Why is it when I do visualizations, I get tired?

Discussion of meditation in the Mahayana and Vajrayana traditions.

Why is it when I do visualizations, I get tired?

Postby Buddhist Prime » Tue Mar 27, 2012 11:04 pm

Like I'll be trying to visualize this burning candle, behind my closed eyelids, every now and then take a peek at the real one, but then go back to trying to see it behind closed eyelids, after about 5 minutes of this, I want to just fall out of Lotus Position onto the floor and go to sleep.

I'm thinking that maybe the body thinks I'm dreaming so tries to paralyze the body to prevent it from acting out dream scenarios. But damn, just trying to hold the image wears me out. Anybody have problems like this? Any technique to overcome this without breaking the concentration of my object of meditation?
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Re: Why is it when I do visualizations, I get tired?

Postby deepbluehum » Tue Mar 27, 2012 11:15 pm

It's from focusing and trying.
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Re: Why is it when I do visualizations, I get tired?

Postby catmoon » Wed Mar 28, 2012 5:39 am

The time and place of the meditation might be a problem. Worst case would be something like: have a very late and very large dinner, then go sit on your bed in the dark. Under such circumstances most people will last about 15 minutes.

Standard remedies are to get up and do standing or walking meditation for a while, or to do prostrations. Meditating in a cold place can help.
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Re: Why is it when I do visualizations, I get tired?

Postby Josef » Wed Mar 28, 2012 5:41 am

yoga
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Re: Why is it when I do visualizations, I get tired?

Postby Kilaya. » Wed Mar 28, 2012 6:02 am

Try to relax your mind during visualization. Visualization is not so much about seeing something with your mind, feeling the presence of the visualized object is more important.
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Re: Why is it when I do visualizations, I get tired?

Postby Dechen Norbu » Wed Mar 28, 2012 1:26 pm

Buddhist Prime wrote:Like I'll be trying to visualize this burning candle, behind my closed eyelids, every now and then take a peek at the real one, but then go back to trying to see it behind closed eyelids, after about 5 minutes of this, I want to just fall out of Lotus Position onto the floor and go to sleep.

I'm thinking that maybe the body thinks I'm dreaming so tries to paralyze the body to prevent it from acting out dream scenarios. But damn, just trying to hold the image wears me out. Anybody have problems like this? Any technique to overcome this without breaking the concentration of my object of meditation?

Beyond the advice you received already, you can also try to fine tune the balance between relaxation and focusing. If you focus too hard, you get wasted. Release for a little and if you start losing the object, focus a little harder. Then release again. There's nothing to it, so you'll manage. It just takes a little experience.
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Re: Why is it when I do visualizations, I get tired?

Postby asunthatneversets » Wed Mar 28, 2012 8:38 pm

Edit: (Haha I just posted this and then read your post Dechen! Didn't mean to restate the same insight!)

Sounds like you also may be too relaxed perhaps. It's one of the two.. Over exertion or under exertion. Finding that balance is key. Maybe try noticing the intensity of practice, if you start feeling tired then focus more, and if you feel too tense then let up and relax. Also perhaps visualizing something easier like a ball of light and then different colors, something simple may be less strenuous to start. And then work up to a candle.
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Re: Why is it when I do visualizations, I get tired?

Postby Blue Garuda » Wed Mar 28, 2012 9:40 pm

Everyone is different, of course.

Blame karma ripening! LOL :)

Some people have incredible ability to focus, other minds meander around or experience 'mental sinking' really quickly.

I used to have a near 'photographic' memory. Now I can't remember sadhanas and even when I practise them every day I still need the text in front of me. However, images stick. In other words, we all have our obstructions as well.

Because we are all different, 'trying' to climb a ladder of attainment will motivate some, whilst others will feel attracted to a passive revelation.

Examine the elements: place, time, object etc. and experiment with changes to each. ;)
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Re: Why is it when I do visualizations, I get tired?

Postby Sherab Dorje » Wed Mar 28, 2012 10:44 pm

Try visualising it with your eyes open. You see, normally, when we close our eyes for any lenghy period of time, especially if we are relaxed, our body natural tends to go to sleep.

By the way, why are you trying to visualise a burning candle? Is that a specific exercise that your teacher has given you? A fire kasina?
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Re: Why is it when I do visualizations, I get tired?

Postby alpha » Mon Apr 02, 2012 1:08 am

What does it mean when from the perspective of the one who meditates the left side of the visualization is clearer than the right?
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