- in Self-Care
Visualization is really a form of meditation.
It has special applications as a healing method, however, and using it for this purpose differs slightly from the more traditional meditative practices. For this reason, we will consider it separately.
It has been estimated that the average person uses only 10 percent or less of the capabilities inherent in the human mind. My guess is that this number is considerably lower.
Our thoughts are so scattered and unfocused that most of us scarcely harness anywhere close to 10 percent of our mind’s full capacity. This is unfortunate, for focus, desire, and belief are the holy trinity of forces that shape our destiny.
When you concentrate with genuine desire on the things you believe you are fully capable of manifesting into your life, you become an active, conscious participant in the creation of your experience.
For those readers who have studied this teaching in books like Law of Attraction and The Secret, you probably already understand this concept. If not, it is something every human being who wishes to live a life of empowerment must master. When concentration, desire, and belief align, miracles become possible.
In my late teens and early twenties before I had kids, I used to ride a motorcycle. I knew it could be dangerous, but I didn’t care. It was fun, cheap transportation, and I was young. Back then I didn’t even bother to wear a helmet, I never received any formal rider’s training, and I didn’t even have a motorcycle license. In reality, I didn’t know the first thing about riding, though of course I thought I did.
Fortunately, I never had an accident, but I did have a few close calls. After my first daughter was born, I joined the real world and figured I’d better make an effort to stick around the planet a while. I sold my bike and bought a four-door compact car, and I always wore my seatbelt.
Many years later, well after my girls were fully grown, I decided to take up riding again when gas prices skyrocketed to four bucks a gallon. This time, however, the first thing I did was go take a rider’s safety course. The class was a fantastic experience. I never thought I could learn so much about riding a motorcycle, and riding life, all at once. In fact, the class’s very first lesson turned out to be one that could be applied to life in many arenas, and which I will remember forever:
Always look in the direction you want to go!
As it turns out, a motorcycle is not steered by your arms and your body weight so much as with your eyes and your focus. Where you look is where you will go. Focus on the potholes in the road, the cars that suddenly veer in front of you, or the trees along the side of the street, and you become an accident waiting to happen. Suddenly, those close shaves I’d had as a kid while riding my little red 305 cc Kawasaki made sense.
Also as it turns out, this principle applies to the general hazards of life, no matter what topic we are considering: focus on your troubles, and you will likely find those troubles multiplying and expanding; concentrate on lack, and you will probably create more deprivation in your life; obsess about disease, and illness may gradually become a way of life for you.
Have you ever seen one of those funny videos of a new snow skier heading down a bunny slope for the first time?
He starts out at the top of a gentle hill that has been completely cleared of obstacles...except, perhaps, for one skinny little tree at the bottom of the slope, way off to the side.
As he sets off, you know there’s no way he’s going to hit the tree because he has the entire empty, treeless space in front of him. Yet, because he’s looking right at the one obstacle in his path in the hopes of avoiding it, he somehow manages, incredibly, to angle right for it, all the way down the hill, until he crashes straight into it.
Why does this happen?
In one word — focus. Just as you can’t steer a motorcycle with your body, neither can you steer skis, or a bicycle, or life with your body.
The moral of this story is that if you want to attract success, happiness, and health into your life while avoiding the trees, you must train your mind to focus on what you wish to have, not on the things you want to avoid.
Do not fixate on the obstacles in your path unless you want to be drawn into them. Instead, when trees and potholes pop up — and they will! — you must train yourself to concentrate on the path around them.
In the context of healing, this means you should avoid filling your mind with images and thoughts about everything that is wrong with you, or that could go wrong in the future.
Why not obsess over all that is right with your mind and body?
Cultivate a sense of anticipation that steers you toward good health and increasing strength, vitality, and happiness. In other words, focus on the positive, not on the negative. Make it a habit, and remember that doing so is nothing more complicated than a choice. Do not delude yourself into believing otherwise.
Now that you understand the importance of focus, the next thing to clarify is the role desire plays in shaping your life. A general guideline about desire states:
That which you truly want, in the depths of your heart, is that which will manifest in the circumstances of your life.
Now, this rule doesn’t necessarily apply to specifics, and it is heavily influenced by what you believe you deserve. For instance, you may tell yourself that you want a million dollars, but that is just the form of your desire. What you are really asking for is financial security and freedom. Also, the words you use don’t necessarily matter.
Perhaps you tell yourself you want to be rich, but if you don’t believe you deserve financial stability, it’s never going to happen. Essentially you are lying to yourself. Your mouth is saying one thing, but your heart is singing an entirely different tune. Yet it is only the heart that the universe listens to because it is only the heart that is incapable of lying. Words, on the other hand, are easily manipulated.
Because of the profound affect your desires have on your life, if you want to be in control of your destiny, you need to get ultra clear on what it is you truly want, as well as ultra clear on what it is you believe you deserve.
