How to learn visualization from scratch

I merged here some posts and threads about visualization techniques, so that people who want to improve this skill may find useful tips. Feel free to add techniques you are using, comment them or ask questions. :content:

I’ve found that I can’t visualize at all. That is, I can imagine there is an orange on my desk, but I don’t see anything, not an outline, not a ghost image, nothing. I’ve been practising LD induction techniques (MILD, WILD) and have had some LDs (4 LDs in 2 months), but I feel that the LDs came because of my reading and thinking about it, not because of the techniques. I think maybe increasing visualization skills may help, and visualization as such interests me as well. So, I have a few questions for the gurus :smile::

  • How important are visualization skills for LD induction?
  • Did anyone here develop good visualization skills starting from nothing?
  • What is the best way to practice visualization? There are some exercises in Laberge EWLD, and I’ve read a bit that self hypnosis helps, but I have no experience at all in that.

Thanks for your help.

Well the only thing that comes to mind is to practice visualizing things :tongue: My skills have gotten a bit better with practice, but I’m not sure how much though since I can’t really remember how it was before I started.

I have LDs without visualizations. Naturally, I cannot use a good few techniques, but there are so many of them, that I did find several for me.
But I, too, would like to learn to visualize… I can imagine an apple, I can imagine holding an apple, smelling an apple and even eating an apple, but I cannot imagine that I see it. :grrr:

They are important if you practise VILD ( of course :content: ). In other techniques, I don’t think they are such important.

I would say : just begin. You said you can “imagine” but not visualize. In my opinion, it’s the first step of visualization. When you remember, when you imagine something, it’s possible that you see no image, just have a feeling, but it will increase progressively with practise.

But I’m not a good “visualizer”, comments by more experienced people would be welcome… :grin:

i’ve done a course on meditation and intuitive development. In that one you had to visualize a lot of things as well.

some ppl had difficulty with visualising. The teachers always said: if you have trouble visualising it, then imagine what you would see if you could visualise it.

this seems weird but actually helps.

also ilana: imo you already visualize! You can touch it, smell it, etc, that is also visualizing! visualizing doesn’t have to mean you can see it.

It also doesnt mean you can see it in full detail or something.

Try to let the images come to you, like opening a curtain and seeing the world outside from the window. You just look what’s there to see. Don’t worry if you see nothing. Thinking is very bad for visualising. As soon as your rational mind kicks in you will lose your image.

Don’t THINK about the thing you want to visualise. Just call forth the image. Let it come. The more relaxed you are the more easy it generally is.

maybe it helps if you imagine to have a big tv in your head and you turn it on and watch it.

Thanks all! PasQuale, I’ll try out your tips.
Regarding techniques: doesn’t MILD require visualization as well? As I understand it, you are to set your intention and at the same time visualize your last dream scene, imagining you’re becoming lucid in that scene? Or is just setting your intention enough?

When you remember or imagine something, of course it’s a kind of visualization. But I suppose you don’t have problems in remembering your dreams, it’s not such difficult. So, you can practise MILD.

In the beginning, when you imagine the scenery, you can find it easier if you mentally make some comments :“Waw, I’m flying, it must be a dream. I perform a RC, it works ! Now, I will do this…” etc…
But it’s probably unuseful : all of us are always planning about anything in our lifes, and that is just what is required in MILD : planning about our next dream. :content:

Not many people can visualize so strong that they can actually see what they are visualizing… Visualizing is pretty much the same as imagining anyways.

Yes, I’d like to think so, too… But I’m afraid it’s a bit different. Maybe, I just formulated it wrong… The problem is that I first grab the apple, and only then imagine it… But the visualizations used in LDing need imagining things without moving a finger. And that’s what I never can do, unless I am already half-asleep (and no more need any visualizations, in fact). :shy:

And what if you grab the apple with an imagined hand ?

ah ok ilana :smile:

well, why does it have to be an apple? because i know if you want to visualize an apple and you think it doesn’t work, that is because you in your mind want an exact duplication of the apple you just saw.

thy this one: try to visualisa an apple of another planet. What does it look like? how does it smell? what color does it have? how big is it? etc.

Very informative. I have had trouble visualizing before also.

