Visualisation in Meditation - what are your experiences?

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Cino, modified 1 Month ago.

Visualisation in Meditation - what are your experiences?

Posts: 32 Join Date: 2/9/17 Recent Posts
Posted to the Magick & the Powers subforum, asking for a practice-oriented discussion. Please don't reply if you just want to speculate.

Visualisation in Meditation is a central part of the Western Esoteric tradition, but also of Eastern teachings like Tantric Buddhism. Kasina Practice is similar in its focus on visual phenomena, but also different in that it is observation of a seemlingly external object (even if the special effects are mind-made). In visualisation, the practitioner intends to "see" certain images, it is a much more "active" practice. Then there is Daniel's report of one of his first A&P experiences, which he got into while visualising planet-sized spheres in space.

One simple exercise which combines nicely with breath meditation is to visualise inhaling luminous white mist or smoke, and exhaling black smoke.

Another fairly simple one is to visualise the letters of a mantra, one by one, that one is mentally repeating. The fancy version would use Tibetan letters, but I have found it works just as well using Latin characters.

I use these mainly as concentration-type exercises, but they seem to also drive the insight cycles. One really nice A&P type experience I had recently after performing the first exercise for a while was a sort of inner perception of light, as if my mental canvas (where imagination and memory "take place") were lit up by a gentle glow. This persisted for many weeks, and is still accessible to me, so it may not have been a peak but some kind of shift after all.

Anyone got any interesting practical things to share about visualisation exercises?
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Jim Smith, modified 1 Month ago.

RE: Visualisation in Meditation - what are your experiences?

Posts: 1003 Join Date: 1/17/15 Recent Posts
I visualize the colors of the spectrum: red, orange, yellow, green, blue, purple. I spend a second or two, or a breath or two, on each color and repeat. It is very relaxing and it draws me into a deeper state of focus.  I do this as part of preparation for samatha meditation (and I do samatha to prepare for vipassana).

If someone wants to try this and has touble with pure colors you can visualize colored objects like flowers, fruits, and vegetables (red roses, oranges, lemons, limes, sky, lavender flowers) 

http://ncu9nc.blogspot.com/2020/08/preparing-for-meditation-with.html
Sam Gentile, modified 1 Month ago.

RE: Visualisation in Meditation - what are your experiences?

Posts: 1345 Join Date: 5/4/20 Recent Posts
I study in the Tibetan system where Visualization has a strong part. I'm afraid to say that, even after much practice, my visualization skills remain minimal. I'm just not good  at it.
Kelly Gordon Weeks, modified 1 Month ago.

RE: Visualisation in Meditation - what are your experiences?

Posts: 178 Join Date: 8/9/20 Recent Posts
I find that I cannot do visualizations until I'm already in absorption. Once in 2nd or 3rd jhana I can dial up images easily and hold them. I can also replay memories or live out fantasies like lucid dreaming.

I've tried doing Michael Taft's suggestion of visualizing a diamond with a blue background to become concentrated, but if I close my eyes I can't see either object. Colors are especially elusive. It's like I forget what the color blue is. 

Perhaps I need to stare at a picture for some time before meditating? Maybe then the image will be easier to visualize. 

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Sam Gentile, modified 1 Month ago.

RE: Visualisation in Meditation - what are your experiences?

Posts: 1345 Join Date: 5/4/20 Recent Posts
Kelly
You can still get up into the jhanas? That is fantastic.
Kelly Gordon Weeks, modified 1 Month ago.

RE: Visualisation in Meditation - what are your experiences?

Posts: 178 Join Date: 8/9/20 Recent Posts
Hi Sam!

Yes and I just discovered something profound which I posted about in another thread here today. Once I get very concentrated I'm able to relive experiences as if they were real again. At least they seem just as real. 

It's not clear when my jhanas are shifting so it's difficult to tell which jhana 1-4 I'm experiencing. To me, it feels like one fluid experience in which there are less and less objects, thoughts, etc. My body and breathe eventually disappear and I feel like I'm just a wave of energy. If I keep at it I'll start seeing subconscious thoughts. 

It's not always like this though. Concentration seems to be path related and sometimes I can only get as far as 2nd jhana. I have to be aware of what's going on and change my practice accordingly. 

I switched to nondual emptiness practice for a few weeks and that really shook things up. I felt a big shift from that.

Thanks for asking! I hope that you are well!

​​​​​​​-Kelly

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