Apech

Visualisation - any good?

Visualisation - is it any use?  

33 members have voted

  1. 1. Is visualisation a useful tool in meditation or not? Please vote and then post below to give your reasons. Thanks to everyone. (This follows from the Adam Mizner vid discussion thread).

    • Yes, a useful tool in meditation etc.
      16
    • No, it doesn't work.
      3
    • Other
      10
    • Don't know
      4


Recommended Posts

In reference to the comments in this thread on the Tibetan Lhukang murals. Had a chance to see an exposition of them at the RubinAsian art  museum in New York with my family. Very impressive and highly recommended. Many of the images looked quite familiar to me from a yoga practice perspective, not only well known yoga practices but there were also a few that reminded me of some less commonly known South Asian cultivation practices like the tandava, at least one of the 108 karanas and some other related practices. I was aware that there were historical connections between Central and South Asian  self cultivation traditions but seeing it in original artwork somehow made it more real for me.

  • Like 1
  • Thanks 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, dwai said:

In my system of Taijiquan, we visualize a taiji ball initially, as we learn and practice the forms. But it becomes palpable within a few weeks and then drives our development. We can then expand it, shrink it, condense it, split it, and so on. We apply this in our regular practice and the more we work with it, more tangible it is. Now, is this a ball that we create? No. We simply start with visualizing it. But it simply is a part of our own field, and  we soon tap into our field and with time it grows and expands.

 

Remembering that early session where teacher told us to visualize a ball... It was like.. huh... how could i have missed that. same for get your awareness to your feet the first time I did standing posture. 

Maybe it is not as much visualize it but: become aware of it.

 

But visualizing the inner energy-stream looks rubbishy to me, especially when that needs to be done year after year.... After I dunno how much visits to the dojo teacher told me: next time you practice put your tongue at the palate. At that time i had never even heard of what is customarily called the microcosmic orbit. It was as if a dry riverbed suddenly filled with lots of water after a long freeze, it literally roared through my body.

 

Still, i suppose there was a trickle there which maybe one could be aware of, no idea.

 

 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The drool from the head due to the movement of Qi, everyone knows

That's just one of the processes for beginners, and it shouldn't happen to someone who has practiced for five, ten, or twenty years
It must have happened to someone who just started practicing

 

因為氣感移動而造成的來自於頭上的口水,每個人都知道

那也只是初學者的過程之一,不應該出現在一個練了五年十年二十年的人身上
應該是一個剛開始練的人發生的

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Shadow_self said:

 

I agree with you that we should differentiate

 

I apologize if what I say next sounds a bit derogatory or inflammatory, I can assure you I do not intend it to be that way, but I think this is the way to best present it

 

So in order to differentiate between a spontaneous vision and a mental image, what you think is the correct terms?

 

For me, constructing a mental image would be imagination.

For me seeing a spontaneous vision would be to visualize.

 

Can you see the morpheme?

 

The language here seems pretty clear to me at least

 

I get your point but one could just as easily say:

Constructing a mental vision is visualization.

Seeing a spontaneous image is imagination.

These are arbitrary labels.

Fortunately we agree in principle and just need to be unambiguous in our communication. 

 

I may sound a bit inflammatory here also and I apologize in advance. The problem I have, and the reason I engaged in this discussion, is with a statement like “if you want imaginary results use your imagination.” Adam and Damo publicly trivialized and invalidated time tested methods that have millennia of demonstrable results while they teach mixed systems (Adam) or fail to share the names of their teachers and lineage (Damo). They don’t have a fraction of the history or results to back up their teachings to compare to a tradition like the vajrayana.

 

I understand the longstanding rivalry between theravada and mahayana, not to mention the inherent controversy of dzogchen/mahamudra (far more controversial than anything Adam or Damo said in their podcasts). The problem is that mixed systems and mystery systems are complete unknowns. I understand their appeal as there are folks who are hungry for neidan and few to no credible teachers and systems accessible to Westerners. I think they chose the low road in trying to bolster their teachings by disrespecting and making a mockery of far more credible and proven systems. I hope they are both successful and help many people but that remains to be seen.

 

 

  • Like 7

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, steve said:

 

I get your point but one could just as easily say:

Constructing a mental vision is visualization.

Seeing a spontaneous image is imagination.

I like what you did there :) Is this where problems started to emerge? Different people using these terms in different ways? 

 

Quote

These are arbitrary labels.

Fortunately we agree in principle and just need to be unambiguous in our communication. 

