Visualization within meditation involves holding one–pointed attention on some form of selected imagery. This serves three purposes:

  • To Increase skills in one-pointed concentration. For example, holding the image of a candle flame in your ‘mind’s eye’, then progressing to more complex images as your abilities improve.
  • To facilitate specific movements or ‘openings’ of energy within the body, as commonly practiced in Daoist meditations, where pathways of ‘life force’ are influenced. Also, in raja yoga, to activate or ‘open’ one of the chakras, or energy centres.
  • To focus our attention on the qualities to which we aspire, as embodied in the visual image of being or deity who possesses these qualities, or in a mandala that evokes these attributes.
Some people are able to visualize things easily whilst others find it difficult. It depends on whether or not you have a visual imagination. Either way, the ability to hold an image within your mind takes some practice. Developing any skill is best approached by starting from a point of simplicity and systematically progressing to the more complex. Therefore, taking a very straightforward image is a good way to start.

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