoughts on a Leaf Visualisation can be found on page 106 of the Yoga Through the Year book.
The Autumn Art of Letting Go
Autumn Equinox Yoga Practice
Autumn Equinox Page
Jilly Shipway, sharing seasonal yoga ideas and inspiration with you through the year...
Coronavirus: Finding Peace in Troubled Times
The next few weeks look set to be a challenging time as the world tries to find a way through and out of this coronavirus crisis.
Many of you will be self-isolating at home, so over the next few weeks I will regularly post simple, accessible yoga and mindfulness techniques to help you find your calm place in the midst of the storm. I will also post short, simple yoga practices for you to do at home.
Please consult the expert advice in your own country on keeping yourself safe and well during the pandemic.
Please feel free to share ideas and resources that you find in my blog, but please do acknowledge me and my website as their source. Thanks!
Disclaimer: if you have any concerns about your health or suitability to do yoga, please consult a medical professional before attempting any of the yoga routines in this blog.