Zen Pig

Question: Seeing images, colors, shapes with closed eyes.

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This is kind of a weird question.  Cannot find anything on line, or in books. 

when I sit in meditation,  I sit zen style with eyes about half open, for various reasons,  but when I wake up at night, or early in the morning, (I wake up at 4 am to meditate),  I usually lay in bed, for a few min's in a kind of meditative state,  with eyes closed.  

This was a kind of intuitive thing that I discovered, and found that if one stays in a open state of mind without thinking,  images form in the closed eyes. Starts with colors merging, and then changing to shapes, images, and then other life forms.  then changing to very clear pictures.

The closest I can get to finding information on this, is what western lucid dreamers call W.I L D or Waking Induced Lucid dreaming, where one of the techniques is to do this exercise with closed eyes, when one first goes to bed in a meditative state.  Not trying to accomplish lucid dreaming, as my dreams are already lucid..........  But this WILD technique is the only other one i have heard of.  

Any information or experience in this matter?

Of course, I have been around the block long enough to not become attached or indulge in this kind of thing.  Like most odd things i have experience, i just watch them,  and let them go,  but this is interesting none the less.  

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I also sit Zen style with eyes either open or half open, and sometimes eyes closed.
Eyes open activates a more horizontal meditative absorption, eyes closed a vertical absorption (downwards).
For some time I had the experience of images of people walking up to me and staring into my face.   Meaning that as I was sitting in meditation I would have clear pictures of .... as if I was sitting in the market place and people walk up to me and crouch down and look into my face to see what or who i was.   It perhaps is a memory of being a monk in previous times and having people sort of play around as I sit quietly.
But I found it of no import.

Also, I have found that if I am ill I don't have to get up out of bed to begin meditation practice, nor do I have to lie in a comfortable position, I can begin in any position in any level of discomfort and it is wise to do so because then you are immune to your surroundings or state of health.   And so even If I really don't want to, I can just begin anyway.

 

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13 minutes ago, rideforever said:

But I found it of no import

yes, i agree, it doesn't seem to have a lot of ground shaking significance, as most of the life forms i see don't seem to be that interested in me other than just looking.  maybe this is why it isn't discussed that much, as it probably is interesting, but not much more than that. thanks for the comment.  It is good to meet folks who have similar  experiences.

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I've seen geometric forms, turtles, birds, doors, expanses of green, bears and a Phoenix.

 

There was also a brief period where I saw many eyes. 

 

It was a curiosity. And ever so clearly a fluidic play of light. 

 

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2 hours ago, Zen Pig said:

This is kind of a weird question.  Cannot find anything on line, or in books. 

when I sit in meditation,  I sit zen style with eyes about half open, for various reasons,  but when I wake up at night, or early in the morning, (I wake up at 4 am to meditate),  I usually lay in bed, for a few min's in a kind of meditative state,  with eyes closed.  

This was a kind of intuitive thing that I discovered, and found that if one stays in a open state of mind without thinking,  images form in the closed eyes. Starts with colors merging, and then changing to shapes, images, and then other life forms.  then changing to very clear pictures.

The closest I can get to finding information on this, is what western lucid dreamers call W.I L D or Waking Induced Lucid dreaming, where one of the techniques is to do this exercise with closed eyes, when one first goes to bed in a meditative state.  Not trying to accomplish lucid dreaming, as my dreams are already lucid..........  But this WILD technique is the only other one i have heard of.  

Any information or experience in this matter?

Of course, I have been around the block long enough to not become attached or indulge in this kind of thing.  Like most odd things i have experience, i just watch them,  and let them go,  but this is interesting none the less.  

 

I think this phenomenon is somewhat related to the practice of tögel and also related to sleep yoga.

Tögel is a Dzogchen practice which helps us recognize that all experience arises from the mind.

The practice involves resting in the nature of mind (non-dual meditative state) and using a variety of methods to allow the mind to spontaneously generate experience, be they visual, auditory, and so on. 

 

Common methods of practice include prolonged sequestration in total darkness (in our tradition it is a 7 week dark retreat), gazing at the open sky, gazing "at" the sun (not directly!).It may be a little different than resting in the afterglow of sleep as I think in that context we may experience a mixture of waking awareness and dream awareness.

 

Have you practiced or trained in sleep yoga? In our tradition, it involves exploring the boundary between waking and sleeping awareness and cultivating the ability to consciously navigate the transition. Ultimately we can experience total awareness in deep, dreamless sleep. At very skillful levels the practitioner is said to be able to remain fully aware through the entire transition from waking to dreamless sleep.

 

 

Edited by steve
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7 hours ago, steve said:

Have you practiced or trained in sleep yoga?

Great information. thanks.  I only looked at Tibetan sleep and dream yoga after i started to have lucid dreams.  this is because it addressed my personal experience.  from what I know sleep yoga is getting awareness into the "dreamless sleep" or deep sleep.  I have only had a couple of experiences where I was both in a dream state, aware i was in bed, and aware of the dreamless state.   Of course i had nothing to do with this experience, and could not reproduce it.  lastly, as far as Tibetan sleep or dream yoga go,  it does seem to agree with my personal experience, so far.  

