Not many people realize that when it comes to meditation visualization is often overlooked.
Focused on Emptying the Mind
We have been taught time and again to focus on emptying our mind. For anyone paying attention, this is a paradox! How can one “focus” on emptying the mind? That would be the same as asking one to think by not thinking.
There are some paradoxes that make sense in the Eastern mind but not the Western mind. Emptying the mind is one of those things that does not make sense to anyone. However, because many meditation instructors in holistic centers and yoga studios are reciting instructions translated from Asian languages to English, “emptying the mind” are often the words chosen. Simply put, the meaning of mindfulness practice and meditation is often lost in translation!
So, do not despair! You aren’t crazy for not being able to “focus” on emptying the mind! That paradoxical struggle moved from Asia, to the West Cost of America, to New York, and has finally made it’s way here to central Florida, and right here at home in Lakeland. You see, many Lakelanders are now exploring the benefits of meditation, but struggling with this idea of focusing on emptying the mind. You aren’t the only one!
Easing the Mind
The general idea is to take control of the mind and ease it. To capture your thoughts in order to calm them. To be mindful of the thoughts going through your mind in order to make a conscious decision on what to do about them (instead of simply scrambling from one thought to the next, one task to the next.
But, easing the mind and observing your thoughts is just the beginning. You see, visualization is the next step.
Meditation Visualization is Often Overlooked
In our pursuit to benefit from meditation we apply the only principle we have been taught; emptying the mind. Now, it takes many sessions to truly begin to benefit from easing the mind and taking control of your thoughts. We will save those lessons for another time.
For now, I want to call out to you that the next step in meditation is visualization. The idea is that once you have taken control of your thoughts, you can then choose what to think. In choosing what to think, you create images in your mind about the events and responsibilities of your life and (here is the important part) begin scripting how you relate to those events and responsibilities.
Mindfulness Practice: How to Visualize
First, get comfortable, as you would for any meditation session. But think of this as a Meditation Visualization session.
Second, as you start to get into state of mind in your meditation, quit trying. Instead of “trying”, free yourself to simply notice your thoughts. As the thoughts arise, notice them, wave to them mentally, and wish them on their way. Then, calm the mind again, resting in peace until the next thought passes and you wave it on your way.
Third, once you are in the habit of not reacting to your thoughts but simply noticing them, begin by picturing a large vast room, the size of a gymnasium and all white. With every in-breath, allow more details of the room to come to mind until the visual of the room is highly detailed.
Fourth, picture a meeting you have scheduled. Picture it occurring. Picture the person you are meeting to be in a good mood. Picture yourselves joking together pleasantly. Picture yourself asking them anything you need to ask, and them agreeing with you kindly. Envision yourselves shaking hands and departing amiably. Now smile to yourself and feel gratitude for the meeting going so well. Feel a small warmth move up your body, comforting you and vibrating in your chest that peaks in your mind as gratitude and joyfulness.
Fifth, affirm yourself that you are worthy of good things happening to you. Welcome them. Continue breathing, and wrap up your meditation session as you normally would.
You see, the goal here is to create new relationships with your thoughts, the pictures in your mind. Many people fear meetings. In this example, you are rewiring your mind to have a positive, grateful expectation of meetings. This is the very act of rewiring your mind through meditation visualization.Subscribe to Mindfulness Benefits