Part of our work in performing gongyo is changing our destiny through manifesting our desires. Manifestation or visualization work can often be difficult to track without performing rituals or keeping a grimoire, because even though you may ask for something regularly, you may not ask for it in the same way, which makes it hard for the Universe to know precisely what you want. Also, often we forget to look back and see if we have actually manifested our desires – meaning we have no way to see if our gongyo is working for us.
A good way to fix this problem is through keeping a manifestation book. This is kind of like a grimoire, but you will fill it with your manifestations and visualizations, as well as any prayers you develop. This way, you can both keep track of your progress and ensure that you are specific in what you want. Taking the time to carefully craft your manifestations and visualizations makes it more likely that you will achieve your goals. Plus, the more energy you put toward your visualizations, the more you will be able to manifest them because you are better focusing yourself to your progress.
How to create a manifestation book
First, I would recommend that you buy a solid, long-lasting unlined journal. Mine is actually bound exactly like a hardcover book and looks just like a normal book except it has no writing on the spine. Be sure to get something well-made rather than a normal spiral-bound notebook, because you will likely be using this manifestation book for a long time and you want it to stay together. The more intention and care you put into purchasing and setting up your manifestation book, the better your work will be.
There’s absolutely no limits on materials, size, or color – this is purely your own. Mine is green with lovely cream pages and a nice linen cover. You could use a leather-bound journal, one with recycled paper pages, or a cute one with a unicorn on it: whatever calls to you. You can also pick out a special pen that you only use to write during your manifestations, or use your favorite pen that has the most of your energy.
Why do I encourage you to get an unlined book? You may find that you want to paste pictures, draw, or copy liturgy into your manifestation book. Anything that calls to you and brings you closer to your goals is encouraged and allowed. The unlined paper allows you to feel freer to put whatever you would like into your journal and gives full rein to your creativity in a way that lined paper does not. Also, some people have larger handwriting than others, something that lined paper doesn’t always accommodate.
I also suggest that you keep it near your butsudan or another sacred space, so that it can enjoy the energy that you put into gongyo each day. Because you are focusing your energy on your manifestations during gongyo, this is a perfect place to put your manifestation book. You can place it in your butsudan on the shelf where you put your juzu beads and liturgy, or somewhere else. Again, it’s all up to you.
Manifestations are written in the present tense, as if you are already living what you want to have achieved. You are imagining yourself having the thing you want, living the life you’re dreaming about, or enjoying the happiness you’re hoping for.
You should keep your manifestations broad enough that they can accommodate changes in life plans or allow you to achieve things that right now, you can’t imagine coming into your life but that could make you happy in the future. However, they should also be specific enough that you can focus the energy of the Universe in the direction that you want. This sounds difficult, but once you’ve practiced with manifestations you will be able to figure out the balance of vagueness and precision that you need to offer the Universe.
For example, let’s say you want to move to Hawaii and get a job in your field. This is probably specific enough as it is. You may want to add a few more little details, like: you don’t want to go into debt moving there; you want to be able to bring along your pets; you want to move within a specific time frame (give the Universe a reasonable amount to get it together, like three years); you want to make friends when you get there; and you want to move into a decent, safe home you can afford. These are things that you need to remember to ask the Universe for so you’re not spending $20,000 to move into a horrible house that doesn’t allow dogs!
However, super-specific things like a neighborhood (or, in the case of Hawaii, a specific island), a house you have your eye on, a job with a certain company, or anything related to a very precise outcome, could blow up in your face. You could get that job – but then find out that there was a better job with better benefits that you missed out, or you get laid off six months later. You could get that house – only to find out that it has a horrible roach infestation. You could move to that neighborhood – then have a nightmare neighbor who makes your life hell. Offering the Universe the flexibility to make things happen naturally often puts you on strange and beautiful paths you could have never imagined yourself.
Here are a few examples of manifestations you might write.
“I have received a promotion and am in a position that I love. I feel respected by my coworkers and have a clear line to advancement. My skills are utilized and my pay is enough to allow me to save up for retirement and pay off old debts. I have enough free time and am able to take a vacation at least once a year. I feel satisfied with my work and energized. I am happy.” – Notice that this manifestation did NOT specify that the promotion was in the current company. The promotion could have meant moving to a better job with better pay.
“I have a group of friends who are close-knit and meet regularly. There is no drama between us and we all get along. I have so much fun with them and feel really appreciated and loved. I have never met such a great group of friends before and am so happy that I no longer spend my Fridays home alone. It’s wonderful to know people who really get me and like me for myself.” – This manifestation didn’t specify anyone in particular which is important.
“I am in a great relationship with someone who loves and adores me. There is so much trust and respect between us and I never have to worry that they will stray or cheat on me. This is the best relationship I have ever been in and I am so happy with them. We have so much fun together and appreciate one another. They make me feel so loved and are always surprising me with little displays of affection. We go on trips together and explore the world even if it’s just a new restaurant across the street. I have never been happier.” – Again, this manifestation doesn’t name a particular person, nor does it say that their current relationship (if they’re in one) isn’t the great relationship. Their current relationship could become this great relationship with some work!
Some other important things about manifestations and your manifestation book:
- Do not write coercive manifestations that try to force other people to do things. This is common in love manifestations, like “I am married to so-and-so and we’re happy together.” Maybe you’re not right for another and the Universe is trying to show you that. (I’ve been guilty of this one – I think many of us have!)
- Even if it seems like a manifestation isn’t working, keep at it. Things take time, and you may not realize that little things are happening around you that are leading up to what you want.
- Regularly go back and look at the manifestations you’ve been working at and see if any of them have manifested. If they have, write down the date that you noticed they manifested and how they manifested. This can help you improve future manifestations, and can also give you an idea of how long it can take to manifest things, if you dated the first one (which you should if possible).
- You needn’t write a manifestation in first person all the time; you can just list characteristics of your perfect situation if you want.
Digital manifestation book formats
Not everyone likes to write things down, though I believe this is more powerful because you’re putting physical energy into it, touching it and leafing through it. If you’re someone who doesn’t enjoy this kind of work, there are many different ways to make a digital manifestation book.
One great way is to make Pinterest boards for the different things you want to manifest. This is particularly good for events or things that you want, like moving to a certain place or getting married. You can make boards private so no one else has to see what you’re working on and then just add pins that you feel resonate with your desire.
You can also make a manifestation blog on a number of different formats, like Tumblr or WordPress. This is a great option because it automatically dates your manifestation, and then you can tag and search for posts by topic. It’s also easier to add pictures and media this way.
However, as I pointed out, the ease of these formats, I believe, makes them less powerful, as part of the strength of the manifestation book is the energy that you’re putting into it by writing everything out and adding pictures, etc. The less that you work on a manifestation and think about it, the less energy that’s going toward the manifestation.
The next post I will make about manifestation will be about visualization and its relation to manifestation: I will discuss how to build mental spaces and strengthen them into visualization tools. Look for that post soon!