Visualization Questions

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Visualization Questions

Postby Nilasarasvati » Sun Jun 02, 2013 9:04 pm

Some things I've always wanted to ask a broad purview of experienced practitioners:

1. Sometimes I see specific people as my visualized deities, the Buddha, etc. Not on purpose (or maybe slightly) because, admittedly, if I'm going to picture a beautiful youthful Manjusri, a golden Joseph-Gordon-Levitt Pops into mind :emb: Or sometimes, people I know already who seem close to how I would imagine Vajrayogini. Rejecting that seems no more helpful than accepting that, but in light of the fact that we are supposed to have these incredibly clear, life-like, vital visualizations (not like a sculpture, thangka, etc we are told again and again) I wonder what have others done/been told?

2. When it comes to Padmasambhava, I have a very very difficult time visualizing him only because...the Art that depicts him conflicts so deeply with what I read in texts and what I, personally, imagine and feel connected to. An eight year old with rosy cheeks and semiwrathful majesty is very, very different from the mustache'd figure we see with an incredibly large forehead and unibrow in many paintings.

It's only a problem because I don't want to visualize something that's merely my fantasy or indulgent escapist idea, nor do I feel any devotion/connection at all toward the majority of traditional depictions of Guru Rinpoche.

I've asked one teacher about this second one and he sort of dismissed my worries and said I needed to practice more--which is often his response :anjali: However a year later I still have the same practical question and I'm removed from his presence.
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Re: Visualization Questions

Postby ngodrup » Mon Jun 03, 2013 6:35 am

I think realistically GR appears to individual practitioners as a combination
of traditional iconography and personal standards of "attractive."

As for the 8 year old form, that is traditional too.
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Re: Visualization Questions

Postby Lingpupa » Mon Jun 03, 2013 10:04 am

Nilasarasvati wrote:When it comes to Padmasambhava, I have a very very difficult time visualizing him only because...the Art that depicts him conflicts so deeply with what I read in texts and what I, personally, imagine and feel connected to. An eight year old with rosy cheeks and semiwrathful majesty is very, very different from the mustache'd figure we see with an incredibly large forehead and unibrow in many paintings.

These are, as you say different forms. Which form (of many, thought eight are particularly important) depends on which practice text you are using. You simply need to be clear about which form you are supposed to be using at any one time, so as not to muddle it with the others.
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