Seeing an After-Image in Meditation

Question

I was meditating for first time with my eyes open. I had crystal and candle. I stared at candle for awhile then it started to get black in my eyes like closing in, and then there would be this bright white light flickering on and off. I just wanted to know if I was going nuts or if it meant something?

—Mindy, United States

Answer

Dear Mindy,

I think you might have been seeing an after-image. It is a phenomena of our visual system. It occurs when we stare at something, especially something very brightly lit, and then close our eyes. The after image may be a positive one, corresponding in color or brightness to the original image, or negative, being less bright or of colors complementary to the original. A common afterimage is the spot of light one sees after a camera flash has been fired. I do not think this is anything to worry about.

Would you like to learn more about meditation? If so you might want to take a look at our www.ananda.org home page. Scroll down to Learn to Meditate and you will see an opportunity to sign up for a free 5-day Learn to Meditate course.

Many blessings,
Nayaswami Mukti