Episode #10 of the course 10 easy meditations to bring calm to your everyday life by John Robin
Welcome to Day 10 of the course!
We’ve now explored nine of our ten types of meditation. We’ve seen:
• the four pillars to cultivate mindful moments
• the four pillars to cultivate mindful activity
• one of the two synergies between active and passive meditation
Today’s meditation is the second synergy. We will tap into the passive tendency of our visual mind and learn how to hone it into activity.
Visualization: Subconscious Power through the Visual Mind
Visualizing is the other thing we do that is as natural as breathing. Every moment of our day, we are visualizing. Our perspective of the world is highly visual, and in fact, much of the brain’s complex chain of higher processing involves visual specialization.
It’s just as easy to visualize as it is to breathe, which is why visualization is just as important as breathing meditation. As you’ll see shortly, it’s a true powerhouse!
Here’s an exercise to help you connect to the effects of visualization:
1. Get a blank piece of paper and put it in front of you.
2. Set a timer for two minutes.
3. Stare at the blank paper. Do not look away from it.
4. Now, think of one thing you want to accomplish. If you can’t think of something right away, think of something you want to do today. Maybe you want to cook a healthy stir-fry for dinner. Maybe you want to read for 30 minutes before bed. Choose the one that stands out to you right now.
5. Stare at the page, and now, imagine yourself doing that one thing.
6. Visualize everything this entails. Visualize what it will look like to accomplish this one thing. Visualize what it will take for you to get to this point. Visualize the results of accomplishing it. Visualize what’s in your way and how you might get around that.
7. If you find yourself looking away from the paper, look back at it. Stay focused on what you are trying to visualize yourself doing. If your mind wanders from this one thing, return your attention to visualizing it.
8. When the timer has finished, return to your focus to the present.
Stop reading and do this meditation now.
Visualization is an active meditation wherein you invoke your visual mind to focus on a specific aim or series of aims.
Visualizing yourself doing something you want to accomplish is a powerful meditation tool. It activates your visual brain, and through this, it also activates another part called the reticular activating system (RAS). This network of brain cells filters out unimportant information so important information can get through . Using visualization to create a “mental movie” of what you envision yourself doing or achieving helps your subconscious and conscious mind align together around specific aims you want to accomplish, making you more likely to accomplish them .
Training your conscious mind through visualization helps you get better at aligning your real life with your imagined life.
Let’s see this at work, by way of example.
I have visualized how to be more fit for several years. Practicing my daily habit of visualizing the beats of my day, I’ve learned how I might get my workouts in.
Just wanting to work out isn’t enough. Through visualizing, I’ve realized I have to visualize specifically what I’m going to do in order to make it happen.
• When visualizing, I may realize I’m out on errands all afternoon.
• I might see this is the best time to hit up the gym.
• I’ll see that if I’m going to make this work, I should bring my gym bag in the car.
• I’ll now go through my day with the gym bag in the car and when it comes time to do my errands, get to the gym.
This is just one example of how visualizing helps you go beyond, “Oh, I really should do this,” to, “This is exactly what I must do in order to achieve my goal.”
It’s not a guarantee. I could just as well not bother putting my gym bag in the car. I could just as well decide that I don’t feel like working out. But guess what?
Because I have the habit of visualizing my day at the start of each day, if I fail, I can try again. I can continually learn how better to visualize what I have to do until I actually get results. Then I can learn from those results and visualize better in the future.
Visualization helps you get real and get true results. You learn exactly what your capabilities are. You learn exactly how you can progress. You learn how to set goals and how to achieve them.
Visualization also creates a feedback loop:
• You visualize yourself doing something.
• You do/fail to do what you visualized, then use that to improve future visualization.
Visualization takes time and practice, but through consistently doing it, you will evolve and innovate your own inner enterprise of self-improvement.
Visualization is a form of meditation that invokes the visual mind to help you gain clarity. It will pour over into the rest of your thinking because it will change your picture of how you understand your ability to make changes to your world.
Your homework for this lesson is to practice the visualization exercise with the blank paper every morning when you start your day. Pick one aim you want to bring about in the day.
Now, as we part ways, your homework is to make a list of all ten meditations we’ve learned. Put it in a place where you’ll see it every day. Use this list to visualize how you’ll do each meditation each day, each week, for the rest of your life.
The tools are yours. May your journey bring you to a higher plane of calm, clarity, and focus to enrich your every breath of life.
I love hearing from my students. Please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org to share your thoughts on the course or with suggestions for future courses.
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