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   BARE BONES INSTRUCTIONS
FOR IMAGERY TECHNIQUES

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          These links will take you to short, basic instructions for the imagery techniques we describe at greater length in the Techniques section of this site. Where applicable, we provide a link to the more detailed description. 

          You may find these brief written instructions are all you need. However, most people find it easier to be guided verbally.  Audios of guided instructions with Don's music in the background will be available in our Store.

Creative Visualization: Preview of Day
Creative Visualization: Review of Day
Light Imagery
Imagery for Relaxation
Ocean Imagery

* Creative Visualization: *
Preview of the Day
For more detailed instructions click here.

This can be done before you get up in the morning, or at any point
in your day t
o visualize your next activity or activities.   

Basic Instructions:

  1. Get yourself into a relaxed, heart-centered state by breathing into and out from your heart several times and evoking a positive emotion.  (For more instructions on how to intentionally evoke a positive emotion, see the description below of the Heart-Centering technique.)
  2. Take a minute or so to briefly imagine yourself going through the day ahead in this heart-centered state: See yourself in each activity or situation as vividly as you can, remaining calm and connected to the positive feeling in your heart.
  3. If you anticipate any difficult or challenging situations, spend an extra moment focusing on those situations, seeing yourself remaining in a positive, open-hearted state.

* Creative Visualization: *
Review of the Day
For more detailed instructions click here.

This can be at the end of your day, or right after a stressful experience to immediately neutralize any negative impressions left on your brain, and replace them with more positive, life-enhancing ones.

Basic Instructions: 

  1. Get yourself into a relaxed, heart-centered state by breathing into and out from your heart several times and evoking a positive emotion. (For more instructions on how to intentionally evoke a positive emotion, see Heart-Centering.)
  2. With great gentleness and compassion, take a minute or so to briefly review in your mind the events of the past day.  Simply take note of those moments when you were relatively relaxed, and those moments when you were especially tense.    
  3. Picture yourself once again at the beginning of the day and see yourself, as vividly as you can, going through the entire day in a calm, heart-centered state.
  4. Notice how that feels in your body.
  5. Notice your state of mind.
  6. Notice any changes in your sense of the people or events you encountered.

    If at any point, self-judgment arises or you find yourself getting caught up in the drama of the events, simply shift your attention back to breathing into your heart and re-contacting the positive emotion you evoked.  Enjoy the feeling of the positive emotion in your body, and when you feel ready, continue with the review.

    If you find that you’re getting too caught up in some particularly intense events, you can use the mindful/heartful cognitive behavioral therapy technique below to work through them. 

* Light Imagery *

Basic Instructions:  

Imagine a ball of brilliant white light just above your head.  

  1. Inhale and imagine you're drawing that light down into your head.
  2. As you exhale, imagine the light is spreading throughout your head.
  3. Take another slow, deep inhalation – hold it for moment – and as you exhale, imagine your head is dissolving into a shimmering cloud of white light. Return to normal breathing. 
  4. Inhale and imagine you're drawing the brilliant ball of white light down into your arms, chest, and belly.  
  5. As you exhale, imagine the light is spreading throughout your arms, chest and belly.
  6. Take another slow, deep inhalation – hold it for moment – and as you exhale, imagine your arms, chest and belly are dissolving into a shimmering cloud of white light.
  7. Return to normal breathing.
  8. Inhale and imagine you're drawing that light down into your pelvis.  
  9. As you exhale, imagine the light is spreading throughout your pelvis and into your hips.
  10. Take another slow, deep inhalation – hold it for moment – and as you exhale, imagine your pelvis and hips are dissolving into a shimmering cloud of white light.
  11. Return to normal breathing. 
  12. Inhale and imagine you're drawing that light down into your legs and feet.  
  13. As you exhale, imagine the light is spreading throughout your legs and feet.
  14. Take another slow, deep inhalation – hold it for moment – and as you exhale, imagine your legs and feet are dissolving into a shimmering cloud of white light.
  15. Return to normal breathing. 
  16. Inhale and imagine you're drawing that light down into your whole body.  
  17. As you exhale, imagine the light is spreading throughout your body.
  18. Take another slow, deep inhalation – hold it for moment – and as you exhale, imagine your whole body is dissolving into a shimmering cloud of white light.
  19. Return to normal breathing. 
  20. Take two more take 2 more  deep breaths with each exhalation, imagine that your body is dissolving even more fully into light.
  21. Imagine that your body is weightless.
  22. Relax and release fully into the light.

* Imagery for Relaxation *
For more detailed instructions click here.

Preparation:  

  • Get into a comfortable position and bring your attention to your breath.
  • Check to make sure you're breathing with your abdomen, and let your breath gradually become slower, gentler, and a little deeper. (See Abdominal Breathing instructions above if you’re not sure what it means to “breathe with your abdomen.”)  
  • With each exhalation, let yourself release whatever it was you were doing, thinking or feeling before.
  • Slowly scan your body and see if you can identify one or two places where you feel some tension. In this exercise you’ll be experimenting with a number of different images to see if they help the tension to release.