In order to do this, you have to get real with yourself, which means you need to become supremely open and honest, even if the truth turns out to be less than appealing.
Open your awareness to what you authentically believe you want out of life, whatever it happens to be. This is the only way to clear room for change. Make an honest and detailed appraisal of the things you truly long for, and then ask yourself if you also believe you deserve those things.
If it turns out you don’t like the things and circumstances your heart longs for, change your goals; and if you find you do like them but you don’t believe you deserve them, it’s time to upgrade your sense of self-worth.
Honesty requires courage, and what you find may surprise you as you dig through the various motivations and hopes that populate your consciousness.
Most people suffer from lowly self-images, and very few of us aspire to the heights of which we are capable. If you discover this is true for you, I urge you to challenge any and all false, self-defeating opinions of who you are and what you are capable of achieving.
There is no question about it — you have talents that you are not even aware exist, and those talents are lying dormant, unappreciated and unused while you fail to seize your potential.
So focus is like the steering wheel of life, and desire is the engine that fuels our journey.
Ultimately you need to be in control of both these forces, or your life will essentially be stuck on autopilot mode, and you may perceive your life to be chaotic and out of control.
Belief is the king of all the forces that shape our lives. It can be a limiter or a liberator, depending on the particular belief. Our capabilities are limited by nothing more than what we personally believe we can accomplish.
It is not enough to want the best out of life; you must also believe that your goals are really possible to achieve.
This is why a patient must believe he or she is capable of healing in order to do so. The need to believe in your ability to meet your goals goes beyond healing, however.
It is applicable to all areas of your life, from professional goals to relationships to physical capabilities, and beyond. Students must believe they are capable of passing a test if they wish to succeed; doctors must trust that their patients can be successfully treated; business executives must have faith in themselves to close the deals that build their companies.
If you don’t think you can do it, neither will the universe — because you are the universe. The Life Force that makes up your own life is the same Force that shaped the cosmos. This Force can neither be limited nor prevented from extending; it can only be directed.
The message here is simply that you must sculpt and direct your beliefs carefully and consciously.
If you believe life is bleak and bad and filled with darkness, pain, and disaster, so will it seem to be. If you think life is a place of hope and happiness, and you believe you were born into the world to add to the abundance of joy where there is joy, and to bring light and healing where there is a need for it, this happy state will become your reality.
Whether or not you are aware of the formula of creation, it is true, it is always in force, and it adds up to your destiny.
One: Focus on what you want, and not what you do not want.
Two: Make sure your efforts are in line with your authentic desires.
Three: Believe in your ability to achieve your goals and shape your life, and trust in the universe to help you along the way.
Write this formula down, cut it out, and tape it to your bathroom mirror or on your fridge so you see it every morning before you walk out the door:
Focus + Desire + Belief = Destiny
The Art of Visualization
Visualization is a tool that can help you consciously direct these three forces. It is a way of clarifying what it is you want to manifest in your life, bringing it into clear, mental focus, and holding it there. It is based on the notion that what becomes real in the mind becomes real in the flesh.
This means that if you are able to see something in your mind first, clearly, and hold your intention to bring that something into your life without allowing negative beliefs and contradictory desires to interfere, you will vastly increase the odds of attracting it into your physical circumstances.
In this book we focus on visualizations specifically designed for healing, but these same basic techniques can be applied to any aspect of your life. Successful business executives have been known to close their eyes and visualize themselves sealing that perfect, once-in-a-lifetime deal.
Many athletes also practice visualization in order to increase their performance. For instance, a runner might close his or her eyes and sit for a few minutes before a race and imagine running in fluid strides ahead of everyone else and crossing the finish line in first place.
Of course, our health is far more important than money or a trophy, which, in the grand scheme of life, are meaningless.
The following exercises stimulate the healing process by activating and focusing the power of the mind.
Whenever possible, patients may wish to apply these visual exercises while actively receiving any medical treatments or immediately after taking medication. Applied with deep concentration, these exercises can provide a powerful boost to physical treatments.
Healing Light Visualization
I led Jordan through the following visualization exercise while he was actively receiving his targeted chemo treatments. It makes a particularly potent supplement to medical treatment, helping the patient to amplify the effects of medications and other forms of therapy. Ideally, apply it while receiving treatment or immediately afterward.
1. Get settled and relaxed.
2. Imagine a sphere of golden light resting near your core, like a miniature sun, in the area of your heart chakra. Now imagine that this ball of light represents pure, healing Source energy. It brings balance and healing to every cell it touches.
3. Picture the light growing a little brighter each time you breathe in, increasing in intensity. Then, as you exhale, see it flowing from your chest through the rest of your body, moving from your heart down to the tips of your fingers; through your torso, and into your legs, feet, and toes; and upward into your head. Repeat this visualization with every respiratory cycle: breathing in, the light grows brighter, breathing out, it flows through your body.
