Dark Mental Images During Meditation

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Dark Mental Images During Meditation

Postby Yana » Sun Dec 09, 2012 5:29 am

Hi everyone,

I have been practicing Anapanasati regulary now. I keep my eyes open because that's how i first practiced and it's stuck with me now,my focus is in my nostrils.My body is calm,my mind is calm,i experience bliss but why does my mind keep seeing dark mental images such as,a dark cloak,dark shadows,or like a dead person in front of me,beside me,behind me etc..It's not unnerving anymore.especially when i am calm.I just note it because it's just my mind making up stuff.It just bugs me that my mind can't come up with "better" things to fabricate like "nice" things like light or flowers or maybe nothing.I mean my minds natural tendency when i meditate is to start seeing these images in my mind sometimes it's just unclear buts sometimes it's crystal clear like sharp.But it's always the same dark theme.(I also have to add its the same when i go to sleep,my dreams have dark themes in it too,no matter how much i purify my sila or send metta or meditate,always dark areas in it).

It's quite puzzling because i have made sure to keep the precepts,i do dana,develop sila,do metta.So quite naturally i expect nice and friendly things to surround me.Then one day right when i have just seated into a half lotus position,my cell phone rang.I picked it up and it was my mother and she immediately,like no hello or nothing.. told me she had a dream about me,That i was helping someone.So i thought well that's good right.But she kept sounding disturbed so i urged her to tell me what's wrong,and she told me i was wearing a black cloak.
darn.
The dream made her pretty upset so i calmed her down.jeez..
I mean i know it's just a random dream but she felt unnerved even though she didn't know i keep seeing that during my meditations.I still didn't tell her.

What i have tried is, to ignore it.So if i see it i just keep my mind on my focus point.I keep my focus inside,inside,inside i never focus on it.Coz i tried once and didn't feel calm at all.
Does it go away?
No not really..i mean one time it literally sat down next to me to meditate.i give up.I don't know what it is and i don't care i just keep focusing on my point.But i do feel intrigued to ask if any of you have these experiences..with no teacher really i would appreciate any from of solid guidance..
And you can PM me too!

These are just mental images i have to add i don't see them with my physical eye like i've seen a ghost no nothing like that..if i saw a real dead body/person in front of me i would have ditched meditation all together.. but it's very clear and very constant in my minds eye.More clearer than if i imagined something.

Please Advice

Thank you :anjali:
Life is preparing for Death
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Re: Dark Mental Images During Meditation

Postby Ben » Sun Dec 09, 2012 5:33 am

Yana,

All sorts of mental detritus, some of it quite disturbing, get dislodged and surfaces as a result of meditation.
Anapana-sati is a very powerful technique and I am not surprised by some of your experiences.
When you are practicing anapana-sati, keep your attention firmly fixed on the touch of the breath for as long as possible.
Whatever is going on in your head - just calmly ignore (to the best of your ability), remain focused on the touch of the breath.
with metta,

Ben
Learn this from the waters:
in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.

Taṃ nadīhi vijānātha:
sobbhesu padaresu ca,
saṇantā yanti kusobbhā,
tuṇhīyanti mahodadhī.

Sutta Nipata 3.725


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Re: Dark Mental Images During Meditation

Postby James the Giant » Sun Dec 09, 2012 7:10 am

I was in a retreat earlier this year, and I encountered the most horrible vivid meditation visions I've ever seen.
They were of horror-film kinds of things... murders, people walking and rotting at the same time, slicing knives, and most memorably a zombie with leprous white flesh, long white hair, cataracted eyes, and a gaping tooth-rotten mouth that was open in a scream, at the same time managing to spew/spray a torrent of blood from its screaming mouth.

I tolerated it for a day, and then the next morning when it hadn't gone away, I asked the Sayadaw what to do. He said stop focussing on the thoughts and images, and instead focus more strongly on the sensations of the body.
And that did the trick for me. A simple change of where I was putting my attention.
I don't know if this can help you, but it seemed a similar situation.
Ben's advice sounds excellent to me, as you are doing Anapanasati.

Best wishes in solving your problem.
Then,
saturated with joy,
you will put an end to suffering and stress.
SN 9.11
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Re: Dark Mental Images During Meditation

Postby tiltbillings » Sun Dec 09, 2012 7:15 am

James the Giant wrote:I was in a retreat earlier this year, and I encountered the most horrible vivid meditation visions I've ever seen.
They were of horror-film kinds of things... murders, people walking and rotting at the same time, slicing knives, and most memorably a zombie with leprous white flesh, long white hair, cataracted eyes, and a gaping tooth-rotten mouth that was open in a scream, at the same time managing to spew/spray a torrent of blood from its screaming mouth.
If you think that is bad, during a 3 month retreat there was a period where I saw in patterns on rugs, in wood grain, in flowers, clouds, in the hair of the person sitting in front of me, in my oatmeal, where ever I looked, I saw Richard Nixon.
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
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Re: Dark Mental Images During Meditation

Postby Ben » Sun Dec 09, 2012 7:42 am

tiltbillings wrote:I saw Richard Nixon.
At least it wasn't Tony Abbott.
Learn this from the waters:
in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.

