Power to the imagination
Compared to the previous exercise (multisensory presence in a known scenery), in this session, we immerse ourselves in a scene evoked at a new level. If before we used memory to reconstruct the landscapes of our experiences, now we must give up this support and leave total freedom to our imagination.
Many practitioners find the exercise with the familiar scene more difficult; memory hinders, in a certain sense, the creative potential, forcing it within the narrow limits of our recollections. On the contrary, the purpose of this practice is to grasp the unexpected, free the mind from the structures that are the legacy of our reminiscences and let the creative process take its course. The experience, although difficult to describe in words, closely resembles a continuous formation of images – and subsequently of related sensations and sounds – without apparently a thought intervening to decide what to arouse. Of course, the context in which we are present is somehow drawn from the memory of things; what makes the difference is the lack of intentionality or effort in processing images and sensory experiences.
Let’s now move on to the practice:
- Sit in your favourite position with your eyes closed and apply the mind emptiness for a few moments.
- Follow the same directions as in the previous exercise, avoiding relying on memory, but trying to keep the same vividness in the visualisations.
- If you have managed to hold the visualisation for five minutes, add sounds and yet another sense (preferably touch, like the feeling of wind on your skin, etc.).
- Once you’ve reached your five-minute goal with multisensory presence, you can try with your eyes open in subsequent sessions. Again, the exercise ends when you manage to hold your attention for five minutes.