The Secret Garden
Written by: Michelle Belanger
These exercises are the most requested when I appear before various groups. The following are some of my favorite exercises. Nearly everyone who has heard these performed has met with some success.
The best way to perform the exercises is to print them out, then read them into a tape. Play this back while meditating and follow the visualization in your mind. Be sure you speak slowly and clearly into the tape recorder so the visualization will be clear when you play it back. You may also want some low music playing in the background to help cover up any extraneous noises that might otherwise distract you. When I perform the exercises for myself or for other people, I typically prefer lowering the lights and I also light some incense to heighten the more-than-ordinary mood.
This is a basic guided imagery to help you unearth past life memories. This visualization is designed to appeal to people who have a strong tie to nature and who prefer natural settings for their meditations. You can print this out, read it into a tape recorder, and play it back for yourself in a place that is quiet and relaxed. Follow the visualization in your mind and open yourself to whatever additional images and experiences your mind presents.
You are relaxed now. All of your senses are focused within, and you can perceive everything with perfect clarity. From this point of perfect inward clarity, I want you to imagine a path. This path leads you through the woods. The trees are all around you, and you can hear them sighing in the breeze. It is comfortable in this place, and you feel completely balanced, completely safe.
The path is easy to follow. It leads you deeper and deeper into the forest. The trees are thick around you, and everything is shaded by their leaves. There is a bend in the path up ahead, and it disappears even deeper into the trees. You continue to follow, curious now about where it will lead.
As you come around the bend, you see a clearing in the forest. In the clearing is an enclosure surrounded by walls of stone. The walls are just high enough that you cannot see over them. You approach this walled enclosure, even more curious about what lies within. There is something deeply familiar about this place, and you want very much to get inside the walls. They cannot be climbed, however, and no matter how hard you try, you cannot peer over.
As you walk around the blank stone of the enclosure, you see an archway. Within the arch is a heavy, ponderous door. It has a strangely-worked handle of iron, and below that there is a hole for a key.
Although you have no key, you try the handle, and to your surprise it opens. With a little effort, you push open the door, feeling that it was somehow meant to open just for you.
Inside is a fabulous garden. There are fruit trees and many types of flowers. All the trees are in bloom, but they also hang heavy with fruit. Some also have brightly colored leaves. There is something special about this garden, and time seems to move differently in this place. You seem to be surrounded by all seasons and no season at once.
As you ponder the mysterious nature of this garden, you look down and see a path. It is covered with polished stones. It winds its way in front of you, leading deeper into the garden. Many paths converge and branch away from it, each covered in a different color of polished stone. You walk through the door and follow the path before you. As you move forward, the door closes softly. Somehow you understand that this is not to keep you in but to keep you safe so your explorations of the garden will be undisturbed.
The path leads to a cozy little nook in the garden. There is a bench here and an arbor. Everything is surrounded by perfectly sculpted trees and blossoming flowers. The arbor hangs heavy with fruit. The path leads right up to the arbor, and as you approach, you realize that you cannot see the other side through its delicate arch. Instead, everything beneath the arbor is shadow and mist. It is as if the arbor were a gateway, opening onto someplace else.
You carefully approach the arbor, intrigued by the swirling shapes and shadows beneath its arch. You take a moment to walk around the arbor, but it is the same from the other side: you cannot see through. As you stare, however, images begin to form in the shadows, and they are somehow very familiar. You see people, places, houses, things. It is as if you are looking at another life, and it is a life that is very familiar to you.
You realize that the arbor is indeed a gate, and it leads somehow into your past. Curious, you return to the rest of the garden, only to discover another nook, and another, similar arbor. These gates are all over the garden, and you sense that each will lead you someplace else, but each place will be somewhere you have been before.
You take a moment to ponder this. Then you think about what you need to see the most, what you need to remember. You set your feet upon the path and allow it to lead you wherever it will. Eventually, you look up and you are in another part of the garden, standing before another arbor. Vines twine up the structure, covered with both flowers and with fruit. You peer into the swirling mists within the arbor and begin to see familiar things taking form.
With a deep breath, you walk forward, letting the mists close around you. Then you are standing in another place, and everything about you is familiar. You look down and see yourself as you were in this lifetime. You can hear someone calling you. You go toward the sound of their voice to see what you need to see.