Visualizing and Meditating Without Words

People often ask me questions about meditation and visualization. One common question is, “How to visualize or 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.

Visualization, and to a greater extent meditation, require focused attention, without constantly verbalizing and explaining in words what you are doing. This means that you need concentration, the ability to focus the mind on one subject and ignoring everything else. Concentrationdirects all the energies of the mind toward one aim, instead of dissipating it on all kinds of distracting or irrelevant thoughts.

There are no shortcuts to overcome the habit of constantly thinking and mentally telling yourself 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.

The ability to concentrate the mind is not acquired overnight. Developing this skill is a gradual process that takes time, but if you are earnest you will start to see improvement in a few weeks. Overcoming, and even just a partial control of the habit of verbalizing while visualizing or meditating is a great achievement.

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 becoming angry, frustrated or discouraged. Acknowledge the fact and try to focus more intently on what you are doing.

4. Persevere with the above actions, no matter how many times you fail.

5. Cultivation of a peaceful mind is most important for obtaining the ability to hush down and remove distracting and disturbing thoughts. A peaceful mind makes it easier to overcome the habit of constant inner verbalizing and inner-talk. In fact, attaining even a small degree of inner peace brings better chances of success with visualization, and meditation.

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