Is there any literature on the image of the Buddha arising during meditation?
I'm physically beat up right now. I was kicking my own butt at the 'skate-park' the last two days. I should know by now, there isn't any reason why a guy my age would skate - but anyhow.
The pain is around my neck and through my legs. This isn't really the point; but I was trying to get a bunch of chores done this morning when I just gave up and laid down. So I got to breathing very shallow. This reminded me of the first distinction made in the anapanasati sutta; the discernment between a short breath and a long breath.
These breaths were short. I was inhaling only a tiny amount of oxygen each time. So, it happened that a sizable amount of pressure built on my chest; which wasn't discomforting - only soothing in a strange way.
Then something I've seen before popped up.
We know that history is full of 'iconic figures'. Cleopatra, Athena, & so forth. And the reason we call them 'iconic' is because through history their lives have left an indelible mark on the collective conscious of man-kind. But they are not just 'cultural icons'; they are also 'icons' in the true sense of the word - i.e. a visual reminder that points towards the recognition of the person's immortal mark on history.
Now when I was breathing very shallow breaths, and this pressure was building up on my chest, the 'icon' of the Buddha appeared in my visual field. He was a little ways off in my visual field and was looking about the same as one might expect to see an icon looking in a Thai gift shop near the airport. The 'icon' was living; somehow 'stone-like'. he owned a subtle smile on his face which was altogether assuring.
Has anyone ever come across this?
I know it may sound crazy, but I am sure that this 'apparition' is entirely suited to a 'Recollection of the Buddha'. The 'iconic' appearance of the figure builds confidence, assurance, a sense of guidance, a sense of security in the clever grin, and a mystical feeling that comes with his 'stone-like' presence.
So, if anyone can help; I'm searching for textual information on the image of the Buddha in meditation. Google searches don't amount to much. I was hoping someone could direct me to some references either in the tipitaka or in abhidhamma literature. I know there's meditation practices where people push themselves to visualize the Buddha by looking at an iconic figure before hand. But the kind of information I am looking for would involve his appearance coming, unexpectedly - during the course of meditation... and in this case breath-meditation.
Thank you ahead of time,
'The currents in the world that flow, Ajita,'
said the Blessed One,
'Are stemmed by means of mindfulness;
Restraint of currents I proclaim,
By understanding they are dammed' (Sn.1035)