A long time ago I was one of the trainers on an advanced personal development course which involved a lot of introspection, and one of the things we used to do was called guidedimagery. I have just discovered that nowadays it tends to be called a variety of other things mainly to do with meditation, guided meditation, structured meditation etc.
The exercise we used to do started with an ordinary relaxation method which you may have heard of: Relax your feet, relax your ankles, relax your knees and so on, all the way up the body. Then when the students had achieved a very relaxed state, the guidedimagery part of the exercise would begin. Very simply, the trainer leading the session, would start telling a story which would guide the class through their imagination. The next part of the exercise was to picture an experience, and then to discuss it, or explain what had happened, to another student. Of course we could not tell what the people would experience or discover about themselves - sometimes nothing much would happen, but at other times intense revelations would be made in the minds of the participants.
The story was a very basic one where we would start in a field with the sun shining on a pleasantly warm day and in the distance you could see a dwelling. With the warmth of the hot sun shining on our backs we would then, in our imagination, move towards the dwelling. When we reached the dwelling we would explore the outside and find a way in. People discovered that they had all sorts of different kinds of dwellings. They ranged from old houses, old cottages, garden sheds, and even, once in my case, a large, thatched, mud hut! When attempting to find a way in to the dwelling some people found an open door, others an open window, and even a ladder to an upstairs room. The power of people's imagination was incredible!
Once inside the dwelling we looked around and went into various rooms; some of the rooms were well lit and others were dark. In the dark room, being in our imagination, we could turn the light on, and then we could see what was inside. Some people made amazing discoveries and others, things that were quite scary! As we explored the dwelling, we could invite some friends to join us, and when they had, we could discuss anything we liked with them. You could even say things to them that you would never have said in real life.
Having spent some time in the dwelling, we then went outside and noticed in the distance there were some mountains and we moved off towards them. As we started to climb the mountain, on the way to the top, we would find three interesting things that would help us. There was no telling what people would find. Could be anything - an axe, a hammer, a cup, a chain, a sword, a cross, or rope - just as long as it was useful - in one case even a meat pie!
Having spent some time making our way up the mountain we eventually got to the top and there, for most people, was a big surprise. In my case, when I reached the mountain top, I had a vision of an old man with long grey hair and a beard. This happened before the trainer had said anything. Much to my surprise, the old man turned to me (indicating with his hand the mountain range that was below us) and said, " You see all this, you can have it all, if you want it," and then he disappeared.
Then we would return down the mountain, and we could choose whether to leave the three useful things on the mountain or to take them with us. We could go past the dwelling, noticing whether anything had changed and back to the field, in the warm sun. That was the end of the exercise.
The review sessions that the students then had amongst themselves were really quite amazing, with quite unexplainable insights being encountered. Of course it was very difficult to quantify any benefit that was gained from this exercise. All I can say is that almost every one found it to be exceptionally beneficial. Some things that had been lurking in their unconscious were brought into the light, seen in a new way, and quite inexplicably, resolved.
I have no explanation for how, or why, strange things happened, but I do remain fascinated by them.
On a personal note, I have become an old man with long grey hair and a beard, and I live up a track, on a Spanish mountain, overlooking the valleys. None of which was accomplished with conscious intent - it just happened that way!! Is it just a coincidence that this is what the old man on the mountain top had prophesied? Or, is it something else? I'll leave it up to you to imagine.
You can do this for your self - just download the file by clicking this link http://www.mediafire.com/?zj2hzmznenn. If possible copy it to an MP3 player, find somewhere quiet where you won't be disturbed,take the phone off, turn the mobile phones off, get comfortable and relaxed, and just listen as you are guided through the trip to the top of the mountain and back!! See what you discover about yourself.
Copyright Dave Marshall 2006, 2007 For personal use only