Imagination is powerful. We humans imagine how things turn out before pursuing them. Animals can imagine the effects of their behavior.
Imagination is what we do when we solve a problem, and when we make plans for the future. Visualization creates a picture in our mind. In visualization meditation, we use this picture as our object of focus.
When we visualize all outcomes of an event, we may learn that the negative outcomes we feared are not as devastating as we thought.
Two great ways of visualization meditation involve yourself and the people close to you. If you visualize yourself to be in a state of contentment and deep relaxation, it will become easier to get into that state in real life. If you imagine someone close to you to be content and relaxed and you feel empathy, you are practicing loving kindness.
You can train both ways with loving kindness meditation.
Another way of visualization meditation is to imagine an everyday object. You go deeper and deeper into its details, textures, and maybe even its smell and taste. Through this exercise, you practice focus.
Visualization may seem hard and discouraging to you. If you have difficulty with visualization, try not to concentrate on actually “seeing” your focus object, but to accept the natural image your mind creates. Gently concentrate on it without judging yourself.
“Be kinder to yourself. And then let your kindness flood the world.” ― Pema Chödrön
It’s important to have some go-to relaxation strategies – like visualization techniques – for managing anxiety when it decides to rear its ugly head.
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Weekly Mindfulness Practice
Start with slow and deep breathing.
Imagine that you are in a place where you feel satisfied and deeply relaxed. This could be your favorite holiday destination, a forest or lake near you, or any other place you like to spend time.
Now imagine all the details. Imagine the surrounding colors. Make the picture clearer and clearer. Start to feel the textures and hear the sounds of your place.
Enjoy this feeling of relaxation and happiness.
We think of imaginary places so often: the unchangeable past and the unforeseeable future. Why not imagine a place that you like?
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