When I first started meditation many years ago, I tried many different techniques and styles, some of which I have now realised were visualisation techniques, which I thought was meditation, but now I know visualisation is more like self hypnosis than meditation!
So what's the difference you ask? Well it can be argued that using your mind to imagine a relaxing scene or specific outcome is a form of meditation, but I like to differentiate it like this: The aim of meditation is to rest your awareness into the present moment and get peace with thoughts and emotions (and therefore outcomes), in other words peace with mind. Self hypnosis is using the mind (and therefore thoughts) to create a specific result. So to me, meditation is going beyond the mind, and since the mind is really just a collection of thoughts, and there can be no present moment thoughts, it distracts us from the present moment.
Peace With Mind?
If you have just found yourself saying "doesn't she mean peace of mind?", then allow me to explain a little further. When I tried ( and failed) many times with meditation, it was because I was under the (mistaken) impression that I had to clear my mind, have no thoughts, no emotions and feel bliss. Not only is this unnecessary, it's almost impossible! We have a brain and nervous system so we're going to have thoughts, and we're going to have emotions, the secret is, what we do with those thoughts and emotions.
With Mind Calm I will teach you how to get peace with your thoughts and emotions without having to fix, change or improve anything in your life. You might just find though, that when you let go of the need for anything to change, you open the possibility for things to change!
No Present Moment Thoughts?
Mind Calm was created by Sandy Newbigging and when started my training with him and first heard him say "there are no present moment thoughts" my mind immediately went into overdrive to try and show me that in fact there were present moment thoughts! Well actually, there aren't. Lets play a little game, notice or deliberately think a thought. What was that thought about? My thought was "I can hear the Tui bird in the garden". So for me to commentate on the sound of the Tui, means I have left that very moment and the experience of that sound and gone into my mind to think about it (even though the time frame for this will be milliseconds!) So the thought I had was a split second after the event which means I have gone into the past. Much like a commentator at a sports match, it seems like they are commentating on what's happening, but in order for them to be able to do this, the thing they're talking about has already happened. Therefore thinking keeps you one step removed from the present moment.
By learning how to train your attention muscle, you get to choose how to use your mind, rather than being used by your mind. Mind Calm helps you to train your attention muscle. As Sandy says "To master your life, you need to master your attention."
I teach Mind Calm in a one-to-one basis over 3 or 4 sessions or alternatively register your interest for one of my live online classes or a one day in person workshop in Auckland by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org