The White Tiger

The first time I tried Creative Visualization, I had very low expectations.  After all, I had been trying for weeks to do five minutes of “quieting my mind”-type meditation daily and had repeatedly failed.  Every 30 seconds I would open my eyes and peek at the clock, wondering why time suddenly seemed to be standing still.  I had heard many people in program share that they had a tough time with meditation, and soon I had myself convinced that I’d never “get it.”  (Even when you get to Step 11, you still have to deal with your own “stinkin’ thinkin’!”)  As with most problems that come-up in step work, I found a solution by talking it out with others in the program.  When several different people explained to me that any type of conscious contact with my Higher Power could be considered a form of meditation, I at least had hope.  Finally, a couple different people shared with me how they would simply close their eyes and just try to “see” what their Higher Power looked like.  If nothing came to mind, they would pull-up an image of God they may have had in childhood, or a description of Him that they got from a book or a movie.  That sounded a lot easier to me than completely clearing my mind, and it at least got me thinking in a positive direction.  Soon afterwards, someone else told me that they added-in the idea of “guiding” their meditation by talking to themselves throughout the process, saying things like, “if I could choose any Higher Power I want, then mine would be more like a friend than a ruler,” or, “mine would be a woman, not a man, ” or ” mine would be able to become different things, like animals or forces in nature, depending upon what I need Him to be…”  Having a creative slant to my personality, this appealed me, so I tried it.  But as I said, it was with very low expectations.  I didn’t even bother getting comfortable.  I just shut my bedroom door, perched on the edge of my bed, and closed my eyes.  Then I said to myself something like this: “Fine, I’ll try this.  But only for five minutes.  How do I picture God?  I have no idea.  But since I recently made the decision to become a Christian, I guess I should try picturing Jesus.  Okay.  But which Jesus?  There are so many to choose from…”  I started going through all the images of Jesus that I had seen over the years, but in the end I chose my favorite one, which was based on the artwork of artist Stephen Sawyer (see “Inspirational Links” if interested).  His Jesus is more rugged and healthy-looking than a lot of the images I remembered, and I found that portrayal to be most in-keeping with my need for a Higher Power that is strong and, well,… “powerful!”  I started to focus on this Jesus, picturing what He might be wearing, what He might be doing, where He might be, where I was in relation to Him,…

Following is a description of the “scene” that came to me on this very first try…

Jesus is walking slowly along a dew-covered carpet of lush green grass in the golden light of dawn.  The silhouettes of exotic plants and trees can be seen in the misty distance.  His sandaled feet make soft swishing sounds as He goes.  He is wearing white robes with a red sash, His hair and beard are dark, His skin tanned, His hands in front of His waist, the tips of the fingers on one hand lightly pressing the tips on the other.  I am walking beside Him, also wearing robes and sandals, and He is talking to me the whole time, but I can’t hear anything He is saying.  I just know that He is talking, and that I am understanding everything.  I am completely engaged and content.  He has a calming effect on me.  He is telling me all about the animals He created, and why He made them the way He did.  At the mention of a white tiger, the giant animal steps out from behind a large grouping of bushes.  It smiles at Him.  He stops and bends down to pat its head, and He motions me to do the same.  I am expecting the tiger to feel damp, but it is dry and soft, like the way my dog feels when he is fresh from the groomer’s. 

I opened my eyes.  Fifteen minutes had gone by.

EPILOGUE:  A few weeks after I had this experience, I told my counselor about it.  Because the white tiger was such a specific animal, she suggested that it might be fun to look-up the spiritual symbolism of white tigers.  I did just that and found out that it represented creative energy.  If the white tiger that you “saw” was frightening to you, then it would mean that you are supposed to refrain from pursuing your creative interest.  If it seemed friendly, then that was the sign to continue on.  Since I had just started working on my idea for a children’s book at the time, and since the white tiger was smiling, I am going to take this whole thing as my green-light to keep on going!


March 6, 2012 This post was written by Categories: My Experience With Meditation Tagged with:
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