Internalizing goes by many names, a few of which are Meditation, Hypnosis, Reflection, Introspection and others.
The roots of meditation go back over 4000 years. It has always been done as a way to internalize the thought process, so the mind and body could find their own balance. To relax and empty the mind, was a key element in reducing stress and tension, so as to allow the natural internal rebuilding processes to take place. This is, and has been, a way for modern man to escape the insanity of daily life and experience a physical and inner peace. However, the problem is that we are only using half, of a powerful tool. Modern studies have shown that the mind and body are capable of accelerated learning during this inner journey. Rebuilding, changing or expanding the mind and body during this unique meditational state is one of the most important discoveries of modern science. It is a way to eliminate fears, frustration and anger. A way to build confidence, self-image and a direct path to tapping into creative potential. It allows access to the powers of self healing. It works with children or adults, and unlike drugs it has no side effects. The negative side of Meditation, it does not use the conscious, and is non-directionl. Although relaxing, it is just a drifting state, that allows the mind/body to regenerate at its own pace, without control. It is like drifting down a river without a motor. Directive Meditation achieves the same level, yet, it has a motor, so you can control the speed and direction, thereby accomplioshing much more in the meditative state. It uses both the conscious and sub-conscious as a team.
Studies at Duke and Stanford University have shown that the mind is capable of compartmentalizing. That is, doing a number of things at the same time. During sleep, the body and mind can rest and regenerate itself, while another part of the mind works on problem solving, creative research and any number of other areas of concern. This same capability exists during a meditational state, where the mind reaches a Theta or somnambulistic level of activity. The advantage of Directive meditation over sleep, is that during the sleep state, one drifts randomly from dream to deep sleep (Delta), on and off during the night. This drifting causes different thought intensity and focus. During Directive Meditation, one can stay at a specific level for sufficient time, to accomplish the desired changes. The sequence of events, in Directive Meditation, is:
**Review the purpose of the meditation exercise.
**Get into a quiet surrounding. Get comfortable. Quiet down the mind.
**Do a preset exercise to internalize thoughts and withdraw into your center. (Set Key word).
**At center, imput thoughts relative to the changes wanted. Imagery can be used to clarify or reinforce thoughts.
**Return to an external conscious or slip into natural sleep.
Very simple, yet surprisingly effective. Obviously, there is a structured formula to follow, to get maximum results. But it is easily learned and easy to use.
To help reduce the difficulties of remembering the appropriate thoughts during Directive Meditation, the individual can use a digital recorder to capture the primary thoughts and then play it during meditation. The recording can actually hold all the information necessary to do the meditational procedure, as well as the developmental suggestions.
Using Imagery For Developing Skill: Since I have over 50 years of martial arts history,I will use martial arts training as an example.
Imagery is really important because it is the one thing you can use by yourself and actually develop both physically and mentally. In my martial arts training, I used imagery a lot. My example can be applied in other areas, such as changes in Personal Development or visualizing cancer cells being destryed by “T” cells. The more you can get into the reality of the imagery, the more your body will learn as if you were really doing it. This is why you can develop more speed and power by getting into imaginary aggressive situations because you get emotionally involved. It gets so real that your body reacts as if it was really real.
You can get neuro-muscular training by following certain basic principles of motion, springiness, aliveness and snapping actions by seeing yourself doing that through imagery. Your body will actually develop that basic skill of understanding. You have to complement it by actually doing it for real physically but yet you will find that you can do it better and quicker. You need to supplement your physical training with your imagery training.
When you really want to do something, you must clarify what it is that you want and what it is that is going to be necessary in your imagery to develop a base for doing whatever you want. It is not just a matter of imagining it, but what is it that you are imagining. What particular thing can you imagine in your imagery that you can get caught up in this twilight sleep and really get engrossed in the thoughts that will actually lay a base. You are developing a learning base both physically and mentally to accomplish what you want.
