By Rhonda Jones
Some Christians are concerned about the use of visualization and the imagination in meditation. I have quite a few meditations that I use this technique as well. The great thing about visualization in guided meditations is that it can bypass the consciousness mind that acts as a filter. Sometimes our conscious mind have a hard time embracing new information. If it can’t put its finger around it, then it will reject it. Its job (the mind) is to protect us and keep the status quo. Unfortunately, the status quo isn’t always what’s in our best interest. This is one reason that affirmations may not work. It’s just as important to cancel out and deny our limiting beliefs or fears as it is to claim good and positive outcomes. As Jesus said, we can’t put new wine into old wine skins as both will be ruined.
Our subconscious mind often assimilates information in the form of images, pictures, and visuals. It speaks that language really well. Therefore, using images in meditation can often produce results that mere words can’t. For example, I have one meditation where I have people visualize themselves in a boat with lots of rocks (cares and worries) weighing it down. As I have people throw the rocks overboard you can feel yourself becoming lighter. Other meditations may include spending time with Christ, nature, and experiencing God’s healing light which all use the imagination.
Imagery can also be used for describing pain. It makes it more tangible and easier to release. Actually seeing pain leaving your body is very powerful. Healing lights from God or the Holy Spirit can bring warmth, comfort, and well-being. As long as our meditations invoke God or the Holy Spirit, I see no problem with using imagery. God gave us our imagination and told us to visualize, and we can do it for his glory. God said He will do exceedingly abundantly what we can “imagine” or think, so why not put it to good use to get our desires met from the Lord.
The enemy has hijacked all that God has created and keeps us from it benefits through fear tactics. He doesn’t want us to spend time in God’s presence, to learn to hear his voice, and to become sensitive to his Spirit. He’d rather keep us distracted and in a “church” relationship with God with lots of singing, noise, and service. He doesn’t want us to really experience God and be filled with His transformative Word.
I always like to preface meditation with saying that it is just a “tool,” and not the end all be all. Our goal is always to grow closer to the Lord and the greatest reward we can obtain is a close walk with Christ. As believers, we don’t meditate to gain enlightenment or become one with the universe. We meditate because we love the Lord and want to be “one spirit” with Him. We meditate so we can more fully embrace his word. We meditate so we can contemplate his glory and wonderful works because through meditation we learn to clear out a greater space to know and experience Him. Christian Meditation allows us to move all the other junk, mental clamor and chatter, out of the way.