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Meditating . . . on Your Last Vacation

A great way to enjoy meditation is to spend time reliving the best parts of your last vacation. For me, that's a sunset on the beach.
Picture of Karl Palachuk

Karl W. Palachuk
March 15, 2024

Man Watching Sunset

I rarely encourage people to look backward. The big exception to this, of course, is that I encourage people to revel in the tidbit of their past that were positive experiences. A great example of this is your vacation time. After all, we plan and scheme to pick vacations that will make us happy. So, if we’re successful, our vacations will build wonderful memories we can replay again and again.

In case you’re new to this blog, I love visiting beaches and meditating as the sun rises or sets. See me blog logo with the little island.

If you have been meditating with an audio program or “guided meditation,” you might be ready to create your own guided meditation. But you might be wondering how to come up with a topic or object for your meditation. That’s where you wonderful vacation memories come in.

All you have to do is think about your last vacation. Literally, that’s it. You can ponder the food, the weather, the funny couple at the next table, the beach, the beer, or whatever made you happy. You can relive those memories again and again. What a great way to relax – and make the most of that vacation. Plus, there’s a bonus benefit: When you replay your vacation in your mind, you will build stronger and stronger memories of that vacation. So, your meditation also becomes a tool for increasing your long-term happiness.

Because I love beaches, I can close my eyes and revisit a lot of beaches. All I really need is a key trigger. Like the wonderful dinner at a divey restaurant where there was no one in the place except me and the very old owner, who joined me for dinner and told me about his daughter’s travel all over the world. Then we paused and didn’t talk for a long time as the sun disappeared below the horizon. What a wonderful memory.

Or the beach in the middle of nowhere, Thailand, with the old boats bobbing in the water. Or my trip to Tahoe on the absolute warmest day of the year, with a dear friend. Any good memory will do.

If you need to, you might go browse through your vacation photo folder before you sit down to meditate. That will “prime the pump” for bringing up great memories. Any starter memory will do. Then, settle into a chair and relax.

As for “guiding” your meditation – don’t! Let your brain relax. If you find yourself thinking about the room, the dinner menu, the parking lot, or other details, that’s okay. This is your vacation memory. Do with it what you will. The purpose of this meditation is not to set a goal and achieve it. The purpose is simply to relax and let your mind drift. The point of starting with a nice vacation memory is simply to point your brain in a direction and see where it goes.

You might think, “This sounds a lot like dreaming while I’m awake.” That’s true. You prime your brain, then see where it takes you. Then relax and enjoy. It’s a great way to train your body to relax quickly and get back in that wonderful vacation mode.

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Here are two audio MP3 files you can download. The first file, “Beach Vacation Meditation,” is a spoken meditation example. You might use this as an example before creating your own vacation meditation. The other MP3, “Vacation Meditation with Instructions,” is the same meditation, but includes an introduction and what you might call instructions.

Remember: Relax. You cannot do this wrong. Any meditation that gets you to sit quietly for a few minutes is a good meditation. You can do it differently every day. In fact, that’s not a bad habit to develop.

Beach Vacation Meditation:

Vacation Meditation with Instructions:


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