Vision Experience, Faith & Deep Thought

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Vision Experience, Faith & Deep Thought

Postby Will » Thu Apr 28, 2011 12:59 am

Spinning off from Adinath & Namdrol writing, reminded me of an old puzzle.

We all have differing spiritual tendencies, with varied amounts of faith, psychic or visionary abilities & thinking (plus others of course).

Myself having mainly faith & thought as supports, I wonder at and admire those who can "see" inwardly gurus, bodhisattvas, pure lands etcetera. I suspect if I had such frequent inner sights I would tend to rely more and more on them. Just like our worldly senses seem so very accurate, even more so would such inner visions.

Do gurus who know their disciples have such Dharma visions give critera to separate wheat from chaff or denigrate the whole thing or....?

In short, how do visionaries handle or balance their inner sights with any apparently conflicting Dharma notions?
One should refrain from biased judgments and doubting in fathoming the Buddha and the Dharma of the Buddhas. Even though a dharma may be extremely difficult to believe, one should nonetheless maintain faith in it. Nagarjuna
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Re: Vision Experience, Faith & Deep Thought

Postby adinatha » Thu Apr 28, 2011 1:54 am

I've had a meditation practice going since probably five years old. My grandfather is a yogi from Varanasi. My family has its own lineage. It was basic, but less can be more. Besides that, its the oldest on Earth. India is basically a Puru project. In some crazy mix of karma. All kshatriyas descend from our lineage. At least for me, initially the visionary experience was something gestalt. Then, I started looking into everything to see if anything matched up with my inner experience. For me, vajrayana/atiyoga were it. Nothing else quite resonated. I suppose the fact that I have a yogic family background I definitely had a bias for the lineages of methods involving channels and winds. That was a big part of my life for a long time. In my earliest memories of meditation practice, I just intuitively could feel that there was a subtler way. I also felt very strongly that the hindu yoga idea of moksha was unrefined or rudimentary somehow. But whenever I would talk to masters in various traditions, the ubiquitous response has always been to have strict lineage dogma crammed down my throat. I have always kept my mouth shut and deferred to master such and such, and kept an open mind while they showed me everything they had. When I would see something that just didn't fit my visionary experience, I would have to bail. Overtime, I had subsequent visionary experiences that build on one another and on my encounter with buddhism, and finally has landed me square into the lap of Atiyoga, the elder, from Swat. I'm not totally sold on the terma tradition. Basically, simplicity and freedom is my measuring rod. Simple and profound are synonyms for me. If there is profounder simpler understanding than the one I have; intuitively is trust myself to see that and will gravitate in that direct with force.
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Re: Vision Experience, Faith & Deep Thought

Postby ground » Thu Apr 28, 2011 2:26 am

Will wrote:Myself having mainly faith & thought as supports, ...

In short, how do visionaries ...

Faith & thought on the one hand and visions on the other hand. The latter may be caused by being carried away by the self-referential former.

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Re: Vision Experience, Faith & Deep Thought

Postby LastLegend » Thu Apr 28, 2011 2:40 am

Will wrote:Spinning off from Adinath & Namdrol writing, reminded me of an old puzzle.

We all have differing spiritual tendencies, with varied amounts of faith, psychic or visionary abilities & thinking (plus others of course).

Myself having mainly faith & thought as supports, I wonder at and admire those who can "see" inwardly gurus, bodhisattvas, pure lands etcetera. I suspect if I had such frequent inner sights I would tend to rely more and more on them. Just like our worldly senses seem so very accurate, even more so would such inner visions.

Do gurus who know their disciples have such Dharma visions give critera to separate wheat from chaff or denigrate the whole thing or....?

In short, how do visionaries handle or balance their inner sights with any apparently conflicting Dharma notions?


Vision as in seeing images of them, personally no and I do not wish for such thing. But their assistance is always there, and I recognize this. And really insights will come when our Mind is at one with Mind of Buddhas and Bodhisavattas. What I meant by this is through practice, we will have insights. Practice constitutes that we have recognized Dharma teachings, and now decided to follow Dharma teachings. We truly want to let go of attachments of body, speech, and greed, anger, and ignorance. It would be a big big problem if we still pursue wealth or looks for example while pursueing Dharma teachings. This happens due to lack of thorough understanding of Dharma teachings or faith. In other words, still have not truly decided to walk away from delusion.
Last edited by LastLegend on Thu Apr 28, 2011 3:17 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Vision Experience, Faith & Deep Thought

Postby gnegirl » Thu Apr 28, 2011 2:45 am

Will wrote:Spinning off from Adinath & Namdrol writing, reminded me of an old puzzle.

