Tibetan Buddhist teachings have developed the topic of visualization to perfection. All Tibetan Buddhist topics are designed to reduce suffering and draw out the best of any situation. These teachings are about ‘aliveness’ as they steer towards wholeness. The practice of visualization is an essential part of spiritual training as it awakens and enlivens the spirit, mind, heart, and energy. It belongs to the topic of meditation. Meditating means ‘integrating’, bringing together what is apart, making complete what is incomplete. This course will present an introduction to this extensive body of knowledge on meditation and visualization.
The practice of visualization is perfect for our western style of living with its fast pace, busy-ness and high level of mental activity. We can visualize all the time, in fact, we are already. Instead of becoming engaged in thoughts, and always be at the receiving end of what comes to mind, we can actively decide what we wish to have foremost in our minds; in doing so we help the power of the mind to awaken.
As our ability to visualize images improves, we gain confidence in the power of the mind and recognize that there is no limit to what the mind can realize. With an empowered mind, we can creatively pursue all that is positive, while casting aside needless duplications of suffering, destructive thinking, or limiting mental patterns. Thoughts lose their power, for we know we can send them off and settle into the empty space that remains.
By familiarizing the mind with symbols that transcend impermanence, we are preparing ourselves for an encounter with what is not subject to change. Here we find security, even in the midst of turmoil. The light of awareness offers a safe haven. The mind becomes our temple, our sanctuary.
The practice of Kum Nye has been introduced to the West by Tarthang Tulku as a natural healing method and a way to deepen meditation. It is advisable to start with the e-Kum Nye program or at least have a steady experience with Kum Nye yoga. This Tibetan form of yoga relaxes the body, mind, and senses and integrates the various energies into a deep, interpenetrating field of energy, inside the body and beyond it. We are constantly being refreshed as the flowing rhythms of the awakening feelings are linked to universal vitality. Therefore, with the practice of Kum Nye, the experience of feelings merges with awareness and breath. Thus inner energy constantly refreshes itself and all the patterns of our basic existence can constantly be reinvented.
Kum Nye helps us to sustain the visualization, without merely relying on willpower or contrived imagination. The practice is supported, held up, by the constantly renewing of energy. Moreover, through Kum Nye, the ability to feel is refined which is an integrated part of developing visualization. After all, in visualization, we do need to get ‘a feeling from the form’, and Kum Nye awakens this ability in us. Therefore we recommend developing a regular Kum Nye practice as you develop visualization. In fact, all lessons begin with some Kum Nye as it lets the mind and body feel the light and soothing quality of relaxation. Visualization requires a gentle mind and with Kum Nye, we can lead the mind in a gentle way like you might lead a child. The mind loves feelings and Kum Nye will settle the mind with calm, warm and joyful feelings. The mind will stop jumping about. Worries and ideas will slip away, and you will be able to relax. Now you can visualize effectively.
Specifics of the e-Visualization program
If you would like to participate, you can enroll in our e-Visualization program that consists of 12 lessons. For us, it is important that you commit to not copy or spread these materials without our permission. We need your firm commitment that you will only use this for yourself and not duplicate or publish it in any way. This program is an introduction to a very sophisticated body of knowledge and it would be improper to spread it prematurely. Therefore we ask you to sign a contract to this effect.
It is safe to practice visualization at any time, except when driving or performing concentrated work with machines. It is advisable to focus your practices to specially dedicated times and gradually witness the relaxation and empowerment of mind.