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Author Topic: Quick Meditation Question on Visualization  (Read 1501 times)

Elizabeth

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Quick Meditation Question on Visualization
« on: July 19, 2013, 05:19:21 pm »
I have been working on counting breaths and visual meditation.

What *exactly* does visual mean when it comes to meditation. I can *think* about an image, but not actually see it. I cannot form a red triangle in my mind, for example. All I see is darkness with random white patches.

Do you actually see things during a visual meditation, or just think about them? Like when people use guided meditation to see their deity or whatever, it doesn't make sense to me.

I appreciate any help. Thanks!
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Robbiesaur

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Re: Quick Meditation Question on Visualization
« Reply #1 on: July 20, 2013, 01:32:52 am »
Quote from: Elizabeth;116197

What *exactly* does visual mean when it comes to meditation. I can *think* about an image, but not actually see it. I cannot form a red triangle in my mind, for example. All I see is darkness with random white patches.


I have always wondered the same thing although it is a bit different for me, I can kind of see it in my mind so to speak... but i cant see it with my eyes, I don't know how to explain it really... but I still feel like i'm not doing it right.

Sobekemiti

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Re: Quick Meditation Question on Visualization
« Reply #2 on: July 20, 2013, 01:52:47 am »
Quote from: Elizabeth;116197
I have been working on counting breaths and visual meditation.

What *exactly* does visual mean when it comes to meditation. I can *think* about an image, but not actually see it. I cannot form a red triangle in my mind, for example. All I see is darkness with random white patches.

Do you actually see things during a visual meditation, or just think about them? Like when people use guided meditation to see their deity or whatever, it doesn't make sense to me.

I appreciate any help. Thanks!

I've been wondering about this, too, because I don't really visualise much during guided meditations, and I wasn't sure if it was just me doing it wrong, or if that's just normal, or at least, a not unusual experience.

I know for guided meditations, I have flashes of visuals along the way, kind of like signposts, but most of it is done with darkness and shadows. My mental voice is commentating on it, but it's not thorough, either. It just comments on what I see and what's happening.

Writing it down afterwards recalls all of it, but I'm not aware of all those details while I'm doing it. It's like I get a selection of negatives during the meditation, and only once I'm done do I get the full colour replay video of what happened. I suspect it might just be because writing is my strong suit, not visualisation, so I record what happens with words, rather than pictures.

For other forms of meditation, I don't see anything, but I'm never really trying to see anything, either. I mainly have shadows and light play that sometimes form into images. But I mostly do meditation to count breaths, rather than visualise, so I don't mind not seeing anything for that.

ETA: Actually, to me, guided meditations feel a lot like how I dream, too. It's a similar kind of thing. I recall more upon waking, rather than when it's happening. I don't know if that holds true for anyone else, though.
« Last Edit: July 20, 2013, 01:54:32 am by Sobekemiti »
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Sophia C

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Quick Meditation Question on Visualization
« Reply #3 on: July 20, 2013, 03:24:54 am »
Quote from: Elizabeth;116197
I have been working on counting breaths and visual meditation.

What *exactly* does visual mean when it comes to meditation. I can *think* about an image, but not actually see it. I cannot form a red triangle in my mind, for example. All I see is darkness with random white patches.

Do you actually see things during a visual meditation, or just think about them? Like when people use guided meditation to see their deity or whatever, it doesn't make sense to me.

I appreciate any help. Thanks!

This really depends on whether you're a visual or auditory person, i.e. whether you primarily 'hear' or 'see' things when you're thinking*. I 'see' things, but not physically - of course, all I actually see physically is the back of my eyelids, but I can think about images (to use your terms) really well, and it becomes like seeing them. But many people are more adept at hearing things. I rarely hear things in my head, and I don't have an inner dialogue going on (which I understand is rare), so listening for things in meditation or journeying is a bit pointless for me.

All the books are going to tell you that practice makes perfect with visualisation, and that anyone can do it. I suspect this is true to some extent, for most people, and that those practice exercises (like 'hold the apple - look at it - close your eyes - remember how the apple looks') can help a bit. But I also roll my eyes a bit at people who say that anyone can visualise. I know from my teacher training days and my NLP** experience that everyone learns differently and everyone experiences things differently. If you're not visual, you're never going to be. Just like I'm never going to be able to train myself to hear complete inner dialogue, however hard I practice. But I can practice enough to hear some things.

