An Unwanted Hello

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Taylor Horne, modified 3 Months ago at 3/11/22 4:27 AM
Created 3 Months ago at 3/11/22 4:26 AM

An Unwanted Hello

Posts: 3 Join Date: 12/8/20 Recent Posts
Howdy folks,

It's 4:17a.m. and I'm up writing this because my attempt at sleeping tonight was interrupted by an uninvited guest.

I had spent all afternoon at a local natural area meditating, experimenting with vision and hearing. All went well, had a good time, enjoyed vivid and clear colors and sounds.

As I lay in bed earlier tonight—drifting off into dreams of Yosemite—a voice suddenly, clearly, and moderately loudly said "hey" RIGHT into my left ear. I experienced the sound as either just outside or just inside my ear. 

My immediate reaction was fairly calm and measured. The sensation felt other, so I verbally requested that whoever was saying hi to me please leave me alone, and if they wish to meet that they should, in the daytime, knock on my door and say hi in the flesh instead. I then read some dharma resources as a means of making sense of my experience. 

I'm honestly afraid of it happening again, though I feel competent and confident enough to be able to deal with it if it does. I would be delighted to hear others' similar experiences and responses. I don't know anyone at the moment who wouldn't dismiss this if I brought it up. 
Martin, modified 3 Months ago at 3/11/22 10:07 AM
Created 3 Months ago at 3/11/22 10:07 AM

RE: An Unwanted Hello

Posts: 443 Join Date: 4/25/20 Recent Posts
A few years ago, not long after a big shift, I was sitting up in bed and, suddenly, a road appeared in front of me, a man walked in front of me, turned to me, and said, "What has changed?" and then kept walking. I don't mean to say that I imagined this or envisioned this. It was as plain and real as any daylight occurrence. It was really disturbing! I stopped meditating for a few weeks. It hasn't happened since. 

I don't know if this is in any way similar to your experience but my take on my experience is that poking around in the mind can result in the mind doing weird things. If I stop poking, the mind settles. 
Macky Ben-Jonah, modified 3 Months ago at 3/11/22 10:15 AM
Created 3 Months ago at 3/11/22 10:15 AM

RE: An Unwanted Hello

Posts: 74 Join Date: 2/17/22 Recent Posts
Taylor Horne
Howdy folks,

It's 4:17a.m. and I'm up writing this because my attempt at sleeping tonight was interrupted by an uninvited guest.

I had spent all afternoon at a local natural area meditating, experimenting with vision and hearing. All went well, had a good time, enjoyed vivid and clear colors and sounds.

As I lay in bed earlier tonight—drifting off into dreams of Yosemite—a voice suddenly, clearly, and moderately loudly said "hey" RIGHT into my left ear. I experienced the sound as either just outside or just inside my ear. 

My immediate reaction was fairly calm and measured. The sensation felt other, so I verbally requested that whoever was saying hi to me please leave me alone, and if they wish to meet that they should, in the daytime, knock on my door and say hi in the flesh instead. I then read some dharma resources as a means of making sense of my experience. 

I'm honestly afraid of it happening again, though I feel competent and confident enough to be able to deal with it if it does. I would be delighted to hear others' similar experiences and responses. I don't know anyone at the moment who wouldn't dismiss this if I brought it up. 


Maybe it is a lucid dream. I've heard of people hearing voices right before they go to sleep. I think it is the mind half in dreamland, and half-awake. Nothing to worry about emoticon
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Glebushka, modified 3 Months ago at 3/11/22 11:57 AM
Created 3 Months ago at 3/11/22 11:57 AM

RE: An Unwanted Hello

Posts: 3 Join Date: 9/18/18 Recent Posts
I had similarly vivid experiences as well. 

This part of Shinzen's book may be helpful (he had visuals, but the modality does not really matter):

"Eruptions in the Everyday.

For the first five or six years of my practice, I never had any unusual experiences. My main focus was just trying to deal with the pain in my legs and the wandering in my mind. But then I started having intense visionary experiences. Visionary material is very interesting; once it gets going, it’s not necessarily limited to when you’re sitting in formal practice. The images can erupt during your waking hours and may continue while you’re just walking around.

