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Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Wellness: Learning to Visualize in Meditation

If you've been following the last couple of posts, you'll know that I've been focusing on meditation. In the last post, I explored the Safe Place Meditation where you imagine engaging as many of your senses as you can in a relaxing place of your choice.

The Challenge of Visualizing During Meditation
For many people, visualizing during meditation can be a challenge. When they close their eyes and try to visualize, nothing comes and they might feel discouraged. If this happens to you, the good news is that you can practice and improve your visualization skills. If you're patient, it usually gets better with practice over time.

The Challenge of Visualizing During Meditation
Visualization Exercises
One way to practice is to take a simple object, like an apple, and use that to practice. For instance, if you're using a red apple, place it in front of you, at eye level, if possible. Now, notice the color. Really notice the quality of the red. Is it a deep rich red or a lighter red? Are there other colors on your apple? Maybe your apple is also partly green. Notice what kind of green it is. Now, notice the size and shape of the apple. Is it short and round in the middle and flat at the top and bottom or is it wider at the top, round in the middle and narrow at the bottom? Is the stem still attached? Are there any bruises on the apple. Take your time. Spend a few minutes looking at the apple. Now, close your eyes, take a couple of deep breaths and picture your apple. If nothing comes, open your eyes and focus on the color again. Practice doing this a few times. A lot will depend on how much you can relax.

You can start by trying to visualize an apple
As your power to visualize improves, you can try other objects (sea shells, flowers, and whatever other objects you like). You can also use photographs of people's faces. The process would be the same--focus on the picture, notice the features, and then close your eyes and "see" the face from the picture.

You might try visualizing a sea shell
As I've mentioned before, visualizing usually gets better with practice so don't get discouraged. Let yourself have fun with this. Allow your playful side to come out and enjoy visualizing.

Or, you could practice visualizing a flower
You Might Have Other Sense Experiences 
The other important thing to realize is that you might have other skills, aside from visualizing, that work for you.  For instance, some people are very good at having a felt sense in their bodies.  Other people can imagine in their "mind's ear" hearing music.  What's important is not which sense is most dominant for you, but that you have a sense that you can use to help you to relax and meditate.

I am a licensed NYC psychotherapist, hypnotherapist, EMDR and Somatic Experiencing therapist. 

To find out more about me, visit my website: Josephine Ferraro, LCSW - NYC Psychotherapist

Please feel free to call me at (212) 726-1006 to set up a consultation.

Also, see my article:  Wellness: Meditation 

Photo Credits:  Photo Pin

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