Learning to Visualize in Meditation
- A Guide For Beginners -
by Brad Austen
Over the years, some people have said to me that they have trouble visualizing in meditation. While it is not essential to visualize in meditation, it certainly helps and enriches your meditation experience. So, in case you're wondering, visualization is the art of forming pictures or images in your mind using your imagination. You can then take visualization a step further by visualizing certain things you want in your life, for example, a perfect partner, a new home or more abundance, to list a few examples. By focusing on what you want, rather than what you don't want, helps to magnetize positive things and experiences into your life. This article will give you some tips and techniques to help you learn to visualize in meditation.
Guided meditation with a guide is a great way for beginners to learn how to meditate and visualize. After some practice, meditating and visualizing becomes easy to do on your own. Some experienced meditators still enjoy listening to a guide in meditation to give them some direction during their meditation practice.
The following are some tips to assist you in visualizing during meditation
• It is easier to visualize with your eyes closed, rather than with them open.
• Relax and don't panic if you don't see anything straight away.
• Visualization requires flexing your imagination and the right hemisphere of your brain, it can take time and practice to visualize easily and effectively.
• View the visualization as a game and a bit of fun.
• There isn't really a wrong or right way to visualize.
• Start with visualizing simple objects to begin with, and as you gain experience you can make the visualizations more elaborate.
The following is a guided step-by-step visualization process you may like to try. This is ideal if you are new to meditation or want to get your creative juices flowing.
Begin by closing your eyes. Take some slow deep breaths. Breathe in for the count of four, hold the breath for the count of four and then breathe out slowly for the count of eight. Again repeat this breathing exercise. Breathe in for the count of four, hold the breath for the count of four and then breathe out slowly for the count of eight.
In your imagination, with your eyes closed, imagine a black rectangular screen. If it makes it easier, you may like to visualize a black computer screen. Now, imagine the screen light up. In the center of the screen I would like you to visualize a circle – just the outline of the circle. I would like you now to fill the circle with the colour orange. Now imagine this orange circle transforms into an orange fruit. What does the surface and texture of the orange look like? Are there any imperfections in the skin?
Now, I would like you to visualize this orange resting on a kitchen bench. What colour is the kitchen bench? Just go with the first colour that enters your mind. Does the orange cast a shadow? Maybe there are also some wall tiles in the background. What colour are the wall tiles? Is a picture beginning to form in your mind of this scene? It's okay if you have trouble visualizing all the details, it can take practice to visualize in this way. The key is to relax and have some fun with the process.
Now, I would like you to imagine you have a camera and can view the orange from different angles. You can zoom in and out and view the scene from different angles. Have a bit of fun with this. View the orange from the top and then from the side. Does the orange look different from the different angles?
Lastly, now, visualize the orange disappearing. The light on the viewing screen dims and turns off, returning to the black screen. You may open your eyes when you are ready.
Congratulations, you have just participated in this visualization exercise. It can really be as simple as this to visualize. With practice, it will become easier to visualize more complex objects and scenes. Like anything, practice makes perfect! Good luck with your visualizing.
Brad Austen is an insightful and creative meditation teacher and a valued member of The Guided Meditation Site. Please follow this link to explore Brad Austen's guided meditations.