In my case, these image eruptions consisted of huge and very realistic-looking insects. They weren’t like static photographs, they moved with the distinctive articulate quality that you would find in a living arthropod. They were extremely vivid and lifelike, and worse still, gigantic! They seemed to be five or six feet long, actually. These visions continued for a year while I was in graduate school. I’d be walking to classes, and there would be these monstrous vermin greeting me along the path. It was not a problem though. In fact, I functioned quite well. It wasn’t like a psychotic or schizophrenic state, it was just a phenomenon of the intermediate realm. I interpreted it to mean that I had dropped into that realm and some material was presenting itself. I just treated it like any other mental image activity—it was just a form of visual thinking. I tracked how my awareness moved over the surface of the images (whether it was drawn to the right, left, top, or bottom). I attempted to look at the images with equanimity. If the images created emotional reactions in my body, I would try to bring concentration, clarity, and equanimity to those sensations, noticing the flavor—fear, sadness, interest, for example—the location, the felt size, shape, and whether the impact was local in my body, global over my whole body, or both. Because these arthropods moved in realistic ways, I would also focus on their movement qualities as a flow of expansion and contraction. I paid close attention to how parts of the images would fade in and fade out. I was very cognizant of the Flow of impermanence in the images. In other words, I simply applied the standard mindfulness procedures to these weird hallucinations. I didn’t try to ignore them. I didn’t try to suppress them. I did not take messages from them. I just recycled them as objects of the meditation practice, no matter how bizarre they got. As this went on, I discovered something rather extraordinary. You might assume that when you bring mindfulness to this kind of material, it would automatically get weaker and start to dissolve. And in fact, that’s what often happens. But the opposite can also occur. Sometimes the more matter-of-fact you become, the more realistic the hallucinations become. And that’s what started happening for me. I thought through the logical consequences of this. If I continued to bring concentration, clarity, and equanimity to this phenomenon, just give it total permission to do its thing, then it might become so vivid that it would be as tangible as the so-called real world itself. I decided to let that happen, and this led to a great insight. Impermanence is not merely a characteristic of sensory experience. Impermanence is also the creative flow of nature that ferments sensory experience into existence moment by moment. The more concentration, clarity, and equanimity I brought to this visionary material, the more I was able to literally see how the Flow of impermanence was molding these visions into realness. When I completely surrendered to the Flow of expansion and contraction, it began to manifest that parallel reality the same way it manifests ordinary reality. That’s why those images were becoming so realistic: I was able to detect the creative Flow of impermanence animating them from within, like the hand of some invisible puppeteer, expanding and contracting to bring life to an empty puppet. The more I let that Flow move without blocking it, the more it functioned creatively as it does in nature, and therefore the more realistically it manifested visual material. It occurred to me that if I were to completely unblock the Flow, the manifestations could become as vivid and tangible as the real world. You might think this would make a person freak out. In fact, quite the opposite should occur: it gives you liberating insight. You see how impermanence creates something that is obviously not there. A sort of figure-ground reversal takes place. It’s not that you become convinced that the hallucinations are real, rather you understand how conventional reality is in some ways a hallucination.

Young, Shinzen. The Science of Enlightenment (pp. 143-144). Sounds True. Kindle Edition. "
Martin, modified 3 Months ago at 3/11/22 12:29 PM
Created 3 Months ago at 3/11/22 12:29 PM

RE: An Unwanted Hello

Posts: 443 Join Date: 4/25/20 Recent Posts
It’s not that you become convinced that the hallucinations are real, rather you understand how conventional reality is in some ways a hallucination.
Very nice!
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Taylor Horne, modified 2 Months ago at 4/15/22 10:00 PM
Created 2 Months ago at 4/15/22 10:00 PM

RE: An Unwanted Hello

Posts: 3 Join Date: 12/8/20 Recent Posts
My thanks to all who gave replies, it is a delight to read what you all have to say <3
genaro, modified 2 Months ago at 4/16/22 7:10 AM
Created 2 Months ago at 4/16/22 7:10 AM

RE: An Unwanted Hello

Posts: 113 Join Date: 11/23/19 Recent Posts
i think you got a bit of dream state in sort of awake awareness. hey that's cool!
many people wake up early morning and see a ghost it's the same liminal thing.

Me i live in a house  in repair mode, there's lots of bare floorboards and early morning i wake up and can hear the sound of someone walking the corridoor outside my room. Then I worked out that my head was leaning in my arm and the sound was actually my own pulse.

