Visionary Experience in Buddhism

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Visionary Experience in Buddhism

Postby AdmiralJim » Sat Jan 07, 2012 6:55 pm

So what are Buddhist experiencing when they get visions as a result of particular practices?
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Visionary Experience in Buddhism

Postby Malcolm » Sat Jan 07, 2012 7:14 pm

AdmiralJim wrote:So what are Buddhist experiencing when they get visions as a result of particular practices?



That really depends on how deluded they are.
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Re: Visionary Experience in Buddhism

Postby catmoon » Sat Jan 07, 2012 9:02 pm

yup, visions range all the way from the divine to the ridiculous. An example of the ridiculous kind would be to sit in the dark pressing on your eyeballs and trying to divine meaning into the resulting random light display. Something similar happened to me recently in a meditation class where I focussed on a tiny point on the altar, retinal fatigue set in, and I was treated to an LSD-like light show. Completely useless. Or very nearly so, I guess I did learn a bit about the nature of perception.
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Re: Visionary Experience in Buddhism

Postby Sönam » Sat Jan 07, 2012 11:20 pm

catmoon wrote:yup, visions range all the way from the divine to the ridiculous. An example of the ridiculous kind would be to sit in the dark pressing on your eyeballs and trying to divine meaning into the resulting random light display. ...


It could only be understood in a particular context ... one may always be careful when maintaining the ridiculous.

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By understanding everything you perceive from the perspective of the view, you are freed from the constraints of philosophical beliefs.
By understanding that any and all mental activity is meditation, you are freed from arbitrary divisions between formal sessions and postmeditation activity.
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Re: Visionary Experience in Buddhism

Postby PadmaVonSamba » Sun Jan 08, 2012 12:12 am

If you mean a vision like seeing the Virgin of Guadalupe,
I've never had the pleasure.
But I have had my share of amazements.
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Re: Visionary Experience in Buddhism

Postby AdmiralJim » Mon Jan 09, 2012 9:32 pm

Well I have just finished reading about the life of Tilopa, who is said to have had visions of the primoridal Buddha Dorje Chang, how seriously are we to take these visionary experiences? I myself have had strange dreams with regards to certain aspects of teaching although I don't put much stock in them.
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Re: Visionary Experience in Buddhism

Postby Will » Mon Jan 09, 2012 10:22 pm

AdmiralJim wrote:Well I have just finished reading about the life of Tilopa, who is said to have had visions of the primoridal Buddha Dorje Chang, how seriously are we to take these visionary experiences? I myself have had strange dreams with regards to certain aspects of teaching although I don't put much stock in them.


Tilopa took this sort of vision seriously, as do most Buddhists, when they have visions of respected gurus, bodhisattvas & buddhas or demons.
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: Visionary Experience in Buddhism

Postby Nighthawk » Thu Jan 12, 2012 10:05 pm

Will wrote:
AdmiralJim wrote:Well I have just finished reading about the life of Tilopa, who is said to have had visions of the primoridal Buddha Dorje Chang, how seriously are we to take these visionary experiences? I myself have had strange dreams with regards to certain aspects of teaching although I don't put much stock in them.


Tilopa took this sort of vision seriously, as do most Buddhists, when they have visions of respected gurus, bodhisattvas & buddhas or demons.


So what about Catholic saints who are reported to see visions of the Virgin Mary? Are they false from the Buddhist POV since theism is rejected by Buddhists?
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Re: Visionary Experience in Buddhism

Postby PadmaVonSamba » Thu Jan 12, 2012 11:01 pm

Ryoto wrote:
So what about Catholic saints who are reported to see visions of the Virgin Mary? Are they false from the Buddhist POV since theism is rejected by Buddhists?


I think the question of when a "vision" is 'true' or 'false' needs to be looked at.
If we are proposing the idea of the object of a vision (Mary, or Buddha or whatever)
as being essentially different from the mind of the person experiencing the vision,
something exclusively external
then this would be rejected from a buddhist perspective.
So, like the saying goes, if you meet the Buddha on the road, kill him.

But if one realizes the mind's nature free from obscurations,
then it is no different from a Buddha, even though the vision may appear outside of oneself.
This is because it is only called a 'vision'
when really, it is an expression of the mind's true nature.

It's like shining a flashlight on a wall. The light appear to be on the wall, way over there.
In fact, it is on the wall. But it is also the same light coming from the flashlight, right here.
It isn't two different lights.

This doesn't mean that what Tilopa saw was just all in his imagination.
it means that whatever he saw, that being exists at a level of clarity that is obscured to most people,
like tall skyscrapers that disappear on cloudy days.

I think, the Catholic version is more like the light appearing on the wall
but nobody has a flashlight turned on.
So they call it a 'miracle'.
.
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The Chinese characters are Fo (buddha) and Ming (bright). The image is of a student of Buddhism, who, imagining himself to be a monk, and not understanding the true meaning of the words takes the sound of the words literally. Likewise, People on web forums sometime seem to be foaming at the mouth.
Original painting by P.Volker /used by permission.
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Re: Visionary Experience in Buddhism

Postby Nighthawk » Fri Jan 13, 2012 6:57 am

Awesome explanation. Thanks.
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Re: Visionary Experience in Buddhism

Postby kirtu » Fri Jan 13, 2012 7:15 am

AdmiralJim wrote:So what are Buddhist experiencing when they get visions as a result of particular practices?


If it's a legitimate vision, then they are primarily experiencing the result of some purification.

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Re: Visionary Experience in Buddhism

Postby PadmaVonSamba » Fri Jan 13, 2012 9:29 pm

I knew a buddhist who drank all the time and was always going around in a stupa.
Profile Picture: "The Foaming Monk"
The Chinese characters are Fo (buddha) and Ming (bright). The image is of a student of Buddhism, who, imagining himself to be a monk, and not understanding the true meaning of the words takes the sound of the words literally. Likewise, People on web forums sometime seem to be foaming at the mouth.
Original painting by P.Volker /used by permission.
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Re: Visionary Experience in Buddhism

Postby JinpaRangdrol » Fri Jan 13, 2012 9:42 pm

PadmaVonSamba wrote:I knew a buddhist who drank all the time and was always going around in a stupa.


Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha!!!! :applause:
One of the best Buddhist jokes I've heard in a while.
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Re: Visionary Experience in Buddhism

Postby steveb1 » Fri Jan 13, 2012 10:17 pm

If memory serves, Shinran experienced a vision of a Buddha who informed him that Honen was "the man to see" in regard to Shinran's problems with practice.
And if I'm not mistaken, certain Tibetan disciplines cultivate a visionary practice wherein Buddhas and other celestial beings can be the objects of both perception and union. However, as has already been pointed out, these "beings" are not conceived as wholly separate from the practitioner's own concsiousness. Otherwise, the vision would be non-Buddhistic and much more related to "I-Thou Separation" religions that contain Marian apparitions and suchlike...
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