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 Post subject: Unable to visualize
PostPosted: Mon Jan 16, 2012 9:33 am 
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I saw this in the "smoking tobacco" thread
Namdrol wrote:
Fa Dao wrote:
Is it possible from a Tibetan medical or spiritual standpoint or any other for that matter that smoking could effect my ability to do visualization?...


Yes, by disturbing your wind/vatta/rlung.
...

N


I have been trying to learn to visualize for a couple of year now, but it is as if I lack the ability to do so. Could this be a result of my rlung imbalance? Is it something specific that can be done in order to overcome this problem.

I feel that much of the practice I try to do is ineffective because I can't do the visualisations. Especially the guru yoga of white A.


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 Post subject: Re: Unable to visualize
PostPosted: Mon Jan 16, 2012 3:43 pm 
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I wonder - how do you try to visualize? do you actually try to see it? in 3d picture in your mind?


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 Post subject: Re: Unable to visualize
PostPosted: Mon Jan 16, 2012 3:58 pm 
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A good way to get a visualization rolling is to work from a real object. You look at the object for a bit (in my case Buddha statue) then close the eyes and visualize it a small bit at a time, then check the visualization against the real thing, rinse and repeat.

Have you tried this? Images of the white A/Ah are readily available on the internet and should print up to a useful size on standard paper.


Something else you can do is put a tiny black dot in the center of the A image a stare at it intently for fifteen minutes or more. Retinal fatigue will set in and the letter will flare up in a surrealistic brightness, sometimes multicolored.The ethereal brightness and unbelievable saturation of the colors is memorable and transferable to visualization.

Btw be prepared for a bit of a shock if you should accidentally look at a white wall after this practice. :D

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 Post subject: Re: Unable to visualize
PostPosted: Mon Jan 16, 2012 4:05 pm 
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Inge wrote:
I saw this in the "smoking tobacco" thread
Namdrol wrote:
Fa Dao wrote:
Is it possible from a Tibetan medical or spiritual standpoint or any other for that matter that smoking could effect my ability to do visualization?...


Yes, by disturbing your wind/vatta/rlung.
...

N


I have been trying to learn to visualize for a couple of year now, but it is as if I lack the ability to do so. Could this be a result of my rlung imbalance? Is it something specific that can be done in order to overcome this problem.

I feel that much of the practice I try to do is ineffective because I can't do the visualisations. Especially the guru yoga of white A.


Well, visualize a western Letter A in a thigle. That is fine.

IN terms of deity practice, in Dzogchen, it is sufficient to think you are the deity. There is no need to focus on all details.

N

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 Post subject: Re: Unable to visualize
PostPosted: Mon Jan 16, 2012 4:52 pm 
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This could help too, if for whatever reason you ever want to go into more detail:

http://www.fpmt.org/education/programs/ ... e-3.html#4

Additional advice I've read on visualizing our self as the Deity, is to not merely imagine that we are imagining we are the Deity, but to visualize that we actually are the Deity (which you probably already know anyway).


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 Post subject: Re: Unable to visualize
PostPosted: Mon Jan 16, 2012 6:42 pm 
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As this topic has turned into a general discussion it has been moved to Alternative Health.

Regards,


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 Post subject: Re: Unable to visualize
PostPosted: Mon Jan 16, 2012 8:43 pm 
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I dunno if this is really an "Alternative health" answer....but I think folks who say they are unable to visualize may be trying too hard, or missing the forest for trees, or something like that...

Anyway--calling an image to mind is something almost everyone can do. If I say, for example, "Think about a Stop Sign" you will call to mind the image of a stop sign. Then, if I say, for example, "now concentrate on the letter "S" on the sign" most people can do this, for an instant or so, at least..... Visualizing deities is the same--one needs to be familiar with the image, and call it to mind. What's hard, much of the time, is thinking of oneself as that image. If such is the case, than recall that it is one's mind that is the nature of the deity, --what is called to mind, as an image, is of a piece with the mind itself.

That advice has helped me, in the past--perhaps it will help someone else.

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 Post subject: Re: Unable to visualize
PostPosted: Mon Jan 16, 2012 9:36 pm 
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I think Cone is very much correct.

I read this yesterday, which seems excellent advice:

"If we are practicing visualisation and have no expectation, then whatever kind of deity we visualise, we will spontaneously see Wisdom Deity. Too much serious concentration is the cause of grasping neurotic mind." Magic Dance, p51 Thinley Norbu Rinpoche

Visualisation does come a lot easier if it's done with a very relaxed attitude.

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 Post subject: Re: Unable to visualize
PostPosted: Mon Jan 16, 2012 10:57 pm 
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Inge wrote:
I have been trying to learn to visualize for a couple of year now, but it is as if I lack the ability to do so. Could this be a result of my rlung imbalance? Is it something specific that can be done in order to overcome this problem.

I feel that much of the practice I try to do is ineffective because I can't do the visualisations. Especially the guru yoga of white A.
This thread is full of excellent advice. You should also make regular offerings, give alms, do prostrations, recite Vajrasattva, recite this http://vajrasana.org/35buddhas.htm, and make prayers that you attain Shamatha.

