Abstract...As we begin to visualize from the guided imagery, it becomes a journey traveling through the senses to the emotions and finally to the physical body. How we travel from one stage to another, is a journey worth exploring.
To journey through the senses, let us imagine that we are at the top of a mountain, the summit. At the foothills is a state of tranquility and unending peace where calmness prevails and the restlessness settles in. Everything that was chaotic finally senses a deep peace and nothing but peace. Now we begin to descend and though the descent, we move gradually towards relaxation. This very process is a journey through all the five senses, which goes above the visual sense only. It heightens every single sense. As we picture ourselves descending the mountain, one step at a time, it becomes a gradual, comfortable descent to a point of relaxation and stillness. With every step, we are more relaxed, at peace with ourselves. Imagining a relaxing image of a meadow of flowers, we become immersive in their beauty. Our running thoughts that were going in all possible directions stop their running, their jitteriness and we sense a pause as our eyes gaze at the meadow. As we imagine them from a great distance, we visualize them stretching all the way to the horizon. Gradually, we focus on them more intently, as we can see blooms in multitudes. Now we focus on one beautiful bloom, being completely absorbed by its unfoldment.
What do we see? We see the uncurled petals, sepals, the stem and the leaves. We gaze into the minute details of the flower, which includes the rich texture of the petals, the dewdrops sitting on them, the pollen grains. We process this information with sight and create a new visual image with what we see.
Next comes the sense of hearing. Let us imagine, we are on some shores standing in front of the roaring ocean whose waves rush to meet the sands. We hear in our minds the sound of waves, the roaring, the splashing, the gurgling waters. It is the sound of sea, and there is the sea-gull screaming above. And sound is a wave. As the waves of an ocean are in constant motion, so we perceive it this way, that a sound wave is moving through the water to our ears. Then there are other similar sounds, like the cascading fountain, the sparkling waterfall, soft sounds of an evening breeze whispering to our ears, as they caress our cheeks. Now let us imagine a different sound. The sound of the falling rain. As we imagine it while every drop lands, we can hear it either as a gentle rain or as a cold, hard rain falling. While it falls on this earth, it acts subconsciously as a soothing element. The rain sounds are very relaxing. There is a white noise effect from the rain that allows us to fixate our thoughts and focus on the monotone rain sounds instead. So our thoughts no longer wander, they no longer drift. Rather they are held by the gentle rain sounds. So people wind up relaxing and falling asleep. Now is we hear a harder rain the water falling from a tap, then we hear it as a constant tap sound.
Now let us imagine the sense of smell. We can imagine the smell of flowers on the meadow at which we are gazing in an immersive manner. The sweet fragrance that is emitted from a flower enlivens us and we have a moment of awe and wonder. Our wandering thoughts cease to wander, as something deep in us is aroused through the powerful smell. It lingers subconsciously long after we have stopped smelling the flowers. And we travel in another world, a dream world, that takes us away from the chaos, from the turmoil and settles us in joy and liveliness. Or while we are at the beach, we can smell the ocean air which is salty. This salty air gets to us deep inside.
Now lets us move to the sense of taste, like the taste of a cake or a cookie. We imagine how this taste evokes a picture where we are baking a cake or a cookie in our kitchen.
Next, we can move to the sense of touch. Let us picture a furry animal like a cat or a rabbit, and how it moves us causing pleasant sensations in our body as we hold and hug them. We feel so soothed inside. Now if we touch a rough surface, like the bark of a tree, we feel the details of that rough surface.
So as we journey through the senses, it allows us to experience sensory relaxation through awareness. And what we feel, those feelings can be referred as emotions and sensations, which are closely linked to one another. Due to the connection between the body-mind, the emotional responses get reflected in the physical body. As we travel through the senses, we journey through the emotions. Some may be pleasant like the gentle rain sound, some may be unpleasant like a roaring storm. Each time our sense is heightened, it creates some feelings, some emotions inside the mind which then get reflected in the physical body. From the sensory awareness rises an emotional awareness. When the gentle rain falls, it is soothing sound, and from that we fall asleep, as our muscles are relaxed, our thoughts no longer drift. It is healing and not disturbing, it is calming and not aggravating. It is soothing and not scathing. So from that visualization arises the sense of sound awareness which in turn causes us to relax and be quietened. Our muscles in the physical body are relaxed. Rain also evokes romantic feelings. Rain and romance are much related.
When we experience these feelings, we become emotionally aware from that sensory awareness. Like from the sound of a roaring storm, we experience uncertainty and trouble. Our jaws get flinched and we have the fear running through us. There is a change in the muscle tension. From the relaxed jaw during the falling rain, there comes the clenched jaw during the roaring storm visualization.
So what happened is from the guided imagery, our sense of sound got heightened, which in turn created the emotional awareness, which in turn created the responses in the physical body. We may also notice changes in the way our face, head, chest, throat and other parts of the body may feel. With each emotion, there is the experience associated with the physical sensations. Every time, our senses are heightened, our emotions are rising and how their rise and fall is leading is making our body feel and where these physical sensations are located.
So from the guided imagery where we began, ours senses got heightened, and they in turn gave rise to so many feelings and emotions which in turn got manifested through the relaxing or tightening of several body parts. We can experience a lightness or a heaviness depending on what we visualize internally. From the internal visualization comes the external manifestations.
About the author...
Jayita Bhattacharjee....born in Calcutta, India and later on education from University of Houston in Economics, she had chosen her career as a trustee and teacher.
Her books " The Ecstatic Dance of Life",
" Sacred Sanctuary", " Light of Consciousness", " Dewdrops of Compassion" " The Light of Life",
" Song of Eternity" " The Breath of Heaven" are among the many that she has authored.