We all have differing spiritual tendencies, with varied amounts of faith, psychic or visionary abilities & thinking (plus others of course).

Myself having mainly faith & thought as supports, I wonder at and admire those who can "see" inwardly gurus, bodhisattvas, pure lands etcetera. I suspect if I had such frequent inner sights I would tend to rely more and more on them. Just like our worldly senses seem so very accurate, even more so would such inner visions.

Do gurus who know their disciples have such Dharma visions give critera to separate wheat from chaff or denigrate the whole thing or....?

In short, how do visionaries handle or balance their inner sights with any apparently conflicting Dharma notions?


w/o getting into specifics...i'm very glad i have a guru! If i start a conversation with 'something odd happened...' he listens closely to me and whatever phenom i'm currently flummoxed by and gives me the solution/meaning/next step based on the occurrence.

First time it happened tho, thought for sure i was losing it right then and there after it was finished.
"Things are not what they appear to be: nor are they otherwise." --Surangama Sutra

Phenomenon, vast as space, dharmata is your base, arising and falling like ocean tide cycles, why do i cling to your illusion of unceasing changlessness?
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Re: Vision Experience, Faith & Deep Thought

Postby Will » Thu Apr 28, 2011 4:19 am

adinath: When I would see something that just didn't fit my visionary experience, I would have to bail. Overtime, I had subsequent visionary experiences that build on one another...


You have already given us a great deal of your inner life, but not much detail, which is wise.

But just referring to your quote above - what is a misfit to your visionary experience? Did deity X say in a later vision that this teacher or path is wrong for you or it is a dead end or...

Or do you mean more like your waking state memories of the visions have a certain sympathy with each other and if a path or teacher is out of harmony with your waking state memories, then time to move on.... or...??
One should refrain from biased judgments and doubting in fathoming the Buddha and the Dharma of the Buddhas. Even though a dharma may be extremely difficult to believe, one should nonetheless maintain faith in it. Nagarjuna
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Re: Vision Experience, Faith & Deep Thought

Postby LastLegend » Thu Apr 28, 2011 4:43 am

I would like to add that if Buddhas or Bodhisavattas appear to you in dreams or visions, it is only in a brief moment and not long. If you experience something long, you bet they are not Buddhas or Bodhisavattas. So becareful with the wish to see Buddhas or Bodhisavattas.
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Re: Vision Experience, Faith & Deep Thought

Postby adinatha » Thu Apr 28, 2011 6:47 am

Will wrote:Or do you mean more like your waking state memories of the visions have a certain sympathy with each other and if a path or teacher is out of harmony with your waking state memories, then time to move on.... or...??


Yes. Exactly like this. To take the woo woo out of this, let me say this. These are projections of my mind. Truly they are hallucinations. But hallucinations generated by my deepest inner wish. My deepest inner wish is for all beings to be happy and to understand why they are not. I dwelled on this ad nauseum. So vivid dreams and visions can happen. It can happen to anyone. Let's say you read 100,000 pages of medical books. You will have dreams of reading medical books. It's the same principle. Also, if you hang around someone for a long time, you can have a dream with that person in it. These are just like reflections going on in the mind. Things happen in dreams when people dwell on things; research scientists will get answers in their dreams. Does that mean the god of genetics appeared and revealed the mind treasure of the double helix? No, but in another sense yes. What is the god of genetics? It is a mind dwelling. Buddhism has so much magical power and wonder. But if you look at it from another angle, it's just your mind. All of it. The fact that it happens in samadhi is because the channels and winds are involved making them vivid and spacious. When I told my lama about my visions, he said, "it's just your channels." Everything I have been blessed to learn from him has been to raise my level beyond channels. They are a blessing. My teacher explained what a blessing means in buddhism. It means getting close to the meaning of emptiness. That's all. That's what guru yoga is. In another sense, I've just been on this quest for the guru yoga of my heart's desire.
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Re: Vision Experience, Faith & Deep Thought

Postby gnegirl » Thu Apr 28, 2011 2:22 pm

LastLegend wrote:I would like to add that if Buddhas or Bodhisavattas appear to you in dreams or visions, it is only in a brief moment and not long. If you experience something long, you bet they are not Buddhas or Bodhisavattas. So becareful with the wish to see Buddhas or Bodhisavattas.