4. As the light passes through you, imagine that it is healing every function, organ, and cell in your body. Try not to think of it as destroying the disease so much as healing it. It is better to focus on positive visuals rather than destructive imagery.
5. Practice this visualization for fifteen minutes no more than once a day for a maximum of one week at a stretch. It should not be overused, but you are encouraged to supplement it with other meditations. If there is a particular area in your body in need of healing, you may focus primarily on it for the last five minutes of the exercise, visualizing all of the Source energy flowing from your heart directly to the area in question, infusing it with vitality, energy, and healing.
Healing with the Masters Visualization
It has been said that a truly enlightened being never dies. When the moment comes to leave the earth, they do so consciously and with intention. Instead of dying, they enter a state known in the Hindu tradition as mahasamadhi, which is a master’s final, conscious exit from the body. Afterward, the master becomes a fully liberated Teacher — free from all limitations. Of course, you do not need to convert to Hinduism to make this transition. It is equally possible for anyone, whether you follow a religious tradition or not.
It has also been said that such Beings are always available to help those of us who are still learning in the classrooms of Earth School. All we have to do is call upon Them for help when we are in need, and then become quiet enough to hear Their answer. The second portion of this procedure is the tricky part.
The problem is the voice of the ego is so dominant in most of our minds that it drowns out the voice of the Masters, who are very gentle and quiet in Their ways, despite Their limitless power. Learning to become quiet and at peace even in the midst of crisis, then, is essential.
The following visual exercise is designed to assist you in opening up to the healing energy of these Great Teachers.
I first began to sense Their presence in me while Jordan was in the ICU in Portland.
It is quite a startling experience to realize that you are not alone in the universe, and that you are connected to an entire constellation of life, which includes healers such as Christ, Buddha, and others. These Beings are not distant from us. Indeed, they are one with us.
These Healers live within you, too, and there is nothing They cannot accomplish. In my opinion, it was They, not I — nor anyone else — who were ultimately responsible for Jordan’s recovery.
Perform the following exercise as you would any meditation:
1. Get settled and relaxed.
2. Begin by imagining yourself sitting with a Master Healer. This may be a well-known spiritual teacher, such as Jesus, Buddha, Krishna, or Muhammad, or some other great teacher of peace and healing. Or you can simply imagine a field of glowing, golden Light.
3. Picture yourself seated facing this Being. Take a minute to regard Them. Notice how still They are. How quiet Their eyes are. How peaceful and filled with light and holiness....This Being’s presence is a thing of immense power and entrancing beauty.
4. Then, silently in your thoughts, with as much conviction as possible, speak the following words:
Give me your blessing, Great Teacher.
Let me realize that You and I are one.
Your holiness is my holiness.
Your peace is my peace.
Your strength is my strength.
Your body is my body.
Your mind is my mind.
I have no life apart from You.
We are one.
Therefore, I must be healed.
If you have trouble remembering this prayer, open your eyes in order to read it. Then, repeat it slowly, several times, letting the words sink deeply into your thoughts.
5. Next, with your eyes closed, imagine your Teacher placing their hand atop the crown of your head.
Sense Their energy moving into your body, visualizing it as a golden, healing Light. Your thoughts are quiet and you feel intensely tranquil. Let this sense of quietude enwrap you fully, and allow yourself to totally surrender. Release your ego, let go of fear, and free yourself from any awareness of your body.
Imagine that in place of your body is now the self-same Light that was a gift from your Teacher — as if your entire being is composed only of Light. How can Light be sick?
6. Remain focused on this state of direct communion for several minutes or longer.
7. After you are done, open your eyes and sit quietly for a few minutes.
Excerpted from the book The Healing of Jordan Young: A 21st-Century Spiritual Guide to Health and Healing, Copyright © 2015 by Tobin Blake. Printed with permission of New World Library. www.NewWorldLibrary.com.
About the author
Tobin Blake is the author of Everyday Meditation: 100 Daily Meditations for Health, Stress Relief, and Everyday Joy, which was selected as one of the best books of 2012 by Conversations Magazine; and The Power of Stillness, an alternate selection of One Spirit Book Club. His most recent work, The Healing of Jordan Young: A Remarkable True Story and a 21st Century Spiritual Guide to Healing is scheduled for release in October of 2015.
Tobin has studied various spiritual traditions and has been meditating for over two decades. He received his formal training in meditation through Self-Realization Fellowship, and he is also a long-time student of A Course in Miracles. Since the publication of his first book, he has appeared on numerous radio and television shows, and has held workshops on meditation and spiritual awakening.
For information about the author and his work, and to receive daily inspirational thoughts and quotes, please connect with him at www.tobinblake.com.