by Tulku Thondup Rinpoche
Always when we call upon light, or any other means of healing, we need to visualise an image or presence, to feel its positive qualities, and to believe in its power to heal. Be creative in imagining light in a way that works for you. As you practice, you may find that your ability to meditate upon light deepens and strengthens.
You might find it helpful to imagine light showering down upon you, suffusing and radiating your mind and body with its healing warmth, bringing openness and relaxation to everything it touches. Perhaps the light takes the form of rainbow-coloured beams. Feel that it is filling your mind and body completely, bringing bliss, peace and health that instantly warms and heals problem areas, or melts them into light and peace. Every part of your body, down to the last cell, is effortlessly filled with light. Then feel that your body is transformed into a body of light, or perhaps a glowing, warm flame if that image is helpful.
At times, you may feel the need for emotional security and protection. Then you could imagine light as an aura or tent around your body, or light that is like a protective eggshell. Such images should make you feel relaxed and open, even while protected. If you feel tight or encased, or cut off and isolated from the world and other people, then try to open up this mediation, and relax and do something else.
Meditations on light can be used to heal specific problems, or they can help generally to make us feel more open and spacious. As we meditate on light, we can imagine the light as expanding beyond our bodies and shining forth without end. We can see the whole world as touched, suffused and transformed into pure and peaceful light. If we meditate on light in a very open way, we realise that light is infinite, without borders or the limits of time and space.
According to our needs, we can see healing light in a variety of forms. If you have a difficult emotion that seems lodged in some particular area, like your chest or throat, you could place your hand there in a healing and caring way. Just by gently touching, rubbing or massaging the area as you breathe in a very relaxed way, you can ease your problem. In addition, you could visualise healing light in multiple colours coming from your hand. A contemporary Christian mystic, Omraam Michael Aivanhov, advises:
“When you are in great pain, ask the light to help you. Imagine that from your fingers emanate rays of light of every colour and train these rays on the painful area. You will soon feel a gradual release from the pain.”
For some people, meditating upon light creates too much of a sense of flying or floating. If this happens to you, ground yourself by imagining that although the healing is pure, clear and universal, its unchanging and unmoving makes it feel heavy.
We can incorporate an awareness of light and energy into every part of our lives. This awareness can turn our ordinary lives into a cycle of healing.
A good practice for anyone, no matter what his or her temperament or skill at meditation, is to appreciate the light of nature — the sunshine, the subtle shifts of light during the day and at different seasons of the year, the beautiful sunsets, the moonlight and starlight, the soft glow of an overcast day.
We could also cultivate an awareness of pure, absolute light in our everyday world, at least conceptually. As we move through our daily routine, any awareness of universal light can give us confidence and strength. So when you sit, don’t just sit like a piece of rock. Sit in a relaxed but alert way, with a feeling that celebrates light and energy, as if you were a candle flame radiating light.
When you think, do not think with a confused, grasping or hateful mind. Be aware that the light of the mind can inspire the clarity of openness and peace.
When you talk, speak with a voice that is neither harsh nor weak. Like light and energy, your voice can be strong, clear and soothing.
Light is not only within us, but everywhere around us. Even though the absolute light of oneness is beyond concepts or images, we can feel or imagine light in its relative form as subtly visible in the air around us and in our everyday surroundings. All of your movements and thoughts can be in communion with a world of light. Even a movement of your finger can be the play, enjoyment and celebration of light and energy.
As with meditation upon light, the awareness of light in daily life can sometimes result in an uneasy or floating sensation. Then you should imagine the light in your body, or just your feet, as heavy light. Feel that your body is heavy enough not to float and that your feet are firmly touching solid ground.
We should recognise whether a particular exercise is suitable for our personality and capabilities. Some of us might have difficulty being in touch with our true feelings, and we may not be ready for this daily life practice. If you feel tight and closed, you are doing this practice the wrong way. If you feel giddy or manic, turn to a more calming exercise or simply do something else.
Students of meditation often ask me whether a particular healing exercise is “right for me” or if they are doing it “the right way.” Always, we should do what makes us feel relaxed and open; this is our guide.