Basic "Non-Expectation" Meditation

Week 4 Visualization, the use of the imagination. The mind poisons of Anger, greed, delusion. Mediation as a tool for forgiveness.


Visualization is a vast topic, and many detailed books have been written on this subject alone. Essentially, for our purposes here, the ability to visualize serves as one more focal point or support for meditation. One visualizes by "seeing" an object in the  imagination or with the "mind's eye". The ability to visualize in great detail varies from person to person, but everyone can cultivate this faculty. Even people who say that they can not visualize can  generally see the face of their mother or child in the Mind's Eye,  or a triangle, or a circle, or something. With practice, you can proceed from there. Common uses of visualization include:

The Mind Poisons

The three classic "Mind Poisons" are Anger (or Hatred), Greed (or Avarice), and Delusion (or Stupidity). They correspond to  the three probable responses of our judgement to those thoughts that  arise during mediation. Anger corresponds to our versions to negative thoughts, greed corresponds to our attraction to positive thoughts, and delusion corresponds to our endancy to discount or ignore that which we judge neutral or inconsequential.

All these Mind Poisons exist in all humans, but each of us has one  which which is predominant in our personality. Identifying which of the characteristics is predominant in our personality and identifying this characteristic can be a valuable tool in self-
understanding. Also, identifying our predominant Mind Poison can give us an indication of our greatest gift - the poison's "opposite" - and learning to loosen the grip on each poison naturally cultivates that opposite. Thereby the angry person can become capable of great equanamity, the greedy person of great generosity, and the deluded person of wisdom.


Forgiveness is probably the most important virtue we humans can develop - for our own peace of mind, if not for the peace of the whole world. It is, without a doubt, the most difficult. Many people torture themselves most of their lives with guilt because
of a desire to forgive, but being seemingly unable to do so. The topic of forgiveness belongs here with Visualization and the
Mind Poisons because these techniques offer some practical help in working with the interior resistance to forgive those who have injured or disappointed us.

C.S. Lewis was once criticized for his teaching on forgiveness by someone who said "Well, how would you feel about forgiving the Nazis if you were a Jew?" Lewis responded by suggesting that it was not helpful to attempt Calculus while is one is still working on Arithmatic. But we have to start somewhere.

Learning to reliquish the simple judgements we make about our own  thoughts during meditation can train us to learn to relinquish our destructive judgements of other people (as opposed to merely  suppresing them). Becoming acquainted with the marvelously adaptable  qualities of the mind through visualization -- its capacities for great flexibility and spaciousness -- will likewise give us the tools  we need to think the unthinkable, do the impossible: to bless those curse us, to love our enemies, to forgive our persecutors and slanderers from our heart, to offer to ALL beings the same compassion and ultimate acceptance we desire for ourselves.

If this doesn't work for you, you might consider looking at it from the angle of Nietzche: "That which can't be forgiven, must sometimes just be forgotten."