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Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Wellness: Safe Place Meditation

In the prior post, Wellness and Meditation I explored basic meditative techniques. I suggested that you can start by focusing on your breath.

Safe Place Meditation
Safe Place Meditation
As I mentioned in the prior post, there are many different types of meditation. One type of meditation that I usually teach clients is called the Safe Place meditation, which I'll explore in this post.

Now, "safe" is a relative term. For some people, possibly due to their history of trauma, there might not be anywhere that they can visualize that would be "safe." So, if you're not comfortable with the words "safe place," you can think of it as a relaxing, peaceful place. Over time, practice usually makes it easier.

As I mentioned in the prior post, assuming that you're in a good place to meditate (never when you're drving or when you need to be fully alert), start by closing your eyes and focusing on your breath. After a few relaxing breaths, picture a relaxing, peaceful place. It might be a beach or your favorite place in the countryside or wherever it feels most relaxing to you.

Safe Place Meditation
Whatever place you choose, look around in your mind's eye and notice what's there--the colors, shapes and patterns of things around you. Really take time to notice. Then, notice what sounds you "hear" in this place. So, if you're at the beach, maybe you hear the sound of the waves as they crash along the shore or maybe you hear the sea gulls as they fly over the water. Then, just notice any scents you might "smell." Once again, if you're at the beach, maybe you smell the salt from the water. You might also "taste" the salt. Notice any sensations you might "feel." At the beach, you might feel the breeze coming off the water or the coolness of the water against your toes or maybe you feel the gentle heat from the sun warming your body.

Safe Place Meditation
If any distracting thoughts come to mind, as they often do for most people, just notice them and let them go. Let them drift by like clouds passing by overhead. When you're ready to return, take a couple of deep breaths. You can wiggle your fingers or toes so that you're alert and fully present in your environment. Then, open your eyes.

Safe Place Meditation
Meditation Practice
Meditation takes practice. If you have difficulty visualizing or imagining using your other senses, don't worry about it. It usually becomes easier over time. I'll explore visualizing and imagining your other senses in future posts.

Practice Safe Place Meditation 
In the meantime, enjoy the Safe Place meditation.

I am a licensed NYC psychotherapist, hypnotherapist, EMDR and Somatic Experiencing therapist.

To find out more about me, please visit my website: Josephine Ferraro, LCSW - NYC Psychotherapist

Please feel free to call me at (212) 726-1006 to set up an appointment.


Photo Credits:  Photo Pin 

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