NOTE TO READERS: Something quite amazing happened in my happiness class yesterday. I decided to try something new; like so many of my best ideas, the exercise came to me while I was meditating in the morning before class. When the students arrived, I asked them to freewrite for a few minutes, as I usually do, so that they could vent their thoughts and clear their minds before class started. Then I asked them to close their eyes, and I led them in this exercise I called "Writing in a Sunny Waterfall."
Before I started reading the words out loud, I was worried that it wouldn't work. I was afraid that when I finished, the students would say, "why did you make us do this boring thing?"
Something quite different happened.
When I finished reading, and looked up, each and every student in the class was sitting there in perfect stillness. There wasn't a sound in the room. Not a single student opened his or her eyes for almost 25 minutes. I was shocked. I kept looking at my watch thinking, should I just let them sit there? I did. I was astonished at the power of these simple words to relax a group of young people.
Finally I decided it was time to bring them back to the classroom. When I did, several of the students said they felt refreshed. One young woman said that she had never been able to meditate before, but that this exercise had helped her sink into a deep meditative state. I asked the students to write about what they felt. After a discussion, we decided as a class that we would try this exercise again. My husband thinks I should record the words and include them on the Happiness class blogsite. Maybe I will, so that other people can try it if they want to relax in a sunny waterfall.
Suddenly, we are all sitting in the sun, below a gigantic waterfall.
The water showers each of us in the most blissfully perfect temperature,
You look up and see the tiny little prisms of color in the water droplets as the sun passes through them.
You just close your eyes and sit there, letting the gloriously warm water fall on your head....
feeling it slip down your forehead...
over your eyelids...
onto your eyelashes...
the back of your neck...
down your arms and legs...
your hands and fingers and toes.
You just sit there, letting the water flow down, carrying away all of your stress.
You don't have to go anywhere.
You don't have to do anything.
You just sit there and
The water pools at your feet and disappears.
You feel so relaxed that you smile.
If you were to look up, you would see the water sparkling in the sun.
You can feel the water,
the warmth of it, the sun's rays gently hitting the top of your head,
You just let the water drain every bit of stress away.
You just sit there in your own perfect waterfall, and all around you are the most beautiful flowers and trees.
You stare at the most beautiful flowers and trees. You
would swear that you were
in some sort of Paradise.
When you're ready,
write about what it looks and feels like
to sit there.