+1 vote
by (720 points)
When I first started meditation, I was practicing the "Om" chant. Then, I stopped that and began visualization. For example, I created a few visualizations on my own in order to generate calmness in my mind. This immediately had a great impact on me and I lost all anxiety and depression after the very first session. Practicing visualizing my thoughts as separate things (not apart of me) has been very transformative. I also visualize myself at the bottom of the ocean and repeat "depths of the ocean.... calm. Depths of the ocean... alone. Depths of the ocean... quiet. Depths of the ocean... safe." I do this with each in breath and out breath.  I have various scenarios such as this. I visualize something particularly calming to me, and I attach it to a mantra that I repeat with the rising and falling of my abdomen. If I get distracted, I note it impartially as "wandering" "thinking " "restless " etc. Then, I return to my visualization that is always layered on top of the observance of my in breath and out breath.

My question is whether or not I am supposed to be visualizing anything while I observe the rising and falling? It seems impossible to me that I could have my eyes closed and not see anything in my mind. I find that the images are like thoughts and always float through my mind uncontrollably when my eyes are closed. This happenes especially vividly just before I fall asleep. I think that by concentrating on a particular visual image while I meditate, I am at least working to control the imagery.

Is there anything wrong with visualizing while meditating? If so, what?

1 Answer

+2 votes
by (13.5k points)

Visualizing is introducing an artificial object to an experiment that is supposed to be unbiased and neutral. When you close your eyes, if you see something, note it as seeing... seeing... seeing.... But never try to visualize or do anything other than noting. Practice according to the guidelines given here without modifying the instructions.

by (720 points)
Do you find that over time, a person's mind can "quiet down" from the practice of noting? What I mean is, will I eventually experience less images and thoughts during meditation?
by (13.5k points)
If you practice properly it will go away in time.
by (720 points)
This was fun to come back and read. It's about 1 month later and I hardly ever see images while meditating now. And when I do, they are brief and cease quickly with noting "seeing.. seeing."
by (13.5k points)
Good to hear
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