Imagination by Mind ( Eyes)

WHAT IT IS :

The eyes are a powerful sensory organ, and they’re typically hyper alert, focusing on the outside world. An imagination meditation can help you reverse this natural tendency. “Let’s say you’re walking down Broadway in Manhattan,”says Sat Hanuman, a yoga and meditation teacher based in Boston. “Your eyes get pulled toward the flashing lights, the neon signs, the shop windows. When you sit for meditation, an imagination gives your mind an image to focus on, and it pulls your eyes inward.” The mind naturally follows, and meditation becomes more effort less. Most of the imaginations Sat Hanuman teaches are based on images from nature: light,water, earth, sky, and mountains. They’re soothing to the senses, they have a quality of purity, and they tend to bring us into the present moment.

As a result, Sat Hanuman finds, the mind relaxes and the breath deepens. Once you’re able to relax, you can begin to invoke the qualities of the images you’re visualising—and this is where imagination can be transformative. “The idea is to picture something that’s soothing or balancing,” he says. “If you want your mind to be more clear, visualise a cloudless sky. If you want to feel grounded, visualise a mountain. Instil the quality of the mountain inside yourself.” Nature-based Imaginations, Sat Hanuman says,can help you harness your power of sight and use it in a way that is calming and beneficial. “Imagination can guide you out of a narrow thought pattern to something more expansive and free,” he says.

IDEAL FOR:

Visual learners, or people who learn best through sight. If you are an artist, painter,, you might find that meditations with strong visuals are easiest for you. If you always remember faces but you struggle to remember names, you are very likely a visual learner and might enjoy this practice.

PRACTICE:

THE SPINE FILLED WITH LIGHT: Start in a comfortable seated position with your eyes closed and your spine erect.Allow your body to gradually become still. Bring your awareness to your breath. Observe it coming in and going out until it settles into relaxed, natural rhythm. Then bring your attention to your spine. Feel its internal support extending from the steady base of the pelvis up through the crown of your head. Allow each breath to encourage a little more space between the vertebrae, gently elongating your spine. Next, imagine that your spine is transforming from a solid structure into a warm, brilliant ray of light. In the same way you see light passing through a window or through leaves on a tree, visualize a ray of warm, sparkling light filling your spine.

We often see our bodies as dense matter—can you imagine that effervescent light from your spine dissolving any heaviness so that all of your cells are filled with light? Focus on this image of light infusing all of your being, allowing yourself to become brighter and more radiant as you sit for 5 to 10 minutes of meditation.

Harinder

Former Sailing Sea Captain at V.Ships, Miami, FL, USA (retired in 2009). Studied BA (Sophomore) at The Principia, now lives in Jaipur, India

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