The best meditations utilize a healthy bit of imagery. This is because the mind latches on and create better pictures with information that is not too vague.
Would you rather hear someone tell you to breathe or to take a deep breath? The wording and phrasing of each sentence is an art many take for granted.
Nobody wants to know that you sat in a room in an office building. They want to know that you were sat on a burgundy leather backed chair, staring out at the variations in color of the sunset that you could see from the tall grey building where you worked.
At first it seems counter intuitive. Why would the shorter one be less interesting? Simply put: it’s boring.
When you get bored, your mind wanders from what you’re trying to focus on and it puts your focus on something it can be interested in. Personally, I’m unsure of the why. It’s not my job to know the why just yet. I don’t even know why or even how we get bored when we have such an immensely amazing world surrounding us, or maybe that is why we get bored.
If you were in that tall office building, you would be much more interested in the sunset outside your window than the piece of labor you’ve been working on all day.
This is why imagery is important in meditation. It makes it easier to keep your mind from straying back to those thoughts you’re trying to put away.
The difference between using imagery and not using imagery is the difference between being taught a lesson by the teacher calling role for Ferris Bueller in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, and being taught a lesson by John Keating of “The Dead Poet’s Society.”
One is boring and makes you skip class, the other is interesting and changes lives.