There are two types of meditation of the mind. One kind uses a mantra, or word, to concentrate. For example, we can meditate by saying the word “calm”, over and over again. Beginners can start practicing meditation for a short length of time, like 1 1/2 minutes. As you become used to meditation, you may like to increase the duration to a longer period of time.
The second kind of meditation of the mind uses visual imagery. You can choose a simple object to imagine seeing in your mind. If you’re a religious person, choose a picture or icon of your faith. If you’re non-religious, think of a simple source of light and hope, like a candle flame that flickers as it burns.
A burning candle is often accepted as a universal symbol of hope. Look at the candle in your mind’s eye. You don’t need to think of anything else. If you get distracted by thoughts like your worries, or trivial matters, return to seeing the burning candle in your mind. Do this visual imagery meditation for 90 seconds. You are only allowed to think of thoughts that are directly related to your chosen image. For instance, think about how strong the candle flame is, as it burns as a lone light. Admire the beauty of the flame. A natural event like a burning candle emits a beautiful flame that flickers and dances.
As you engage with your visual imagery, you immerse yourself with that one stimulus. You release all other stimuli that were battling for your attention. You’ll feel calm. You’ll feel ready to leave meditation and return to the real world.
You can imagine another type of image for your next session of visual imagery meditation. Or you can choose to re-use this same image.
Visual imagery – imagine a green tree full of vigor.
Visual imagery – hills.