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Visualizing During Meditation

Discussion in 'Meditation Chatter Box' started by marissa, Feb 5, 2013.

  1. marissa

    marissa Member

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    Hello
    I have been meditating for a few months now, so I am very new to meditation. I am confused about what it means to visualize during meditation. For example if you were to visualize a beautiful garden and that you were walking in the garden taking in your surroundings. Does that mean that I am supposed to imagine that I am walking in this garden kinda like in the back of my mind? Or does it mean lets say when you close your eyes and you see the black or blank screen on the back of your eyelids, is this beautiful garden I am visualizing supposed to come clear with full color right there on that black screen on the back of my eyelids as if I were watching t.v.? I have tried over and over to see a garden or a room or whatever comes to mind and if I try I can imagine how it would look in my mind but not good enough to feel as if I am really there taking it all in. I would appreciate any thoughts and advise anyone would like to share.
    Thanks Marissa :)
     
  2. GilesC

    GilesC Member

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    Hi Marissa and welcome to the Project Meditation community,

    Visualizing in the usual sense, means that you would be seeing things as if you were there observing it yourself, not so much like watching a tv, but more like actually being there, though you may or may not necessarily interact with what is being visualized.

    There could be a couple of issues...

    1. Everybody has three main senses... kinesthetic (touchy feely), visual, and auditory (sound). Most people will have one of these senses that is more predominant than their others in their life. For some they will be more kinesthetic... doing things with their hands, touching and sensing through touch etc. For others they may be more auditory, able to listen and understand things through the way it sounds or the way things are described. And others may be more visual, getting their input mainly through what they see. For most people you can identify their primary sense through the way they are and the way they speak. e.g. children in a classroom may struggle to listen to a teacher if they're not auditory, but may get on really well in lessons where they are doing things with their hands (hands on experience), meaning they are more kinesthetic; or someone may be more visual if they use wording like "You see what I mean?" rather than "you hear what I'm saying?" (which would be a more auditory person).
    It could be therefore that you are not so much of a visual person, but predominantly fit better into kinesthetic or auditory? and that is why you are struggling to visualize during your meditation. Perhaps you should try a meditation practice on a mantra (repeated sound), or meditating to a gentle background music (there are meditation tracks out there you can use, or even the Lifeflow tracks are good for this) if you feel you are more auditory; or perhaps you could meditate whilst holding a simple object (a small ball or marble or something) or just touching your fingers together, placing your focus on the touch sensation itself, if you feel your are more kinesthetic.

    The more you meditate, the more these senses (which are ultimately made dominant by the mind), become more balanced and you can start to tap in to the other senses. People often start meditating and talk of feeling sensations or seeing things, or hearing things during their meditation, which is new to them because they're not used to it... this is really down to the calming of the mind and the fact the other senses are being allowed to feed in.

    2. You could just be "trying" too hard. Consider this...
    Place a pencil or pen (or any object) on the table in front of you. Now "try" and pick it up. If you don't pick it up, then you haven't succeeded (not always a bad thing). If you do pick it up, then you have succeeded. Whether you succeeded or not, the outcome was not "trying", it was either (to use general terms) success or failure. The point is that "trying" is an in-between state, that our mind cannot actually comprehend as a goal. We know how to do something (succeed) and we know how to not do something (fail) as these are both goals that can be achieved... but we cannot reach that inbetween state of "trying" as a goal. In your post above you say you have "tried over and over" and that you try to imagine how it would look... so... try turning that into a goal and state to yourself "I am visualizing a garden with green grass and yellow flower borders". Another couple of key points here... state it as if it's in the present tense because the past has gone and the future has yet to arrive so the mind is only concerned with what is right now (even though it may try and deceive us to believe otherwise). Likewise, be specific in what you are stating... "a beatiful garden" is very general and could lead your mind to wander and change things as it goes, so you won't focus on anything in particular, but "a garden with green grass and yellow flower borders" is more specific. Lastly repeat this several times, as you get into your meditation. If this 'affirmation' succeeds then great, if it doesn't, that's also fine... not everything we choose to do will work... this time. Stick at it and have another go.

    Hope that helps.

    Hugs

    Giles
     
  3. Mindscape

    Mindscape Member

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    Visualisation is great for artificial memory and certain types of physical predictions.
     
  4. olmate

    olmate Member

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    It may also assist if you visualise a place that you love, particularly if a garden does not have a high appeal for you. Other examples may be the beach, the mountains, a forest, a tropical island or the like. My only suggestion is to make it nature based.

    The imagery of the Buddha sitting with a hand touching the earth also can be useful, particularly when you contemplate the words, "the earth as my witness ...."

    Olmate
     
  5. marissa

    marissa Member

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    I appreciate all of you taking the time to give me your thoughts and advise. One of my reason's for wanting to learn to visualize during meditation is to meet my spirit guides. Most things I have read about meeting your guides it always says to visualize a special place that you want to meet them. When I get to that point in meditation when I am ready to do that, I try to see the place in my mind but I feel very far from actually seeing myself being part of the scene. Does anyone know of any good books or cd's that can teach you to learn to visualize?
     

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