And if you're still not sure, check with your teacher.
"Things are not what they appear to be: nor are they otherwise." --Surangama Sutra

Phenomenon, vast as space, dharmata is your base, arising and falling like ocean tide cycles, why do i cling to your illusion of unceasing changlessness?
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Re: Vision Experience, Faith & Deep Thought

Postby Madeliaette » Thu Apr 28, 2011 4:26 pm

I have had psychic abilities since I became pregnant - which was before I became re-acquainted with Buddhism. So, for me, that came first - and the understanding of how and why I had these strange abilities and what they were about came after, when I read of similar experiences in Buddhist literature it all fell into place. My initial reaction was that I had something strange happening because of being pregnant and the fact that strange things continued afterwards made me try to find out what was going on - I was reading a lot of nonsense about ESP and telepathy trying to find out about things. It was when I read the Acariya Mun biography (Theravada) and it spoke of certain abilities that I began to fully understand and accept them. I then had to control my experiences and not misuse what I called my 'spiritual/inner life' for personal pleasure. So, for me, Buddhism helped me understand what I had already discovered and then to put it to proper rather than improper use.
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Re: Vision Experience, Faith & Deep Thought

Postby Anders » Thu Apr 28, 2011 5:34 pm

Will wrote:In short, how do visionaries handle or balance their inner sights with any apparently conflicting Dharma notions?


It's not exactly a regular occurrence, but I have received a few times what I could consider 'visionary' teachings from guanyin. Not 'visions' as such, more like 'imprints' of the perspective and mindstate of Guanyin being imparted without need for words or visuals.

'conflicting dharma notions' has never really come up in that light. What there might be in my own mind that conflicts with that perspective is simply recognised as a hangup. But primarily, these 'visions' leave the unmistakenly reassuring impression that despite appearances to the contrary, all is well with the Dharma and really we give ourselves a much harder time about this whole Buddhism lark (well, this whole 'life' lark for that matter) than what any Bodhisattva or Buddha would wish for us.
"Even if my body should be burnt to death in the fires of hell
I would endure it for myriad lifetimes
As your companion in practice"

--- Gandavyuha Sutra
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Re: Vision Experience, Faith & Deep Thought

Postby adinatha » Thu Apr 28, 2011 6:41 pm

Anders Honore wrote:
Will wrote:In short, how do visionaries handle or balance their inner sights with any apparently conflicting Dharma notions?


It's not exactly a regular occurrence, but I have received a few times what I could consider 'visionary' teachings from guanyin. Not 'visions' as such, more like 'imprints' of the perspective and mindstate of Guanyin being imparted without need for words or visuals.

'conflicting dharma notions' has never really come up in that light. What there might be in my own mind that conflicts with that perspective is simply recognised as a hangup. But primarily, these 'visions' leave the unmistakenly reassuring impression that despite appearances to the contrary, all is well with the Dharma and really we give ourselves a much harder time about this whole Buddhism lark (well, this whole 'life' lark for that matter) than what any Bodhisattva or Buddha would wish for us.


Yes. Gyanyin is the bodhisattva who will be most likely to appear to devotees, due to the powerful samaya. This really touches my heart and brings tears to my eyes.
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Re: Vision Experience, Faith & Deep Thought

Postby Will » Thu Apr 28, 2011 7:00 pm

Good responses all!

Master Hua used to be very blase about such things and just say "don't get stuck" there. And he did mention that not every "buddha" one sees in vision or dream is a good buddha. If there is slight reddish color around them, then move on quicker, a demon obstacle could be getting you in his sights.

Since I have had only a few, (good visions, but plenty of demons) :tongue: it is not a problem for me.
One should refrain from biased judgments and doubting in fathoming the Buddha and the Dharma of the Buddhas. Even though a dharma may be extremely difficult to believe, one should nonetheless maintain faith in it. Nagarjuna
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Re: Vision Experience, Faith & Deep Thought

Postby adinatha » Thu Apr 28, 2011 7:25 pm

Will wrote:Good responses all!

Master Hua used to be very blase about such things and just say "don't get stuck" there. And he did mention that not every "buddha" one sees in vision or dream is a good buddha. If there is slight reddish color around them, then move on quicker, a demon obstacle could be getting you in his sights.

Since I have had only a few, (good visions, but plenty of demons) :tongue: it is not a problem for me.


My goodness, let's not even talk about the demons... :jawdrop:
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