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What Is Visualization Meditation?

By N. Swensson
Updated May 17, 2024
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Visualization meditation involves making a personal goal the focus of meditative practice and seeing that goal in the mind’s eye. Proponents believe that the main benefit of visualization meditation is that it trains the subconscious mind to make choices that will lead to the realization of the goal. It is also believed to be a mechanism for the mind to heal the body in instances where a person is battling a health condition. Visualization is also helpful in relieving stress and anxiety by quieting the mind. There are a variety of techniques for practicing this type of meditation that involve focusing on a goal that is very specific and trying to see it in as much detail as possible.

All forms of meditation involve focusing the mind on one specific point, which may be music, a mantra or chant, or nothing at all. That specific point in visualization meditation is a picture that is formed in the mind of a specific personal goal. For example, a runner who is training for a specific race may repeatedly envision himself or herself finishing within the needed time or winning, depending on what is desired. Someone who is faced with a serious health condition may create a vision that involves living life free of the disease or may see his or her own body in a healthy state. Meditation also involves rhythmic breathing, and some practitioners will imagine that they are expelling toxins and impurities through exhalations and cleansing and purifying the body with inhalations.

One benefit of visualization meditation is that it helps people to achieve their goals by training the mind. The subconscious mind will focus on the goal even when the person is not consciously aware of it, and it is believed that the person’s choices will then lead toward achieving the goal. Many people also believe that this practice can help the body to heal by utilizing the power of the mind. As with other forms of meditation, visualization meditation also helps to quiet and calm the mind by focusing the thoughts and preventing overactivity, which can lead to anxiety.

There are several different techniques for practicing visualization meditation. It is best practiced in a quiet room in which the person feels relaxed and calm and where there are no distractions such as television, phones, or computers. The lights can be dimmed to promote relaxation, and the person can be in any position that makes him or her most comfortable — lying or seated on the floor or on a soft cushion or mat. The practice begins with the person closing the eyes and taking slow, deep, even breaths and then beginning to form the mental picture of his or her goal. Those who are beginning meditation often find that the mind tends to wander away from the goal and that it is best to allow these other thoughts to pass away and return to it, seeing it in as much detail as possible.

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