One afternoon, walking back home I found The Dalia Lama’s “Book of Transformation” in a tiny Tibetan-owned bookstore. This reading helped me clarify the reasons behind the benefits from my 19+ years of visualization practice. The book is based on eleventh-century Tibetan writings known as the lo-jong, literally translated as “Transforming the Mind”. My relevant findings in the book were:
1.- About the nature of thoughts and emotions: which is such that the more we engage in them the more powerful they become. We do not have the mental discipline to control the power of those thoughts and emotions. Therefore, our thoughts and emotions tend to master our mind, instead of being our mind the one mastering them.
2.- That thoughts and emotions are likely to be negative: Other thought leaders also agree on this (i.e. Karen Armstrong founder of the Charter for Compassion, and Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi author of “Finding Flow”). This negativity is mostly explained as result of our fight or flight instinct. This was a breakthrough for me, as I no longer needed to identify myself with being negative just because I let negative thoughts be in my mind.
3.- Visualization (as a way to meditate) help us to control our thoughts and emotions: By allowing time and space to focus our thoughts and emotions on positives things we help to break the cycle of negative thinking. While we visualize, we consciously focus our thoughts on positive images (i.e. goals and desires) that we want to achieve.
As a Coach, I request and recommend visualization to my clients as a tool to “get connected” with their capabilities, wisdom and desires. My clients have had life-changing events, including experiencing real life situations that became just as they had anticipated in their visualizations. (i.e. A client whose thesis’ presentation in a foreign country and language became just as she had imagined it would be, fully successful and without the presence of a person she did not want there!).
How to start visualizing? The first step is to let go of the idea that visualization requires many rules to get the desired results. Through practice you will develop the visualization routine that works for you. Just allowing time to connect and be aware of your thoughts and emotions is key to advance in the practice.
The projection of the images can be wherever you feel comfortable with. They can be inside of your mind, in the inner part of your eyelids, or even on an imaginary TV or movie screen. It is good to find a quiet place to avoid distractions and promote focus. Closing and rolling your eyes slightly up facilitates image creation. You can visualize in many positions. The favorites are lying down on your back or sitting. I generally recommend to start with “guided” visualizations until you are able to guide your own practice. You can start today with short 3 - 10 minute sessions.
In the following link to the tab “Guided Visualizations” of this page you can find several recorded guided visualizations. http://www.antoniocoach.com/guided-visualizations.html
I encourage you to start today visualizing the achievement of your 2015 intentions.
Need more reasons to start? Here are some of my achievements through visualization: successful change of country and jobs, fulfillment in relationships, and a wonderful house in the kind of neighborhood I pictured, among others.