Indeed we do :) 

 

Quote

I may sound a bit inflammatory here also and I apologize in advance. The problem I have, and the reason I engaged in this discussion, is with a statement like “if you want imaginary results use your imagination.” Adam and Damo publicly trivialized and invalidated time tested methods that have millennia of demonstrable results while they teach mixed systems (Adam) or fail to share the names of their teachers and lineage (Damo). They don’t have a fraction of the history or results to back up their teachings to compare to a tradition like the vajrayana.

 

Ah fortunately here we can talk a bit. I understand the point you are making. I'll be honest, if someone started dumping on Daoist methods, it'd probably irk me too, especially given I've had great results with them

 

I think Adams teaching comes from a mixture of what he learned in Tai Chi and the Thai forest.

 

Im not sure how much of an issue this is because he doesn't seem to blend the two (far as I know) ?  I think a mixture of consciousness based and body based stuff is good. Seems people of either camp who neglect the other usually suffer. I think its good practice for him to have his students train bottom up and top down. That's actually how I train too :) Neigong/Neidan and a form of Buddhist practice (mind you its a little more embodied than common Theravada) 

 

What I dont know is where he (Adam) got the nei gong from. Perhaps his Tai Chi teacher? Hard for me to say

 

As for Damo, the stuff he teaches publicly has been named for a long time now.

 

https://lotusneigong.com/damo-mitchell-6/

 

Basically Longmen Pai. One of his teachers is mentioned in the comments below this video

 

 

Freeform mentioned, and I have also seen that there are some methods in that line that use visualization, but are very clear about what it is for.  Its limited to the mental development aspect from what I can see. This was why I was so interested in this thread, to see if people seen further utility beyond this :) 

 

To be honest, anyone I have encountered with genuine Longmen Pai teachings, seem to have a fairly decent level of development. Definitely above that which I have seen in the Vajrayana community. Anyone who I know that did make some strides in TB, had the methods that mimic various aspects of the Yijinjing protocols. Very uncomfortable practices in certain cases.

 

Now thats just my experience. You are free to share yours as a contrast. I am enjoying the new direction the thread takes :) 

 

Quote

I understand the longstanding rivalry between theravada and mahayana, not to mention the inherent controversy of dzogchen/mahamudra (far more controversial than anything Adam or Damo said in their podcasts). The problem is that mixed systems and mystery systems are complete unknowns. I understand their appeal as there are folks who are hungry for neidan and few to no credible teachers and systems accessible to Westerners. I think they chose the low road in trying to bolster their teachings by disrespecting and making a mockery of far more credible and proven systems. I hope they are both successful and help many people but that remains to be seen.

 

The other side of this is that often lineage based teachings can come with dogmatic trappings. Take for example what Ian said above.  He was shown things that changed how he practiced, and he was instructed by the Dalai Lama at one point.

 

So If you told 100 Vajrayana  folk that you had a more efficient way of doing some of the exercises, which you''d learned from another tradition, and your teacher confirmed this was the non beginner way to do it. How many would actually take it on? How many would question it but try it? How many would recoil in disgust?

 

I recently heard an anecdote of someone who was shown a book discussing the Dzogchen practices and became extremely anxious and afraid to look at it because their guru said so? I mean, really?  A book of mural paintings?  that seems a bit of a silly thing to get so worked up over. I'm not saying its happening everyone, but it does illustrate something important

 

There is also a question of how well are the systems proven, when people aren't currently making the actual developments? Are we talking about historical figures? Stories? Anecdotes? I have no doubt people have made strides in these practices, however, are they making strides as they are currently taught today? That is the point I think Asa was trying to make

 

As @freeform would say this of Damo's students

 

 

If I was to list some of the things that have happened me since training with these methods, phew, my PM box would start rattling. :D 

 

My other teacher approves, and they've never even heard of him, and its a Buddhist line. 

 

Based on that, would you really say what others are currently being taught is far more credible and proven? 

 

Honestly I am most interested to hear your viewpoint :) I'm sure you have a different experience

Edited by Shadow_self

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
17 minutes ago, RobB said:

There is an interesting comment on the background of both here. I think the poster there is also a member here @peacedog94 

 

Mind blown!  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
23 hours ago, Shadow_self said:

Honestly, I find Damo a person who is about as lighthearted as they come. Having actually spoken to him, he seems largely concerned most with helping people and sharing what he knows, and he has certainly done both for me. Not sure that really matches your opinion of someone chasing methods and powers. He seemed more interesting in  making sure others don't fall down one of the innumerable rabbit holes of methods that don't lead one further along the path.