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I don't know why it should be something else. I have also experimented with it. Not only during waking up but also during falling asleep. When I opened my eyes and then closed them again I would see an after-image, and if I concentrated on that after-image it would evolve into all kinds of things like faces, figures, fantastic landscapes, etc. But it only worked when and as long as I was in the twilight between waking and sleeping.

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2 minutes ago, wandelaar said:

I don't know why it should be something else. I have also experimented with it. Not only during waking up but also during falling asleep. When I opened my eyes and then closed them again I would see an after-image, and if I concentrated on that after-image it would evolve into all kinds of things like faces, figures, fantastic landscapes, etc. But it only worked when and as long as I was in the twilight between waking and sleeping.

 

Yes, flowing and fluid - this is one thing. 

 

Actual vivid dreams carrying over into waking is a bit different in my experience. 

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It were not actual dreams or stories, just slowly evolving pictures. There were no actions on my part, I was not involved in the images I saw.

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16 hours ago, Zen Pig said:

This is kind of a weird question.  Cannot find anything on line, or in books. 

when I sit in meditation,  I sit zen style with eyes about half open, for various reasons,  but when I wake up at night, or early in the morning, (I wake up at 4 am to meditate),  I usually lay in bed, for a few min's in a kind of meditative state,  with eyes closed.  

This was a kind of intuitive thing that I discovered, and found that if one stays in a open state of mind without thinking,  images form in the closed eyes. Starts with colors merging, and then changing to shapes, images, and then other life forms.  then changing to very clear pictures.

The closest I can get to finding information on this, is what western lucid dreamers call W.I L D or Waking Induced Lucid dreaming, where one of the techniques is to do this exercise with closed eyes, when one first goes to bed in a meditative state.  Not trying to accomplish lucid dreaming, as my dreams are already lucid..........  But this WILD technique is the only other one i have heard of.  

Any information or experience in this matter?

Of course, I have been around the block long enough to not become attached or indulge in this kind of thing.  Like most odd things i have experience, i just watch them,  and let them go,  but this is interesting none the less.  

 

You are basically in a light trance and half awake - the light and colors and pictures are random and generally effected by what you have eaten, when you got up and what was running in your mind, local frequencies, in others word - very random effects of physical and noise related (karmic habituations)

energetics upon the screen of trance.

 

It is related to the intuitive side and can be a combination of clairvoyance and simple trance associative mechanics.

 

Its only relative value is in the seeing that non-attachment to the seeing while seeing is essential in allowing the streaming - but it is trance and generally counter productive to “serious” practice.

 

3-4am is an excellent time to start meditation 🙏

Edited by Spotless
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On 12/25/2018 at 6:30 AM, Zen Pig said:

This is kind of a weird question.  Cannot find anything on line, or in books. 

when I sit in meditation,  I sit zen style with eyes about half open, for various reasons,  but when I wake up at night, or early in the morning, (I wake up at 4 am to meditate),  I usually lay in bed, for a few min's in a kind of meditative state,  with eyes closed.  

This was a kind of intuitive thing that I discovered, and found that if one stays in a open state of mind without thinking,  images form in the closed eyes. Starts with colors merging, and then changing to shapes, images, and then other life forms.  then changing to very clear pictures.

The closest I can get to finding information on this, is what western lucid dreamers call W.I L D or Waking Induced Lucid dreaming, where one of the techniques is to do this exercise with closed eyes, when one first goes to bed in a meditative state.  Not trying to accomplish lucid dreaming, as my dreams are already lucid..........  But this WILD technique is the only other one i have heard of.  

Any information or experience in this matter?

Of course, I have been around the block long enough to not become attached or indulge in this kind of thing.  Like most odd things i have experience, i just watch them,  and let them go,  but this is interesting none the less.  

You can go from closed eyes to open eyes and continue to “see” these visuals. I found that if you remain observant without any intention of “creating” anything, a series of imagery arises in your consciousness. When you allow one image to rise to the forefront, you can then use that as a thread that might unfold in meaningful and transformative ways. 

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I used to be able to sit in meditation and see moving geometric figures. I was always amazed there was geometric figures inside my mind and that they are somehow not man-made shapes. 

wang liping talks about seeing images in enter the dragon gate.

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The problem with zen tradition, althoug it is beautifull is that they don’t discuss much with students, often denying many phenomeons. The same with type of meditation, they will teach you to open your eyes so that internalisation is not complete. People then meditate for 30 years or so and almost nothing happends.

Non-attachement just sounds nice, but often it translates to people just wrestling with themselves in meditation or dailylife in the name of nonattachement, feeling guilty that they have thought process. Watch thoughts as clouds passing on the sky and the life will pass you by, it never worked for me and never worked for many although it sounds nice. It is just a mental masturbation. Zen was not designed to awaken people, sorry to let you know. If you tell to a teacher of a zen monastery tht you want to awaken or that you actually are, they will be pissed of with you or laught because they don’t want you to awaken. If you accidently do awaken, you are up for surprise because no teacher or a rare one will tell you about what to do now with it or thy will try to deny the process in you or simply kic you out of practice. I’ve seen that a few times and no, that’s not that a student had a problem. They will always try to turn it around and tell you that the problem is on your end. Only few will be sincere enough to tell you that they don’t know what it is all about.

