Visual Phenomena in Meditation


I sometimes experience visual phenomena and images pictures with open eyes also closed in meditation, sometimes the pictures are vivid other times they are somewhat blurred. My question is: Are these phenonomema just projections of my mind? Or are they real?

—Joseph, USA



It is not so easy to distinguish between subconscious influences and superconscious experiences. Moreover, there are times when they are intertwined in varying degrees of clarity or lack of clarity.

I think at this point and given your question, that the distinction is not yet an important one. More than likely such images are, at best, a distraction. At worst, well, I can’t say without more information or knowing you better. But it doesn’t sound like anything that is causing you problems, mental, emotional, or otherwise.

Therefore, I would simply dismiss such images whether in waking activities, sleep, or meditation. If they had a deeper meaning for you, that awareness is usually conveyed intuitively in the experience. Yes, you might attempt to remain calm and hold an image steadily (if you can) to be able to intuit any communication, but based on what you’ve said, I don’t think I would put much energy into doing this.

If you were seeing a great saint or master and if the depth of your meditation or clarity of imagery were crystal clear, than there might more to it but for now it may simply be that you are a very visual person.

It is, in any case, not uncommon at all for a meditator to have images appear behind closed eyes. Usually these are fleeting and of no special consequence. Sometimes the image of one’s guru or other saint will appear, but again, too often only fleetingly.

Even in these cases the import is not necessarily deep but maybe reassuring or inviting of deeper devotion.

Either way these are not usually phenomenon to invest much psychic energy into. Remain calm and focused in meditation (or in activity with open eyes) and alert, without reacting or judging in any way. Simply observe. You may inwardly pray for guidance, or even protection, if you feel it helpful.

I hope this will be helpful to you.


Nayaswami Hriman