Tag Archive | Imagination

The Art of Anchoring 5

Fragments from imaginary dialogues

“What is the best Memento Mori reminder?”

Your breath, because it’s always with you. Imagine the last breath you’ll ever take, and savor this breath as if it was your last.”

“What is the second-best reminder?”

People. Acknowledge your common humanity. Imagine the last breath they’ll ever take, and revel in the shared moment as if it was their last.”


Contemplative Meditation

Fragments from imaginary dialogues

“What is contemplative meditation?”

Meditation that has as a point of focus an item you take for granted. Unlike regular meditation, it has a reflexive component. 

Let’s take this pencil you’re writing with for example.

What is it?”

“It’s a tool that allows me to write down my thoughts and build upon them. I use it as a thinking tool.”

“We can think of technology as an extension of our capacities. The pencil is an extension of your mind.

In essence, reflection is a process of directing attention.

You can direct attention to simply having it. Imagine what it would be like if you didn’t have it.”

“I wouldn’t be able to play with ideas the way I love to. I find that imagining the opposite really helps me appreciate it.”

“This is a contrasting [<link; short read] effect. 

You can direct attention to being able to use it. Think of your beautiful BodyMind. Think of the immense complexity of the operations mobilized at a cellular level in the simple act of writing.”

“It’s mind-boggling. This realization always makes me think of a miracle.”

“Miracle is the perfect word for describing it.

Expanding upon it, you can direct attention to interconnectedness. Remember the ‘I, Pencil’ video [<link]?”

“Yes. Thought-provoking.”

“As you contemplate the pencil, think of the vast network of people involved in it reaching your hands. Another miracle.

Think that, if you zoom in [<link; medium read] far enough, the pencil is made of the same basic building blocks you – and everything else – are. Yet another miracle.

Interestingly, most miracles are invisible [<link; very short read] to the eye. You can only see them with the mind’s eye: Imagination.”

“So the purpose of the meditation is revealing the miracles that are hiding in plain sight?”

“You could say that.”

Levels of Magnification

Fragments from imaginary dialogues

“What do you mean by levels of magnification?”

“It’s a model inspired by a beautiful website called The Scale of the Universe [<link]. 

I’ve since discovered another website called Universcale [<link] which does something similar.

Imagine yourself the size of a virus.
Imagine yourself the size of an ant.
Imagine yourself the size of the tallest structure around you.
Imagine yourself the size of Mount Everest.
Imagine yourself the size of the Earth.
Imagine yourself the size of the Sun.

Each of these perspectives can be thought of as a level of magnification. 

Reality looks very different at various levels of magnification.

From that perspective, every level of magnification is like a different reality.”

“So it’s an imagination exercise?”

“That’s one application of it.

I’m mainly interested in it as a metaphoric mental structure, a conceptual and practical tool. Being metaphoric makes it transferable.

For instance, it can be applied to time. You can think of various timeframes as levels of magnification.

10 Years (Decade)
5 Years

Or it can be applied to any hierarchical structure. Similar to how reality looks very different at various physical levels of magnification, reality looks very different at various levels of magnification within the hierarchy.

Think of an army.

The general sees one reality.
The next level of command sees another reality.
The next level another reality.
The next another.
All the way down to the reality of those who do the dying.”


Fragments from imaginary dialogues

“What is the essence of metaphor?”

“Expressed as a principle, I call it Identification.

The imaginal process of conceiving of something as something else.

is y.

Creating identity.”

“What do you mean by imaginal?”

“Imaginary refers to the outcome of imagination.
Imaginal refers to the process of imagination.

Identification is one of the fundamental operations of the human mind, which we use to shape our inner reality.”

Active Love

Fragments from imaginary dialogues

“What is Active Love?”

“It’s a special kind of well-wishing.

The practice of sending someone Love and wishing him/her to be happy.”

“So it’s also imagination practice.”


I think of myself as Love.

am Love.

As I think it, I experience an expansive feeling emanating from my Heart.

I imagine myself as the Sun, shining Love in his/her direction, and tell him/her in my mind:

I love you.”

Creativity Games: Making the familiar strange

Fragments from imaginary dialogues

“What’s the game about?”

“It’s a little imagination game I created for myself to practice creativity.

The game is simple.

Pick any object in the environment and say:

This is x

where x must be something imaginatively connected to the object. For every x, visualize it, and make up a little visual story.

There’s a principle of creativity which I call Alternatives – not settling for the first answer that comes to mind, and generating as many alternatives as possible. Viewed as a skill, it’s the capacity to generate large quantities of creative output. That’s the goal of the game.”

“Can you give an example?”


Let’s take this [physical] page I’m writing on. I might say:

This is snow.
This is a magic carpet.
This is a wall.
This is an undead tree.
This is a towel.
This is a slide.
This is a garden.
This is a toy.
This is a raft.

Another flavor of the game is generating random alternatives.

It starts the same:

This is x

but now x is this first thing that comes to mind.

This is a chimney.
This is a squirrel.
This is a needle.

The goal here is to discover connections between the object and the generated words.”

Parkour as Imagination Practice

Fragments from imaginary dialogues

Once you’ve practiced Parkour for a while, your perception of the environment changes dramatically. You develop what the practitioners call Parkour Vision, which opens up a world of movement possibilities that was hiding in plain sight.

Actualizing those movement possibilities, performing the actual movements is fun. However equally fun is visualizing yourself performing the movements. This expands the practice considerably because you’re no longer limited to your immediate environment. You can notice and play with possibilities in your mind as you look at pictures, videos, even movies. You can thus practice even in imaginary locations.

This can never replace the physical embodied practice.

It cannot. However it can be a beautiful supplement.

It’s also imagination practice.

And you can expand the imagination practice even more by imagining yourself as bigger or smaller. You can thus apply Parkour Vision at different levels of magnification. 

I can imagine myself small, and traversing the objects on my table.
I can imagine myself big, and jumping from one building to another, like King Kong.