Colored Lights?

General discussion of issues related to Theravada Meditation, e.g. meditation postures, developing a regular sitting practice, skillfully relating to difficulties and hindrances, etc.

Colored Lights?

Postby Heaviside » Sun Apr 07, 2013 4:04 am

I have been practicing the Mahasi method for a while, and recently had the interesting experience of seeing colord swirling lights (eyes closed, so internal). It was accompanied by a feeling of being somehow disconnected with bodily aches and pains.

My concern is that, even though it was a pleasant experience, I might be getting into one-pointed concentration and drifting away from insight oriented meditation.

Can anyone here address my concerns? :?:

Metta,

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Re: Colored Lights?

Postby Bhikkhu Pesala » Sun Apr 07, 2013 5:38 am

If you see lights or visions, just note them as "Seeing, seeing," as you would note any other secondary object. When it disappears, return to noting the abdominal movements as before.
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Re: Colored Lights?

Postby Heaviside » Sun Apr 07, 2013 3:36 pm

Bhikkhu Pesala wrote:If you see lights or visions, just note them as "Seeing, seeing," as you would note any other secondary object. When it disappears, return to noting the abdominal movements as before.



Thanks much! It is easy to forget and become interested in the distraction---and I really needed your reminder that tge lights are just that! :namaste:
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Re: Colored Lights?

Postby Heaviside » Sun Apr 07, 2013 5:13 pm

Actually, after reflecting a bit more, I realize that my original posting was incomplete. At the time I experienced the lights I was actually experimenting with a variant of the Mahasi method suggested by Patrick Kearney. The main distraction for me, as for him, consists of thinking. He recommends an exercise of following the thoughts as the object of meditation, attempting to follow them to their origin and otherwise come to know their nature better. So, at that time, the breath was not the object of meditation.

At the time I saw the swirling lights there was actually no thought: my mind seemed to be still, and I was merely a third party spectator watching for the appearance of thoughts that might arise.

Does this alter your suggestion? As I was already attending to thoughts, were the lights a distraction? If so, do I try to forceably remove my attention from them?
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Re: Colored Lights?

Postby marc108 » Mon Apr 08, 2013 3:16 pm

as Samadhi begins to deepen these types of experiences will happen. Some visual phenomenon will occur... swirling colors, flashing lights, background lighting up and down. My understanding is they are a result of Piti arising. You dont need to do anything with them, just stay with your practice. Also as Samadhi deepens sometimes pain will decrease or you will just loosen up mentally around it... this is a good thing!

If you are just starting to experience the 'beginning' of some of the experiences of Samadhi I doubt very much you are near one pointed concentration, so dont worry. In my experience using the abdomen, or any broad area of focus is very effective as keeping the range of Samadhi broad and inclusive.
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Re: Colored Lights?

Postby Heaviside » Mon Apr 08, 2013 3:28 pm

Marc,

Thanks for your helpful comment. :thumbsup:
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