Tuesday, April 19, 2011

My experience with guided imagery-based meditation

In school today, we discussed Trans-personal Psychotherapy. This is a form of psychotherapy that allows someone to go beyond their usual boundaries...Transcendence. Meditation, guided imagery, positive visualizations, and any other mindfulness based interventions are utilized in treatment efforts based on trans-personal psychotherapy.

My (ingenious) Professor, Dr. D., led us through a guided imagery-based meditation intervention this morning. This is the first time I have experienced such an intervention and wow did I have a great experience. I will describe my experience to the following directions given by my Professor. (Note: the directions were given in steps during our meditation experience)

*Instructions (in bulk) from Dr D.: Begin by closing your eyes and imagining a place you'd like to be in complete relaxation. Once you've established such an atmosphere, imagine a road you hadn't seen before. Take a walk down that road and be aware of the smells, feelings, and sounds you're experiencing. Notice a house in the distance and go to it. Enter the house and look around. Vividly imagine what you would find there. Make yourself ready to leave the home. Take any one thing you want to keep with you. Make your way back down the road, back to your spot of relaxation.

*My subjective experience:

I find myself under a large shade tree next to a small sandy beach. The sky is bright and the temperature is perfect. I am wearing comfortable linen.
I see a narrow road in the distance. As I make my way down this road it begins to become surrounded by massive trees and the sky disappears. Behind me, the road I have just came from is fogged. It is slightly dark here, and I feel neutral and alone.
As I continue to make my way down the road in seek of a distant house, the road widens and the trees lighten. I see a
Victorian style house, complete with 2-stories, painted in light yellow and a beautiful purple.
As I make my way inside the house, I imagine in detail its dark wood floors and stair rails and earth-tone clad walls. Downstairs is a large, but homey kitchen and two large living rooms. Upstairs are two fully decorated but empty children rooms. A large immaculate office full of dark wooden accessories was at the end of the hall. Across from it is an elaborate master suite. Once again, I found my favorite style of dark wooden furniture. There is a reading nook in the corner, a large exquisite bathroom, and a white lace net hanging over four tall bed posts. The bed is slightly elevated; it takes three steps to get to its own personal flooring. Above the bed is my wedding photo painted on a large canvas. I could see my face, but not the other.
As I looked for something to take with me, I noticed a simple picture in a frame on the night stand. It marks a special night spent with a special someone. This was a night that changed me (and
her) in multiple ways. I took it and made my way back down the road I came from, more confident this time.
This time, waiting for me at my relaxation spot was a man. Consistent with my reality, I imagine him saying: I'm right here waiting for you. He's right where he always is...

The lesson I took from this exercise is that rather than looking towards the future in finding the perfection I hope to have, I should focus on what's here, on what's present, on what is waiting for me... Though the road to get to that place was dim and weary at times, I couldn't have gotten there without taking a chance and navigating through it. Although I experienced a sense of uncertainty about what would await me at the end of the road, taking the trip was worth it. I should not be scared...

This is the picture I took with me from the house...Here's to you, Galo :)

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