Common steps and sub-activities
The purpose of visualisation is to help you to stop thinking about everyday mundane things and concentrate upon fantasy. Visualisation is thus the process whereby you use fantasy, to teach yourself how to see things in your ‘mind’s eye’.
Visualisation is the first step in teaching the mind to concentrate on a narrow field of mental activity. The reduced activity then moves closer to the objective of no activity of body or mind to which one is aiming, you are getting there by degrees, by training your mind and body to accept less and less activity.
Visualisation is not a spiritual experience. But by visualising you help the mind to distinguish between fantasy and true spiritual experience.
A fantasy is directed consciously, you choose the subject and you direct the action and decide how the ‘plot’ is going to progress. In true spiritual experience, you have no idea which way things are going to go and may be presented [undoubtedly will be] with a whole series of scenes which are almost incomprehensible until you later examine their symbolism.
If you get lots of people talking to you and pleasant but understandable things happening with your eyes closed you are fantasising, if you get images of a world you cannot fathom, no talking at all and where what you see is beyond your comprehension you are having a spiritual experience.
It may be the first time you have ever really used your imagination in this way and may be quite an eye opener, but once you realise it is only a first step, then you can move on to concentrating on single objects – gradually narrowing down the focus.
The technique of visualisation owes much to the early experiences of Sylvan Muldoon.
Many of the modern books which have come out are based on Muldoon’s descriptions. Many, very sadly, neither give him credit for the technique, nor do the people who write about it sound as if they have personal experience of the technique progressing much beyond the fantasy stage.
The only more recent person I came across who knew, progressed and explained all this well is Paul Brunton.
Muldoon did not call the technique of visualisation by this name. He called it the ‘Dream control’ method because he generally found it worked as he drifted off to sleep.
Muldoon had a lot of out of body experiences and because the ‘phantom’ as he called it always went up if he was lying down he devised a number of dreams scenarios which involved a person ‘going up’.
By imagining himself going up, but by putting himself in a totally relaxed state – in his case he often became atonic or catatonic whilst still conscious - he believed the ‘unconscious will’ as he called it – the composer in other words – would act on the ‘dream’ - fantasy - to try to make it ‘real’.
Sylvan Muldoon and Hereward Carrington – The Projection of the Astral Body
For several nights after you retire (several weeks would be better) watch yourself during the process of going to sleep.
Try to concentrate your thoughts within yourself. Think of nothing and no one but yourself. Try to keep a close watch upon yourself, as your consciousness grows dim.
Try to remember that you are awake, but still going to sleep. You will catch the significance of this when you try it - far more than you do now, while reading it.
After you have learned to hold consciousness well up into the hypnagogic state, …., then you must go a step further and construct a proper dream to hold in mind, ….
Remember, the dream must be constructed so that your are going to be active in it; and further, it must be constructed so that the action you go through will correspond to the route taken by the phantom when projected.
What do you like to do?
Ride in an aeroplane?
Go up in a balloon?
Be sure and do (in your dream) – the thing you " like " to do. If you select something you do not like, the sensation will interiorize you [make you go back to the physical state], for it will be unpleasant.
Do that which will give you a sensation which you like and if you become fully conscious, once you are projected, you will like the sensation which you will actually get from the phantom floating in the air.
This will go a long way toward ultimate success - to have the action in the dream of such a nature that you enjoy the sensation.
Some suggested visualisations
In the list following I have provided some suggestions for pleasant activities you can visualise that help and seem to have worked, in that they have both produced states of relaxation and in some cases led on to spiritual experiences…
Some of the following visualisations come from William Buhlman’s books. This and his other books are recommended further reading for these techniques.
- Bouncy ball - imagine that you are a ball – a soft bouncy ball that is bouncing along in pleasant surroundings. Bounce up and down sometimes higher sometimes lower. Hold this bouncing motion at the same level of up and down tempo – like a pendulum or clock . It helps if the frequency is the same as your heart beat in terms of the number of bounces per minute.
- My friend Joe - This very simple visualisation technique was used by Milton Erickson in his work in hypnotherapy.
