Sometimes we hear an echo of where we are to be in a place far removed from our eventual destination. For instance, my yoga master taught me many things that presaged my embarking on the Vajrayana Buddhist path. I was unaware at the time, but I experienced my first introduction to the creation stage (visualization) practice in a yoga ashram. Unbeknownst to me, that ashram was located not far from the Buddhist center that became my spiritual home.
The echo connecting me to my Buddhist path came when my yoga master said, “Where there is an image, there is an event.” This concise statement about the power of visualization guides me today, and informs my practice with Tibetan visual archetypes. But the most important thing about this quote is how it ‘frames’ every experience. Whatever we picture in our mind has a corresponding event. A thought moves and a world is created. Just look into your own mind to see this is true.
When we have blissful thoughts, the world seems more blissful. When we harbor impressions of pain and suffering, the world seems dismal. So it is important not to identify with whatever moves in the mind—unless is is mingled with love. When an image of love moves in us, it frames the world in compassion and kindness. Maintaining the aspiration of love at all times is our fundamental practice.
Imagine if acts of loving kindness were the media headlines instead of hatred and divisiveness. What lines are in our own heads? Buddha taught, “Hatred has never resolved hatred. Only through loving kindness is hatred resolved.” May we collectively visualize a world of compassionate enlightened activity for the benefit of all beings. Where there is an image, there is an event.