Leaves on a Stream
During this leaves on a stream exercise, you will visualize yourself resting near a running stream. Whenever
thoughts enter your mind, you will imagine placing them atop a leaf, and watching as they float away from you.
Typically, we see the world from “inside” our thoughts, this allows you to take a step back and view them from
afar. By doing so, you will gain perspective on your thoughts and feelings, reducing their power.
Find a quiet place, free of distractions. Sit or lie down in a comfortable position. Close your eyes or let your gaze soften. Begin taking slow, deep breaths.
Imagine you are resting by the side of a stream. This scene can look however you like. Use all your
senses to imagine what the stream and its surroundings look like, the sound of the water and other
ambiance, the physical sensations, and anything else that comes to mind.
Your objective during this exercise is simply to focus on the stream. When distractions enter your mind, such as thoughts or feelings, take a moment to notice them without judgment. For example, if you are distracted by other obligations, notice and acknowledge to yourself: “I am thinking about my to-do list.”
Manage Your Thoughts
After taking a moment to observe a thought or feeling, return your attention to the stream. Place your
thought upon a leaf. You might imagine writing the thought on the leaf or attaching it in some other
way. Place the leaf in the water and watch it float down the stream until it disappears.
Continue visualizing the stream, simply observing and releasing any thoughts that enter your mind.
There is nothing else you need to do. You may set a timer for 10-15 minutes to know when practice