Visual and Color Meditations

Color is everywhere. It's in the clothes we wear, the food we eat, the cars we drive, the gardens we prune – there is literally nowhere on earth where color ceases to exist. You may not realize this, but color also plays a major role in our daily lives through its influences, connotations and meanings. Some ancient cultures practiced a healing technique called ‘chromo therapy’. This is where light and color were used to address psychological difficulties in patients. This still happens today within many holistic healing communities and organizations. There's a lot of science to it, and some outcomes are measurably significant. For example, prisoners who wear yellow uniforms and have blue cells are usually calmer and less likely to fight. The color red has been shown to hinder exam results during times of study. Adverts that contain the colors blue and yellow typically sell more products. So with this in mind, color is likely more involved in our emotions and psychology than we realized.

Color meditation involves an understanding of the chakras. Chakra is a Sanskrit word meaning wheel. According to tradition, there are seven chakras in the body. They run down the length of the body in a straight line, from the top of your head to the base of the spine. Each chakra is an energy source, and each chakra is represented by a unique color. By meditating on these colors, the vibration brings balance and healing to different parts of the body.

So let's look at each color in more detail:

Red represents the root chakra, found at the base of the spine. The root chakra is the source of stability. Meditating on this chakra color can help alleviate feelings of anger, raw passion and frustration. Physically, it stimulates the body and mind and increases circulation.

This color represents the sacral chakra, located within the naval. Meditating on the color orange helps with sexuality and relationships. The color stimulates the nervous system, allowing for increased physical pleasure, self expression and creativity. This meditation is perfect for anyone who is lagging in the relationship department or experiencing low libido.

Yellow represents the solar plexus chakra, found just below the breastbone. Yellow is a color of happiness, optimism, thoughtfulness and hope. This is a good color to meditate on for those who have been feeling down, depressed, tired and out of sorts. It increases overall vitality and mental alertness.

Green represents the heart chakra. Focusing on the color green stimulates peace, affection and nurturing. Physically, green is excellent for general healing. This is a kind color, one that should be meditated on in periods of illness and stress.

Blue represents the throat chakra. Mentally, the color blue assist with self-expression and confidence. Physically, blue is the color that influences the thyroid gland and lymphatic system. If you have a sore throat, why not wear a blue scarf?

This fantastic color represents the third eye chakra which is located in the middle of your forehead. Don't worry, nobody can see it. Focusing on indigo grows your intuition and peace of mind. Physically, it affects the endocrine system.

Violent represents the crown chakra, embedded at the top of the skull. Violet and your crown chakra will help you align with universal awareness. Physically, violet influences your pituitary gland. This color is for the big thinkers, those on a spiritual and intellectual journey of discovery.

These colors can be meditated on individually, based on the personal circumstances of the sitter, or a full color scale meditation can be used for an overall boost.

The process is similar to that of mindfulness meditation and breathing meditation, with a focus on the ‘now’ and the breath. It's often a popular choice to hold an object that represents the color of your choice (so for example if you're meditating on the color green, perhaps hold a green leaf, or if you prefer orange, hold an orange!) Begin the meditation as you would normally. Then, after 3 or 4 minutes, imagine your breath as a color. As you exhale, observe the color leaving your system. It could be anything, but the color your mind picks will be significant. Reflect on this. Watch it leave your body. Then, as you inhale, imagine breathing in a particular color of your choice. You may choose to inhale ‘green’ if you are feeling unwell, or ‘yellow’ in a time of sadness. Become familiar with the color meanings before choosing one.

The next step is to visualize. A popular visualization when practicing this form of meditation is to ‘paint what's important’. Imagine being in your home or workplace and holding a paint brush in your hand. The paint on the brush should be your chosen color. Begin to paint the objects in front of you, such as a table, a chair, a television, computer screens, iPhones etc. Then move into the next room, paint the furniture, the walls, even the ceiling! Walk out into the garden, paint the flowers, the brickwork, the pebbles and stones. Why not throw the whole bucket of paint over the car? Does your cat need painting? This is quite a fun exercise. It feeds playful creativity in the brain while immersing the focus of the mind in a specific color. People often report after doing this exercise that not only do they feel different afterwards, but their homes exhume a different energy, helping to promote general wellness.

Always finish your meditation by taking a few deep breaths before opening your eyes and observing any difference in mental or physical state. .

If color meditation isn't for you, then other visualizations can help achieve similar results.

Here is popular visualizations to try:

A Lemon
Assume the meditative pose. Close your eyes and take a few breaths in and out. Now imagine picking up a lemon from a fruit bowl. There is other fruit in the bowl, but only one lemon. It is bright yellow. Notice it's dimples, it's shape, the weight of it in your hand, it's temperature. Take note of any defects or marks. Then place it on a chopping board and, using a sharp knife, slice through the lemon. Watch the juice run onto the board. How does it smell? What does the inside look like? How many pips can you count? Slice it again into smaller chunks. Is it easy to cut through? Pick up a small piece and put it in your mouth. What does it taste like? It is bitter? Sour? Sweet? What is its texture like? Would you eat more? This visualization works well because we all know what it's like to cut and eat a lemon yet have likely not paid it much attention before now. This exercise can bring back positive memories, and engages the mind in a pleasant experience. It also happens to be centered around the color yellow, so it enhances feelings of positivity and happiness. If you don't like lemons, and would not enjoy this visualization, try using something you’d enjoy instead so long as it produces enough quality detail to focus on.

Now that you're more aware of how color impacts on our lives, you may discover you're naturally more mindful about it. It may be time to review your wardrobe, change the bed linen or even redecorate in order to promote better wellness and balance. Just please don't