Activity cards

Guided meditation

Guided meditation – story forming

This activity hopes to inspire the imagination and allow varying visual responses and memories.  The guided meditation is a descriptive story you speak out loud while the participants close their eyes and listen.  The content that’s drawn can have different resolutions, be it a drawing, painting, sculpture, photo, voice recording etc. This is a wonderful exercise for inspiring unique and individual stories and creative gestures.

It’s simple method conjures up visual thoughts, be it fantasy or memories. The idea is to go on an open-ended journey, guided by the leader (yourself) of the activity

Here’s an example of a guided meditation

Ask your residents to close their eyes and take a deep breath.

The walk

‘’You’re standing on a path, the path has three directions,

the left path leads you down to the sea, the central path leads you into the forest and the path to your right leads into a city.

You think about which path you’d like to take, you think about what you’d like to see, what you’d like to feel beneath your feet, sand, pebble, grass or stone. You think about smells and sounds, colours and tastes at your chosen destination.

Which path will you take, the sea, the forest or the city.

If you chose to head to the sea, walk down the path to the left. Your feet hit sand, pebble or rock. What temperature is it? Is it familiar? What’s happening around you or out at sea? What can you see and hear? What time of day is it? 

Sit on a rock and enjoy your surroundings…..’’

Then continue the story for the forest and the city with related questions or hints for the participants to imagine things from.

This should take around five minutes and once the description is told, the participants open their eyes and share their thoughts with one another. It’s amazing the variety of visuals and stimulations that come from this exercise. As the leader of this activity you can determine how to record the imagined visuals depending on the content.

Attached is an example of works that came from this activity. It’s an animation that came out of the stories within one of the homes I worked with.

Materials Required:

  • quiet room
  • materials to capture the journeys, pencil, ink, clay, paper, voice recorder, camera…etc
  • calming music or sound effects (optional)
  • Camera if wanting to make animations

Step by Step Guide:

  1. calmly explain the activity and take a few breaths, ask participants to close their eyes and open their imagination to sights smells and memories
  2. read aloud your open-ended journey 
  3. share the stories as a group and let the conversation and collaboration flow.
  4. ask residents to capture something from their visualisation, from a drawing on paper to a sound recording of a moment in the story.
  5. This can lead to future work at a next workshop. Using film and photography to splice together each participants journey.

Ideas for Further Activities With This Idea:

The story telling element of this activity is adaptable. Allowing all sorts of imagined adventures, going out dancing in dance halls, visiting the opera or cinema. Maybe you stage an event, Having the lounge transform into a dance hall with music and a little dress up. Put on your favourite frock, gown or suit. Have a cinema afternoon with a theatre play on the tv and maybe popcorn or cake.


Ways to adapt for less able residents:

As this activity relies initially on the imagination, less able residents find it stimulating by just sharing their thoughts. For those who may find the questions difficult, maybe focus on one journey, their hometown or the sea. Keep the description short and simple and see where the imagination goes from there.

Ways to adapt from group to individual and vice versa: 

In a one to one situation keep the same storytelling structure and just chat freely about the journey after. Take an element and get creative with it.

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