- Rising steam - Imagine steam slowly rising from every pore of your body. See, sense, and feel this steam becoming more and more dense as it rises from your body. With every breath feel the steam slowly forming into a cloud above you. Take your time, and vividly imagine the cloud becoming a floating duplicate of yourself. Now feel yourself becoming one with the cloud. As much as possible, sense and feel that your awareness is transferred into the cloud. Clearly feel yourself floating free. Hold this image as your last conscious thought
- Ballooning - There are several variations of the floating/balloon technique. You can imagine yourself in a hot air balloon gently rising up and drifting along the air currents. Picture every aspect of the balloon flight. Imagine yourself climbing into the basket, casting off the lines and floating upward higher and higher. Or you can picture your body as though it is the balloon, perhaps a hot air balloon or a balloon filling with helium. Imagine that as the hot air or gas enters your body your body expands and becomes lighter and lighter. Then let go and feel yourself going up rising slowly into the air as you allow your body to drift around in the air.
- Whirlwinds or water spouts visualisation - Imagine a vortex of water or wind. Now imagine yourself to be in this vortex , not spinning but being held there in the centre. Feel yourself being pulled up [up is better]
- Rolling visualisation - Imagine and feel that you are floating peacefully on a beautiful, calm lake. You can imagine you are in a little boat or even that you are naked and simply floating. Completely relax, and enjoy the sensations of floating free. Imagine the water to be warm – blood heat if you choose to be naked and floating. At first enjoy the floating sensations; then slowly feel that you are rolling gently back and forth. Any focused imagery that involves rolling can be effective. Again keep up a steady constant tempo don’t fluctuate the rhythm and try to keep it close to your heart beat pace.
- Rocking visualisation - Visualize that you are sitting in a favourite rocking chair or hammock or porch swing or similar comfortable swing. Gently rock back and forth. Hold this rocking motion at the same level of back and forth tempo – like a pendulum or clock . It helps if the frequency of the rock is the same as your heart beat in terms of the number of swings per minute.
- Fear release visualisation - The technique is not dissimilar to the floating and flying visualisations with the added advantage that it helps to remove the fear that many people seeking a spiritual experience often have. It enables us to use our imagination to release those fears and any other fears we may have.
- Celestial sanctum visiualisation - this method was devised by Dr Joel Whitton and is described in the book Life between life
Visualization is no more than a means to an end a way of programming the subconscious to reveal experiences of the bardo or past lives, whichever the seeker desires. Of the wide variety of techniques available, Dr Whitton favours a traditional method known as the 'celestial sanctum' that has proven itself across the centuries. This step-by-step introduction to inner attunement is thought to have originated with the Knights Templars, a Christian mystical order which flourished at the time of the crusades.
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- Atharvaveda - I 22 Charm against jaundice and related diseases
- Atharvaveda - VI 105 Charm against cough
- AwoFa'lokun Fatunmbi - And the concept of 'alien' spirits
- Battling cancer using the mind
- Buhlman, William - Affirmations take him up on the ceiling
- Christos - A Commentary by Alastair I. McIntosh - Mary's experiences
- Christos - A Commentary by Alastair I. McIntosh - Stephen
- Christos - Windows of the Mind - Becoming a bird
- Christos - Windows of the Mind - Landing upside down
- Dahl, Roald - The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar - Visualisation
- Dr Elmer Green – A description of how Biofeedback works in healing involving the autonomic nervous system
- Dr Elmer Green – The root of psychosomatic disease lies in unconscious and involuntary domains
- Dr Richard has a kundalini experience in the car
- Dr Robert Crookall - More Astral projections – Mr M. F. Rose
- Green, Drs Elmer and Alyce – Experiment - A vision using biofeedback and visualisation
