If you've ever done a google search for meditation techniques, you can probably literally find thousands. Most of them are actually helpful, but lying around for 10 minutes listening to your breathing isn't exactly the most exciting thing in the world. In this article, I will guide you through the various steps that will help you master visualization meditation.
Visualization meditation is not simply laying down and clearing your mind while focusing on your breathing. It's using your imagination to take you to a place that relaxes you.
Step One: Relaxing Your Body
Find a place that is quiet and comfortable, as you get more practiced at this meditation you can do it easily in louder environments, but for now find as quiet of a place as you can. If you do not want to risk falling asleep (which happens often), sit comfortably on the floor or a chair. However, for the maximum relaxation, I recommend laying down on a bed.
As you lay there, make a conscious effort to relax yourself. Start from the very tips of your toes and feel your muscles relaxing one by one until your face and head are completely relaxed. If you've truly entered this relaxed state, your body will become heavy as if it is trying to sink into the ground.
This state can be used on its own as a type of meditation. I find it very helpful when trying to get to sleep. As long as you don't let your mind wander to anywhere, you won't even realize you fell asleep until you wake up.
Step Two: Find Your Place
Now that you've completely relaxed yourself it's time to used your imagination to find a place that you are comfortable in. Humans weren't meant to be surrounded by the bricks and steel that are found in the city, so I would suggest somewhere outside.
Find a place you would love to be. It doesn't have to be a real place or one you've been to. It can be an empty beach or deep within a forest. Use your mind to paint a picture. Imagine yourself walking around it. Feel how warm the sun is on your skin. Feel the ground beneath your feet. If there is water, imagine the temperature, and feel the current brushing against your skin as you dip a hand in it. The more you feel about this place the more real it will seem.
Take a seat somewhere and just take in the details. Let those details burn into your mind so you can visit this place another time if you so choose. This is your place and only your place, nothing can bother you while you are here. This is a place to unwind.
It's important that you focus and don't allow your mind to wander during this part of the meditation. Just focus on exploring your place and nothing else. If you let your mind wander to what you are making for dinner, the visualization is for naut.
Many people use this place as a stepping stone to meet their spirit animal or their spirit guide who can help you work out the solution to a particularly difficult problem, but that is another guide for another time.
Step Three: Leaving
When you are ready to leave, take another look at your place as if you were further back. Take in every detail and know that you can come back any time you want. Your place will be there and will be unchanged.
Close your eyes in your imagination and let your mind return to the blackness from which the image came. Take several deep breaths and open your eyes. You are now ready to continue on with your day.