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Hallucinations During Meditation

How common is this?

It’s happened to me a few times, I’m sitting there in silence with my eyes closed. It starts off with a little blob of colour that catches my attention and as I focus on it it expands and then there’s another one in the corner of my vision. Before I know it there’s a few of them all expanding or shrinking with new ones appearing.

There’s no drugs or alcohol involved.

Comments

  • CarameltailCarameltail UK Explorer

    The thing with the traditional sitting meditation it can easily get ungrounding especially for certain sorts of people, depending on how you use it too and how often, although has it's benefits. I usually personally do walking meditation and other practices. Doing practical tasks will bring you back to reality and eye focusing exercises will help you. The other thing it could just be a migrane aura triggered by something that isn't a drug, too much computer light for example. Or maybe it is something you hold in the mind..

    chrispcheTraveller
  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator

    @FairyFeller said:
    How common is this?

    It’s happened to me a few times, I’m sitting there in silence with my eyes closed. It starts off with a little blob of colour that catches my attention and as I focus on it it expands and then there’s another one in the corner of my vision. Before I know it there’s a few of them all expanding or shrinking with new ones appearing.

    There’s no drugs or alcohol involved.

    Very common. They're not hallucinations, they're phosphenes. Nothing to worry about. I get them a lot. Quite soothing, actually...

    SnakeskinCarameltailpaulysoTraveller
  • DavidDavid some guy Veteran

    In high school I used to induce these during a boring presentation or video by gently pressing on my eyeballs with eyes closed.

    I'd see how far into a tunnel I could get before it hurt too much.

    Fun times.

    Snakeskinseeker242Traveller
  • I'm sure that if you with the first little blob simply welcome and accept it but instead of focusing on it put your focus back to your meditation it passes just like everything else. But if you're curious and dont feel uncomfortable I find it understandable that you wish to explore it a bit

  • JaySonJaySon Florida Veteran

    It gets weirder. Just wait until you experience jhana, kundalini rising, and the void.

    If you are totally weirded out, you may want to try loving kindness meditation. Just close your eyes and whoever comes to mind say to him or her, "May you be blessed." Do this for 30 minutes a day. Just blessing people, animals, and whoever you want.

  • It gets weirder.

    It do? In my experience quite the reverse.

    Clarity arises. Delusions, gods and fishy mind states and euphorias are seen through. They become transparent.

    Tsk, tsk, am I gone wrong again?
    https://buddhismnow.com/category/buddhist-meditation/

    CarameltailTraveller
  • FoibleFullFoibleFull Canada Veteran

    Hallucinations? Very common. My mom (who was a student of Yogananda back in the 1930's) had them. My sisters and I, too. Through my life, I have heard many other meditators talk about these experiences in their meditations.

    Seems to be connected to the type of meditation you are doing, and yoga-type meditations produce more of this than the Buddhist meditations. but then yoga has different goals from Buddhism.

    Get a qualified Buddhist teacher to teach you and guide you in your meditations. Best if you are able, meet with this teacher face-to-face.

    With no access to a teacher, do Mindfulness/Vipassana meditation. There are instructions on the internet but I don't pay much attention to internet "instruction/information" since anyone can put anything up, regardless of whether or not they know what they are talking about.

    The best book I have found to teach Vipassana is "Mindfulness in Plain English" by Bhante Gunaratana. It discussed meditation techniques, as well as how to handle the obstacles you will inevitably encounter. Amazon sells it, although for a number of years the book was distributed free (and may still be, for all I know).

    My own teacher (a Tibetan Geshe and senior monk) says that hallucinations and bliss in meditation do happen from time to time, and are to be regarded as distractions, and we should pay no mind to them.

    Hope something I have said is useful to you.

    lobsterTravellerfederica
  • I second @FoibleFull ‘s book recommendation of Bhante G’s meditation primer which has been translated into 30-odd languages. You can find free older versions of the book online, but if you can afford it, purchase the book as all proceeds benefit his monastery, the Bhavana Society, which survives in traditional fashion soley on donation. http://m.wisdompubs.org/author/bhante-gunaratana

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