Taṃ nadīhi vijānātha:
sobbhesu padaresu ca,
saṇantā yanti kusobbhā,
tuṇhīyanti mahodadhī.

Sutta Nipata 3.725


Compassionate Hands Foundation (Buddhist aid in Myanmar) • Buddhist Global ReliefUNHCR
Buddhist Life Stories of Australia

e: ben.dhammawheel@gmail.com
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Re: Dark Mental Images During Meditation

Postby Yana » Sun Dec 09, 2012 7:47 am

James the Giant wrote:I was in a retreat earlier this year, and I encountered the most horrible vivid meditation visions I've ever seen.
They were of horror-film kinds of things... murders, people walking and rotting at the same time, slicing knives, and most memorably a zombie with leprous white flesh, long white hair, cataracted eyes, and a gaping tooth-rotten mouth that was open in a scream, at the same time managing to spew/spray a torrent of blood from its screaming mouth.

I tolerated it for a day, and then the next morning when it hadn't gone away, I asked the Sayadaw what to do. He said stop focussing on the thoughts and images, and instead focus more strongly on the sensations of the body.
And that did the trick for me. A simple change of where I was putting my attention.
I don't know if this can help you, but it seemed a similar situation.
Ben's advice sounds excellent to me, as you are doing Anapanasati.

Best wishes in solving your problem.


omg...i didn't want to tell anyone but That's it!.Leprous skin ,cataracted eyes and zombie type of images.god.....
But when i focus on the sensation in my body like Sayadaw's advice, it's not that they stop appearing they just stop being a problem to me.Their almost like a side show.But my concentration on the tip of my nose That is the main attraction.

tiltbillings wrote:If you think that is bad, during a 3 month retreat there was a period where I saw in patterns on rugs, in wood grain, in flowers, clouds, in the hair of the person sitting in front of me, in my oatmeal, where ever I looked, I saw Richard Nixon.


goddamn.lol.

Ben wrote:Yana,

All sorts of mental detritus, some of it quite disturbing, get dislodged and surfaces as a result of meditation.
Anapana-sati is a very powerful technique and I am not surprised by some of your experiences.
When you are practicing anapana-sati, keep your attention firmly fixed on the touch of the breath for as long as possible.
Whatever is going on in your head - just calmly ignore (to the best of your ability), remain focused on the touch of the breath.
with metta,

Ben


Thanks Ben.Yes i think that's it.It does seem like it's underlying in the subconscious and it comes out through meditation. Anapanasati must be very powerful usually i suppress everything now it's all brought out into the open.grr!

:smile: :anjali:

Ben wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:I saw Richard Nixon.
At least it wasn't Tony Abbott.


And in Speedo's above all things saying s*** happen's.
Life is preparing for Death
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Re: Dark Mental Images During Meditation

Postby tiltbillings » Sun Dec 09, 2012 7:53 am

Ben wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:I saw Richard Nixon.
At least it wasn't Tony Abbott.
You are not American, coming of age in the 60's and 70's.


"Tin soldiers and Nixon coming, We're finally on our own. This summer I hear the drumming. Four dead in Ohio."

This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
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Re: Dark Mental Images During Meditation

Postby Cittasanto » Sun Dec 09, 2012 7:53 am

Hi Yana,
have you tried practising metta toward this "object"?

Ignoring it isn't always the best course of action to overcome it. sometimes we have to apply its opposite, pay attention to it, ask "what is this object telling us?" don't fully focus on it, but have it in view of your attention, and develop a positive mind state.
This offering maybe right, or wrong, but it is one, the other, both, or neither!
Blog, - Some Suttas Translated, Ajahn Chah.
"Others will misconstrue reality due to their personal perspectives, doggedly holding onto and not easily discarding them; We shall not misconstrue reality due to our own personal perspectives, nor doggedly holding onto them, but will discard them easily. This effacement shall be done."
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Re: Dark Mental Images During Meditation

Postby Ben » Sun Dec 09, 2012 8:14 am

tiltbillings wrote:At least it wasn't Tony Abbott.
You are not American, coming of age in the 60's and 70's.[/quote]
You are right, I am not - but I am familiar with the Tricky Dick.


tiltbillings wrote:"Tin soldiers and Nixon coming, We're finally on our own. This summer I hear the drumming. Four dead in Ohio."


I know the song well, I used to listen to it on my CSNY and Neil Young records and played it on guitar.

I'm sorry if I caused offense. I was being a wee bit facetious.
kind regards,

Ben
Learn this from the waters:
in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.

Taṃ nadīhi vijānātha:
sobbhesu padaresu ca,
saṇantā yanti kusobbhā,
tuṇhīyanti mahodadhī.

Sutta Nipata 3.725


Compassionate Hands Foundation (Buddhist aid in Myanmar) • Buddhist Global ReliefUNHCR
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Re: Dark Mental Images During Meditation

Postby Ben » Sun Dec 09, 2012 8:15 am

Ben wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:At least it wasn't Tony Abbott.
You are not American, coming of age in the 60's and 70's.

