Meditation on Thoughts 

It is my intention to present–through the medium of photography–intuitive observations of the natural world which may have meaning to the spectators.

Ansel Adams, Meditation on Thoughts
A black and white photo featuring large, snow-capped mountains with a river curving out from the mountains into the foreground
Ansel Adams; Tetons and Snake River, 1942, printed c. 1965; Carnegie Museum of Art: Gift of Margaret Cavy Smith in memory of George C. Smith, Ph.D. © Ansel Adams

Enjoy this guided breathing meditation paired with Tetons and Snake River. Follow along with the audio or text below.

Step-by-Step Meditation

Listen to meditation on thoughts:

  1. Take a few moments to slowly scan the photograph. Begin with the foreground. Then move slowly to the middle ground and then to the background.
  2. Notice the subtle details conveyed through the gradients of black and white in the clouds, the snow-covered mountains, the forest, and the river.
  3. Now, focus your attention on the river, and observe the gentle ripples in the water.
  4. Close your eyes and imagine your consciousness is the river. Each thought is like a ripple in this river of consciousness.
  5. As a thought enters the mind, acknowledge it, and then let it float by. Do the same with the next thought. There is no need to judge the thought, simply notice it, meditate on it, and let it go.
  6. Continue like this, observing the gentle ripples of thoughts that pass through your river of consciousness, drifting towards the mountains, then up to the sky dissipating with the clouds.