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additional meditations:

Climbing to the Top
of the Wall

You are in a compound, surrounded by the people and events of your daily life: family, co-workers, the schools you went to, the house you live in -- everything that comprises "your life".

Since you are visualizing this in your imagination, there are no restrictions of time and space. Your elementary school might exist concurrently with the place where you work; different cities might exist as one city; childhood friends and different spouses all have their place in your world inside the compound. This is your world as you experience it. Let yourself fully identify with it

Now, let your awareness expand to the limits of the compound. See a wall surrounding it. The wall is about twenty or thirty feet high, and it prevents you from seeing anything except what is inside the compound. All you can see above the wall is sky. There is nothing to indicate that anything exists on the other side. The wall has been there so long that you have come to take it for granted, and you cannot remember ever having questioned its existence or what it might be concealing.

You notice now for the first time that it has a staircase leading to the top. The staircase is easily accessible, but you can tell by its appearance that it has not been used. Everything inside the compound now seems limited and self-involved. No one you can see has any interest in the wall whatsoever or in what lies beyond it. You move toward the staircase and stand there looking at the first step. You look back at the people and places inside the compound, seeing everthing as one thing; your entire experience up to this point is summarized by what you see.

As you begin climbing the stairs, life in the compound grows increasingly remote. It's as though each foot of elevation brings with it a new atmosphere, one in which the air is clearer and fresher with every step you take. The sounds coming from the compound become fainter the higher up you go. The sky grows larger, the sun brighter.

When you reach the top of the wall, the surrounding countryside unfurls before you. What is it that you see? Are there mountains, rivers, lakes, other cities? Are there other people? Try to embrace the feeling that whatever it is you are seeing has nothing to do with the compound you have left behind. This is an entirely new world. The horizons here are distant and filled with possibility. It feels free and un-confining.

You notice that the wall is only one foot high on this side, an easy step into this new world. You look back at the compound and realize that it lies at the bottom of a large depression, separated from this world not only by distance but by elevation. You also see that the new landscape completely surrounds the world you left behind, that there are new places to explore all around you, behind as well as in front.

As you continue in your visualization, you can imagine whatever you want. You might see an information booth, or a friendly cafe with outdoor seating, perhaps someone inviting you to sit with them and answer your questions. There is nothing forboding here, only lightness and ease. The sun shines brilliantly in the sky, and there is a soft, cool breeze. You feel like a welcome guest. And, of course, you can always go back. Now that you know where this new land is, you can visit it at any time. There are no restrictions on how often you can return.

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