So what is the difference between meditation and visualization and why is visualization so important? Meditation is important because it can help the body relax and focus. Visualization, on the other hand, is a simple tool that can increase meditation techniques and even help the mind concentrate in a more efficient manner.
Some people have a lot of trouble meditating. The last thing their minds want to do when they're told to relax is actually relax. The more the person tries to clear their mind, the more the mind wants to fill with clutter. Visualization can help this, however, and make relaxing and concentrating easier.
A simple visualization method can include numbers. For instance, when you're trying to relax your mind and meditate you might want to focus on counting. Practice visualizing the numbers as your mind focuses on the counting itself. This is a way of 'tricking' your mind into focusing on something besides the daily news, household chores, and bank statements.
Visualization can also be helpful when you are actually trying for astral projection. Some people have a lot of luck and success in visualizing the actual cord or rope that connects the astral body with the physical body. Visualizing the rope leading upwards and then imagining yourself slowly climbing up that rope might be helpful in the projection itself.
Or, you might want to try visualizing a soothing, peaceful white light filled with energy surrounding you as you attempt to meditate and project. Keeping up with the white light idea, visualizing a ball of white light filled with energy that you ingest and then circulate throughout your body, relaxing each part that it touches, can be a good way of relaxing and meditating at the same time.
Visualization might be most effective when it comes to figuring out your destination during your astral projection. Having an idea of where you want to go is important but being able to envision that place, or even that person that you wish to communicate with can be just as important. The more specific you can be about your travels, the better chance you will have to actually make it there.
It can take some practice to get visualization right and that's okay. Not everyone has a lucid and visual mind and some people don't think in images at all. With a little bit of practice, however, you can learn to get good at it and it can definitely help you in your travels in the future.