Meditation Using Imagery

Meditation with imagery is similar to meditation with breathing.  The only difference is the focus: on a picture, a memory, or a made up scene, all are helpful.

Start with some initial calming, such as taking a few deep breaths, stretching, or the brief muscle tensing and releasing relaxation. (See Simple Steps to Relaxation.)

A garden for meditation.

A garden for meditation.

Decide on your image.  It is possible to use an actual picture, which could be a religious picture or a picture of landscape or wildlife.  It should be something that engages your attention, and is positive and pleasant.

A made up or mental image is most often used.  Start by asking yourself what picture makes you feel relaxed and happy?  For many people this is a beach scene, for others it is a mountain scene, or clouds.  For others, a room in their home is the most relaxing.  Make this image as specific as you can.  See the actual beach, or the mountain scene.

If your image is a room in your home or another room that is familiar, be aware of the decoration and the furniture of the room, especially those that make the scene relaxing and positive for you.

Build in all of the security that you need.  If you are fearful of someone coming up from behind you while you are on a beach, then stand against a boulder or some other large object that will be protective.  If your large dog makes you feel safe, then include the dog in your meditation.

To start the meditation, set a time for as long as you would like, I suggest starting with 10 minutes.

Take a few deep breaths to get started and continue to breathe evenly and slowly during your meditation.  Put the image in your mind, and keep your focus on it.  When you become distracted, simply bring your attention back to the image.  You may have to bring your mind back to your image over and over.  That doesn’t matter, do this as often as necessary.

A Sunset Over a Lagoon

A Sunset Over a Lagoon

Imagery can move around.  For example, on a beach you can watch the waves, you can walk along the shore, you can notice and/or pick up items on the ground.  Beaches are good images for refreshment, for dramatic change and recovery.

Gardens are good images for renewal as you allow the garden to go through seasons. Mountains are good images for the majesty of the earth, or for great personal accomplishments. Clouds give you oversight of the world, they can also be experienced as being close to God.

Your home can be an image of comfort, peace, safety, and contentment.

Feel free to explore, while you are doing these meditations.

At the end of the time you have set for your meditation, gently come back into the present, stretch, take a few deep breaths and congratulate yourself for completing a process which contributes so much to your health.