First and foremost … It’s superb. Both techniques are great, very good for body and soul and you’ll be reborn after the battle, at least struggle … Just kidding.. Well, for some it can be a struggle, but in general a moment for yourself is experienced as very welcome.
I often hear that people have signed up for a meditation course, but when I ask further, they will participate in mindfulness or guided visualisations. Meditation is not the same as visualization. They are two different techniques that actually make the body and mind react differently.
Meditation is resting, visualization is active.
With meditation you bring the body into a state of peace. You bring the mind to silence, the breath to a soft deep wavy movement and muscles to relaxation. The mind is quiet, no thoughts, no pictures, no conversations, no activity. Peace. Meditation can do just as much for you as deep, deep sleep.
Visualization on the other hand is indeed soothing as well, the body can certainly rest, but the brain is active. We bring the breath to a specific desire, bring the mind to a specific point, affirmation or we try to achieve a sensation in the body. Visualization regularly has an intention, a goal, this can be relaxation, but also more energy.
Meditation calms the nervous system, visualization helps you reprogram the nerves.
Meditation brings you into a deep relaxation where the nerves can recover and due to the inward gaze the total nervous system can recharge and heal.
With the right intention, visualization can disconnect deeply rooted fears, belief systems and re-place them with new affirmations. You can break old patterns and create new patterns from a deep relaxation. After all, all information that you receive at rest tends to work deeper into your mind and therefore it can be extremely effective.
Meditation goes beyond your awareness, visualization requires alertness of your consciousness.
Meditation teaches you to go beyond your thinking, beyond your alertness. It brings you into contact with your “being” and you reside there. Meditation is making contact with your energy in a very pure form and letting go of everything that impedes you.
Visualization brings you to a state of consciousness, in which you can experience that you are more than you think you are and here you also come into contact with your ‘being’, but you remain alert, you follow instructions, you follow the intentions and images will guide you. With visualisations you can very purposefully initiate specific healing, “healing journeys” are a good example of that.
There are many, many different techniques in meditation and visualization, and most overlap within those techniques. Making a very direct distinction between meditation and visualization therefore isn’t always possible, but as you can see there are differences and it is useful to know ..
Both techniques require some practice, our mind tends to seduce us with every distraction it can find. Visualization is a technique that can invite people with a restless mind to enjoy that moment for themselves, it can entertain the fast mind.
Yet it cán be very interesting, especially for these people, to take up the challenge with the mind and remind it , with a good meditation technique, that there is more than meets the eye.
And even for the ever-moving mind, it can be extremely entertaining to notice how stubborn its activity is!