People often ask me questions about meditation and visualization. One common question is, “How to visualize and meditate without words?” Here is a question someone has asked me a few days ago, which is a typical question:
“How can I meditate or visualize without words? My meditations, visualization etc. are always accompanied by explanatory words in my mind, and I find it difficult to remove them.”
It is very common for people to use words when they visualize or meditate. This habit often distracts the mind and disturbs the concentration. Instead of focusing on the subject of visualization or meditation, you constantly find yourself explaining to yourself what you are doing, or thinking about other related or unrelated subjects.
This happens because the mind is constantly active with thinking, comparing, analyzing and commenting on everything it is aware of. It is a deeply embedded habit, and while it is useful for certain activities, visualization, and especially meditation are more effective without it.
Concentration means a mind focused on one subject and ignoring everything else. It directs all the energies of the mind toward one aim, instead of dissipating it on all kinds of distracting or irrelevant thoughts. Visualization, and to a greater extent meditation, require a mind focused on one subject, without constantly verbalizing and explaining in words what you are doing.
There are no shortcuts to overcome the habit of constantly thinking and mentally saying what you are doing. To be able to visualize and meditate without saying words in your mind, you need to train your mind with concentration, and this ability is not acquired overnight. It is a gradual process that takes time, but if you follow it earnestly, you will start to see some improvement in a few months. Even a partial control or overcoming of the habit of verbalizing while visualizing or meditating is a great achievement.
Here are a few suggestions to help you visualize and meditate without words:
1. Train your mind with concentration exercises. You can find a few useful exercises at:
2. Before you meditate or visualize tell yourself several times that you are going to concentrate much more deeply this time, and that you are not going to use words.
3. Whenever you catch yourself using words during visualization or meditation, be aware of the fact, without getting angry or discouraged. Acknowledge the fact and try to focus more intently on what you are doing.
It seems that many are unaware that the cultivation of a peaceful mind is most important for obtaining the ability to hush down and remove distracting and disturbing thoughts, and for overcoming the habit of constant inner verbalizing and inner-talk. In fact, attaining even some degree of inner peace brings better chances of success with visualization, and helps a great deal with meditation.
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