This technique is primarily intended to develop the ability to recall past events and to recreate them visually. Everyone remembers past events; in fact the mind is continually bombarded by them, especially highly unpleasant or pleasant ones. However, this process of remembering is generally imposed upon us; it occurs spontaneously and happens without conscious effort. Further, we rarely relive the past in the form of images, but generally in the form of thoughts and feelings. This practice requires conscious effort to recall specific past events in the form of mental images. One tries to watch a past event as though watching a television screen.
Time and place
This technique can be performed in almost any place and at any time. However, the atmosphere should be quiet and conducive to introspection. Furthermore, it should be such a time when you are not busy carrying out some form of work. For example, don’t try to do this practice if you are driving your car down the main street.
If you are sitting in a bus or a train or if you are a passenger in a car then you can practise it. In other words, practise in any situation where your mind is unoccupied with the affairs of the world.
You can create your own technique for there are endless possibilities.
Each time you practice this method choose a new situation to recall and revisualize. The following are a few suggestions:
Remember a walk which you took recently beside the river. You are alone. Keeping your eyes closed, try to mentally create the scenery that you saw. Visualize in front of your closed eyes the river and the footpath, the trees and the grass, the fish and the birds. As you walk try to see all these objects pass your vision. Create the picture as vividly as you can and as close as possible to the scenery that you actually encountered. View the scene as a whole but also try to discern the individual objects: the branches of the trees, the expressions on the faces of the people you met coming in the opposite direction.
Recall, visualize and relive every detail.
Imagine that you are driving your car or riding your cycle to a friend’s house. Visualize the route and the cars that you overtake or meet. See the pedestrians, the colour of the sky and feel the sunshine warming your body. Visualize as closely as possible every detail as you actually saw it.
If you are reading a book, close your eyes and try to see a clear picture of the situation and environment that the book is attempting to describe and convey to you.
Sit quietly in a room and study the furniture and objects around you. Observe carefully, trying to see the positioning and nature of your surroundings.
Then close your eyes and visualize the outer environment in as much detail as you can remember.
General summary As we have pointed out, there is no end to the scenes that you can recreate – the only limit is your inventiveness. We emphasize again that these practices may be a little difficult in the beginning, but they will become easier and easier as you open up your inner faculties. These practices will also develop your memory power as well as increase your awareness and sensitivity to your surroundings. Most people walk around with their eyes closed, with little awareness of what is happening around them, until they suddenly come into conflict with the environment, when they are forced to become alert. If we were asked to remember what we had seen on our journey home from work, for example, how many of us could give a comprehensive description? Not many. This practice develops awareness of our surroundings.
But remember, the important purpose of this technique is to unfold your capacity to create mental images and to dispose of them at will.