All types of Buddhist practice are included within the Vajrayana way of practice, the creation and completion stages. The generation stage practice is to do visualization. We visualize our body as a form of wisdom body or that of a deity. We also visualize Samantabhadra’s form of offerings to Buddhas and Bodhisattvas of the 10 directions.
If visualization is done with concentration, it brings the same benefit as doing Shamatha (stabilization/ concentration) meditation. It is very important to visualize one-pointedly in the generation stage. For the beginner, it is very very difficult, one needs time to gain experience. We must practice more often. An obstacle is having an active mind during visualization, thinking about other things. This is an evil during visualization. We must have a stable mind during visualization and meditation, we should not think of the past or future, but remain in the present.
During meditation you should not feel heavy in the mind like when we are sleeping but feel very light. There is a method to go to this state of mind. Many practitioners practice for a long time without getting a sign of successful practice. Some of them then think that there is a problem with the practice or that there is a problem with their guru. But actually the problem is with themselves! If one has wandering thoughts during visualization, one will not obtain any results as one is not practising correctly and in the proper way.
During visualization and meditation, worldly and conceptual thoughts that come are the real evil. They are the biggest obstacle. We have to put in effort to resolve this problem. We cannot forcefully stop the thoughts from coming as it would make the situation worse. More thoughts would come, and if you get angry, that is very bad. When thoughts come, just do not follow them, release the thoughts naturally. Come to the natural state of your mind. Do not think of the past or future, stay in the present. Conceptual thoughts will then be released naturally. We have to try this everyday, at times of trouble etc., try to release the tension in our minds through this method.
With attachment, our mind becomes heavy. Be light in your mind without any attachment. We cannot possibly stop our mind from thinking, simply do not follow thoughts and just release. If we do this more often, it will help us during the introduction to the true nature of phenomena. When there is strong anger, hatred, desire or ignorance, practise this method to release your mind from negativity and conceptual thoughts. When meditating, open your eyes and look at any object in front of you, but do not grasp onto the object. Have no conceptions. There is only this one method and there are no other ways.