Posts Tagged ‘visualization’

I am working with a client (she has given me permission to write about this) who noticed that her heart felt tight…like a little ball.  I asked her what it looked like in there…was there a color, a texture, a shape.  Nothing came to mind immediately, but when we next met she told me that she had seen what it was.  It was a flower in bud form.  Tightly closed.  She said that she then began visualizing that flower opening, right there in her chest until it was in full bloom.  Multi-layered, open, flexible…and beautiful.  She said every time she feels that familiar tightness, she sees the flower and imagines it opening.  That visualization prompts her to breathe and feel a little better.  Instead of having to think about what is making her heart tight, she just goes right to the flower.

My client’s experience made me think about something that is bugging me.  Kind of present, kind of not.  Not really something I have control over.  I asked myself what this thing would look like if it separated from me and I got a clear vision of a butterfly.  I wondered whether it might be a big strong bird, but no, it was definitely a butterfly.  So, I decided to let it go in our garden.  I know it will be there when/if I need it, but for now it’s flitting from flower to flower and taking care of itself.  And I’m a little freer.

As I contemplated the idea of the sand mandala that Tibetan monks made at my kids’ school and then swept away (see my earlier post), I kept getting an image of how we all sort of make these “mind” mandalas that we build on and build on, but don’t sweep away.

Okay, here’s what I mean.  We all have recurring thoughts that run through our heads.  Sometimes they’re negative…something that nags and makes you feel bad.  Other times they’re good…maybe something you’re looking forward to or makes you feel happy.  I would argue, based on nothing but my intuition, that humans go back to the negative feelings more often than the positive ones.  We obsess about the things that bother us.  And so I imagine that every time we go back to one of those thoughts, it’s like we’re putting another grain of sand in the mandala to that particular thing.

Let’s say you have a boss you don’t like.  In your head, you revisit this subject often, putting in all the reasons you don’t like this person…one grain at a time.  If you say that each different point you make is a different color, I would bet there are a lot of repeat colors because our minds go over the same thing again and again.  To what end?  We create this elaborate mandala, beautiful in a way, to something that upsets us.  And we just take for granted that it’s there and permanent in some way.

Why not sweep it away?  Why keep feeding it?  It’s okay to feel angry or hurt or not heard, but as long as you hold on to that mandala, nothing will change.  What about creating one quickly…putting together every element you can come up with.  Pouring your energy into this thing and then simply sweep it away, and not accept this status quo mandala you’re holding onto in your head.