Ashley Rae April 1st, 2012
Using Images to Guide Meditation
For this exercise, you need an image that evokes strong emotion in you, a notebook, and a writing implement. Choose strong positive emotion (makes you laugh, smile, wanna hug someone) if your goal for this exercise is progress along your path or spiritual growth. Choose strong negative emotion if you feel ready to heal some fear, anger, or sadness. Please take care of yourself – don’t explore profound fear or pain unless you know how to make yourself feel good again afterward (without drugs, preferably.)
The image can come from cards, paintings, photos, books, drawings, anywhere really. Choose a picture that has no words, or that you can cover the words. Especially if you are using a tarot or oracle card, cover the words. Words are limitting.
Have your image and your writing utensils accessible in a place where you will not be interrupted for at least 15 minutes. Leave your cell phone elsewhere or turn off the ringer. Light a candle and burn some incense if you like. Play some soft wordless music or turn on a fan to drown out sounds from outside your meditation zone. Dim the lights so it is just bright enough to see your image. Have a small snack ready to munch on when you are done, and a nourishing beverage (water, tea, etc.)
You can record the questions with appropriate pauses and play it for yourself so you don’t have to look from this page to the image and back. You can have the experience with the image first and then write all about it, or you can write after every prompt, recording the experience and exploring with it on paper as you go.
Prepare your body by stretching every muscle you can think to stretch. Rub your shoulders or neck if that relaxes you. Massage your scalp (or scratch your head.) Yawn. Take three slow, deep breaths.
Gaze at your picture.
What about this image evokes strong feelings in you? Is it the colors, the subject matter? What stands out to you?
Imagine you are inside this picture, part of it.
What can you smell, or taste?
What can you hear?
What does your body feel?
What memories come up as you explore? Sit with them. What do you need to learn from these memories? What do they have to teach you about your present and your future?
Does anything in the image inspire goals or hope?
Do you feel a sense of direction, or a desire to move through the image to a place not shown? Explore if you feel moved to.
When you are done with this exercise, stretch and take a few more deep breaths. Write down all the details you think are relevant, and meditate on the symbolism. Be open to guidance on problem-solving and on the next steps of your life path.
Before you move on to more mundane tasks, eat your snack. Nourish yourself.
Until next month, Namaste.
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