 

Of course, everyone's entitled to agree, disagree, but that's always been how he's struck me. I wonder if people seen all he does behind the scenes, would their opinion shift?

 

 

lately I have seen some of Damo's podcasts and quite like the way he has gone deep down the hole of what works. It taught me how changes in my body came to be. 

He certainly ( to me) comes over as a likable and helpful person.

His unraveling of the how methods work may well be his gift to the world and i have no doubt that many people profit from it.

time will tell what price he will have to pay for it.

 

But on the other hand, when gone as far as he has with methods one should expect what Dwai calls attainment.

I do not see it, compared to my teacher who exuded it with every word he said, with every step he took. 

 

It's not about likability or how much he does for other people, it is whether he has found some spiritual truth ( or something, it's really hard for me to formulate my thoughts in a language that's not my own) and made an enduring connection to it.

I feel he has missed the boat there and that does not bode well,  hearing whom he trained with it surprises me even more.

 

 

 

 

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
31 minutes ago, blue eyed snake said:

 

 

lately I have seen some of Damo's podcasts and quite like the way he has gone deep down the hole of what works. It taught me how changes in my body came to be. 

He certainly ( to me) comes over as a likable and helpful person.

His unraveling of the how methods work may well be his gift to the world and i have no doubt that many people profit from it.

time will tell what price he will have to pay for it.

 

Well he has certainly split this stuff wide open from the perspective of mechanics

 

I've known very few people to be able to discuss at length and in depth the nuts and bolts of internal work as well as he can.

 

31 minutes ago, blue eyed snake said:

But on the other hand, when gone as far as he has with methods one should expect what Dwai calls attainment.

I do not see it, compared to my teacher who exuded it with every word he said, with every step he took.

 

I don't mean this disrespectfully, but  if you are viewing something through frosted glass, its kind of hard to see much of anything :) I mean that as actually having interaction with the person

 

31 minutes ago, blue eyed snake said:

It's not about likability or how much he does for other people, it is whether he has found some spiritual truth ( or something, it's really hard for me to formulate my thoughts in a language that's not my own) and made an enduring connection to it.

I feel he has missed the boat there and that does not bode well,  hearing whom he trained with it surprises me even more.

 

Of course you could meet him,  or ask him about these things.

 

Or you could trust the words of an internet stranger claiming the basis for his skills comes from Hermetics (oddly enough same person being a dedicated Hermetics practitioner by his own admission)

 

Have you ever heard the about the game of broken telephone? 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
54 minutes ago, Shadow_self said:

Well he has certainly split this stuff wide open from the perspective of mechanics

 

I've known very few people to be able to discuss at length and in depth the nuts and bolts of internal work as well as he can.

yes, that's what I said

 

54 minutes ago, Shadow_self said:

I don't mean this disrespectfully, but  if you are viewing something through frosted glass, its kind of hard to see much of anything :) I mean that as actually having interaction with the person

 

sure, on the other hand, I've listened to several podcasts. At first like, wow, he knows his stuff. But small remarks here and there gave away something that does not sit well with me.

 

54 minutes ago, Shadow_self said:

Of course you could meet him,  or ask him about these things.

 

Or you could trust the words of an internet stranger claiming the basis for his skills comes from Hermetics (oddly enough same person being a dedicated Hermetics practitioner by his own admission)

 

Meeting him would be hard, nowadays the corner of the street is about as far as I can go. I've the age he could me my son.

Neither am i inclined to do so, it's not for me to do so and when I am right he'll have had this message before and disregarded it.

 

I did not write this because some other bum thinks like this as you seem to suggest, it's what has come to me over the last weeks due to listening to Damo's podcasts. This thread seemed like a place to share those thoughts.

 

54 minutes ago, Shadow_self said:

Have you ever heard the about the game of broken telephone? 

 

oh please, do not try to teach granny how to suck eggs will you :D

 

  • Like 2
  • Haha 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 minutes ago, blue eyed snake said:

yes, that's what I said

 

sure, on the other hand, I've listened to several podcasts. At first like, wow, he knows his stuff. But small remarks here and there gave away something that does not sit well with me.

