Thursday, October 1, 2009

Dream Gardens and Loci

I have decided to share something today. It will be too strange for most, but just right for a few.

You might have heard of a ‘dream garden,’ which is a stable place you create in your mind and reinforce through visualization. Stable here means it is essentially the same whenever you ‘visit’ through meditation, visualization, or lucid dreaming.

Now you might ask, what’s the use of a ‘place’ that isn’t physical. One use is that you can combine the technique with the method of loci, which was used by the Greeks to remember speeches and such while walking down the same path many times and touching the same objects while they talked. You’re capitalizing on the mind’s visual associative capacity to recall words, emotions, emphases, or anything else.

Take that one step further. Walk through a ‘garden’ and talk to an imaginary person. Hold onto your sanity here ;) Tell the person about a set of insights you’ve had that you don’t want to forget. Perhaps you realized for the 3rd time that you made a relationship mistake that you said you would never make again, and this time you want the principals you learned to stick. Or whatever. Tell your imaginary person about it while walking the same path, and let them respond (you made ‘them’ up, but you might find they have surprising insights because they’re not inhibited by being ‘you’).

Now, the next time, walk a little further. Turn over a new leaf, really, in your garden. Ask your imaginary person to explain the insight instead of the other way around. Discuss how it might apply to seemingly unrelated situations – a business relationship rather than a love relationship, perhaps. In this way you can build threads of insight that are persistent, and are (at least for some people) less taxing than just churning the problem over in your mind. You might find that you arrive at more advanced insights in shorter time, and are able to continue their development in a structured way. If it helps you find ‘the meaning of life,’ or achieve enlightenment, or remember the recipe for spicy Thai noodles, more’s the better.