This discussion has been splitted from the thread How long does it take, because it described a visualization technique, and could be useful for VILD.

hehehe… I’m not that good: I only have practice in such things as before I even knew what LD was I did self-hypnosis with NLP and the VAK (Visual-Auditive-Kinestesic perception modalities).
So when I visualize something I know that I have to bring myself in an altered state of consciusness (that is done as I’m allready ancored to the particular mindstate and I can induce it when needed) so that to keep focus and lower my critical capacity that can well hamper my visualization process.
Then I visualize using visual detail, then auditive detail and in the end the kinestesic detail (skin and gut sensations, taste and smell).
If you’re not good or have no training to go into altered states you coul integrate visualization technique to go into altered states and do both things in one: you cold immagine for instance that you are exactly where you are and you can silently think of 5 visual attributes that contain things that are completely true, then 5 auditive attributes, then 5 kinestesic attributes of what you are experiencing in the present state. Then you go on with 4, then 3, then 2 and whe you’re finished to one you should already be in altered states so you can go on visualizing for the VILD.

Example: I’m in my room, lying on my bed. I think to myself: “1)I see the light passing trough the window; 2) I see the white walls all around me; 3) I see the brown wood af my chair; 4) I see the different color of the books on my bookshelf; 5) I see the different pictures of the paintings I have in my room…” the I go auditive: “1) I hear the voices of the people in the other rooms; 2) I hear the nice singing of the birds outside in the garden; 3) I hear the low rumble of car trafic far in the streets; 4) I hear the muffled voice of the speaker of the tv set in an other apartment; 5) I hear the sound of my own breath…” then I go Kinestesic: “1) I feel my body lying on the bed; 2) I feel the back of my head slightly warmer where it connects with the pillow; 3) I feel the freshness of the morining air; 4) I feel the vibrations of my heart throug my chest; 5) I feel my toungue gently massaging my teeth and gums…” and then I tell to my self: “and as I view, hear and feel all these things I feel very relaxed…” and so on whith 4 attributes then 3 and so on until you feel in altered states (or if you like trance).
I find this technique the most effective to put you in the right state of mind for visualizations.

Visualization Assessment and Training Home Page :

Really? Does this mean that few people can see an apple with their eyes closed, even if it just a weak ghost image? Or does seeing constitute a crystal clear image of an apple.

Personally, I can see the apple, although not in very high detail. It is kind of a ghost image, but weaker in a sense. Hard to explain really.

Some days my visualization abilities are stronger than other days. The best times for me are usually after getting back from work, when im tired. Then if I focus on it, the images creates themself. I do not have to mentally force them into being.

If anyone know any good books or websites on how to improve visualization, i’d love to hear about it.

I think I have the same problem with visualizing…
Earlier I thought that I could visualize anything (6-7 years old), but I soon learned that I couldn’t.

An example I thought up:
I can imagine a man in a red coat. I can imagine what shape he’s in. I can imagine that he has yellow buttons. I can imagine how it would feel to touch him, hit him, even bite him! But if I were to say how many buttons he had; I would fail.

I can imagine smelling, feeling, hearing, tasting, but I can’t “see”.

Lucid_viking I just visualised that and he had as many buttons as I expected him to have. First of all the buttons were hazy and impossible to count, but when I expected to see five buttons I could clearly count them.
Visualisation seems to be similar to lucid dreaming, you see what you expect to see. If you don’t expect to see anything particular something unexpected will happen.

Also I expect that visualisation would be useful in enforcing your belief that you can lucid dream. If you have mental blocks preventing you from lucid dreaming it is probably possible to remove these blocks by visualising the blocks as physical walls and then smashing them down.

I think the tips in EWLD for practicing “visual-visualization” are pretty good. You know the look at something for a few moments, then close your evey and visualize it. Open eyes again, … and so on

I find ZeroSkyX’s suggestion to work really well for me. Sometimes in my LD’s I only need a faint idea of what I want, I look away, turn back, and there it is in all its vividly detailed splendor.

Interesting note - people were shown and apple and told to focus on it, then were subjected to positron emission scans. they were then told to visualise the apple (without it present) and then the positron emission scan tested again.

exactly* the same areas in the scan showed up. seeing something visually is exactly the same thing as imagining the same article. in stead of being frustrated at not being able to visualise it, perhaps you should flip-side and be astounded at the fact that you can already ‘see’ things, thus you are already visualising them :wink:

The brain doesn’t process negatives, so instead of going ‘danm i cant do it’, invert it and go ‘wow i can’t believe im already doing it!’. much higher chance of success/increase in visual ability.


    • exactly isnt totally true, but for the laymen/sociality explination it is good as exact for this model of display