You are right, I am not - but I am familiar with the Tricky Dick. [/quote]


tiltbillings wrote:"Tin soldiers and Nixon coming, We're finally on our own. This summer I hear the drumming. Four dead in Ohio."


I know the song well, I used to listen to it on my CSNY and Neil Young records and played it on guitar.

I'm sorry if I caused offense. I was being a wee bit facetious.
kind regards,

Ben[/quote]
Learn this from the waters:
in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.

Taṃ nadīhi vijānātha:
sobbhesu padaresu ca,
saṇantā yanti kusobbhā,
tuṇhīyanti mahodadhī.

Sutta Nipata 3.725


Compassionate Hands Foundation (Buddhist aid in Myanmar) • Buddhist Global ReliefUNHCR
Buddhist Life Stories of Australia

e: ben.dhammawheel@gmail.com
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Re: Dark Mental Images During Meditation

Postby tiltbillings » Sun Dec 09, 2012 8:21 am

Ben wrote:
Ben wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:At least it wasn't Tony Abbott.
You are not American, coming of age in the 60's and 70's.

You are right, I am not - but I am familiar with the Tricky Dick.



tiltbillings wrote:"Tin soldiers and Nixon coming, We're finally on our own. This summer I hear the drumming. Four dead in Ohio."


I know the song well, I used to listen to it on my CSNY and Neil Young records and played it on guitar.

I'm sorry if I caused offense. I was being a wee bit facetious.
kind regards,

Ben[/quote][/quote]No offense. Like most Americans, I am somewhat oblivious to the goings on in other parts of the world. Google can make up for some of that, which is to say, you can keep your Tony Abbott (we have more than our share of political eejits) and we can all rest assured that Richard Milhous Nixon is not only dead, but most sincerely dead.
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
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Re: Dark Mental Images During Meditation

Postby DAWN » Sun Dec 09, 2012 8:29 am

Hello Yana,

There is alredy somevery good advices, so to complete i will write some words.

When there is some scaryimages or sounds that arise, i dont try to putt my head underground like a ostrich, but on the contrary watch it 'right in eyes' :shock: Watching in the heart of fenomena, if it's an image watch it directly, if it's a sound decompose it on differents parts etc... .

Doing this way: fear diaspear, impermanence of fenomena become visible and it's gone...

Friendly.
Sabbe dhamma anatta
We are not concurents...
I'am sorry for my english
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Re: Dark Mental Images During Meditation

Postby James the Giant » Sun Dec 09, 2012 8:36 am

DAWN wrote:When there is some scaryimages or sounds that arise, i dont try to putt my head underground like a ostrich, but on the contrary watch it 'right in eyes' :shock: Watching in the heart of fenomena, if it's an image watch it directly, if it's a sound decompose it on differents parts etc... .

Doing this way: fear diaspear, impermanence of fenomena become visible and it's gone...

I thought that was the best way too, and I was surprised when the sayadaw told me different. But his advice worked for me. So maybe it's something to play around with, try different things and see what works.

And Tilt and Ben... back on topic, boys!
Then,
saturated with joy,
you will put an end to suffering and stress.
SN 9.11
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Re: Dark Mental Images During Meditation

Postby DAWN » Sun Dec 09, 2012 8:43 am

James the Giant wrote: So maybe it's something to play around with, try different things and see what works.


Yes !
I think it's a best way - try all skills. :anjali:
Sabbe dhamma anatta
We are not concurents...
I'am sorry for my english
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Re: Dark Mental Images During Meditation

Postby Ben » Sun Dec 09, 2012 8:56 am

James the Giant wrote:
DAWN wrote:When there is some scaryimages or sounds that arise, i dont try to putt my head underground like a ostrich, but on the contrary watch it 'right in eyes' :shock: Watching in the heart of fenomena, if it's an image watch it directly, if it's a sound decompose it on differents parts etc... .

Doing this way: fear diaspear, impermanence of fenomena become visible and it's gone...

I thought that was the best way too, and I was surprised when the sayadaw told me different. But his advice worked for me. So maybe it's something to play around with, try different things and see what works.

It depends whether one is practicing the samatha or vipassana form of anapana. From the sound of Yana's opening post it sounded like she is practicing the samatha variant, the type of anapana that i am familiar with. Hence, my advice. If Yana was practicing the vipassana variant then I would agree by attending to the thoughts or other phenomenology of the experience at hand.

James the Giant wrote:And Tilt and Ben... back on topic, boys!

Yes Dad!
Learn this from the waters:
in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.

Taṃ nadīhi vijānātha:
sobbhesu padaresu ca,
saṇantā yanti kusobbhā,
tuṇhīyanti mahodadhī.

Sutta Nipata 3.725


Compassionate Hands Foundation (Buddhist aid in Myanmar) • Buddhist Global ReliefUNHCR
Buddhist Life Stories of Australia

e: ben.dhammawheel@gmail.com
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