Many kriya yoga and meditational practices require mental visualization; this is the ability to create mental images at will. Without this skill the practices have less impact and fail to yield their highest fruits. Although not all kriya yoga and meditational techniques require mental visualization, most of them do in one form or another, so it is necessary for future practices to develop this important skill. For this reason, throughout the rest of this book we will describe various practices enabling the reader to gain competence in mental visualization.
Often meditational practices are taught to people who do not have the capability to visualize. Because they lack the necessary preliminary skill to gain the benefits their meditational practices become superfluous. Everyone has the ability to create mental images of objects at will, but like many of our powers it remains dormant.
A few people do develop this power of inner visualization, but they are generally people who must integrate it in their work, such as artists. Most of us spend our lives totally absorbed in the outside world and neglect our inner environment. It is only when we spend some time introspecting that we can develop our vastly untapped potential, including the faculty of mental visualization.
Because this subject is so very important, we therefore ask you to spend a few minutes every day practising inner visualization, beginning with the technique we will introduce you to in this lesson. At first you may find the practice a little difficult. This is to be expected, for as we have already explained most people have unfortunately neglected this aspect of the mind, but with perseverance you will achieve success. At first it seems impossible that a baby will eventually walk and run with sureness and steadiness when one sees him make his first few valiant, but faltering, attempts to stand up. Though the mother and father may despair, the baby does not, because of this success is attained. It is the same with our efforts to develop the ability to create inner images at will. If you despair then you will defeat yourself before even starting. Be undeterred and determined like a baby. You cannot fail to accomplish your goal.
This technique is primarily intended to develop the ability to recall past events and to recreate them visually. Everyone remembers past events; in fact the mind is continually bombarded by them, especially highly unpleasant or pleasant ones. However, this process of remembering is generally imposed upon us; it occurs spontaneously and happens without conscious effort. Further, we rarely relive the past in the form of images, but generally in the form of thoughts and feelings. This practice requires conscious effort to recall specific past events in the form of mental images. One tries to watch a past event as though watching a television screen.
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