Since the beginning of time, rocks have been solid reminders of what has been here before us and will outlast us by millennia.
It makes sense that many early grave-mounds were marked by stones: while people die and disappear from the planet, stones stay on, comforting us with their stillness and immovable strength.
This simple rock activity only takes as much time as you give it. You can make this Rock Prayer as a memorial to someone, or as an offering to the spirits of nature. Either way, the steady sweetness of the Stone People will help you to slow down and be present in a more mindful way.
Children love this activity, too. Find out the easy steps to make your own beautiful Rock Prayer:
1. Go to a place where there are many different kinds, shapes, and sizes of rocks that are easily accessible, such as a river or stream-bank. (It is best not to pry stones from the ground; use only rocks that are loose and present themselves easily to your hands.)
2. Now sit down and just breathe and be for a little while, letting yourself feel the stillness of the stones around you. What do you want to memorialize here? What is your deep prayer today?
3. When you are ready to begin, open yourself to your own inner guidance. Find out which rock offers itself to be the base of your Rock Prayer. Now see which one wants to be balanced on top of the base. Keep on carefully adding stones (being mindful of your fingers and toes around large or heavy rocks!) until the Rock Prayer feels finished. Making a Rock Prayer offers many lessons in non-attachment: stones can be unpredictable, and they have a habit of falling! But the process is really what matters here, not the product. Simply taking time to choose and balance the rocks becomes a kind of deep meditation.
4. After you have finished, take a moment to appreciate the unique beauty of your structure and of the stones that make it up. Be sure to visit it often, since it is fascinating to watch it change over time.
By Cait Johnson, author of Earth, Water, Fire, and Air, (SkyLight Paths, 2003).