My advice, as an NLP trainer, is to focus most on what you're good at. If you can hear and feel in meditation/journeying, do more of that. In the meantime, do some of those practice exercises that develop your visualisation skills. But I believe our minds, and the gods, are happy to use what we're good at and what we're already doing. I think people worry far too much about visualisation, when they could be using their other imaginative skills really well. There's no one who can't imagine. We just do it in very diverse ways. Do more journeying/meditation, and discover how YOU imagine. (That's my advice, anyway!)

- Sophia, who wants to teach alternative meditation and journeying classes one of these days, based on NLP :D


*There are also some people who are more kinaesthetic, i.e. they 'feel' things. I have a bit of this, so I also try to feel things in meditation, like imagining how it would feel to brush the trees with my hands as I walk past them.

**Neuro-linguistic programming. It does a lot of work on representational systems, i.e. visual, auditory and kinaesthetic ways of imagining and learning.
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RandallS

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Re: Quick Meditation Question on Visualization
« Reply #4 on: July 20, 2013, 07:56:47 am »
Quote from: Naomi J;116240
All the books are going to tell you that practice makes perfect with visualisation, and that anyone can do it. I suspect this is true to some extent, for most people, and that those practice exercises (like 'hold the apple - look at it - close your eyes - remember how the apple looks') can help a bit. But I also roll my eyes a bit at people who say that anyone can visualise.

I've NEVER been able to visualize anything. I don't even think in pictures (to the point I can't "picture my wife" in my mind). I can HEAR my wife in my mind (or the voice of my first grade teacher from 1963 for that matter), but I do not "see in my mind" and no amount of trying and practice has ever changed that.
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Sophia C

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Quick Meditation Question on Visualization
« Reply #5 on: July 20, 2013, 08:46:37 am »
Quote from: RandallS;116244
I've NEVER been able to visualize anything. I don't even think in pictures (to the point I can't "picture my wife" in my mind). I can HEAR my wife in my mind (or the voice of my first grade teacher from 1963 for that matter), but I do not "see in my mind" and no amount of trying and practice has ever changed that.

Right - which is why I said that, while I think practice can help *some* people, there will always be people who simply cannot visualise. Their representational systems are simply not visual.
"We're all stories, in the end. Make it a good one, eh?"
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RandallS

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Re: Quick Meditation Question on Visualization
« Reply #6 on: July 20, 2013, 06:36:58 pm »
Quote from: Naomi J;116248
Their representational systems are simply not visual.

I wish more people understood that. I can't remember the number of times I've been told that either I'm not trying hard enough or that (as I can obviously do magic) I really am visualizing but have convinced myself that I can't. :(
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Sophia C

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Re: Quick Meditation Question on Visualization
« Reply #7 on: July 21, 2013, 04:10:44 am »
Quote from: RandallS;116275
I wish more people understood that. I can't remember the number of times I've been told that either I'm not trying hard enough or that (as I can obviously do magic) I really am visualizing but have convinced myself that I can't. :(

 
Oh, yeah. That's like the CBT therapists who told me that I had to challenge my negative inner monologue and, on being told I didn't have an inner monologue, told me I just wasn't listening hard enough for it... :D:
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Ginko

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Re: Quick Meditation Question on Visualization
« Reply #8 on: July 21, 2013, 07:59:00 pm »
Quote from: Naomi J;116240
This really depends on whether you're a visual or auditory person, i.e. whether you primarily 'hear' or 'see' things when you're thinking*. I 'see' things, but not physically - of course, all I actually see physically is the back of my eyelids, but I can think about images (to use your terms) really well, and it becomes like seeing them. But many people are more adept at hearing things. I rarely hear things in my head, and I don't have an inner dialogue going on (which I understand is rare), so listening for things in meditation or journeying is a bit pointless for me.

All the books are going to tell you that practice makes perfect with visualisation, and that anyone can do it. I suspect this is true to some extent, for most people, and that those practice exercises (like 'hold the apple - look at it - close your eyes - remember how the apple looks') can help a bit. But I also roll my eyes a bit at people who say that anyone can visualise. I know from my teacher training days and my NLP** experience that everyone learns differently and everyone experiences things differently. If you're not visual, you're never going to be. Just like I'm never going to be able to train myself to hear complete inner dialogue, however hard I practice. But I can practice enough to hear some things.

My advice, as an NLP trainer, is to focus most on what you're good at. If you can hear and feel in meditation/journeying, do more of that. In the meantime, do some of those practice exercises that develop your visualisation skills. But I believe our minds, and the gods, are happy to use what we're good at and what we're already doing. I think people worry far too much about visualisation, when they could be using their other imaginative skills really well. There's no one who can't imagine. We just do it in very diverse ways. Do more journeying/meditation, and discover how YOU imagine. (That's my advice, anyway!)

