The Practice of Imagination—Alternative to Meditation

Imagining is another form of meditation. It may be useful for those who find themselves unable to practice traditional meditation. Studies have shown that meditation changes the structure of our brain and increases our well-being. It also strengthens and quickens our capacity to solve problems. 

Imagining helps us to reconnect to who we truly are. It strips away any false narratives which we adopt out of fear or perceived need. 

How to begin.

Find a quiet place where you feel safe. 

Shut your eyes and place your hand on your heart. Feel the warmth of your heart. Think of your heart as your connection to everything thriving and good—as an ally, as a nourisher, as a place of sanctuary. 

Think of several things or people or experiences you are grateful for. Do this in as much detail as possible. Express your gratitude for these things. 

If you are unpracticed at imagining, it may be difficult to do this next step without a visual structure. If you are comfortable writing, (if it feels natural to you), you can write your imagining. To do this you merely write a story of something you wish to be part of, see, experience, etc. It can involve someone else. For instance it can be a story about a friend in a thriving situation, that you know they desire to experience. Write your story with as much detail as possible, so when you read it back you feel and see the story as real in your imagination. 

If the story is something you would like to experience, then create a simple scene. For instance, if you long to be in the forest, describe a cedar tree, it’s bark, it’s smell, and notice a small animal near by. If you want to drink fresh water, describe coming across a natural spring, and describe the taste of the water. 

Spend at least twenty minutes a day imagining. Eventually you will not need to write out your images. You will merely close your eyes and imagine your created scene. The more skilled you become, the more real your scenes will become, until they will seem nearly as real as the world you see with open eyes. They will nourish you and add to your well-being. 

You will also find that doing this will make it easier to problem solve. You can ask yourself for a solution before you begin to imagine. And as you imagine another scene, a solution may become part of it. Or later, when you are thinking about something else in a relaxed state a solution will appear as an image. 

We are amazing human beings with the natural skill of imagination. Each person creates their own unique imaginings. These personal filters are created by our DNA and fostered by surrounding ourselves in a thriving environment. It is this diverse pattern of discernment that creates the complex and beautiful world around us.

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