Visualization exercises/techniques?

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Visualization exercises/techniques?

Postby Inge » Thu Feb 10, 2011 7:43 pm

Hi.

Due to excessive computer gaming for several years, I think, I have almost completely lost the ability to visualize, to mentally recall, or imagine, visual images. Have you found yourselves in similar conditions, and through training been able to gain or re-gain the ability to visualize? And in doing so, did you find any particular exercises or techniques to be effective?

Thanks.
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Re: Visualization exercises/techniques?

Postby ground » Thu Feb 10, 2011 7:50 pm

I feel that the study of images helps

Kind regards
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Re: Visualization exercises/techniques?

Postby Pero » Thu Feb 10, 2011 7:58 pm

Inge wrote:Hi.

Due to excessive computer gaming for several years, I think, I have almost completely lost the ability to visualize, to mentally recall, or imagine, visual images.


What really? I'd think the opposite would be the effect hehe.
Sorry I can't be of much help, I've never had much of a problem with visualization myself. The only thing I notice is that with consistent practice you get better at visualizing whatever it is you want to visualize.
Although many individuals in this age appear to be merely indulging their worldly desires, one does not have the capacity to judge them, so it is best to train in pure vision.
- Shabkar
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Re: Visualization exercises/techniques?

Postby zerwe » Fri Feb 11, 2011 4:43 am

Pero wrote:
Inge wrote:Hi.

Due to excessive computer gaming for several years, I think, I have almost completely lost the ability to visualize, to mentally recall, or imagine, visual images.


What really? I'd think the opposite would be the effect hehe.
Sorry I can't be of much help, I've never had much of a problem with visualization myself. The only thing I notice is that with consistent practice you get better at visualizing whatever it is you want to visualize.


Yep, I started with studying and memorizing images. Initially, with just one image I was able to recall and hold it in my mind for some time. Then, eventually I moved on to creating my own images from my own imagination which I now can recall and hold in my mind.
Little by little you add more and more details, as well as, more and more images.

Shaun :namaste:
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Re: Visualization exercises/techniques?

Postby dakini_boi » Fri Feb 11, 2011 5:25 am

They say faith is more important to visualization ability. . . just practice knowing that the deity is there right in front of you. I think the best way to develop this is through some kind of deity yoga practice. . . pick an easy one, like Green Tara (also, not requiring empowerment, she seems to be ideal - and only 2 arms and one face). practice her mantra, sit with her. you have to sit through the doubt. but what you do with your attention, with perseverance, will become empowered in your mind. . .

About a year ago, I really got into the tv show "Lost." - I watched it nonstop on netflix. For hours at a time. After a few days of this (like at least 5 hours per day), I would go to sleep and wake up on the island. Try sitting with Green Tara and chanting her mantra and allowing for the possibility that she is there in front of you for even one hour a day, and shortly you will probably not doubt your ability to visualize.
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Re: Visualization exercises/techniques?

Postby Chaz » Fri Feb 11, 2011 7:53 pm

Inge wrote:Hi.

Due to excessive computer gaming for several years, I think, I have almost completely lost the ability to visualize, to mentally recall, or imagine, visual images. Have you found yourselves in similar conditions, and through training been able to gain or re-gain the ability to visualize? And in doing so, did you find any particular exercises or techniques to be effective?

Thanks.


'If you poke around online storefronts catering to Buddhist practioners, you'll find these handy little things called "alter cards". They usually have a image of deity or a mandala on them and are very usefull for practices requiring visualization practices, especially for complex images such as yidams, etc.

There are meidtation techniques that help a student learn visualization. They are varied, but one method is that use viualize colors - red, white, blue, green & yellow ride in and out on the breat filling the space in front of you. This isn't as easy as it sounds. Done corrrectly, this practice should involve no conceptualization and it's easy, at first, to develop an inner dialog that accompanies the colors as they arise. There are visualization techniques that can be used with Tonglen meditation - where the being involved in the mediation is visualized seated before you.

In some traditions it's believed that visualizing the guru, seated in vajra posture above your head, at the moment of death creates conditions for favorable rebirth. I've found that practicing this - visualizing the precious guru seated above my head - is a good practice for other visulaizations and can be practiced any time and anywhere.
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Re: Visualization exercises/techniques?

Postby Inge » Sat Feb 12, 2011 12:43 am

Pero wrote:What really? I'd think the opposite would be the effect hehe.
Sorry I can't be of much help, I've never had much of a problem with visualization myself. The only thing I notice is that with consistent practice you get better at visualizing whatever it is you want to visualize.


It's only my theory, and what I feel. The almost constant feeding of the greed for action that the games present I think has strengthened the "mad monkey" aspect of the mind, while other aspects, like visualization, concentration and presence is very much weakened.

Why would you think playing computer games would strengthen the ability to visualize?
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Re: Visualization exercises/techniques?

Postby Inge » Sat Feb 12, 2011 12:58 am

Thank you for the different suggestions presented above. Now I have to try the methods. I think what I have been doing is to try to visualize using parts of functions of the mind that are non-visual.
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Re: Visualization exercises/techniques?

Postby dakini_boi » Sat Feb 12, 2011 6:49 am

here's another exercise, that could be an easier preliminary to the deity yoga i suggested above. . .

invite a friend over and sit across from them. look at them for 15 seconds. then close your eyes and imagine them there. have a conversation, and alternate between eyes open and closed. chances are, you'll be able to visualize rather easily, since there is no issue of doubting their presence. this will make the point about how important it is to be convinced of the presence of the being you're visualizing.

then you can try to change their color in your visualization. visualize them as green tara or red amitabha or whatever.

yes, you're right - bottom line is to keep trying things. try many different exercises every day until you get it, and keep offering the wish-path to gain crystal-clear, luminous, inspiring visualization ability. for the benefit of all sentient beings!
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Re: Visualization exercises/techniques?

Postby Paul » Sun Feb 13, 2011 8:26 pm

Inge wrote:Why would you think playing computer games would strengthen the ability to visualize?


Personally, I think things like TV and games can damage the mind's ability to sit still and concentrate, but there's always this: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tetris_effect
This nature of mind is spontaneously present.
That spontaneity I was told is the dakini aspect.
Recognizing this should help me
Not to be stuck with fear of being sued.

-Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche
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Re: Visualization exercises/techniques?

Postby Pero » Mon Feb 14, 2011 3:24 pm

Inge wrote:It's only my theory, and what I feel. The almost constant feeding of the greed for action that the games present I think has strengthened the "mad monkey" aspect of the mind, while other aspects, like visualization, concentration and presence is very much weakened.


I think it's true about the monkey mind part and the rest, except visualization.

Why would you think playing computer games would strengthen the ability to visualize?


Well, in my case, after I've finished playing I'd go over it again in my head, developing strategies on what to do next or just replaying the scenario. I suppose you could say I daydreamed about it. After long periods of exposure to a game I found it no problem to visualize what was happening in the game (and I don't mean when stuff gets imprinted in your retina haha). I think that to some degree games helped develop my imagination and with that also visualization. Actually I think playing games could be a great meditation practice, unfortunatelly it's also very difficult not to get distracted and completely drawn in the game, which is why I never used them like that myself.
Although many individuals in this age appear to be merely indulging their worldly desires, one does not have the capacity to judge them, so it is best to train in pure vision.
- Shabkar
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