Thoughts passing on the sky like clouds, I actually never heard of person for whoom it worked well. You can’t deny thought process or separate yourself from it. 

 

I’ll advice to start doing some serious practice.

 

Edited by Kubba
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4 hours ago, Kubba said:

Thoughts passing on the sky like clouds, I actually never heard of person for whoom it worked well. You can’t deny thought process or separate yourself from it.

 

What it does for me is that it gives me more grip on what thought processes I actively follow and what thought processes I only observe till they go away. One becomes less caught up in one's own thought processes, and there's more space for creative approaches and reflection. Besides that it is an intense training in self discipline and in will power to just sit and "do nothing". Whether Zen leads to awakening? Don't know.

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8 hours ago, Kubba said:

Thoughts passing on the sky like clouds, I actually never heard of person for whoom it worked well. You can’t deny thought process or separate yourself from it. 

 

It's more about understanding than denying. And it seems a subtlety that rises to the surface for many.  

 

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8 hours ago, Kubba said:

Zen was not designed to awaken people, sorry to let you know.

Thank God.  some of the biggest most egotistic ass holes i have ever seen, are or claim to be "awakened" .  :) i have no idea what awakened or enlightened mean, and really don't give a shit.   For me, my meditation is deeper than what I can express with words. and that seems to be where we must leave it. good luck on your path. 

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4 hours ago, Zen Pig said:

Thank God.  some of the biggest most egotistic ass holes i have ever seen, are or claim to be "awakened" .  :) i have no idea what awakened or enlightened mean, and really don't give a shit.   For me, my meditation is deeper than what I can express with words. and that seems to be where we must leave it. good luck on your path. 

 

Yup, we tend to imagine someone who is awaken to be all humble, kind and sweetly spoken which is not necessarily the case.

 

If the aim of spiritual practice is awakening to the highest possible potential of our nature and remain in well-being, then it is not the aim of Zen practices from what I know and seen. things like forcing people to sit for long hours without changing position, legs getting numb, even if it is not comfortable, they will teach you that sitting  in uncomfortable position is okay. But everyone does as they please and receive whatever they look for.

If you don't care about what awakening and enlightened is then perhaps you are in the right place, funny that people of zen practice don't go and ask their teachers about this matters but need to come here. The reason is often what I said above, in this tradition such matters are denied, teachers don't speak with their students much.

Edited by Kubba

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It’s a problem in any tradition - zen is no more prone to it than anything else.

 

The sad sad truth is the spiritual cultivation - the real stuff - is actually pretty rare. It’s just as rare in monasteries as it is in the cities and in the East just as in the West. The most spiritual ‘looking’ types tend to be the ones most mired in their ego while thinking they’re awakened.

 

The bit about discomfort and uncomfortable positions... I’ve got a post brewing on that topic. But just for now... discomfort is just as irrelevant as that thought cloud passing through your mind. :)

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12 minutes ago, freeform said:

The most spiritual ‘looking’ types tend to be the ones most mired in their ego while thinking they’re awakened.

 

And you are obviously not like that?

 

This is whole other topic. Awakening process magnifies all the tendencies, so you will get super confident and extremely selfish, not to mention arogant and total asshole at times, with other graceful characteristics at play. It is bound to pass, and I suspect that people that you talk about just choose to teach on that wave of being confident that they know it all, that coincidented with people around them who gave approval to this by starting to follow. then it is that much harder to relase the grip of such idea of being a teacher I guess, as you built a narrative that you are a teacher and that you know it all or "don't know anything", however you will call it, and need to sustain the narrative, cause not to loose reputation and become a fool in front of people who follow you, a few will confess that they just were full of crap as we all are.

Edited by Kubba

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12 minutes ago, Kubba said:

And you are obviously not like that?

 

I certainly don’t ‘look’ spiritual. And I’m certainly not awakened... I’m very much at the preparatory stage of practice.

 

12 minutes ago, Kubba said:

Awakening process magnifies all the tendencies

 

Yes - this is so important. It’s a huge issue and a big, dangerous pitfall on the path. I discussed this on the Mooji suicide thread.

 

As your energy is amplified all your personal ‘defilement’ is amplified too... that’s why you see so many brash and arrogant internal arts ‘masters’. And sex and power crazed gurus. It’s a really tricky stage because it can consume you without you noticing - and it often happens as aspects of you start to wake up. So often you’ll have a bit of freedom (that students can sense) but a lot of ego.

 

That’s why I’m starting to see the wisdom of the ‘lineage’ system. Where peers at a later stage than you can keep an eye on your progress and nudge you back on course. And most importantly stop you from teaching during the amplified sex and power / inflated base desires stage. :)

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