 

You're most entitled to your view :) Off the cuff comments dont really concern me 

 

For me things like people coming dressed in robes but sexually abusing their students doesn't sit well. Or moreover people who present as kind beings, who heal, but have a dark side that behind closed doors would pretty much shock people if they seen it

2 minutes ago, blue eyed snake said:

I did not write this because some other bum thinks like this as you seem to suggest, it's what has come to me over the last weeks due to listening to Damo's podcasts. This thread seemed like a place to share those thoughts.

 

Well this is the visualization thread, not the Damo Mitchell thread :) 

 

Though it would seem people really want to talk about him.

 

Perhaps a Damo Mitchell thread is in order?  So we can keep it all under one banner :D 

 

2 minutes ago, blue eyed snake said:

 

oh please, do not try to teach granny how to suck eggs will you :D

 

 

Haha just stating the obvious, sorry :D 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
46 minutes ago, Shadow_self said:

To be honest, anyone I have encountered with genuine Longmen Pai teachings, seem to have a fairly decent level of development. Definitely above that which I have seen in the Vajrayana community. Anyone who I know that did make some strides in TB, had the methods that mimic various aspects of the Yijinjing protocols. Very uncomfortable practices in certain cases.

 

You asked before, so I'll let you have a crack: how did you assess and measure their development? 

 

54 minutes ago, Shadow_self said:

So If you told 100 Vajrayana  folk that you had a more efficient way of doing some of the exercises, which you''d learned from another tradition, and your teacher confirmed this was the non beginner way to do it. How many would actually take it on? How many would question it but try it? How many would recoil in disgust?

 

 

More efficient way of doing what exactly? This is a key question.

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, blue eyed snake said:

 

It's not about likability or how much he does for other people, it is whether he has found some spiritual truth ( or something, it's really hard for me to formulate my thoughts in a language that's not my own) and made an enduring connection to it.

 

 

10 minutes ago, Shadow_self said:

 

For me things like people coming dressed in robes but sexually abusing their students doesn't sit well. 

 

That was fast. From "doesn't have that special something characteristic of awakened teachers" to "not a sexual offender" in the space of three posts.  May I never become a famous meditation teacher on the internet. -_-

  • Like 1
  • Haha 5

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
12 minutes ago, liminal_luke said:

May I never become a famous meditation teacher on the internet.

 

Never say never :D

  • Haha 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
13 minutes ago, liminal_luke said:

That was fast. From "doesn't have that special something characteristic of awakened teachers" to "not a sexual offender" in the space of three posts.  May I never become a famous meditation teacher on the internet. -_-

 

you won't, you are an inspiration though, whether you like that or not.

 

that me reminds me, long ago strange energetic things happened to my (then still juicy) body so I went on a hunt for a teacher. One of the people I met during that search had that, the predator quality. I literally felt like i had escaped when I was out on the street again, brrr

 

the combination of being awakened with sexual offence is quite horrid

 

Some time after I gave up my search I was introduced to my teacher, still grateful for that.

 

  • Like 2
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
14 minutes ago, blue eyed snake said:

 

you won't, you are an inspiration though, whether you like that or not.

 

that me reminds me, long ago strange energetic things happened to my (then still juicy) body so I went on a hunt for a teacher. One of the people I met during that search had that, the predator quality. I literally felt like i had escaped when I was out on the street again, brrr

 

the combination of being awakened with sexual offence is quite horrid

 

Some time after I gave up my search I was introduced to my teacher, still grateful for that.

 


A juicy body! ….

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Shall we have a separate mysteries of Damo thread cos this ne was supposed to be a quick poll?

  • Like 1
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
19 minutes ago, forestofemptiness said:

 

You asked before, so I'll let you have a crack: how did you assess and measure their development? 

Well the question was more for Steve and his statement about the superiority of Vajrayana Buddhism as it is currently taught.

 

That was why I asked to see how could  be superior.

 

Appealing to tradition really doesn't work imo. So I would like to have that discussion before we enter a different one if its ok with you :) 

 

Do you want to asnwer that question I previously asked to speed things along perhaps?

19 minutes ago, forestofemptiness said:

 

More efficient way of doing what exactly? This is a key question.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
57 minutes ago, liminal_luke said:

 

 

That was fast. From "doesn't have that special something characteristic of awakened teachers" to "not a sexual offender" in the space of three posts.  May I never become a famous meditation teacher on the internet. -_-

 

Ah I need to explain that

 

I have a bit of a theory. I need to graph it to demonstrate. 

 

Its not aimed at anyone, its just why i said I dont let an off the cuff comment bother me

 

Chart.jpg

 

Sorry I couldn't resist :D  Also my drawing skills absolutely suck

 

In all seriousness though.