Have you experienced the night hag? Scary when you don't know, but it's a resource if you want to try lucidty.

More recently I've been noticing dream worlds that exist and can be revisited, things change in my absence. I don't do the standard temples as I don't hang out in those communities, but with experience of reliable dream worlds you can consider how real is waking reality.
T DC, modified 2 Months ago at 4/16/22 2:46 PM
Created 2 Months ago at 4/16/22 2:45 PM

RE: An Unwanted Hello

Posts: 446 Join Date: 9/29/11 Recent Posts
Look up "hypnagogic hallucination" - it turns out hearing random spoken words is pretty common as we're drifting off to or out of sleep. 

Personal experience- once as I was waking up I heard my neighbor (not present) distinctly say my name.  It's bizarre, but nothing to be concerned about.
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 2 Months ago at 4/17/22 10:03 AM
Created 2 Months ago at 4/17/22 10:03 AM

RE: An Unwanted Hello

Posts: 6428 Join Date: 12/8/18 Recent Posts
Hey, now you made me curious. If you feel like it, I would be happy to hear more about those dream worlds. I also wonder if you have ever visited the one with a 3D labyrinth of geometrically shaped tunnels with intricately patterned walls, in which you hover around in the air? I once experienced it vividly in a meditation, while awake, and apparently others have experienced the same thing in lucid dreaming (including Carlos Castaneda).
genaro, modified 2 Months ago at 4/17/22 11:45 AM
Created 2 Months ago at 4/17/22 11:45 AM

RE: An Unwanted Hello

Posts: 113 Join Date: 11/23/19 Recent Posts
like i said 'none of the standard temples' and that includes charlie chestnut. 

(But one of them is like an internet forum where crazy people jive off each other ;-).  it's not a real place i think, it has no physical presence).

so my dream worlds are personal yet i've noticed that they persist and that others are there and things develop when i'm away, i recognise them.
most of my dreams don't go there but the locations exist for me.
i guess i've recently reevaluated dream & waking conc.
i'd have to start recording dreams to write this up, it would take weeks and months, not sure i'd like to put it on the internet unaltered, but I'll keep this open.

how did you reach the tunnels? (from what i read that was special to Carlos.) hey maybe I could try it??? 

re  the OP, since responding i had a night of loud noise and clanging sounds which sometime startled me awake. previously i've had LOUD doorbell sounds when it's time to get out of bed, I'm impressed by the volume of these effects ..... some years ago I tried to get all 5 senses into dreams, and it's not that difficult, i guess i was challenged by the question 'do you dream in colour?' and i managed to prove the point.

I'm thinking 'this is just a distraction', yet .... if dream & waking actually feel the same then that's interesting.  
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 2 Months ago at 4/17/22 12:31 PM
Created 2 Months ago at 4/17/22 12:31 PM

RE: An Unwanted Hello

Posts: 6428 Join Date: 12/8/18 Recent Posts
Ah. I wasn't sure if that was considered one of the standard temples. emoticon (I thought DhO was, though. emoticon )

Ah, if it's your personal dream worlds I totally understand if you are hesitant to describe them on an open forum. Please don't feel any pressure, and only do it if you decide that you are fine with it. It seems interesting, though. I have had some reoccurring environments as well, but it was a long time ago and I don't remember any details. It sounds like it is more developed for you. 

I have no idea how I got to the tunnels. Sorry! I think I was just letting the process lead the way, probably also paying a lot of attention to the "murk" behind my closed eyelids, and suddenly I was there. At the time I just thought "Cool, I have experienced 'fourth screen'!" (See Daniel Ingram's kasina terminology). I took it for granted that it was how my personal mind made sense of some aspects of how the human mind is structured in general, something that can be uncovered in deep concentration as part of the matrix, so to speak. It never occurred to me that it might be interpreted as another realm. So when I encountered Castaneda's detailed description of it, which exactly matched my memory of it, it scared the crap out of me for a while. According to him, it is inside an inorganic being. I really don't know what to believe, except that I suspect that he somehow had the same experience as I did. Apparently, he is not the only one either. Just like many practicioners have seen the same sacred geometry as I have seen. Maybe it does correspond to some structures of the mind. I don't know. But it's beautiful! 
Oskar M, modified 2 Months ago at 4/19/22 6:46 AM
Created 2 Months ago at 4/19/22 6:46 AM

RE: An Unwanted Hello

Posts: 252 Join Date: 3/22/21 Recent Posts
I have also had this a couple of times, I wouldn't worry really. 
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J W, modified 2 Months ago at 4/19/22 12:51 PM
Created 2 Months ago at 4/19/22 12:51 PM

RE: An Unwanted Hello

Posts: 590 Join Date: 2/11/20 Recent Posts
 Yep 'hypnagogic auditory hallucination' is what it is.  I had one of these the other day (except it wasn't a "Hey" but more of a "beep-boop-beep" like you might imagine coming from a 1950's robot out of some Hollywood scifi movie). 

