Meditation/Mindfulness that works for you?

Hey everyone!

Recently I’ve come to the realisation that I am an aphantasic, after learning of the topic in a video. However, my workplace requires mandatory mindfulness exercises twice a day, the majority of which start with “imagine you are…” and then go on to describe, for example, a beach whilst asking us to visualise the scene. When learning of aphantasia, it ‘clicked’ as to why I could never see these scenes like my coworkers do.

I want to propose another form of meditation and/or mindfulness and would like some general thoughts on what works for you?

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breathe work, ie focus on your breathing.

people without aphantasia must have a much more difficult time trying to meditate because the end goal is clearing your mind.

it doesn’t matter how you begin.

Balance, Headspace, Insight timer all have great introductory meditations that don’t start with "visualize"

on February 19, 2021

As Nic suggested, breathwork is a wonderful tool, and for everyone. For me and other aphantasics I’ve spoken with, meditation that involves focusing, most particularly on sensations or movement in the body (i.e. body scanning or awareness of your breath) , seem to provide a better experience than practices involving visualization or releasing thoughts. Also, our rate and depth of breath fundamentally effect, and are often affected by, our mental state. When we take shallow breaths, CO2, which is a primary driver of physiological stress, builds up and our minds take that as a signal to become mentally stressed. Learning to be voluntarily in control of our breath is, hands down, the best state-management tool at our disposal.

If interested, you can check out this article by on of our science journalists, who also is a neuroscientist, meditation enthusiast, and aphantasic, Mike Perrotta. This is an article he published on Medium:

on February 19, 2021

And here is an article he did on meditation!

If you like his work, make sure to check out his most recent article on our website, which is about some of the underlying brain mechanisms associated with aphantasia:

Unified Mindfulness has a technique called See, Hear, Feel. I use a Muse headband to track my results and it is the only approach that keeps me in the calm state for most of the meditation. The results were remarkable compared to other forms of meditation.

A couple of years ago i signed up to a Manifesting community, which includes having to complete Meditations. I could never sucessfullly do these because i simply could not create those scenes in my head. Only fragments, because i know from memory what grass, a forest, a ladder etc look like. I cant ceating a moving scene. Can anyone else?

HI Megnee,

I just wrote an article for about meditation with aphantasia. It’s coming out soon. Stay tuned.