 

I use that example because Im not so put off by small comment, especially when these type of people are quite prevalent in these fields :( If someone gets a bit of juice, bad soon becomes worse unless that is being dealt with too

Edited by Shadow_self
  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@Shadow_self 

 

I don't consider vajrayana "superior" to any other system.

In fact, I don't accept the concept of superiority of systems.

I do believe in the superiority of specific system/teacher/practitioner combinations and even that is individual, flexible and impermanent.

 

I find vajrayana to be a far more credible and proven system than the methods put together by Damo and Adam. Just my opinion.

 

If you have confidence in one or both of their systems and they are working for you, by all means don't let me dissuade you from continuing. Life is short and we need to work with what makes sense to us, what works for us, and what is available. Personally, I've had wonderful, life changing benefits from both neidan and vajrayana practices. 

 

Cheers

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
10 hours ago, steve said:

Personally, I've had wonderful, life changing benefits from both neidan and vajrayana practices. 

 

Who taught you neidan? :) 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
44 minutes ago, anshino23 said:

 

Who taught you neidan? :) 

 

My teacher prefers his privacy so I respect that.

His teacher was Liu Peizhong from Taiwan. 

  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, steve said:

 

My teacher prefers his privacy so I respect that.

His teacher was Liu Peizhong from Taiwan. 

 

Fully understood. Thank you for the reply.

 

Could you elaborate a bit more on your experience working with your Daoist neidan teacher and the methods taught in Vajrayana? Did both or only one of them employ visualization as a method for bringing about transformation?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
16 hours ago, steve said:

@Shadow_self 

 

I don't consider vajrayana "superior" to any other system.

In fact, I don't accept the concept of superiority of systems.

I do believe in the superiority of specific system/teacher/practitioner combinations and even that is individual, flexible and impermanent.

 

I find vajrayana to be a far more credible and proven system than the methods put together by Damo and Adam. Just my opinion.

 

If you have confidence in one or both of their systems and they are working for you, by all means don't let me dissuade you from continuing. Life is short and we need to work with what makes sense to us, what works for us, and what is available. Personally, I've had wonderful, life changing benefits from both neidan and vajrayana practices. 

 

Cheers

 

Thanks for the response, and for correcting my terminology :)  I apologize. I did not mean to put words in your mouth

 

What I meant was, what makes you feel this is more credible/proven? For example, are you seeing developments lets say from people who take on practices. Yourself, other students ? Like Tummo or Phowa as an example ? Can one dry a sheet on their body, does one have the opening on their head? Is there something less physical that's going on with your teacher?

 

My own basis of adhering to teachers and practices is based on the transformation I see within myself, the students alongside me and the ability of the teachers for example . So im wondering if something similar was the basis for your statement

 

I need to stress this, please do not feel obliged to answer me at all. I just thought I should clarify where exactly I was coming from :) 

 

I don't want to press, but thanks for the chat :) 

Edited by Shadow_self
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, anshino23 said:

Could you elaborate a bit more on your experience working with your Daoist neidan teacher and the methods taught in Vajrayana? Did both or only one of them employ visualization as a method for bringing about transformation?

Neidan practice did not use visualization, Vajrayana does in both generation and completion stage practices, but not in dzogchen. I don't know enough about mahamudra to comment. 

 

54 minutes ago, Shadow_self said:

What I meant was, what makes you feel this is more credible/proven? For example, are you seeing developments lets say from people who take on practices. Yourself, other students ? Like Tummo or Phowa as an example ? Can one dry a sheet on their body, does one have the opening on their head? Is there something less physical that's going on with your teacher?

Many reasons which include the things you mention above but go beyond that. 

Some of which are on the negative side that I'd rather not get into publicly.

 

54 minutes ago, Shadow_self said:

My own basis of adhering to teachers and practices is based on the transformation I see within myself, the students alongside me and the ability of the teachers for example . So im wondering if something similar was the basis for your statement

Yes, this is a major part of my process of evaluation also. 

 

54 minutes ago, Shadow_self said:

I need to stress this, please do not feel obliged to answer me at all. I just thought I should clarify where exactly I was coming from :) 

I don't want to press, but thanks for the chat :) 

My pleasure

 

19 hours ago, Apech said:

Shall we have a separate mysteries of Damo thread cos this ne was supposed to be a quick poll?

I'm going to stop here out of respect for @Apech

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites