Is this visual experience normal?


Today during meditation I started seeing this dark purple fire like circle, and it became intense. I began feeling euphoric and a different sensation than I ever had and began it lean into it. All the sudden my eyes starts moving back and forth really fast and I could feel my eyes fighting to stay closed but I continued to try to feel it further. The more I leaned in the more intense the purple got but so did this eye twitching until it became too intense. Is this eye movement normal?

—May, US


Dear May,

The eye movement you describe is not a part of normal meditation.

In meditation we seek to access higher consciousness, what Yogananda called superconsciousness, which is a place of deep peace, stillness, calmness, expansive joy and love. If visual images come in deep meditation, they are associated with these qualities. One visual image that may come is the spiritual eye, which is the doorway to the Infinite. It is a deep blue circle or field surrounded by a golden ring with a white five-pointed star in the center. You may see this just partially but when seen it is associated with an uplifted and peaceful presence. Eye gaze when in superconsciousness is uplifted and still.

The experience you describe sounds emotionally charged and restless. If your experience during meditation is disturbing, come out of meditation and offer the experience up to the point between the eyebrows into the divine presence. Offer it without attachment to the experience. Always seek higher consciousness in your practice. You describe eventually coming out of meditation but initially you describe trying to intensify the images. At times during meditation negative material might ‘bubble up’ from the subconscious but our job is to keep the energy moving upward and not cling to it.

You might want to note if anything is associated with disturbing meditation experience and try eliminating that influence. Some people have had disturbing images when meditating immediately after a big or spicy meal or after difficult emotional experiences.

If the problem recurs frequently, try decreasing your meditation time or try a meditative activity such as walking meditation to interrupt the pattern. Here is one lovely walking meditation:

Walk slowly and mindfully. Mentally repeat in rhythm with your walking “I am peace. I am joy. I am in all things.” Be absorbed in the vibration of the affirmation. Continue with this meditative activity for 10 minutes or more as you feel. You might sit for a few minutes of silent meditation after you complete your walk.

If you would like to learn more about meditation as Yogananda taught please explore our meditation resources.

Many blessings on your practice,
Nayaswami Mukti