I practise various different types of meditation depending on what I most want to get out of the session. I’m not particularly good at finding a stillness in my meditation practice and often find my mind wondering. In my last meditation post about overcoming a meditation disabilityI talk about how important it is to accept the way things are and I’m pretty satisfied with the benefits of my usual practices even though I rarely achieve a sense of stillness.
When I do decide to really aim for calm stillness I find it helpful to introduce a visualisation of light into my meditation. I’m not really very good at visualisation; visual imagery is not my preferred modality. For me visualisation is more about invoking a sense. When I visualise light in my body I’m not imagining what that would look like, I’m imaging what that would feel like. I also try to imagine the different qualities that this light brings to my body: Lightness (as opposed to heaviness), clarity, calmness, warmth, spaciousness and ease.
I’ve been taught two kinds of light visualisation. In the first I imagine the light entering my body from my crown and pouring down to the tips of my toes gradually filling my body as water fills a glass. I observe as the light fills my toes, then my feet then my ankles, imagining it bringing the qualities described above, to those areas. I watch as my body continues to fill: my calves, my knees, my thighs. I remind myself that this light is pouring through from the crown of my head and watch as it fills my buttocks and lower abdomen, bringing warm, spacious clarity. I observe the gradual filling of my abdomen and chest, then watch as it pours down to my fingers filling my hands, wrists, forearms, elbows and upper arms. The clear, calm ease spreads to my shoulders and up my neck to my head, filling me up past my chin, nose and eyes, until I am full to my crown. The light continues to pour in renewing a sense of calm, light spaciousness throughout my whole body and particularly my head.
Sometimes I turn this into a healing meditation imagining that, as the light continues to pour in, it cleanses my body forcing out any ill health. Sometimes I use it as an exercise in creativity and imagine a problem being dropped into my light filled body through my crown. I watch as the light dissolves the problem and I wait for the clarity to works its magic on it and to see what comes up. Other times I just aim for prolonging the calm sensation of being filled with this light.
The second type of light visualisation is very similar except that the light appears as a pinprick at the centre of my body and gradually grows and expands until it fills my whole body.
I’d love to hear about your experiences of this kind of visualisation. Are you a very visual person? Can you see your body being filled up with light? Or do you experience that light in some other manner? Does this kind of visualisation result in a greater sense of stillness for you?