Visualization

Discussion of meditation in the Mahayana and Vajrayana traditions.

Visualization

Postby Dave The Seeker » Sat Sep 01, 2012 3:54 pm

I have been meditating for some time now, about 9 +/- months.
I am able to calm my mind and not get many thoughts going on, usually.

But the one thing I can not do is visualize anything. I'm not sure if this is because of the many years, decades, of drug and alcohol abuse, or if my mind just doesn't have the ability. I used to be very artistic and could 'see' the picture in my mind while drawing it. But this was a long time ago. I also very very rarely remember dreams, I know we all have them, but to me I just wake up and not remember anything.

Is there a way to help in the ability to visualize while meditating? :shrug:

Thanks for all your help on this
Everyday problems teach us to have a realistic attitude.
They teach us that life is what life is; flawed.
Yet with tremendous potential for joy and fulfillment.
~Lama Surya Das~

If your path teaches you to act and exert yourself correctly and leads to spiritual realizations such as love, compassion and wisdom then obviously it's worthwhile.
~Lama Thubten Yeshe~

One whose mind is freed does not argue with anyone, he does not dispute with anyone. He makes use of the conventional terms of the world without clinging to them
~The Buddha~
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Re: Visualization

Postby practitioner » Sat Sep 01, 2012 5:18 pm

Use a visual aid like a statue, thangka or deity card until the image is ingrained in your mind. And then just keep practicing, it gets easier. If you are trying to visualize seed syllables find and image of that and use it.
One should do nothing other than benefit sentient beings either directly or indirectly - Shantideva
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Re: Visualization

Postby Dave The Seeker » Sat Sep 01, 2012 6:35 pm

Thanks, I'll give that a try. I appreciate the help :namaste:
Everyday problems teach us to have a realistic attitude.
They teach us that life is what life is; flawed.
Yet with tremendous potential for joy and fulfillment.
~Lama Surya Das~

If your path teaches you to act and exert yourself correctly and leads to spiritual realizations such as love, compassion and wisdom then obviously it's worthwhile.
~Lama Thubten Yeshe~

One whose mind is freed does not argue with anyone, he does not dispute with anyone. He makes use of the conventional terms of the world without clinging to them
~The Buddha~
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Re: Visualization

Postby CrawfordHollow » Sat Sep 01, 2012 8:48 pm

Not so sure that past drug use has anything to do with it, I speak from experience as I abused heroin and all sorts of hallucinogens for years. You need to understand that the mental consiousness is not like the other sensory consiousness, so don't expect to get a clear and stable image right off. If you are doing deity yoga, there is much more to the process than just creating a visualization. You are using the imaginative abilities of the mind to create an overall "feeling" of being the deity. This of course needs to be supported by the transmission of empowerment. Alexander Berzin gives some great advice on visualization on his website www.berzinarchives.com. If you are using visualization for shamatha, it can be usefull to start by using an object for support, such as a picture of a Tibetan or Sanskrit syllable. It is just something that takes time so don't get frustrated. I had a really hard time learning to visualize Tibetan syllables facing outward, I was so used to seeing them in a certain way. It is still difficult for me after years, so don't get too hard on yourself and certaintly do not doubt you ability, just keep trying!

Have you read anything by Khenchen Thrangu Rinpoche? He is a master scholar and meditator of the Karma Kagyu tradition. I believe his teachings on meditation and the mind would be useful to any meditator, even if they do not practice in the Tibetan tradition. His website is www.rinpoche.com and there are a ton of profound teachings. Check it out if you haven't already. Hope this helps

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Re: Visualization

Postby Dave The Seeker » Sat Sep 01, 2012 11:08 pm

Thanks, I appreciate the help. I'm not going to give up, was just hoping to get some help in getting going in the right direction.
I'll check out the links you gave me as well. :namaste:
Everyday problems teach us to have a realistic attitude.
They teach us that life is what life is; flawed.
Yet with tremendous potential for joy and fulfillment.
~Lama Surya Das~

