Here's an example of a visualisation:
The sea shell (by Yvonne Aburrow)
Start from a high tower in an upper room. Descend ten steps. Walk down the hill on which the tower stands, along a track down to a round cove, where rocky outcrops enclose a calm stretch of water and a smooth slope of sand, and a stream runs down the beach to the sea. Walk to the edge of the sea (you can paddle or dive in, whatever you like) and find something which is meant for you under the water (could be a shell or a pebble, or whatever). When you are ready, return to the shore.
Now it is time to return back up the slope, through the fields to the door by which you entered. Retrace your steps up to the door, open it and close it behind you. You can lock it if you want. Then climb back up the steps, and return to the space in which you are sitting.
(This visualisation is good for preceding a story-in-the-round or other storytelling activity, as it symbolises accessing the subconscious.)
Other ideas for visualisations
- Some of the meditations and prayers available from the Unitarian Universalist Worship Web
- Pagan themes: the eight festivals, the four elements, stories from mythology
- Stories and poems from other spiritual traditions, especially Sufism and Taoism
- Some of the parables of Jesus would make excellent visualisations (e.g. the pearl of great price, the mustard seed, the parable of the seeds)
- Themes from Jungian psychology – e.g. different archetypes
Safe visualisation practice
- Create sacred space – light a chalice, say a prayer, create a sacred circle, or whatever you feel is appropriate
- Do not visualise yourself leaving your body
- If you do any inner work with the emotions, have a trusted friend or group who can pick up the pieces if it becomes distressing
- Eat afterwards in order to ground yourself
- If you open your chakras, close them again (all except for the crown and base)
- It’s best to use simple visualisations that can be memorised, rather than using a tape. If you buy tapes, first listen to them all the way through without visualising to check you are happy with them.
- Work out what the purpose of your visualisation is before you start.
- Don’t take part if you feel uncomfortable with the person leading the visualisation – your instinct is probably correct.