How to use visualization in meditation

Visualization

An essential step for developing the right mindset with your meditation practice is to learn how to use a visualization practice. The use of visualization will help you find the right mental space for the most success with your meditation practice. Visualization and imagery will be used most of the time in these 3 ways 1- internal visualizations 2- external visualizations and 3- setting goals. In order to be successful with visualization and improve your mental imagery first you will need to develop deeper levels of concentration.

To enhance your concentration you will want to set a time to practice. Having a consistent practice time will allow you to focus all of your energy and you will see the best results. That said, as you improve this skill you will find it easier to do. If you are working on a project or have a competition coming up, the more you can see your self succeeding and performing at your highest level, the more likely it is to happen.

 

When you design your practice sessions, it is good to set a time limit. If you do not set time limits for your practice, especially in the beginning, it can be easy to get distracted. You may worry about interfering with other things you need to accomplish. If you just set a timer for 10-15 minutes, you can let your other concerns go knowing that you set aside enough time for them later.

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One of the most important keys to having a good productive visualization sessions is to be sure you are getting enough sleep. It is difficult to maintain deep levels of focus if we are tired. You will find that you are able to reach deeper levels in your practice when you are not deprived of sleep.

 

These are the three main visualization strategies we will teach you. Remember, your meditation blueprint may not use these techniques as a primary focus at this current time, but it is good to have these tools at your disposal because you may want to use them in the future.

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Techniques

1- Internal visualizations can be used many different ways. You can visualize emotional states, relaxation, letting go of stress and generating energy. It can also be used for tapping into isolated energy areas in the body like the lung’s or kidneys. When using visualizations for circulating the energy in the body, you can enhance and store the energy as well as guide it to specific locations for healing.

 

2- External visualizations are often used to help bring you to a present mental state in your daily activities. Maybe you are trying to focus on your next golf swing, being inspirational and energetic for your presentation, or visualizing how someone else will respond to what you say. All these techniques will help you strategize how to answer most effectively.

 

3- Lastly, the third strategy you can use is to visualize your goals. Having goals is very valuable to hold you accountable and to keep you growing in a positive direction.

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Still Resets for Meditation

Still Resets

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A couple of weeks ago we discussed the idea of daily resets. There are three types of resets that we will explore with the Meditation Insights system. Still resets, which involve breathing routines, sounds, energetic circulations and internal movements. Movement resets, including walking, standing and sitting physical movements. The final reset you will learn are mental and philosophical resets, which involve visualizations, repeated phrases and emotional reprogramming. In this article we are going to take a brief look at still resets. We will break down three different options and learn why they are used. You will quickly see how easily they can be applied and learn why you may choose one option over the other. Click Here to learn More About Meditation!

1- The first reset is the Grounding Reset. If you are distracted or are having a hard time focusing, then this one is great to try. It can be done in any comfortable position: standing, sitting or lying. Inhale and take in as much air as you can comfortably. Feel your torso expand and gently stretch, but don’t get too tense. As you exhale, make the sound OMMMMMMMM. Stretch the sound as long as you can while keeping your voice smooth and relaxed. Perform this sound for about 2-3 minutes or longer if you like.

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2- The second reset is great for stress relief or if you are feeling overwhelmed. This is one of the simplest practices to use and you will be amazed at how well it works. I call this exercise the “Quickie”. Again find yourself in a relaxed position sitting, standing or lying. Using a relaxed deep breath inhale, filling your lungs to about 80-90% capacity, and exhaling slowly. You can do this for about 25-30 breaths. When relaxed, the average person takes around 8-12 breaths per minute. This exercise can be done anywhere.

3- The third and final reset we will explore today is a charging reset. This one is best to perform either sitting or standing. You will be using your nose to breath rapidly for sets of 30 full breaths. In between each set take 3 relaxed normal breaths. Alternate in this way, between rapid and relaxed breaths, for about 2-3 minutes. When rapidly breathing try to take in as much air as possible, while finding a good balance with the rhythm of each breath. Your belly should come in forcefully, shooting the air out of your nose and expanding quickly to draw the next breath in. All three of these reset strategies are easy to apply and will help build your energy, keep you focused and ease your tension.

                                           vitruvian

 

Resets are good to do about once every hour or ninety minutes. This may seem like a lot, but since they are so easy and quick to do they will not disrupt you from your daily tasks. For the next week, evaluate your present state hourly. If you need to focus try the Grounding Exercise. If you are stressed try the “Quicky”. If you are feeling lazy, do the rapid breathing. One trick that seems to help some of my students is to set a timer on your phone to charm each hour to help keep you on track. Have fun with the practice and let us know how they are working. Next week we will teach you a few of the movement resets so make sure to look for the next lesson.

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What is “Identification”?

What is “Identification”?

What is "Identification"?
What is “Identification”?

MEDITATION IS MEANT TO BRING you to a state of watchfulness or witnessing. This means that you are a bit like someone on the sidelines. Things go by but have nothing to do with you. You do not interfere or question (whatever is) happening. You watch and, maybe, even enjoy everything that passes by.

