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How to Visualize

Friday, June 20, 2008

Just in case any one is still having problems with "visualizing" this is what Shakti Gawain had to say about it in her book "Creative Visualization:

Many people wonder exactly what is meant by the term "visualize." Some worry because they don't actually "see" a mental picture or image when they close their eyes and try to visualize. When some people first try to visualize, they feel that "nothing is happening." Usually, they are simply blocking themselves by trying too hard. They may be feeling that there's a "right way" to do this, and that their own experience is incorrect or inadequate. If this is how you feel, you need to stop worrying, relax, and accept what happens naturally for you.


Don't get stuck on the term "visualize." It is not at all necessary to mentally see an image. Some people say they see very clear, sharp images when they close their eyes and imagine something. Others don't really "see" anything; they sense or feel it, or they just sort of "think about" it. That's perfectly fine. Some people are visually oriented, some are auditory, others are more kinesthetic. We all use our imaginations constantly, it's impossible not to, so whatever process you find yourself doing when you imagine is fine.

If you still don't feel sure what it means to visualize, read through the following exercise, then close your eyes and see what comes naturally to you.

The exercise:

Close your eyes and relax deeply. Think of some familiar room such as your bedroom or living room. Remember some familiar details of it, such as the color of the carpet, the way the furniture is arranged, how bright or dark it is. Imagine yourself walking into the room and sitting or lying down on a comfortable chair, couch, or bed.

Now recall some pleasant experience you have had in the last few days, especially one involving good physical sensations such as eating a delicious meal, receiving a massage, swimming in cool water, or making love. Remember the experience as vividly as possible, and enjoy the pleasurable sensations once again.

Now imagine that you are in some idyllic country setting, perhaps relaxing on soft green grass beside a cool river, or wandering through a beautiful, lush forest. It can be a place that you have been, or an ideal place where you would like to go. Think of the details, and create it any way you would like it to be.

Whatever process you used to bring these scenes to your mind is your way of "visualizing."

There are actually two different modes involved in creative visualization. One is receptive, the other is active. In the receptive mode we simply relax and allow images or impressions to come to us without choosing the details of them; we take what comes. In the active mode we consciously choose and create what we wish to see or imagine. Both these processes are an important part of creative visualization, and both your receptive and active abilities will be strengthened through practice.


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