If your path teaches you to act and exert yourself correctly and leads to spiritual realizations such as love, compassion and wisdom then obviously it's worthwhile.
~Lama Thubten Yeshe~

One whose mind is freed does not argue with anyone, he does not dispute with anyone. He makes use of the conventional terms of the world without clinging to them
~The Buddha~
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Re: Visualization

Postby Konchog1 » Sun Sep 02, 2012 12:23 am

Close your eyes. Have someone silently stand in front of you. You should feel their presence. Visualize the deities the same way. You don't have to see them, just feel them. Good luck.
Equanimity is the ground. Love is the moisture. Compassion is the seed. Bodhicitta is the result.

-Paraphrase of Khensur Rinpoche Lobsang Tsephel citing the Guhyasamaja Tantra

"All memories and thoughts are the union of emptiness and knowing, the Mind.
Without attachment, self-liberating, like a snake in a knot.
Through the qualities of meditating in that way,
Mental obscurations are purified and the dharmakaya is attained."

-Ra Lotsawa, All-pervading Melodious Drumbeats
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Re: Visualization

Postby catmoon » Sun Sep 02, 2012 9:36 am

I read about a nifty idea in which one begins small- with fingernail or an earlobe - and then visualizes that in detail, adding small parts of the image as each part becomes clear in the mind. It does seem effective.
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Re: Visualization

Postby Dave The Seeker » Sun Sep 02, 2012 12:08 pm

Thanks for the added ideas! :twothumbsup:

I guess I'll try each one out for a week or so and see how it goes.
I really appreciate all the help.
Everyday problems teach us to have a realistic attitude.
They teach us that life is what life is; flawed.
Yet with tremendous potential for joy and fulfillment.
~Lama Surya Das~

If your path teaches you to act and exert yourself correctly and leads to spiritual realizations such as love, compassion and wisdom then obviously it's worthwhile.
~Lama Thubten Yeshe~

One whose mind is freed does not argue with anyone, he does not dispute with anyone. He makes use of the conventional terms of the world without clinging to them
~The Buddha~
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Location: Reading MI USA

Re: Visualization

Postby Silent Bob » Sun Sep 02, 2012 11:00 pm

For you, the foremost obstacle to visualizing properly is your worry that you've got it all wrong. Think about it--do you need to look in the mirror to remember what your face looks like? If you think about your apartment, for example, you can do it without having to remember every single thing in it, right? I found it tremendously helpful when it was pointed out to me that the visualization is holographic in nature, that every part of it is implicit in every other part. The important part is to relax and inhabit the deity fully, inseparably and with divine pride, then it won't be necessary to laboriously go from jewel to jewel to jewel and torture yourself that you're not getting it.

Chris
"All the sublime teachings, so profound--to throw away one and then grab yet another will not bear even a single fruit. Persevere, therefore, in simply one."
--Dudjom Rinpoche, "Nectar for the Hearts of Fortunate Disciples. Song No. 8"
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Re: Visualization

Postby futerko » Mon Sep 03, 2012 10:10 am

You may find that stimulating other senses helps, you could try adding sound or visualising a movement of energy rather than just light.
we cannot get rid of God because we still believe in grammar - Nietzsche
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Re: Visualization

Postby Dave The Seeker » Mon Sep 03, 2012 12:07 pm

Again, thanks for the replies, I appreciate all the help :namaste:
Everyday problems teach us to have a realistic attitude.
They teach us that life is what life is; flawed.
Yet with tremendous potential for joy and fulfillment.
~Lama Surya Das~

If your path teaches you to act and exert yourself correctly and leads to spiritual realizations such as love, compassion and wisdom then obviously it's worthwhile.
~Lama Thubten Yeshe~

One whose mind is freed does not argue with anyone, he does not dispute with anyone. He makes use of the conventional terms of the world without clinging to them
~The Buddha~
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Posts: 409
Joined: Wed Dec 14, 2011 11:02 pm
Location: Reading MI USA


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