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Breakthrough Tips for Aphantasic People to Meditate
Jim Collison -- Meditation Expert Jim Collison -- Meditation Expert
Mason City, IA
Wednesday, June 29, 2022

Jim Collison, Meditation Expert

(MASON CITY, IA) -- Mindfulness meditation and guided meditation apps that are selling like hot cakes just might be failing up to 3 out of 100 people trying them. So says Jim Collison, a meditation instructor and author of "Simply How to Meditate."

Here's the problem, Collison says. An estimated 1-to-3 percent of people have no mind's eye. This means they aren't able to see pictures in their mind. This condition is named aphantasia. "So, if they have to see images in their minds when they are meditating or when listening to guided meditations, they get frustrated and give up," he explains.

Collison says he knows this because four of his six children are aphantasic. Because it's estimated only 1 to 3 of every 100 people may have aphantasia, it's extremely unusual for 4 out of 6 members of a family to have the condition. "Yet, my four aphantasic children over the years have found fitting ways to meditate even though they don't see images in their minds when they meditate," Collison says. "One of my aphantasic daughters even taught mindfulness meditation classes in her church."

"Here's the crux of the problem," Collison says. "Two methods of meditation dominant in the U.S. and Europe now are mindfulness and guided meditation. Especially on meditation apps. These have become a big, profit-making industry in recent years. But there are dozens of other meditation techniques."

Collison cites gazing meditation and meditating while knitting as two examples of alternate forms of meditation that can give meditators the health benefits of meditation. "Humans probably have been doing gazing meditation since our ancestors evolved beyond the ape and monkey stage," says Collison.

He suggests a couple of ways anyone, especially people who are aphantasic, can meditate without having to see pictures in their minds.

One is to visit an art museum, locate a painting on display that is especially interesting to you, find a chair and sit and gaze at the picture for two, three or even 20 minutes. Collison explains: "When I do this, I usually focus my mind on thinking about the story the painting is telling me. There's an idiom that says a picture is worth a thousand words. Actually, when you take the time to really ponder what you see in the painting, the picture can be worth ten-thousand words."

Collison believes his book is the first how-to-meditate book that addresses the issue of aphantasia in meditation. And he's confident his just-published book, "Simply How to Meditate," is the first book to tell persons with no mind's eye they can easily use photos they've taken on their camera phone to substitute for images others with a mind's eye can bring up in their minds.

"I do this myself, even though I am not aphantasic," Collison says. "Occasionally, simply as a break from my normal eyes-closed meditations, I bring up a favorite photo on my camera phone and focus my mind on recalling in some detail the story this picture triggers in me."

About Jim Collison.

Jim Collison’s meditation experience began when he was a child. Now at age 89, he’s been meditating nearly 80 years.

His career as researcher, writer and editor began as sports editor of his hometown’s two weekly newspapers in Blue Earth, MN. He is a graduate of St. John’s University (Collegeville, MN).

Jim taught on both the high school and college levels and served as an educational consultant. He designed an educational program called ALERT (Adult Literacy and Employment Reading Training) and wrote and conducted such workshops as: Start on Success in Your Own Business, Power Over Fear, How to Take Advantage of Crisis and Change, and How to Help, Energize and Lead People.

Jim is the author of Simply How to Meditate: Meditation Made Easy for Beginners and Busy People, Skill-Building in Advanced Reading, Mental Power in Reading, NO-How Coaching: Strategies for Winning in Sports and Business from the Coach Who Says “NO!” and HIDDEN RICHES: How You Can Discover Hidden Wealth from Your Employees’ Ideas.

He was co-founder and president of Employers of America, a national association for employers, managers and supervisors. He was a founding member of the Martin Luther King, Jr., Memorial Committee in Waterloo, Iowa. He served as a member of the advisory council for the Center for Industrial Research and Service, associated with Iowa State University.

He lives in Mason City, Iowa.

Media Contact. For a review copy of “Simply How to Meditate” or to arrange an interview with Jim Collison, contact him by phone at 641-423-6156 or email him to: AuthorJim@SimplyHowToMeditate.com.

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Name: Jim Collison
Dateline: Mason City, IA United States
Direct Phone: 641-423-6156
Cell Phone: 641-420-9552
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