Sukhna Lake is an inseparable part of Chandigarh. We are drawn to it for the ‘care of the body and spirit’. Serious walks, exercise regimes, evening strolls, family time, children on roller skates or just nature lovers enjoying the scenic beauty, a visit to the lake is pure bliss. Among all this, one can witness the site of the setting sun, or the heavily clouded monsoon sky, or the early morning calmness.
The Lake Meditation
A few minutes of meditation at Sukhna Lake is like awakening to peace and ease of the beautiful life within and around. Maybe the sun is reflecting on the surface, or perhaps it is evening time and the silvery light of the moon catches the water. There is often a lot of activity on the surface, but beneath remains calm, gently undulating. A thorough meditation session here slowly helps bring a clear image of the lake in mind. Gradually you bring the lake inside of you. You watch as experiences come and go, rippling the surface of your awareness, whilst you remain grounded and centered.
I spent time this Sunday sitting by this beautiful lake. Earlier that day, I’d practised the lake meditation using a guided audio. I sat reflecting on the meditation, observing the lake and contemplating how it paralleled my thoughts.
Thoughts, feelings and physical sensations are like waves in the lake. Imagine a leaf floating on the water. The water becomes still. The leaf floats away. Similarly, experiences come and go. Thoughts get distorted as particular feelings and sensations dominate. The lake becomes muddy. Just as the water clears, so does thoughts. Different feelings and sensations come up to the surface, as a fish comes up for air. They can be noticed; watched with curiosity, neither grasping them nor pushing them away. The lake reflects back what shines on its surface.
I find the lake can be a challenging meditation to practise. But each time I do, I discover hidden depths. It’s normal for the surface of the lake to get rippled. The water may become muddy. It’s a helpful reminder. We must accept the ripples of life whilst holding a kindly awareness.