Hi JayK, I just started practicing SFQ recently and also had a very hard time visualizing energy leaving as smoke. I think it's because I see smoke as stagnant, and it took a lot of energy to visualize it going to the end of the universe (as Chunyi says), and sometimes serves as a distraction during practice. Then I ordered the Butterfly meditation recently, and...WOW. I have to admit with the butterfly theme I was expecting something very light, but the effects have been very powerful - in particular, my body twitches after the meditation and I can feel my channels open, in a way I can only compare with an acupuncture treatment but on a deeper level. So for me visualizing excess energy as transforming to butterflies flying away from the body is not only much easier, but more effective than smoke. And, I believe Chunyi absolutely supports replacing smoke with butterflies (or whatever works best for you) during practice.