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
Memorizing a holy image as an act of intense devotion.
Focusing on the face of someone for whom you are interceding
Visualizing light for energy or healing
Seeing injured or ill parts of the body as healthy when doing interior
work for healing.
Creating an interior sanctuary.
Using the imagination when reading Scripture -- placing your self in
the story (The Ignatian method)
When performing "Practical Work", or "Pathworking" [Visualizing specific
scenarios to gain a deeper understanding from the symbols used.]
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
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
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."