Introducing our very first Truth for Teachers mindfulness moment + visualization!
This is something I started doing for my new Truth for Teachers Daily Encouragement podcast about once per week, interpreting them with the other uplifting and motivational messages.
I don’t plan on incorporating mindful moments on the regular podcast, but I did want to introduce you to the concept and let you know that if you like this format, you can get more on the Truth for Teachers Daily Encouragement Podcast. New & exclusive ad-free episodes drop daily from Mon-Fri (approx. 20 eps each month)! Each one is a 3-5 minute uplifting message and is ad-free. Subscribe through Spotify for $3.99/month, and can then listen wherever you get your podcasts, and cancel anytime.
And if you’re already a subscriber of the Truth for Teachers Daily Encouragement Podcast and you enjoy the mindful moments, I thought it might be fun to do a longer one. The mindful moments on Daily Encouragement are just 4-5 minutes so you can do them in the pockets of your day. But here I thought I’d offer a longer meditation, around 10 minutes, to allow you to take the practice deeper.
So what exactly do I mean by “mindful moment”?
It’s simply an invitation to slow down and be fully present in the moment and in your body. You don’t have to close your eyes and you’re not expected to enter a meditative state. That’s especially true for the Daily Encouragement mindful moments since they’re so short. Some folks do them while sitting at their desks during a break, or while gazing out the window before or after school, or even in the car to help calm them while driving it.
It’s just a quick moment to get out of your own head and back into your body. It’s a chance to be fully present in the moment without our minds racing ahead to what we need to do next. The mindful moments are a break in which I guide you to reflect on gratitude, non-attachment, joy, or another concept that helps you return to a state of ease and flow.
The mindful moments that I’m offering have their roots in secular Buddhism, which is a philosophy of life and not a religion or belief system. And these mindful moments that I’m offering are not a religious practice, or even necessarily a spiritual practice. Certainly, you could incorporate them into your understanding of those things. But this is really about practicing presence and being intentional about what you are focusing on. The mind is extremely powerful, and visualization is a really impactful way to help you feel more grounded, centered, and balanced.
If you’ve never done this before, thank you for being open and trying this out. See how you feel afterward — does your mind feel clearer? Has your heart rate slowed and nervous system down-regulated? Is it easier to concentrate or get things done afterward? Just notice what — if any — impact you feel this first time.
If you have a meditation or mindfulness practice already, welcome — how wonderful that this is something we can do together! I hope you enjoy having a familiar and hopefully calming voice to guide you through something maybe a little different than what you normally do.
For today’s extended mindful moment, I thought I would focus on finding the calm amongst chaos, since this is a practice all of us need. I’ll be introducing music and nature sounds periodically throughout this time together to help create a sense of calm and relaxation.
Click play to listen to the guided mindful moment
I invite you to find a relaxed posture in a comfortable place. You can close your eyes if that’s feasible and is something you’d like to do, or keep them open in what’s called “soft gaze.” You’re not staring at anything around you intently, just choosing a focal point, maybe one that’s down near the ground so your eyelids are lowered a bit.
Begin deepening your breath now, taking an extended inhale to allow yourself to take in the present moment, and now an extended exhale to release any tension or worries. Another big inhale to really arrive here in the moment and prepare for this practice, and another big exhale to release all those distractions and worries.
Continue this deeper breathing throughout our time together today, so that with each inhalation, you’re inviting a sense of calm and presence, and with each exhalation, you’re releasing any tension or distractions.
Begin by acknowledging the chaos or turbulence that you may be experiencing in your life. It could be related to work, relationships, health, or any other aspect of your life. Allow yourself to sit with the awareness of chaos without judgment or resistance.
Now, imagine yourself as a giant rock in the midst of a turbulent river. The river represents the chaos of life, constantly flowing and changing. See it for what it is — an external force that does not define your inner state.
Recognize that, just as water moves around you, so too can chaotic moments in life. See yourself as that giant stone in the river, unshaken and immovable, grounded in your inner strength and calm.