- Sophia, who wants to teach alternative meditation and journeying classes one of these days, based on NLP :D


*There are also some people who are more kinaesthetic, i.e. they 'feel' things. I have a bit of this, so I also try to feel things in meditation, like imagining how it would feel to brush the trees with my hands as I walk past them.

**Neuro-linguistic programming. It does a lot of work on representational systems, i.e. visual, auditory and kinaesthetic ways of imagining and learning.

 
Thank you so much for this!  While meditating I do not see or hear.  It is very difficult to describe, but I 'speak' non-audibly words as though I am reading.  These words lead to definitions, which provide the experience (for lack of a better word).  This is how I read as well.  Someone helped me to discover this while I was a teen.  They were interested with the speed of my reading and after asking me multiple questions came to this conclusion.  Until that point in time I didn't realize that most other people form pictures when they read.

It has always bothered me that I wasn't meditating properly.  I've never made the connection before between the way I meditate and read.  I'll take your advice to heart and focus more on the doing and less on the how.
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Re: Quick Meditation Question on Visualization
« Reply #9 on: July 31, 2013, 03:52:53 am »
Quote from: Elizabeth;116197
I have been working on counting breaths and visual meditation.

What *exactly* does visual mean when it comes to meditation. I can *think* about an image, but not actually see it. I cannot form a red triangle in my mind, for example. All I see is darkness with random white patches.

Do you actually see things during a visual meditation, or just think about them? Like when people use guided meditation to see their deity or whatever, it doesn't make sense to me.

I appreciate any help. Thanks!

 
Wow.  I just finished drafting an article on basic visualization (including non-visual visualization) this evening.  It will be up on my website within a week or so (you won't see it now, but the link will eventually appear in my signature when I've posted here enough times).  Sorry if that seems a shameless plug, but I really think it would address a lot of what you're talking about.

For now, I will offer my opinion (on a tip-of-the-iceberg level) - and my words can be nothing more than that because of the subjective nature of spirit work and (I personally feel) of experience in general.

We use the physical world as a basis for forming symbols in the otherworld.  When we "see" or "hear" or "feel" something in the world of the unmanifest, it's just that - unmanifest.  We don't see - or otherwise perceive - it as we'd see something in the physical sense.  But it can be helpful to discuss it in terms of sight because it has a visual analogue - those signs or suggestions or messages that you "see" when you journey or dream.

Therefore, as I see it, journeying isn't about recreating physical symbols (although doing so is a helpful exercise for most of the meditators I've encountered); it's about using your (hopefully fairly large) reservoir of metaphors to translate what you are perceiving into something you can use in your physical incarnation.
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Ivy

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Re: Quick Meditation Question on Visualization
« Reply #10 on: August 12, 2013, 01:50:47 pm »
Quote from: Elizabeth;116197

Do you actually see things during a visual meditation, or just think about them? Like when people use guided meditation to see their deity or whatever, it doesn't make sense to me.
I appreciate any help. Thanks!


I used to struggle with this as well. For a long time I thought there was something wrong with me because I just couldn't get it. I had a teacher insist that I should be actually seeing things. She would tell me to picture a big white screen and then see an orange on it, turn it over in my mind, etc, etc. I drove myself crazy trying to do it. Especially when she told me I would never progress any further in my path until I was able to do it.

Some years later I found a different teacher who told me that I didn't need to actually see anything. He told me to just imagine it. Now that was something I was able to do. I have always had a great imagination. So when I finally told myself that it was okay to not see anything and just go with my imagination instead things just clicked for me.
Finding paganism is like finding your way home after a long, arduous journey. (me)
"I\'m not superstitious I\'m a witch. Witches aren\'t superstitious. We are what people are superstitious of." :(Terry Pratchett

deene

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Re: Quick Meditation Question on Visualization
« Reply #11 on: August 19, 2013, 06:55:15 am »
Quote from: Ivy;118742

Some years later I found a different teacher who told me that I didn't need to actually see anything. He told me to just imagine it. Now that was something I was able to do. I have always had a great imagination. So when I finally told myself that it was okay to not see anything and just go with my imagination instead things just clicked for me.

 
...don't know if it will help but apparently i am a type A personality. Every thing i do as to be on the move. And im a massive multitasker. Ive tried loads of different types of meditation and visualization and Ive found that i can picture whats in my mind with my eyes open a lot better. My eyes sort of go out of focus from things about me, and i sort of zone in on what it is. I think that's why growing up teachers and friends used to say i always had this kind of amazed look and used to get a rap on the head to wake up.   peace

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