A Guided Imaginative Meditation: A Modern Derivitive from an Ancient Tradition

After two decades of enjoying vajrayana-style meditation, I dropped it all when I discovered that institutionalised abuse was rampant in the tradition. I no longer wanted to have anything to do with visualising gurus.

However, I couldn’t forget the incredible peace and power that the practices gave me, and I found myself turning to an essentialised form of the practice, one free of the cultural and religous issues documented on this website, but that nevertheless includes all the elements of the original. I use my imagination to connect with my own guru, my own wisdom mind – which, after all, is exactly what the guru/lama represents in the Tibetan tradition anyway. I just cut out the middle man.

I can imagine the kind of response something like this might get from the traditionalists, but it’s actually not watered down. It’s just essential. It has all the core elements of Vajrayana without the optional extras. And actually, one of the things Sogyal Rinpoche was good at was essentialising the practices, so I thank him for leaving me with a clear sense of the core elements. Ian Maxwell also contributed hugely to my understanding of how the practices ‘worked’.

I finally created an actual guided practice using my animated AI generated art to help those unused to visualising, and also because it’s just so easy to put aside 6 minutes and listen to myself tell myself what to do!

You’ll notice that the practice as I’ve laid it out could be used for a refuge, healing or loving kindness practice. It can also easily go into tonglen. So it’s a very flexible practice, one you can be creative with depending on your needs on any one day.

Anyway, here’s links to the guided practice with visuals and music. Give it a go and see how it feels. I figure that it might appeal to the ‘younger’ generations – that makes me sound very old!

Is it far enough from the original to not trigger aversion and close enough not to lose its power? Let me know what you think.

Guided Imaginative Meditation with Visuals

If this video is all squished up, you can watch it on You Tube or on the Psychemagination Meditations page – fourth from the top.

More advanced versions will come later in a book on the practice.

If you download the written guide, you’ll also get the key to the Growing page of my latest passion project, the illustrated webbook at https://psychemagination.net/. Do pop over and see what I’ve been up to. It’s animated art illustrating a psychological and spiritual journey.

4 Replies to “A Guided Imaginative Meditation: A Modern Derivitive from an Ancient Tradition”

  1. Dear Dharma Sister,
    This is a beautiful, simple essence meditation. Perhaps turn the music down a little.
    Like you I have long abandoned the legions of sadhanas etc, that I have been taught in so many retreats and now have an essential practice without ‘the middle man’. Much safer and purer in my view.
    May your path be happy and wise.

  2. Thanks Tahlia. I’m sure your reimagining of Vajrayana practice will be useful for many people. But diehard traditionalists like me prefer to stick to the original. However I agree that guru devotion tempts neophytes into excess and over reaction. My Middle Way response to this is to campaign vigorously against the proliferation of HHs, HEs and other sycophantic titles. Lama and in some instances Rinpoche are sufficient.

    1. Of course, and I will always be grateful for the years of traditional study and practice that I did, and all the teachers that shared the teachings with me – even Sogyface. Those decades of intense study and practice I did are the ground for this reinvisaged practice, and a firm foundation, not just some new age imaginings. Thing is for me, I never did want a religion, and I never did much like the religious trappings, but I did them because I wanted the ‘full experience’ so to speak, and since I simply can’t do the traditional version anymore (I struggled with continuing formal practice for several years before the revelations of abuse got to me), but I still love the power and depth of Vajrayana practice, this is a version that I will actually be able to take to my death bed. You can probably see how it can easily become a simple powa for the moment of death, and the merging will be with the nature itself, not some fat narcissictic lama – or even a slender cute one!

      Anyway, thanks for your comment. There are a lot of people out there that could benefit from this style of meditation that would never go near Buddhism in any of its forms, so this is for them as well as me.

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