The twentieth-century views of the mind describe imagination as something we construct. Imagination is invention. Make-believe. But in awakened awareness, imagination is not an act of creation so much as an act of perception – a way of detecting information. Just as we detect heat from a burner when our hand gets too close to the stove, so we detect images – whether visual, auditory, or through any of our senses – that allow us to perceive something real. When we engage in guided imaging, we can perceive information that is highly therapeutic, useful, or directive.
Visualizations can invite people, or a sacred presence, or fellow living beings into our awareness. I’ve seen wonderful, healing shifts happen for people using visualizations of people in their levis with whom they had reached an impasse, including those living and deceased. And in terms of self-discovery, I’ve seen powerful personal realization come through this simple, age-old visualization:
Close your eyes and use long, steady breathing to quiet your achieving awareness.
Clear out your inner space. Then, invite an animal, and watch to see who comes. Ask, “What say you?”
From “The Awakened Brain: The New Science of Spirituality and Our Quest for an Inspired Life” by Lisa Miller, PhD