It was so weird that I talked to my wife about it the next day (who doesn't really meditate) and she was like "Oh yeah, that happens to me too!" 
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J W, modified 2 Months ago at 4/19/22 12:52 PM
Created 2 Months ago at 4/19/22 12:52 PM

RE: An Unwanted Hello

Posts: 590 Join Date: 2/11/20 Recent Posts
Does anyone else frequently visit 'trash world'?  or is that one specific to my karma emoticon

as gross as it sounds it's actually one of my faves...
David V, modified 2 Months ago at 4/20/22 4:16 AM
Created 2 Months ago at 4/20/22 4:16 AM

RE: An Unwanted Hello

Posts: 3 Join Date: 4/1/22 Recent Posts
Yes, I would also classify it under 'hypnagogic auditory hallucination'. I have very similar experiences - sometimes when I meditate in the evening before going to bed I get into a state that seems to border on sleep and I start 'hearing voices'. It is an almost continuous stream of different words, parts of sentences or whole sentences spoken by different voices (male, female) and in different languages (including ones I am not familiar with). It's like being in an international airport and listening to fragments of conversations flying through space. It's quite interesting, but I wouldn't attach any particular importance to it. Definitely nothing to worry aboutemoticon
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Jim Smith, modified 2 Months ago at 4/20/22 5:32 AM
Created 2 Months ago at 4/20/22 5:31 AM

RE: An Unwanted Hello

Posts: 1132 Join Date: 1/17/15 Recent Posts
Taylor Horne
Howdy folks,

It's 4:17a.m. and I'm up writing this because my attempt at sleeping tonight was interrupted by an uninvited guest.

I had spent all afternoon at a local natural area meditating, experimenting with vision and hearing. All went well, had a good time, enjoyed vivid and clear colors and sounds.

As I lay in bed earlier tonight—drifting off into dreams of Yosemite—a voice suddenly, clearly, and moderately loudly said "hey" RIGHT into my left ear. I experienced the sound as either just outside or just inside my ear. 

My immediate reaction was fairly calm and measured. The sensation felt other, so I verbally requested that whoever was saying hi to me please leave me alone, and if they wish to meet that they should, in the daytime, knock on my door and say hi in the flesh instead. I then read some dharma resources as a means of making sense of my experience. 

I'm honestly afraid of it happening again, though I feel competent and confident enough to be able to deal with it if it does. I would be delighted to hear others' similar experiences and responses. I don't know anyone at the moment who wouldn't dismiss this if I brought it up. 


It's hard to know what caused this based on just an internet post. But there are few things that might help you handle it.
  • Auditory halucinations are very common when falling asleep. They don't necessarily mean anything. I have some experience communicating with sprits so I know something about the subject and I would guess based on what you wrote, that it is most likely just a kind of hypnogogic hallucination.
  • If you want to try communicating with it, try to always be polite and friendly. This is true if the voice is a spirit or if it is a hallucination. Spirits will react to you the way people would. If you are friendly they are more likely to be friendly. Similarly with halucinations, if they are produced by your mind, a friendly mind is more likely to produce friendly halucinations and an nasty mind is more likely to produce nasty haluciations.
George S, modified 2 Months ago at 4/20/22 7:38 AM
Created 2 Months ago at 4/20/22 7:38 AM

RE: An Unwanted Hello

Posts: 2458 Join Date: 2/26/19 Recent Posts
Jim, how does one distinguish between a spirit and a hallucination? I'm genuinely interested, thanks.
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Ni Nurta, modified 2 Months ago at 4/20/22 8:36 AM
Created 2 Months ago at 4/20/22 8:36 AM

