Stage 1



Establish a meditation practice that will effectively help you actualize your potential. Tibet’s role-modeling visualization uniquely acts like a flight simulator or virtual reality, offering a multidimensional training that reprograms your entire being from behavior, emotion and speech, to cognition, perception and even neural chemistry.




Whether you like it or not, whether you are aware of it or not, your life is being framed by a story—about who you are, how you got here, and what’s down the road. It feels like you’re moving through space and time and things are coming at you and randomly happening to you, but if you slow down the film and look at each frame—and one way to do this is through meditation—you will realize that your life is mostly coming from you.

The idea with meditation training and this step of the Lam Rim or Gradual Path sequence is to do our best to see through distorted appearances, access the unconscious software program that creates our tragic life story, and consciously rewrite it. As Joseph Campbell wrote, “We must be willing to get rid of the life we’ve planned, so as to have the life that is waiting for us.”

In the Tibetan tradition, one of the most effective ways of doing this is through creative visualization, dissolving appearances and envisioning the mentor and the Jewel Tree refuge field. Creative visualization acts as a virtual-reality psychodrama to consciously reenact childhood development. With each session, we rehearse giving up the habitual narrative of ourselves and the world as they seem to appear—limited and terrifying—and reconstruct them in more favorable ways so that the script is improved, our brain rewired, and the software updated.



From Gradual Awakening, Chapter 3, Visualization.