Devotional meditation is a means of awakening and expressing our own inner resources, which are essential for healing. To heal our mind and body, we visualize images of the Buddha. We think of and feel the presence of these Healing Buddhas, the enlightened ones to whom we pray, and believe in their healing power. We invoke and enjoy their blessings.
This may sound like idol worshipping, but it really is not. In Buddhism, external sources and mental objects are a means to an end. The ultimate source of healing is our mind, not the external objects, which of themselves have no power to save us or change our fate. The Buddha said,
I have shown you
The way that leads beyond the pain of craving.
(But) Buddha is (just) a guide.
You are the one who must take the steps.
Accepting blessed objects as the means of training is what Buddhists call "skillful means." Blessed objects inspire us and support us, but the main factor is not the objects. It is the way we see, think, and feel about these objects, the strength of our trust in them, which helps us advance along the positive path of healing.
This Excerpt on devotional meditation is from: Boundless Healing, Tulku Thondup, Shambhala Publications