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-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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 Post subject: Re: Unable to visualize
PostPosted: Mon Jan 16, 2012 11:18 pm 
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Inge wrote:
I have been trying to learn to visualize for a couple of year now, but it is as if I lack the ability to do so. Could this be a result of my rlung imbalance? Is it something specific that can be done in order to overcome this problem.

I feel that much of the practice I try to do is ineffective because I can't do the visualisations. Especially the guru yoga of white A.


Do you think in images? Can you imagine an image of a circle in your mind?

Kirt

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 Post subject: Re: Unable to visualize
PostPosted: Tue Jan 17, 2012 12:37 am 
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kirtu wrote:
Inge wrote:
I have been trying to learn to visualize for a couple of year now, but it is as if I lack the ability to do so. Could this be a result of my rlung imbalance? Is it something specific that can be done in order to overcome this problem.

I feel that much of the practice I try to do is ineffective because I can't do the visualisations. Especially the guru yoga of white A.


Do you think in images? Can you imagine an image of a circle in your mind?

Kirt

No I don't and no I can't.


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 Post subject: Re: Unable to visualize
PostPosted: Tue Jan 17, 2012 2:01 am 
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Inge wrote:
kirtu wrote:
Inge wrote:
I have been trying to learn to visualize for a couple of year now, but it is as if I lack the ability to do so. Could this be a result of my rlung imbalance? Is it something specific that can be done in order to overcome this problem.

I feel that much of the practice I try to do is ineffective because I can't do the visualisations. Especially the guru yoga of white A.


Do you think in images? Can you imagine an image of a circle in your mind?

Kirt

No I don't and no I can't.



Hi Inge,

Then just sound A and relax into that state -- don;t worry about the visualization. It is not important.

_________________
http://www.atikosha.org
http://www.bhaisajya.net
http://www.bhaisajya.guru
http://www.sakyapa.net
འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔

How can you not practice the highest Dharma
at this time of obtaining a perfect human body?

-- Jetsun Dragpa Gyaltsen


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 Post subject: Re: Unable to visualize
PostPosted: Tue Jan 17, 2012 8:24 am 
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Namdrol wrote:
Inge wrote:
kirtu wrote:

Do you think in images? Can you imagine an image of a circle in your mind?

Kirt

No I don't and no I can't.



Hi Inge,

Then just sound A and relax into that state -- don;t worry about the visualization. It is not important.


That's a big relief, as this has been a source of frustration and doubt for me. So thank you Namdrol and Kirt, and also the other posters for their advice.


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 Post subject: Re: Unable to visualize
PostPosted: Tue Jan 17, 2012 5:35 pm 
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I am also relieved. This was one of the primary reasons that I left Vajrayana practice 20 years ago for Chan. Well, that and that other "advanced" practitioners told me that I couldnt do Dzogchen without first completing the ngondro. Was really bummed about that especially after reading ChNN's book "The Crystal and the Way of Light" so many years ago. Funny how life works, isnt it?

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 Post subject: Re: Unable to visualize
PostPosted: Wed Jan 18, 2012 1:07 am 
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One thing I found helpful is to walk with closed eyes. This seems to make the mind try pretty hard to imagine what comes ahead, spurred by fear of tripping, thereby forcing a visual image to appear. You could start with something like 5 steps keeping your eyes closed and then 1 step open eyes. But since the object isn't to become world champion of blindwalking then if you decide to try it, be careful, do it somewhere safe, and don't get hurt. :)
I guess you could do other things while trying to keep your eyes closed too. Maybe cooking (except when using knives)?
Best wishes
Lars


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 Post subject: Re: Unable to visualize
PostPosted: Thu May 10, 2012 9:14 am 
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Good discussion!
Why is this in alternative health? lol. Weird place for this.


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 Post subject: Re: Unable to visualize
PostPosted: Thu May 10, 2012 9:19 am 
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Inge wrote:
kirtu wrote:
Inge wrote:
I have been trying to learn to visualize for a couple of year now, but it is as if I lack the ability to do so. Could this be a result of my rlung imbalance? Is it something specific that can be done in order to overcome this problem.

I feel that much of the practice I try to do is ineffective because I can't do the visualisations. Especially the guru yoga of white A.


Do you think in images? Can you imagine an image of a circle in your mind?

Kirt

No I don't and no I can't.


I find that hard to believe. I was at a retreat and my roommate who was an engineer said he couldn't visualize... He thought that you're supposed to make images out of the light you see behind your closed eyelids. Perhaps you're just doing it wrong. I am not the best at visualization, but i am sure everyone can do it. We all had imaginations as children, and we all dream. It's just a matter of connecting to that same state while awake.

One thing that may help is to look at a candle or something and then close your eyes and 'remember' the image that you just saw. Do it back and forth until you can recall the image. Then try to recall other memories, like what the room looks like, what your dog looks like, then change the image with your intent.


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