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Author Topic: Simple techniques to improve visualisation  (Read 2738 times)
blackiswhite2009
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« Topic Start: July 19, 2008, 08:45:50 am »

Hi all,
I'm looking for simple techniques to strengthen visualisation and it's associated experience.
Ideally, these exercises can be performed within 15 minutes a day - to start with.
Please also recommend something that a beginner could use.
Peace, BIW.
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Jenett
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« Reply #1: July 19, 2008, 09:54:26 am »

Hi all,
I'm looking for simple techniques to strengthen visualisation and it's associated experience.

The simple answer is to practice - start simpler and move up from there. The way I learned, we worked with all senses, not just visual, so we started with simple shapes (blue circle, red triangle, etc.) moved from there to symbols (pentacle, spiral, etc.) and from there to starting to create a simple scene.

Likewise, start with a simple sound (a bell, a clap) and move on to simple tunes and more complex sounds. Or tactile sensations. Or smells (start with an orange, move on to 'last night's dinner')

Generally, pick one sense per session while you're starting out - as you get more comfortable with it, and move up to an entire scene, you start adding them in together.
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wisdomsbane
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« Reply #2: July 19, 2008, 01:44:11 pm »

The simple answer is to practice - start simpler and move up from there. The way I learned, we worked with all senses, not just visual, so we started with simple shapes (blue circle, red triangle, etc.) moved from there to symbols (pentacle, spiral, etc.) and from there to starting to create a simple scene.

Likewise, start with a simple sound (a bell, a clap) and move on to simple tunes and more complex sounds. Or tactile sensations. Or smells (start with an orange, move on to 'last night's dinner')

Generally, pick one sense per session while you're starting out - as you get more comfortable with it, and move up to an entire scene, you start adding them in together.

I did things backwards.  But this sounds like a good idea.  I never had any help when I was first learning such techniques.  I had wanted something to take me out of certain situations, and calm me.  I used what I had imagined from something in the "Little House" series as my basis.  Sitting in a covered wagon, all alone, with a slight breeze blowing, sometimes I even felt the movement of the wagon.  As I already had the impressions from what I had read, it wasn't a very difficult thing to do.  But if I had tried something that I didn't have any "impressions" of, I would have been completely lost.

Maybe I'll try using your methods with my kids, when I start teaching them these things.
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« Reply #3: July 19, 2008, 04:35:02 pm »

I did things backwards.  But this sounds like a good idea.  I never had any help when I was first learning such techniques.  I had wanted something to take me out of certain situations, and calm me. 

That's another way to go - but students I've talked to about that approach mention that it's sometimes harder for them to develop other sets of skills, or to be in other places, and that starting from scratch helped a lot in rounding things out.

The bit I didn't mention, and should have, is that it's quite common for people to have one sense that is really well developed (sometimes more than one). Mine was music - forget making a simple sound in my head, I'd already been creating fully orchestrated music in my head for a while (I was a music major in college, focusing on compositition and theory, so obviously, had spent a lot of time developing skills in that area.) But with visual stuff, it was very very hard for me for a long time (but is now more reliable.)

You can also do things outside meditation that will help improve skills. Oddly enough, MMORPG games like World of Warcraft helped click some things into place for me, like what it's like to be moving in a changing environment, that didn't quite click for me otherwise (I think because I wasn't physically walking, and could focus entirely on what my eyes were taking in.) Obviously, things like close observation, or art, or attentive eating (for smell and taste) will all help, too.
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« Reply #4: July 19, 2008, 06:15:06 pm »

Ideally, these exercises can be performed within 15 minutes a day - to start with.
Please also recommend something that a beginner could use.
Peace, BIW.

Hey, BIW - I'm a fellow beginner, but for whatever it's worth, what has been most valuable to me (particularly with a time constraint factor) is to concentrate on what comes naturally. As Jenett said, there's usually at least one faculty that's already well developed, and can be a huge help in taking those first steps. For me, it's visual; colors, in particular. Chakra meditation ('awakening the serpent') is a daily ritual for me, no matter how crammed my schedule; the color linked with energy, elements, and personal characteristics heightens my awareness in every aspect. Of course it's just an initial step, and not perhaps very sophisticated; but it's quite effective and builds strength for moving onward & upward (at least IMHO).  Wink
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wisdomsbane
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« Reply #5: July 20, 2008, 05:50:06 pm »

That's another way to go - but students I've talked to about that approach mention that it's sometimes harder for them to develop other sets of skills, or to be in other places, and that starting from scratch helped a lot in rounding things out.

The bit I didn't mention, and should have, is that it's quite common for people to have one sense that is really well developed (sometimes more than one). Mine was music - forget making a simple sound in my head, I'd already been creating fully orchestrated music in my head for a while (I was a music major in college, focusing on compositition and theory, so obviously, had spent a lot of time developing skills in that area.) But with visual stuff, it was very very hard for me for a long time (but is now more reliable.)

You can also do things outside meditation that will help improve skills. Oddly enough, MMORPG games like World of Warcraft helped click some things into place for me, like what it's like to be moving in a changing environment, that didn't quite click for me otherwise (I think because I wasn't physically walking, and could focus entirely on what my eyes were taking in.) Obviously, things like close observation, or art, or attentive eating (for smell and taste) will all help, too.

Well, for me, when I read fiction, and sometimes nonfiction depending on the style, I tend to lose myself in the setting, if that makes sense.  I can feel (physically and emotionally) what the characters are feeling, and see what they are seeing, etc.  I guess I was just naturally adept at visualization, although I had never heard of it before I started researching religion.  I just called it "imagining".  Which is actually just as appropriate a term for most of the uses of visualization.  Using the creative areas of your brain to allow yourself to be immersed in a time and/or place distinct from the one you are actually in.  Or the use of the same mechanisms to call up images, tastes, smells, etc.  that you are not and/or cannot be experiencing at the time.

And when I said that I did things backwards, I meant that.  I actually learned to do some of the things you mentioned, after I had learned my own "escape" mechanism.  I still use that today to help put myself in a state where I can try to calm my asthma attacks.  But I think it's fun to just sit and picture things, or try to recall other sensory impressions.

A piece of advice, if you have trouble with the scents and smells, especially of food.  Try it when you are hungry.  I get that one automatically, especially since my children were born (a long lasting side effect of cravings would be my guess).
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