mrs. neal's not-so-conventional MEDITATION [CLASS] for TEENS...

...the book and the recorded meditation


Men go abroad to wonder at the heights of mountains,
at huge waves of the sea, at the long courses of the rivers,
at the vast compass of the ocean, at the circular motions of
the stars; and they pass by themselves without wondering.

– St. Augustine


Your body will believe what your brain tells it.

I have worked with various athletes over the years, and had some wonderful success stories. One student achieved a personal best record, one broke a school record, one set a state record, one swimmer “got her butt out of the water,” and one, a body-builder, reached a goal he had been working to achieve for months.

Have you ever watched a sporting event — like the Olympics — and seen an athlete standing relatively motionless, with his or her eyes closed, perhaps moving their head and swaying a little?

They are visualizing their performance — and seeing themselves winning. They will see themselves running the race, going through their gymnastics routine, feeling the long jump — all in their head.

Their bodies will believe what their brains have told them.

— ♦ —

Many coaches and athletes believe that using relaxation, visualization and even meditation will enhance physical performance. By using mental training — or mental rehearsal — athletes are able to visualize themselves performing their feats to perfection. As a result of this practice of visualization, they set themselves up for victory.

Whatever your sport happens to be, start visualizing yourself doing it — to perfection.

Let’s say you are a baseball player. It’s cold and snowy outside, so you can’t go out and practice hitting the ball with your friends.

Instead, practice in your head.

Get into a relaxed, meditative state and play ball!

Visualize yourself standing in the perfect batting position at the plate with a bat in your hands. Feel the muscles in every part of your body that would be tensed to lift the bat back over your shoulder, and crouch over the plate. You know how this should feel to your body.

Now see the ball coming toward you, and visualize swinging the bat with all your strength and connecting with the ball, sending it sailing over the fence in left field.

Physically, you haven’t moved or actually done any of this, but your subconscious mind believes you have.

The more you practice the visualization exercises, the better you will be when you are able to get out on the field and stand at the plate with the bat in your hands.

— ♦ —

True Story:

I have worked with groups of students who had to run 1.5 miles in less than 12 minutes. It took six laps around the track to accomplish the distance that was required.

I would guide these students to get them into a relaxed state, then I would have them visualize themselves on the track. I would have them drop their arms to their sides, bend their elbows, and put their feet flat on the floor.

I then would have them imagine they were in the start position, and would tell them to visualize the start of the run.

I then would lead them through the first lap, telling them to see the first turn ahead, then the second, then the back stretch, then the third turn, then the fourth, then the home stretch. Keeping an eye on the clock, I would “pace” them at two minutes per lap, and would tell them to “feel” the run in their bodies — to feel their legs stretch out ahead of them and their feet grab the track, to feel the air filling their lungs as they started breathing more heavily and rapidly, to feel their arms pumping with the rhythm of their legs — but not to actually move any of the muscles in their bodies.

Because the subconscious doesn’t distinguish between what’s real and what’s not (have you heard that before?), the students believed they had just run 1.5 miles.

At the end of their “run,” some were out of breath, and some had to stand up to “shake it off.”


I encouraged these students to have someone help them with the time-keeping and number of laps, and to practice this exercise as often as they could.

On test day, the majority of the students passed their test. There was one young man who had been concerned about the run who came over after he passed, gave me a hug, and thanked me for helping him make it.

Because he had practiced mentally, had conditioned his mind and body, and because he believed he could make it, he did.

— ♦ —



Imagine you are playing your favorite sport
and go through the motions
— practice in your head.





Science is not only compatible with spirituality;
it is a profound source
of spirituality.

– Carl Sagan,
scientist / astronomer