RE: An Unwanted Hello

Posts: 930 Join Date: 2/22/20 Recent Posts
My experience with spirits can be summarized as taking normal spirits and then distilling them to make stronger rectified spirits. Of course this process creates some bad stuff which has to be dealt with because as it gets condensed it gets quite nasty. Usually its not such a big issue, especially after doing it few times. Unfortunately at times it can be quite the bother, this stuff can be quite sticky emoticon Then again if I want to enjoy very nice pure spirits I have to put some effort in to them, right? ^^

Wait... what is this topic again... ah, delirium. It does sound like something which might be related to strong spirits emoticon
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Jim Smith, modified 2 Months ago at 4/20/22 1:13 PM
Created 2 Months ago at 4/20/22 12:47 PM

RE: An Unwanted Hello

Posts: 1132 Join Date: 1/17/15 Recent Posts
George S
Jim, how does one distinguish between a spirit and a hallucination? I'm genuinely interested, thanks.


As I wrote you can't really do it reliably from a short internet post but in this case, just for a one word auditory impression, just statistically, it is vastly more likely not to be a spirit.

If the interaction has auditory and visual aspects, and there was some interaction like a conversation, or some information transfer, then it starts to be more likely to be a spirit.

Ultimately you need something verifiable to give strong evidence that it is a genuine non-physical entity. Like they tell you something (in words, symbols, or pictures) which you would have no way of knowing that you could verify afterward.

Here is something that is more likely to be a spirit:

https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/9cibs2/comment/e5b3hu8/
I was about 4 years old, visiting my great grandmother in NJ. She made a bed for me that sleep on in the living room. I fell asleep easily, but at some point I woke up and saw my great grandfather. He sat on the edge of my bed, smiled, patted my leg and got up. He put his jacket on and walked out the front door. He had been dead for longer than I had been alive and I had never met him. Adults the next morning all laughed at the silly kid with a big imagination. At grandmas request I described exactly what he was wearing: flannel shirt, suspenders, khaki pants... Generic description of any grandpa for the last 100 years. Everyone was still giggling at my cute story. But when I got up to show her how he snatched his jacket from the hook by the door and slung it on in one motion, I turned around smiling only to see her completely pale faced with tears running down her cheeks. Everyone got really quiet, and we never talked about it again. She knew I had seen him... No one else's opinion matters.

​​​​​​​There is a lot of detail in this acccount and it is meaningful to someone.

Imagery is the most common form of communication, verbal communications are much more rare. And when the communication is verbal it seems to be subjective more often than objective - hearing a spirit and experiencing it like an actual sound rather than as a thought is one of the rarest forms of communication.

In my experience with word communications they were like thoughts or I would feel them in my mouth as if I was going to say them. The times I heard something as if it was a real sound and I was hearing it with my ears it was something like music or a bird singing - not words.
John H, modified 2 Months ago at 4/20/22 1:13 PM
Created 2 Months ago at 4/20/22 1:13 PM

RE: An Unwanted Hello

Posts: 25 Join Date: 4/17/18 Recent Posts
Oliver Sacks, the neurologist of Awakenings fame, wrote a book Hallucinations, which among other things made the point that hallucinations of various sorts are common among people who aren't psychotic.
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 2 Months ago at 4/21/22 1:31 AM
Created 2 Months ago at 4/21/22 1:31 AM

RE: An Unwanted Hello

Posts: 6428 Join Date: 12/8/18 Recent Posts
I had a similar experience just now. It's morning here, and as I woke up I looked at the sunlight and wondered whether I had missed my alarm. Then I probably dozed off a little bit, or was about to, but a voice clearly calling my name made me alert. I looked around to see who was there, as it sounded like someone might be outside the window desperately needing help or something. Of course, nobody was there, and a few seconds later my alarm went off. 

As for sound hallucations, I have had them too without being psychotic. It really is rather common. 
Hector, modified 2 Months ago at 4/22/22 12:20 PM
Created 2 Months ago at 4/22/22 12:20 PM

RE: An Unwanted Hello

Posts: 99 Join Date: 5/9/20 Recent Posts
Haha I have. There was some guy tinkering with stuff there. I suppose a gnome or something 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 2 Months ago at 4/23/22 12:15 PM
Created 2 Months ago at 4/23/22 12:15 PM

RE: An Unwanted Hello

Posts: 6428 Join Date: 12/8/18 Recent Posts
I haven't, but it sounds fun. Can you describe it?