Basic Instructions:

For each image:

  1. Bring your attention to one of the places you identified where you’re holding tension.
  2. Apply the image to that place, as instructed below. 
  3. Hold the image for a moment or and see if you notice any shift in your sensations.

Images to experiment with:

  • Imagine a bright red color filling the area of tension.  Hold it and notice any changes in your sensations. 
  • Change the color to a soothing blue color.  Hold that and notice any changes in your sensations.
  • Imagine the sound of a loud siren filling the area of tension.  Hold it and notice any changes in your sensations. 
  • Change the sound to a gentle bird song, flute, or voice you love.  Hold that and notice any changes in your sensations.
  • Imagine seeing a sponge that is all dried out and compressed. Then imagine the sponge softening and expanding as it absorbs water – and see if you can transfer that feeling of softening and expanding to the area of tension.
  • Imagine a pale pink rosebud.  Then imagine the bud very beginning to blossom – opening its petals one by one, until the entire rose is in full bloom.  As each petal unfurls, imagine your muscles opening up to release tension. 
  • Imagine the warmth of the sun is penetrating your area of tension, embracing each cell, each muscle fiber with its gentle healing warmth.  Observe what happens to your sensations.
  • Picture an ice cube and imagine you’re watching it slowly melt away.  As it’s melting, imagine the tension in your body melting away. 
  • Imagine the soft downy feathers of a tiny baby bird, and imagine that softness penetrating your area of tension.  Or if you prefer, imagine the softness of a baby's cheek, or the softness of a rose petal.  Or think of some other image that evokes the sense of softness for you – and let that feeling of softness spread throughout the area of tension, softening and relaxing it.  
  • Imagine the weightless quality of a soap bubble floating in the air.  Bring that feeling of weightlessness into the area of tension and see what happens.
  • Imagine yourself in a large tub of wonderfully soothingly water – or if you prefer, imagine yourself in a gentle cool stream.  Feel the movement of the water gently soothing and massaging the area of tension, penetrating it with its warmth or coolness.  Imagine the water carrying away your tension.  
  • Using ocean breathing, breathe in and imagine the breath is creating space within and around the area of tension. As you breathe out, imagine the breath is carrying away the tension. (Click here for Ocean Breathing instructions.) 
  • Feel free to come up with images of your own – those can often be the most powerful.

* Ocean Imagery *

Since you can’t close your eyes and read the instructions at the same time, here are a few suggestions: 

  • Do your best to experiment with the technique with your eyes open.
  • Read the instructions for one step, then close your your eyes to experience that step, go on to the next step, etc.
  • Obtain a guided audio version of the instructions in our Store.

Basic Instructions:

  1. Close your eyes and take a slow, deep breath in, hold it for a moment, and slowly exhale fully. 
  2. Imagine that you're lying on a beautiful white sand beach, feeling warmed by the sand and the gentle rays of the sun.  The only sounds you hear are the gentle lapping of the waves against the shore, and the occasional cry of a seagull in the clear blue skies overhead. 
  3. Let your body release fully into the warm soft sand.  Let its warmth permeate the muscles of your neck, shoulders, and back, inviting them to release any tension they're holding.  
  4. Imagine the gentle warm waves of the clear turquoise sea are washing over your legs and torso, giving them a gentle massage, and carrying away all tension with their ebb and flow.  
  5. Imagine that your mind is as wide and as clear as the blue sky above stretching endlessly in all directions. 
  6. Imagine a feeling of gratitude arising in your heart and filling your whole body.

Links to All Bare Bones Instructions

Breathing:
Abdominal Breathing
Ocean Breathing
Spinal Breathing
Alternate Nostril Breathing
3-Part Breath w/ Breath Holding
Alternate Nostril w/ Breath Holding
Fast Belly Breathing
Breath Watching

Relaxation:
Tense-Release for the Face
Tense-Release for the Whole Body
Body Scan
1-Minute Mindful Relaxation, Whole Body

Imagery:
Creative Visualization: Preview of Day
Creative Visualization: Review of Day
Light Imagery
Imagery for Relaxation
Ocean Imagery

Concentration:
Breath Counting
Breath Watching
Breathing with Words
Thought Counting
Thought Noting and Labeling
31 Points

Heart-Centering:
Basic Practice
Heart-Centering with Light Imagery

Mindfulness:
Wheel of Awareness Meditation
Beginner 1-Minute Mindfulness
Intermediate Mindfulness
Advanced Mindfulness
Space of Awareness

Mindful/Heartful CBT:
Basic CBT
Basic Mindful/Heartful CBT