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- What is
- We gain
benefits from visualization.
can consider these guidelines for visualization
visualization meditation? It is the focusing of our attention upon a
visual object. Visualization is one of the most popular and potent
forms of meditation. More than just an inner technique, it can
directly affect the conditions of our outer world.
benefits from visualization. From one perspective, visualization is
simply another form of meditation; we are gazing upon an internal
image rather than concentrating on the outer image of a candle, for
example. But visualization presents some unique benefits:
- It gives us more freedom to select the images upon we
concentrate. We can imagine seeing any spiritual teacher, or any
scene, or any object, without having to possess that physical
image to view. Thus we have an unlimited repertoire of images --
anything which can be conceived -- so we can select one which
more-accurately represents (and can transmit the power from) a
particular state which we want to experience.
- These internal images might be more powerful than external
ones because they are linked directly to the state which they
represent. For instance, in mandala meditation, we look at the
mandala in order to internalize its dynamics as its elements would
correspond to our psychological elements, but in simple
visualization, the image is already internal; we eliminate the
step of internalization during which some of the energy might be
lost. Images -- rather than words -- are the native language of
the unconscious mind and other parts of ourselves; in
visualization, we can communicate more effectively with these
parts -- in the same way, conversely, that the unconscious mind
attempts to communicate with the conscious mind via the
imagery-language of dreams.
- When we develop our visualization skills in meditation, we can
use the skills for archetypal field-work ("directed imagination").
can consider these guidelines for visualization techniques.
- We use the guidelines that are in the chapter regarding
visualization. Many of them will be applicable when we are using
visualization as a type of meditation. To avoid redundancy, those
guidelines have not been repeated here.
- Choose an active or passive approach. In the active approach,
we generate a specific image toward which to direct our attention.
The passive approach is to focus on the black screen of the mind
and then allow any images to appear; we might start with a
particular image and then allow others to arise in response to it
in a type of "story" like that of a dream (and we might then do an
interpretation of that story in the same manner in which we would
interpret dream symbolism). Both the active and passive methods
can be useful in the development of our visualization skills.
- Be able to experience the state without the image. In any
visualization, no matter what image we use, we are attuning to the
state which is represented by that image; a step beyond
visualization techniques is to be able to achieve that state
without the use of an image.
- Experiment with various techniques. In addition to the
techniques which are in the chapter regarding visualization, we
can use these:
- Do some visualizations with "spiritual light." Imagine
light coming in through the top of the head (through the crown
chakra) and circulating throughout every part of the body. Or
imagine light surrounding your body and your home. Or visualize
light coming in with every inhalation; on the exhalation, we
might visualize light going out to the world, or we might
prefer to see our unwanted traits being expelled on that
out-breath. Or imagine light surrounding your spine and each of
the chakras. Or visualize light being directed to a particular
part of your body, perhaps a part which is injured or ill. Or
imagine various objects which radiate light: a star, a sunrise,
a campfire. Experiment with different colors of light, to see
how they affect you and the visualization process; some people
experience the greatest spiritual awakening with the colors of
gold, white, or blue.
- Combine visualization with movement meditation. For
example, as we walk, we can visualize ourselves as a leaf being
carried by a breeze or by a river's current.
- Stimulate the spiritual eye. Instead of creating a visual
image somewhere else on the black screen of the mind, create it
in the location of the spiritual eye (which is also called the
third eye). This is approximately one inch above the midpoint
between the eyebrows, and set back in the head a couple of
inches. When we focus our attention on this spot, the energy of
our attention is likely to help the spiritual eye to "open."
Then we might see light -- perhaps just sparkles or splotches
of white light at first. (Don't look directly at the images;
this can cause them to disappear.) As this non-physical organ
becomes activated further, we might see images which are more
distinct; these images can include scenes from the astral plane
or another world -- maybe a flower or a landscape or a blue
- Visualize a religious symbol. This can be a crucifix, or an
image of a saint's face, or an animated scene from a religious
- Merge with the image. Create an image of light (as in a
candle or the sun), or an image of a mandala or a spiritual
teacher or something else that has qualities which you want to
develop. Then slowly attract that image toward you, and feel
its qualities and energy merging with yours. We can experience
this merging in different ways: (1) an interaction between
ourselves and the image, or (2) a state in which both we and
the image become less prominent and what is experienced most
strongly is the impersonal energy (the energy underlying those
qualities existing in us and in the image) in a field of its
own; at this point, the "duality" between ourselves and the
object is simply an interplay of complementary forces, each
existing in relation to the other, drawn from the same field of
potential for this moment of interaction, then to revert back
to that field.