What has this to do with the term “identification?”

In meditative practice, there is a very lengthy story of a man with a fine home. It catches fire and burns uncontrollably. The man despairs of not having sold it to the many interested buyers. He is saddened by the fact he now owns a worthless ruin. As the fire burns, one of his three sons approaches and tells him not to despair for the home was sold the day before and at a good price.

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The man is suddenly no longer identifying himself with the tragedy and watches calmly as the fire continues to rage.

The second son asks how the father can so peacefully watch the home disappear in the flames. His father reassures him that the home has already sold for a large sum. The son corrects him and says that the buyer had not fully committed to the purchase and that the house is still in his father’s hands.

Again, the man despairs at his ruin.

 

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Finally, the third son arrives and says that the buyer was honorable and agreed to still pay the full price and buy the now ruined home. Once more the old father is elated and calmly watches as the house finishes burning to the ground.

What does this tale tell us?

It shows that, although nothing actually changed in terms of the reality of the situation, the old man identified with the events when they affected him directly. This is an example of his mind controlling the situation.

What is "Identification"?
What is “Identification”?

Had he watched his mind, instead of identifying with some of the mind’s thoughts and experiences, he would have seen that his reactions had nothing to do with the fire.

His thoughts and identification with the event were not controlled by him. They were dictated by what his sons were telling him to think about it. He was the owner, he was not the owner, he was again the owner . . . he was ruined financially, he was secure, and so on.

Thus, identification is a function of the mind. Yet it is completely possible to detach from the mind’s tricks or distractions and to use watchfulness, awareness, and witnessing instead.

 

Portland Meditation Video: “The Quickie” with Sifu Jeff Patterson

 

The “no mind” state.

Consciousness allows us to watch, and in so doing we override the mind. We reduce the cloudiness that it creates and avoid identifying with what we are witnessing.

While many panic at the thought of this disassociation, it is actually a clear indication that the meditator is gaining wisdom.

 

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3 Meditation Relaxation Exercises

3 Meditation Relaxation Exercises

Meditation Relaxation Exercises
Meditation Relaxation Exercises

Lung Breathing

First, start by establishing a deep relaxed breath. Inhale and bring in as much air as possible without making yourself tight. Then exhale and let yourself melt releasing every ounce of tension in your body. This exercise can be done either standing or sitting in an up-right position. Make sure to maintain a good posture and don’t let yourself collapse as you move into deeper relaxation.

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Now after you have found your rhythm and your breathing is smooth start to roll your shoulders. First, focus on breathing into the back sides of the lungs by inhaling as your shoulders are circling up and back. Having the shoulders in the rear position will release tension across the back of the lungs giving them more room to expand and contract. Do this for at least 6-12 slow deep breaths.

Next change direction, focusing on breathing into the front sides of the lungs. This time roll the shoulders forward and down as you inhale. Do this 6-12 times with a slow relaxed breath.

 

Spine Conditioning

This exercise can be done in either a standing or sitting position as well. Begin by finding a deep relaxed breath. Then on your inhale start at the base of the spine moving each vertebra independently, roll the spine in a wave like motion all the way up to the crown then exhale as you roll forward. Continue this to the front position 9-12 times moving slowly and trying to listen internally to everything in your awareness.

After you have finished the forward rolling turn 45 degrees to the left and roll 6-9 times to this side then repeat on the right. Spine conditioning is extremely important and should be done every day to maintain good health.

 

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Abdominal Conditioning

With this training exercise start slowly. If you feel any cramping stop immediately and take a few slow relaxed breaths. The first few times you train the abdomen only do sets of ten and do not push your limit with the range of movement. If this is easy for you slowly increase by 3-5 repetitions and do this for a few days; if it feels good add a few more. The goal is to build stamina slowly and safely.

1. In and Out

This is the easiest of the abdominal drills. You can place your hand on your abdomen to assist lightly and to help increase your awareness of the movements. With this movement the abdomen moves in towards the spine and back out again; repeat with a slow rhythm.

Meditation Exercises
Meditation Exercises

2. Rolling Up and Out

This movement is done by making a wave like motion rolling the abdomen in towards the spine moving up to the lower rib cage extending forward and down, pushing out to the front. As with the previous exercise use the hand to help guide and build awareness.

3. Rolling Up and In

This movement is done by making a wave like motion rolling the abdomen up to the rib cage in towards the spine and back down again. As with the previous exercise use the hand to help guide and build awareness.

 

Portland Meditation Video: Warming Meditation with Sifu Jeff Patterson

 

4. Circling Left and Right

The abdominal muscles in this movement circle clockwise and counter clockwise. With the use of your hand place the palm on the abdomen and circle the hand in one direction following the movement with the abdomen.

Abdominal conditioning will help you build energy and increase your ability to store the energy you are creating with your training. Practice daily; this is easy to do because you can do it any time, while you are doing dishes, taking a shower or sitting at a red light. There is no excuse not to practice!

 

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What is “identification”?