Aphantasia and meditation?

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Aphantasia and meditation?

Postby edededed on Tue Apr 09, 2019 5:43 pm

Aphantasia is a condition where people cannot visualize mentally. (It seems congenital.)

I was just curious if anyone had experience with students who have this condition.
As many meditation methods (even zhanzhuang) require visualization, I was wondering if students with this condition cannot progress at all, or else have a workaround, etc.
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Re: Aphantasia and meditation?

Postby Franklin on Tue Apr 09, 2019 7:54 pm

my understanding is that visualization in the "beginning" stages is mainly a tool to focus and quiet the mind

then once the mind becomes one pointed and empty -
then the process of internal transformation takes place all by itself...

so-- if someone can not visualize
there are other training they can do to achieve the same result...
follow the breath, recite mantra, etc...

my experience is that at stages beyond the "beginning"- where internal transformation has already started
and you now have something to work with
you can use visualization to accomplish or direct certain processes...
(but its not necessary to do so... if you can cultivate and maintain the emptiness the process will proceed by itself...)
but it does make it a little more interesting for the cultivator...

my 2 cents
take it for what its worth...



on a side note
the teachers that I have had that I would classify as "having the goods"
all had one thing in common

they were not for visualization...
classifying it more or less as a mental masturbation that will not lead anywhere but self delusion
(my paraphrase)...
this is talking about the methods of visualization practice that are common and mainstream....
Last edited by Franklin on Tue Apr 09, 2019 7:58 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Aphantasia and meditation?

Postby Trick on Tue Apr 09, 2019 10:29 pm

i didnt know about this condition. a look at wiki on reserch on aphantasia, it is scarce and only since quite recently in depth study has been tried..i think if a person totaly can not visualize they would be as a vegetable(can not get anything done) i would guess its more an condition if its found among "normal" peoples that they rather get "locked" when told what to visualize, but otherwise has vivid mind
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Re: Aphantasia and meditation?

Postby KEND on Wed Apr 10, 2019 8:19 am

I have had students who have a problem visualizing [in meditation and hypnosis] , if visualizing is treated as if you are seeing something on a movie screen. I usually say 'or imagine', which means you sense the image without actually seeing it
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