Thought starters for guided meditation
October 2, 2013 5:38 PM   Subscribe

What words and images mean "patience" to you?

I really enjoy guided meditations on and in their app. They have themed meditations on Sleep, Inner Strength, Confidence, etc.

If you're not familiar, each themed meditation goes through a physical and mental relaxation process and then goes into a sort of visualization. For example for Sleep, you are to visualize yourself in a quiet cabin, warm under a fuzzy blanket, in front of a fire. The meditation guide cues you with words like relaxed, sleepy.

For Confidence, you climb a small mountain and talk to a person who inspires you to be your best self.

Along these lines, I'm interested in writing my own script with a Patience theme. But I'm having trouble coming up with words and visualizations that inspire thoughts about Patience. (Possibly because I personally have very little). So I wanted to ask you guys for help.
posted by sweetkid to Health & Fitness (17 answers total) 10 users marked this as a favorite
Maybe think about one of those videos of a flower blooming really quickly and then mentally slow it down in your mind and see how slowly you can imagine it opening?
posted by shortyJBot at 5:52 PM on October 2, 2013 [1 favorite]

What about an aspiring ballet dancer, or Olympic diver, who needs to practice the same complex manoeuvre over and over again?
posted by dontjumplarry at 5:57 PM on October 2, 2013 [2 favorites]

Response by poster: That's right along the lines of what I'm thinking.
posted by sweetkid at 5:57 PM on October 2, 2013

I find water calming in general. Maybe the idea of following a stream. Or rain filling up a container very slowly. That would be a good way for me to equate something stressful (waiting to complete a task) with a non-stressful process (the sound and motion of water).
posted by chainsofreedom at 6:28 PM on October 2, 2013 [1 favorite]

The first image that came to my mind was the Emperor Penguin, standing still in the snow, wind, etc. for four dark months while he holds the egg on his feet. Relevant clip from BBC's Planet Earth here.
posted by argonauta at 7:01 PM on October 2, 2013 [1 favorite]

Along the same lines as the dancer idea, maybe watch some tai chi videos and visualize that? I started learning it a couple months ago and it has definitely made me focus on being patient.
posted by brilliantine at 7:07 PM on October 2, 2013

Worms are probably pretty patient animals. Think about being a worm.
posted by oceanjesse at 7:24 PM on October 2, 2013

Response by poster: Worms are patient about what? Maybe it's anti-worm bias on my part, but I don't think worms are along the lines of what I'm looking for. I'm thinking of practicing patience with the idea of a positive end goal- like the penguin guarding the egg, or the flower. Basically waiting and working and not knowing the outcome but having faith either way.
posted by sweetkid at 7:29 PM on October 2, 2013

Worms are patient about slowly making their way through dirt by either wiggling or eating.
posted by oceanjesse at 7:44 PM on October 2, 2013 [3 favorites]

What about those nature photographers that crouch in the bushes for hours? They are patient as hell but they are also rewarded by getting to see some awesome fucking rare bird all birding around, or a tigress licking its tiny cubs or whatevs.
posted by en forme de poire at 8:24 PM on October 2, 2013

Maybe visualizing the tides changing around some landform. Powerful, inexorable, but slow.
posted by janell at 9:40 PM on October 2, 2013 [1 favorite]

I'm thinking of the act of planting a tree seed. Like a chestnut or acorn, or an apple seed (if you like the idea of apples as a sweet reward). You will most likely get positive results, but not quickly. So maybe, imagine yourself doing this?

Anecdotal: I have planted a chestnut tree when I was six or so. I buried a chestnut in the garden as a game. I'm 45 and it's now a beautiful mature tree (I don't live there anymore, but I have been there and saw it).
posted by Too-Ticky at 3:15 AM on October 3, 2013

Have you ever rowed a scull or rowed in a boat with other people? It takes years to learn how to synchronize your body, your oars, the current, and then is even more complicated when you try and do it in perfect unison with another person. Requires tremendous patience.

How about thinking of pyramid builders? Starting with desert earth, having the task of moving one huge stone after another to create a structure that looks like the rays of the sun and must last for all time.

Do you knit? I can imagine that imagining knitting is a good example of patience -- a ball of yarn becomes a garment with your close, careful attention. Or go through the steps of a recipe for bread, starting with taking things from refrigerator, assembling the elements, kneading, forming, baking, until you cut the first slice.

Another great example of patience is the dog from the blue, yesterday, which you can probably mentally adapt: boy and dog.
posted by thinkpiece at 3:58 AM on October 3, 2013

- Origami figures

- A spiderweb (if spiders don't creep you out)

- Buildings which took 100+ years to build, such as Notre Dame de Paris (1160-1345) or the Duomo di Firenze (1296-1436)
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 7:17 AM on October 3, 2013

When I think about patience, I think about water and stone - water dripping onto stone and gradually forming basins, streams and rivers carving out deeper and deeper canyons, water in caves forming stalactites and stalagmites.
posted by darchildre at 1:36 PM on October 3, 2013 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: these answers are all fantastic. even the worms, which I understand better now. Thanks everyone, would love to hear some more.
posted by sweetkid at 1:46 PM on October 3, 2013

Think about water ice formation. There are more than fifteen different phases! Think about being the person that keeps track of the ice phases.
posted by oceanjesse at 3:48 PM on October 3, 2013

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