Imagery Exercise: The Zen Master

Setting An Intention for the New Year


  • Sit up in a chair and close your eyes, knowing that this exercise takes from 30 seconds to a minute to complete.
  • Set your intention for the New Year. 
  • Breathe out a long slow exhalation through the mouth and a brief, normal inhalation through your nose; do this three times. 
  • On the next long out breathe.
  • Imagine yourself as your own Zen master. See yourself dressed in a robe with an obi sash tied around it. You have with you a golden bow and a golden quiver that holds one golden arrow. The target is in front of you.
  • You arrange yourself now to shoot the arrow at the target.
  • If you are left-handed, you set your right shoulder perpendicular to the target.
  • If you are right-handed, you set your left shoulder perpendicular to the target.
  • Your rear foot is pointed in the same direction as you are standing. Your front foot is turned 90 degrees, to face the target. Your posture is quite straight.
  • You sense and feel yourself tall and erect. You are breathing evenly and regularly.
  • Now remove the golden arrow from its quiver, which is slung over your shoulder.
  • Take the arrow and turn your bow in a 45-degree angle upwards and put the golden arrow into the bow.
  • Set the end of the arrow into the string of the bow, hold the wooden frame of the bow very tightly, and pull the string back with your dominant hand, very tautly and tightly, with great strength.
  • Set the bow at a 90-degree angle facing the target. Still maintaining the same posture, you turn your head to look at the target. You turn right if you are left-handed, you turn left if you are right-handed. You look directly at the bull’s eye.
  • Breathe out one time slowly.
  • You are there in front of the target. You are about to release the arrow, and just before you do, there in the image, close your eyes so you no longer see the target, and release the arrow.
  • Breathe out and open your eyes in the image to see where the arrow has landed. See what happens.
  • Breathe out and open your eyes.