Visualization meditation is a form of meditation which uses the imagination to focus on a particular object or scene, which then brings the mind and body to rest by freeing the mind of all other thoughts and distractions. It is perhaps one of the more fun ways of meditating as the visualization can be anything you wish, you might want to place yourself on a white sandy beach with the surf lapping gently onto the shore or you can place yourself swimming deep under the ocean with dolphins.
You can also use visualization for everyday objects such as a candle flame, a piece of fruit, a rock, a favourite crystal or a favourite piece of art work. Whatever you choose for your visualization it is only limited by your imagination. It is a great way to relax and ease away the stress and strain of everyday living and the more outlandish your visualization the more fun it is. Here are two ways you can use visualization as meditation:
The candle flame
This could be a lightly scented candle, one that floats on water in a shallow dish or any regular candle. Place the candle on the table, you might wish to play some soft ambient music in the background or choose to practice your meditation quietly, sit on the floor or chair, whichever feels the most comfortable to you.
Begin taking slow deep breaths in through the nose and out through the mouth, let your body and mind become still as you start to focus on the candle flame. Let all other thoughts, feelings and worries gradually drift away as you watch the flame intently; notice how the flame flickers in the slightest breeze.
Begin to notice the colours in the flame, the yellows, and oranges, the white parts of the flame and how these colours blend into one another. If your mind starts to wander and you lose concentration then gently bring it back to the flame.
Notice all the little movements of the flame the way it dances and the slight drift of smoke from it, if there is wax running down the candle notice how it trickles down and forms in the candle holder. Continue focusing and watching the flame until you are ready to come out of your meditation, let out a sign and focus on how your body feels, does it feel warm, heavy, notice how your muscles feel as you stand and go about your daily routine.
The secret cove
Find a comfortable place to sit or lie, make sure your clothing is comfortable and you won’t be disturbed for 15 minutes or so. Begin taking deep breaths in through the nose and out through the mouth letting the stress flow away with every exhalation, as you close your eyes you realise there is a small boat tied up to the dock, picture yourself walking over to the boat and being seated in it.
You are looking out over the clear blue ocean, the sky has a few white fluffy clouds, the sun is shining and warm on your skin. As the boat leaves the dock in the near distance you can see a cove, as the boat moves slowly through the water listen to the sound the ocean makes as it hits the boat.
You near the cove, it is set back into two huge cliffs, and flowing down one of them you see a sparkling waterfall cascading down. As the boat comes to the shore you see white sand stretching for miles with the surf gently lapping onto it, listen to the sound the water makes slowly lapping onto the beach, notice how it sparkles and the colours of it.
Feel the warm sun against your skin notice how this feels, as you enter the cove you see the waterfall falls into a large pool of freshwater, there are palm trees overhanging and greenery all around. Notice the smell of the tropical flowers and the greenery, as you glance upward you see small tropical birds flitting around notice how brightly coloured they are, hear the sound they make.
You walk over to the pool of water and sit on a large warm rock feeling the sun beating down against your skin and face, notice how this feels, the warmth of it. Listen to the tinkling sounds the waterfall makes as it splashes down into the pool of water below, gaze at your reflection in the pool as you sit breathing slowly and deeply.
When you are ready to come out of your meditation listen for the boat gently blowing its whistle to tell you its time to leave, slowly opening your eyes and focusing on how your body feels, the warmth that courses through you, the feelings of peace within you. Hold onto these feelings as you go about your daily life.