As you meditate, consider the power of acceptance. Acceptance does not mean resignation; it means acknowledging the reality of the moment without resistance. Embrace the chaos as part of the ever-changing tapestry of life.
Contemplate the power of perspective. Consider that chaos is a matter of perception and interpretation. While chaos may swirl around you like the raging river, you have the choice to see it as a dance of energy and change rather than a threat.
Now visualize yourself observing the roaring river from a higher vantage point. Maybe you’re on top of a mountain peak or ridge, or a large boulder that overlooks the river.
In this visualization, you are both in the middle of the chaos as the stone in the river, and above it. You are experiencing the rushing, swirling water, but can also detach from it and see it from the outside, as a wise and compassionate observer.
From this higher vantage point, this higher perspective, you can see the interconnectedness of all things, the ebb and flow of life, and the impermanence of chaos. What seems like an uncontrollable raging river to the stone that’s inside it, appears as beautiful from far away up high. You can see the turbulent places, and the calm places. You can visualize all the twists and turns.
From this higher vantage point, bring your attention to yourself and silently repeat these phrases either in your mind or out loud:
“May I be safe. May I be healthy. May I be free. May I live with ease.”
As you recite these words, let the intention behind them sink into your heart. Imagine yourself still observing the river of chaos from your higher vantage point, with a warm and radiant light emanating from your chest, enveloping you in a cocoon of love and compassion. Feel the gentle embrace of this loving-kindness, soothing any wounds, fears, or doubts you may carry.
Next, extend your loving-kindness to someone you deeply care about, maybe a friend or family member. Imagine yourself from this higher point above the river sending them love and care, envisioning their face, and silently repeat:
“May you be safe. May you be healthy. May you be free. May you live with ease.”
Feel your love and goodwill expanding beyond your own boundaries, reaching out to touch the heart of your loved one. Sense the connection between you growing stronger as you wish them well.
Now, broaden your circle of compassion to include acquaintances, colleagues, students, and even those you may have conflicts with. As you ponder these phrases or say them out loud, imagine your intention spreading like ripples in a pond, touching each person’s life:
“May you be safe. May you be healthy. May you be free. May you live with ease.”
As you continue this practice, gradually extend this feeling of loving-kindness to encompass all beings in the world, regardless of their background, beliefs, or actions. Visualize the entire planet bathed in the radiant light of your compassion and care, and repeat the phrases:
“May all beings be safe. May all beings be healthy. May all beings be free. May all beings live with ease.”
Feel the profound sense of unity and interconnectedness as you send loving-kindness to every corner of the Earth, transcending boundaries and divisions. In this moment of meditation, standing above the rushing river, you are a beacon of love, radiating warmth and goodwill to all living beings.
The chaos of the roaring river and the landscape beneath you doesn’t impact you from your higher vantage point. You are above it, observing with non-attachment and non-judgment. Visualize yourself standing there with arms outstretched, feeling the sunlight on your face and body, and the warm light of compassion emanating from inside of you. Visualize your arms outstretched to embrace whatever you may experience next. This act of surrender allows you to release the struggle and resistance that often intensifies chaos.
As we begin to bring our mindful moment to a close, say goodbye to the peaceful vantage point above the chaos, and bring your attention back to your breath. Use your breathing as an anchor to help you remain present and centered. With each inhalation, feel a sense of calm and clarity filling your being. With each exhalation, release any attachments to chaos or turmoil, allowing yourself to fully embrace the peace you’ve cultivated within.
Begin to open your eyes if they are closed, and make some small movements with your fingers and toes to wake up the body again.
Know that you can return to this meditation whenever you encounter chaos in your life. By finding calm amidst chaos, you empower yourself to navigate turbulent moments with grace and resilience. Your inner serenity is a source of strength and clarity that can guide you through the most chaotic of experiences, helping you emerge from the storm with renewed wisdom and perspective.
Thank you for practicing mindfulness with me through today’s visualization. I hope you’ve enjoyed this moment together, and if so, please check out the Truth for Teachers Daily Encouragement Podcast which offers a new 4-5 minute mindful moment every week, interspersed with other uplifting and motivational messages.
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