Who’s Your Guide?

Blue sign with arrow pointing right, directing traffic one way

As a master’s level psychology student, various classes required that we practice visualization. Visualization is meant to help people handle anxiety. The premise is that you close your eyes, relax, and visualize a pleasant, peaceful scene. The scene is supposed to cause you to calm down and deal with what caused your discomfort more easily.

I, for whatever reason, seldom got much out of such exercises. Until now.

Enter guided meditation. In guided meditation group members are asked to place themselves inside a scene as described by the facilitator. The facilitator is always conscious that certain scenes may not be helpful for all; we have experiences that make us fearful of some scenes. Thus, the facilitator always gives people the option to create a different scene for themselves.

Even if feeling comfortable, the members are free to see things as God moves them. The results are astonishing. While one member may envision the scene with certain surroundings, another, with the same scenario, envisions something totally different! And yet, both people find something meaningful! Here is what I described from a guided meditation:

“I imagined a wooden door made of vertical, rough-hewn planks tied together by rope….The door was beside a stone building…The building wall was constructed with masonry, even though the stones were gray and uneven…Vines covered large portions of the wall and the cobblestoned path to the door was lined by low, but gently-colorful flowers…

“I knocked on the door 3 times and Jesus answered the door…He motioned to me to come in and as He did, He put His arm around my shoulder….The room had an unevenly planked wooden table, again tied together with twine. There was at least one chair, maybe two. Jesus asked me the desire of my heart and I had difficulty settling on one desire….

“I settled on letting go of fear. Jesus said, “You answered wisely.” I asked Him who was talking–Him or me and He smiled and said, “Maybe a little of both.” I smiled.”

Each time I have “visited various scenes” through guided meditation, the imagery and feelings have been tranquil and wonderful, even if confused, fearful or otherwise negatively engaged with the scene in the beginning.

If you ask me, the missing ingredient of psychology’s visualization techniques is a guide–The Guide. Because He is the “Prince of Peace” and the “Wonderful Counselor” who knows best exactly what we need.

Who’s your guide? Are you at peace? If not, may I suggest some guidance from The Way, The Truth and the Life?

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This entry was posted on Wednesday, May 11th, 2016 at 11:01 am and is filed under God stuff. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.

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