- Green, Drs Elmer and Alyce – Experiment with Temperature control - with a woman convinced it would not work
- Green, Drs Elmer and Alyce – Experiments - Perception recall
- Green, Drs Elmer and Alyce – Experiments - Precognition and prophecy
- Green, Drs Elmer and Alyce – Experiments - Telepathy
- Green, Drs Elmer and Alyce – Experiments - The benefits of using EEG, biofeedback and visualisation
- Green, Drs Elmer and Alyce – Experiments – Dr Pat Norris and her dissertation on the use of guided imagery and biofeedback for change in self-image in prisoners
- Green, Drs Elmer and Alyce – Healing arrhythmia and other heart problems using biofeedback – case study
- Green, Drs Elmer and Alyce – Healing Asthma using biofeedback
- Green, Drs Elmer and Alyce – Healing Asthma using biofeedback – The work of Aman U Khan
- Green, Drs Elmer and Alyce – Healing Hypertension and stress using biofeedback, in a nurse
- Green, Drs Elmer and Alyce – Healing Hypertension, Endothelial dysfunction and Atherosclerosis using biofeedback
- Green, Drs Elmer and Alyce – Healing Hypertension, stress and Benzodiazepine dependence using biofeedback – a case study
- Green, Drs Elmer and Alyce – Healing Migraine – And recognising the underlying cause
- Green, Drs Elmer and Alyce – Healing Migraine, Hypertension and Headaches
- Green, Drs Elmer and Alyce – Healing Pain - Sensation is still present but the agony does not appear
- Green, Drs Elmer and Alyce – Healing paraplegia, cerebral palsy, spinal-cord injuries, and other CNS and neuromuscular disorders using biofeedback
- Green, Drs Elmer and Alyce – Healing Psychosomatic disease
- Green, Drs Elmer and Alyce – Healing Raynaud's disease with Autogenic training, Biofeedback and Visualisation
- Green, Drs Elmer and Alyce – Healing the Migraine of Lillian Petroni
- Green, Drs Elmer and Alyce – Healing Thyroid disease using Biofeedback
- Green, Drs Elmer and Alyce – Healing using Autogenic Training and Biofeedback
- Hogan, Ben – Healing via mind over matter
- Immediate effect of slow pace bhastrika pranayama on blood pressure and heart rate
- Integration of Complementary and Alternative Medicine Therapies into Primary-Care Pain Management for Opiate Reduction in a Rural Setting
- Lancelin, Dr Charles - The process of dynamic willing in OBEs
- Mircea Eliade - The Heat of the Mystic
- Music Therapy - Catherine O’Leary and Martha with Psychological trauma and extreme unhappiness
- Patricia Garfield - Lucid dreaming as a precursor to OBEs
- Professor Arthur Ellison - Goes out of Body
- Rope climbing
- Schwarz, Jack - Beyond Biofeedback by Drs Elmer and Alyce Green – Healing via visualisation and mind control
- Six Dharmas of Nāropa - 02 Special Preparations
- Six Dharmas of Nāropa - 06 Gtummo - Meditation on the Three Pillars
- Six Dharmas of Nāropa - 07 Gtummo - The Practice of Visualizing Words
- Six Dharmas of Nāropa - 08 Gtummo - The Practice of Vase-Breathing
- Swami Rama - 01 Using biofeedback as an aid to the meditation of traveling through the body
- Swami Rama - 02 The Swami increased the temperature difference between the left and right sides of his hand and slowed his heart
- Swami Rama - 03 The Swami stops his own heart
- Swami Rama - 04 The Swami causes a fourteen-inch aluminum knitting needle to rotate on a pivot in the laboratory
- Swami Rama - 07 The Swami produces cysts and tumours on demand
- Swami Rama - 08 The Swami and psychokinetic experiments
- The OBE case histories of Dr John Palmer at John F Kennedy University - 01 Using sensory deprivation and relaxation
- The OBE case histories of Dr John Palmer at John F Kennedy University - 03 The EEG and theta waves
- The OBE case histories of Dr John Palmer at John F Kennedy University – 02 Using vibrating chairs
- The OBE case histories of Dr Richard Green - 01 Transferring consciousness to a light bulb
- Thich Nhat Hanh - The Miracle of Mindfulness - The Pebble
- Thinking of elevators
- Tibetan Book of the Dead - Achieving Buddhahood - Part 1
- Tibetan Book of the Dead - Achieving Buddhahood - Part 2
- Tibetan Book of the Dead - Achieving Buddhahood - Part 3
- Villoldo, Dr Alberto - Cave diving and soul loss
- Woolger, Dr Roger - Other lives, Past Selves - As this highly unsavory individual, I found myself in the thick of hideous massacres
- Woolger, Dr Roger - Other lives, Past Selves - The guardian of the threshold
- Woolger, Dr Roger - Other Lives, Past selves – Edith and the terrorist who blew himself up