Healing and Transformation Through Self Guided Imagery

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  • Edition: Original
  • Format: Trade Paper
  • Copyright: 2009-02-01
  • Publisher: Celestial Arts
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Tapping into the heart's wisdom through creative visualization is an ancient practice, but today guided imagery is used as an adjunct to conventional medical therapies for health issues ranging from cancer and heart disease to post-traumatic stress disorder and addiction. This inspiring guide provides contemporary techniques for using it to transform moments of pain, emotional turmoil, and interpersonal conflict into opportunities for growth and self-realization.

Author Biography

LESLIE DAVENPORT is the founding director of Marin General Hospital's Institute for Health and Healing. She runs a busy private psychotherapy practice and trains interns in guided imagery at the California Pacific Medical Center, San Francisco. She lives in San Anselmo, California.


What has been your most unusual experience teaching imagery or meditation?I was conducting a guided meditation group in the men’s unit of a county jail. We had permission to use candles on a makeshift altar in the dining hall, and the men were taking turns lighting candles to honor their faith, tradition, or to say a silent prayer. It was quite moving. When the candle was passed to one of the men, he turned to me with a gleam in his eye, and said, “I’m in for arson.”

It was a jaw-dropping moment for me, and humorous in retrospect. While I didn’t have the opportunity to explore what this experience was like for him, I can only hope that using fire in this way was transformative for him!

Have any good pet stories? I’ve always had cats, and I credit them as being my first teachers of visualization. As a child, I was fascinated with the way my cat would stare intently on a spot on a ledge in absolute stillness. The focus was so intense I could trace a straight line through the air. A moment later, she would effortlessly spring onto the ledge. She taught me something about the power of seeing where you want to go.

What’s the furthest you’ve ever traveled? It was a trip that took me to India, Pakistan, Egypt, Israel, and a gypsy camp in what was, at the time, Yugoslavia. That is, of course, if you exclude trips of the imagination…

Were you an imaginative child? I’m pretty sure my mother would say so. One of my favorite pastimes as a child was to walk around the house looking into a mirror that reflected the ceiling, and imagine that I was walking upside down.

What are you working on now? I’m very interested in perception, and how beliefs become lenses through which we view life. Those lenses then color our core experiences. While our perspectives are fluid, we often have a predominant belief system that impacts our life.  I’m working on a book that describes the benefits and drawbacks of common collective lenses.

In simple terms, examples would be: Life is……a classroom – every experience is here to teach us something.…a party – we’re here to enjoy.…a vale of tears – it’s all about suffering and letting go.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgmentsp. viii
Forewordp. ix
Preface: How Will This Book Be Useful to You?p. x
Seeing with the Eyes of the Heartp. 1
Evelyn: End-of-Life Issuesp. 9
The Threshold of Imageryp. 15
Audrey: Spiritual Heartachep. 21
A Source of Wisdom through the Agesp. 29
Leonard: Cancerp. 38
Journey to the Wisdom of Your Heartp. 47
Sharon: Immobility-Fear of Changep. 54
Getting to the Heart of the Matterp. 62
Teresa: Cultural Shamep. 71
Ways to Travel Inwardp. 80
Terrance: Diabetesp. 98
Discovering Your Inner Sanctuary
Amy: Financial Problemsp. 114
Receiving Your Heart's Guidancep. 123
Karen: Marital Issues-Angerp. 133
Integrating Wisdom into Action and Presencep. 140
Daniel: Heart Attackp. 151
Three Imagery Scripts: Deep Relaxation, Your Radiant Self, Renewed Vitalityp. 156
Beth: Career Transition and Identity Issuesp. 166
Weaving Together Imagery with Other Growth Workp. 173
Mavis: Cancer and Multiple Lossesp. 182
Eyes Open Imageryp. 189
Resource Guidep. 197
Bibliographyp. 199
Recommended Readingp. 202
Indexp. 204
About the Authorp. 209
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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