I have been working full-time over the last month, so it has been difficult to balance the time between working on the exercises in the Mentalist’s Handbook with work, but I have indeed been doing it! I’m making an intent to not let this book keep staring me down from my book shelf, plus I’d like to not get an overdue library fine, haha. So I picked up where I left off (my last post was all about basic meditation) in lesson one of the book. After the basic meditation exercise, next comes an exercise in visualization. Visualization is completely new to me, but I must say I have picked up on it quite easily and I attribute that to my meditation practice over the last four years.
The author first gives you a simple visualization to do, which is based on an optical illusion. He gives you an image that you stare at (as seen in the picture above) while counting slowly to thirty and then you quickly shift your gaze to a white or light-colored wall to see if you see the afterimage of the picture on the wall. After doing this exercise a few more times, he then recommends that you try to visualize the same image upon the wall without staring at the picture of it first. After managing that, it is recommended to play more with your visualizations such as trying to visualize it against different walls, suspended from a wall or adding parts to the image (adding extra fingers for an example and then taking them away.)
After the simple visualization, exercise number three comes where you are to imagine the aetheric plane. Doing this exercise basically feels as if you are making layers over what you see in the “real” world. I did this exercise out on one of my hikes as I was sitting on a boulder staring towards a group of bushes. I took the scene of bushes in, including all of the detail that I could pinpoint such as raindrops hanging off some of the vegetation of the bush and the intricate detail of the leaves on some of the bushes. I took a deep breath, closed my eyes and then brought the landscape of bushes that I was just looking at into my imagination, trying to remember all of the details I could. As instructed, I then imagined the whole scene to made of light and then colored everything blue so that it seemed to have a translucent glow to it (the author instructs that you pick any color of your choosing to give it the glow.) After holding that image in my thoughts, I popped open my eyes and superimposed my mental landscape onto the actual scene as if it was wrapping around it as a shell.
After doing exercise number two and three, I was feeling much more confident in my visualization skills. Armed with visualization confidence I thought going into exercise number 4 would be a piece of cake, but I stumbled with it a bit. This exercise is entitled “The Scupltor’s Studio” where you envision yourself literally in a sculptor’s studio. Before this, you do a basic 10-minute meditation (following the in/out breath) and then you bring yourself into the sculptor’s studio. You envision everything in the sculptor’s studio, including the sculptor himself turning into clay. Once everything is clay, you envision the sculptor being able to work with everything that has become clay and sculpting everything into new things. I had a lot of fun with it for about 5 minutes, I smiled as I imagined the sculptor pouring himself a cup of clay coffee from the clay coffeemaker. Eventually though, my mind got a bit A.D.D. and started thinking about other things, such as things I had to do later in the day bringing myself out of the scene.
Excercise number five is the last exercise I have worked on (hoping to do number six after I finish typing up this post :)!) In exercise number five, you again start it out with ten minutes of basic meditation and then you visualize yourself in a big open field. It’s your aetheric (or astral) body. Once you get a good feel as your astral self, you envision that field fading away and you find yourself in one of your favorite places to be. You stay in this place for a little while recalling as much of it as you can and try to imagine if it is clear, hazy or anything else you notice. You then transfer over to another place, a favorite store or restaurant of yours and do the same, observing it as if you are really there. With this one I did a recording right afterwards and posted it below. I did notice that all of the previous exercises really helped pave the way for my imagination to be very lucid in the beginning of this exercise. K, I am headed out to work on exercise number 6 :)….wish me luck and more on that one later!