We tend to consider imagination as weaker, less significant than reality. Yet without imagination, there can be no reality.

Everything starts as imagination. This chair did not magically manifest out of thin air: it was first imagined, then created. Imagination is the precursor of reality, one of the most potent, significant forces of the universe.

The role of imagination in meditation is essential. If we could not imagine a higher consciousness, a better world and a more fulfilling life, there would be no conviction in our efforts and no point in pursuing meditation. Imagination is our dangling carrot, surcharging us with inspiration and aspiration. Imagination is the friend and protector of hope, faith and promise.

In Creative Visualisation, imagination itself becomes meditation. An image, scene or activity is imagined and held in the mind as the focal point for our meditation. You might imagine that you are on a beach or mountaintop, sailing on the ocean or soaring in a blue sky. The purpose of creative visualisation is to summon forth from our hearts the feelings and qualities that accompany such a scene or activity – the peace of a sunset, the vastness of the sky. It thus fulfils the two essential functions of a meditation exercise: to provide at once an anchor for the mind and a doorway into our spiritual heart.

Creative visualisation conquers time and space. In the morning we can be on a beach in Lombok – without the flies – at lunchtime atop the Himalayas – with neither cold nor oxygen debt – after lunch in Africa – with no long haul flight – and that evening at the bottom of the sea – without getting wet.

Never underestimate imagination! The more we exercise our imagination, the more we open to the infinite possibilities – and inevitabilities – of spiritual growth.