Questions on visualizations

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Vajratantrika
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Questions on visualizations

Postby Vajratantrika » Fri Feb 22, 2013 5:20 pm

Does anyone care to offer any suggestions regarding visualizations during meditation?

In both sutra level and tantra level practices there are mediations that include visualizations - for instance some of the lamrim meditations for sutra and deity yoga, guru yoga, etc. for tantra.

While I have been able to cultivate visualizations to some extant, I am always open to suggestions to improve this skill to benefit Dharma practice.

How clear are your visualizations? How detailed are they? Are your visualizations comparable to, say, a virtual reality machine? A vivid dream? A 3D movie? Or are they more like sensing the object of visualization is there, but not actually 'seeing' it with your inner-eye? If your visualizations are strong, clear and vivid, did this take a long time to attain? Or did you start out already having a propensity for being a visual-type of person? Has anyone used non-dharmic sources to improve your visualization skills (such as 'creative visualization' exercises, etc)? When you practice a sadhana where the text gives a description of a yidam, do you visualize the yidam while chanting/reciting the text or do you chant/recite the text and then pause to meditate on the yidam? Or both?

I apologize in advance for so many questions all at once. If you respond there is no obligation to address them all. Feel free to pick and choose.

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heart
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Re: Questions on visualizations

Postby heart » Fri Feb 22, 2013 9:43 pm

The question is not how they are for us but how they are for you, right? What ever you got that is what you work with.
My only hint is that a little wisdom goes a long way in developing visualizations.

/magnus
"We are all here to help each other go through this thing, whatever it is."
~Kurt Vonnegut

"The principal practice is Guruyoga. But we need to understand that any secondary practice combined with Guruyoga becomes a principal practice." ChNNR (Teachings on Thun and Ganapuja)

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Re: Questions on visualizations

Postby futerko » Fri Feb 22, 2013 10:44 pm


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Karma Dondrup Tashi
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Re: Questions on visualizations

Postby Karma Dondrup Tashi » Sat Feb 23, 2013 1:26 am

There are probably as many different kinds of practices as there are grains of sand on a beach e.g. rumor has it there are 6,400,000 dzogchen tantras alone out there somewhere. So i think it all depends which text you're working with and what systems, blueprints and maps it describes.

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Re: Questions on visualizations

Postby Vajratantrika » Sat Feb 23, 2013 11:10 am


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Re: Questions on visualizations

Postby Vajratantrika » Sat Feb 23, 2013 11:10 am


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Re: Questions on visualizations

Postby Vajratantrika » Sat Feb 23, 2013 11:12 am


Caz
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Re: Questions on visualizations

Postby Caz » Sat Feb 23, 2013 11:44 am

I was always told that the most important part of the visualisation is to believe and the rest will just come in time. :thumbsup:
Abandoning Dharma is, in the final analysis, disparaging the Hinayana because of the Mahayana; favoring the Hinayana on account of the Mahayana; playing off sutra against tantra; playing off the four classes of the tantras against each other; favoring one of the Tibetan schools—the Sakya, Gelug, Kagyu, or Nyingma—and disparaging the rest; and so on. In other words, we abandon Dharma any time we favor our own tenets and disparage the rest.

Liberation in the Palm of your hand~Kyabje Pabongkha Rinpoche.

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Re: Questions on visualizations

Postby byamspa » Sat Feb 23, 2013 7:39 pm

Somedays its super clear, I can see the details of the flowers a diety is holding, or the licks of flames.

Other days, I'm so obscured i'm lucky i get 'blue' with Maen-la or 'green' with Tara.

So you just have to keep going, have faith in the diety and your teacher and the teaching. The rest will come to fruition in its own time.
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: Questions on visualizations

Postby dakini_boi » Sat Feb 23, 2013 8:03 pm


Silent Bob
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Re: Questions on visualizations

Postby Silent Bob » Sat Feb 23, 2013 8:34 pm

The advice I got years ago to "recall the holographic nature of the display", so every part of it is implicit in every other part, turned out to be enormously helpful. Recalling this, there will still be days when "it's green..." is the best you can manage and other days when you catch a wave and it's all heart-connected, but in either case you won't be negating your own efforts with anxiety that you're doing something wrong and the everyone else's visualization is better than yours.

Another piece of advice from a very accomplished Western lama that's worked for me was, "if you view yidam and the practice of yidam as just a way to relate to the guru, then your path will be without obstacle. Which doesn't mean that it will go smoothly, it means that you'll never get into a weird trip about 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: Questions on visualizations

Postby byamspa » Mon Feb 25, 2013 3:17 pm

And a single day's 'bad' visualization coupled with aroused Bodhicitta and wisdom is better than a 'clear' visualization combined with obscuration and delusion.
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: Questions on visualizations

Postby Knotty Veneer » Mon Feb 25, 2013 9:16 pm

“Trump’s grand and vulgar self-absorption is inviting all of us to examine our own selfishness. His ignorance calls us to attend to our own blind spots. The fears that he stokes and the isolation he promotes goad us to be braver, more generous.” - James S. Gordon.

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Re: Questions on visualizations

Postby conebeckham » Mon Feb 25, 2013 10:09 pm

I cannot recommend strongly enough the book "Creation and Completion: Essential Points of Tantric Meditation" by Jamgon Kongtrul, translated by Sarah Harding, if you are engaged in deity visualization.

A quote: "The clear form of the deity is the luminous appearance of your own mind, and the unclear, disastisfying experience is also your mind!"

As for visualization, it is a mental activity, not an activity that engages the "visual sense." This is an important point. We're talking about a "mental image." Successful Visualization is really primarily about familiarity, I think. For example, if I ask you to think of, or "envision" a hammer, you will find it easy, I think, to envision a hammer in your mind's eye. You're probably doing it right now!! Right? Yidam deities, etc., are just like that, really--only more complex in the details. It requires some training and time to "flesh out" all the details. The other stumbling block is that we are told that "our bodies" arise as the deity. This is hard for some people--envisioning a hammer is not so hard, but envisioning ourselves as a hammer...well, that's a sort of "replacement," isn' t it? To help surmount this hurdle, it's useful to think about one's normal "body image" as a mental construct--which it is, really--it's quite rare that we are aware of our entire body all at once, visually. But we carry around a mental image of our entire body, which we identify as ourselves, mentally. The coarse level of deity yoga practice involves just this: Replacing that self-image with the yidam's body.

I hope these are helpful comments. Kongtrul's text is essential, IMO, if one wants to understand how these practices function.


"Absolute Truth is not an object of analytical discourse or great discriminating wisdom,
It is realized through the blessing grace of the Guru and fortunate Karmic potential.
Like this, mistaken ideas of discriminating wisdom are clarified."
- (Kyabje Bokar Rinpoche, from his summary of "The Ocean of Definitive Meaning")

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Re: Questions on visualizations

Postby Konchog1 » Tue Feb 26, 2013 1:13 am

During Daily Activities, there is no clear appearance right? Just divine pride?
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: Questions on visualizations

Postby Vajratantrika » Tue Feb 26, 2013 7:13 am

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Re: Questions on visualizations

Postby Vajratantrika » Tue Feb 26, 2013 7:15 am


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Re: Questions on visualizations

Postby Vajratantrika » Tue Feb 26, 2013 7:19 am


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Re: Questions on visualizations

Postby Vajratantrika » Tue Feb 26, 2013 7:23 am


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Re: Questions on visualizations

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