You can really complement any particular area in the martial arts by holding some clear understanding of what it is that you want to do. Then just set down drills that you do mentally in which you see yourself doing specific things in your area of development. or you can do a combination of traps where you see yourself going through different series of techniques. It is just being able to put yourself into a situation where you are not doing anything other than just freestyling where you are kicking, punching and moving around watching your footwork.
You are seeing yourself doing things really well but no one will know what well means. The idea is to recognize the importance of what speed is, things relative to snapping, quick responses, being loose and alive; not being stiff and trying to flow and responding as naturally as possible. What you see is yourself doing all of this in perfect form where there is a smoothness. There is a flow to what you do that actually allows you to complement and understand what you need to be fast.
Much of the problem with speed is a person being stiff by moving awkwardly and not being in a good position to be fast. It depends on what you are doing as far as being fast. For punching speed, you need to recognize the instantaneous type of springing motion rather than the power motion. It is a popping type of action. Imagery is very complementary as long as you understand why you are doing it. You see yourself being snappy and crisp in your motion then you are recognizing what that means and what that is for.
Now there is a purpose and meaning for you doing imagery. It is not that you just do this imagery thing and there is no thought involved. There must be an understanding of why you are doing that particular type of motion so that your body picks this up as a reinforcement for how to do something. When you are doing imagery, your body starts sending out those signals that this is the way that you do it.
It is better to get physically tense for intensity because it is more meaningful where you feel it. You can feel it as far as the expressiveness of it. Sometimes you will just work yourself up into a frenzy thinking about it. In order to relate it into the martial arts, you have to get into the actual physical application. Most people do not appreciate imagery because they do not do it often enough. You need to really get into it as far as being aware that imagery takes some consistency. You cannot just it once or twice to make it work for you.
Imagery must be like training technique that you feel is important for the overall development of what you want. It is like saying, “Okay, five minutes out of the day, I will take this time for myself and do this particular thing.” And everyday you do it. Ten to fifteen minutes a day you can work on closing techniques, punching, blocking and trapping where you do it everyday for that time period. You lay back for fifteen minutes and you begin to imagine all of this.
There are two types of imagery, the observer and participant. The participant is where you are doing it and involved in the whole process. The observer is when you are watching yourself on the movie screen as if you are seeing from a detached point of view. The participant is better because then you get physiological growth more than the observer which is distinct and is like you are watching yourself over there. They are both practical but the hardest one to do is the participant.
Imagery is something you should do consistently because it helps you not only in the martial arts but as an individual for personal growth. Once you develop the technique of imagery relative to the martial arts then you will find that it does not take very much before you really begin to explore doing it with personal growth. This is where the psycho graph of creating the person you would like to be is where you use imagery. Imagery is something you really can do and change your whole life.
Anytime you have adrenaline accompany with your imagery, it will tend to imprint more to everything that you do. It tends to have an actual imprinting effect whereas when you do imagery, it does not. The imagining process is like a dream that you do and it is gone. If you do it correctly where you get yourself emotionally involved, you retain that much more. It makes a psychological and physical impression so much more.
This is why you want to develop techniques that give you the most for the effort that you are putting out. Therefore it is a good reason to do imagery as a rule with some emotional input, intensity and feeling. Your body gets involved so much that there is a glandular response. Your adrenaline is actually pumped and there is physiological reaction. You are not moving per se but still there is a physiological reaction. Some people will do things where there is physical movement and others will be different. You just have to go by individual response.
Make your imagery graphic by going in the daydream state. Before entering the daydream state, it is important that you review the information to prepare it for the imprinting. By reviewing the information, the thinking process is taken care of during the imagery state. Give yourself positive thoughts on what you are going to do. Give commands, but do not be judgmental or criticize what you are doing. Become an active observer.
There are two types of imagery processes. one is the psycho visual where there are clear cut images where you are there and able to see precise details (color, texture, shapes and forms). The other type is projected imagery, like looking at a movie screen from the front row. The psycho visual technique is the skill you must cultivate in order to excel in your growth. Imagery is done to create a situation in the mind, purely on a mental/visual level.