Hallucinations

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  • Unmon
    Member
    • Mar 2009
    • 97

    Hallucinations

    HA! I sucked you in w/ that subject line...

    I frequently get visual "waving" or "undulation" effects when sitting zazen. Maybe this will go away with time, maybe I'll become accustomed to it, or maybe I'm doing something "wrong". Regardless, at this point it tends to grab my attention thereby pulling me out of simply being. Does that make sense?

    Anyone else get this effect? Any ideas on what it is? Any thoughs on dealing with it...besides "don't try" or "just sit"?
    Gassho,
    Tim
  • Myoshin

    #2
    Re: Hallucinations

    Hello Mahakalaugh,

    I think I know what you are talking about.

    I believe it is just your rod and cones cells within your eyes. Sensory depravation.

    There was a post on this before, maybe it will help out.



    Gassho,
    Kyle, who was suckered into checking this tread

    Comment

    • will
      Member
      • Jun 2007
      • 2331

      #3
      Re: Hallucinations

      You might want to try straightening your posture, and bring the eyes back to the wall.

      W
      [size=85:z6oilzbt]
      To save all sentient beings, though beings are numberless.
      To penetrate reality, though reality is boundless.
      To transform all delusion, though delusions are immeasurable.
      To attain the enlightened way, a way non-attainable.
      [/size:z6oilzbt]

      Comment

      • Tobiishi
        Member
        • Jan 2009
        • 461

        #4
        Re: Hallucinations

        When I sit in the dim/dark, my right eye loses focus and wanders left, or the dim surface I'm focused on starts to dim out and fade... distracting! So I just turned the light on, or opened the shades. It's easier to be distracted by light than dark imagination, for me.

        Gassho,
        Tobiah
        It occurs to me that my attachment to this body is entirely arbitrary. All the evidence is subjective.

        Comment

        • Unmon
          Member
          • Mar 2009
          • 97

          #5
          Re: Hallucinations

          Thanks so much guys... I'll definitely try all of your suggestions.

          Kyle, Thanks for the link. It's funny that much of what Jundo said I had already assumed. Regardless, the phenomena is not quite that of what posters were describing. I'm sure that the "type" of experience is irrelavent. But, if anyone is curious, it's actually closer to this:

          http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vzSRVgF501M[/video]]

          Have fun.

          Thanks again.
          Gassho,
          Tim

          Comment

          • Mushin
            Member
            • Jul 2008
            • 40

            #6
            Re: Hallucinations

            I have definately had hallucinations before. However, with regards to zazen, I have come to the conclusion that if you are having hallucinations then you are leaving the present moment and going off somewhere else in your head. My impression of zazen is that we always want to be in the present moment... I think Bruce Lee said it best "not thinking, yet not dreaming..."

            So, if I feel I am starting to hallucinate etc... I have found I usually have left the present moment and bring my attention back to my body and surroundings.

            Those are just my thoughts though, I could be wrong here.

            Comment

            • Eika
              Member
              • Sep 2007
              • 806

              #7
              Re: Hallucinations

              Originally posted by mahakalaugh
              HA! I sucked you in w/ that subject line...

              I frequently get visual "waving" or "undulation" effects when sitting zazen. Maybe this will go away with time, maybe I'll become accustomed to it, or maybe I'm doing something "wrong". Regardless, at this point it tends to grab my attention thereby pulling me out of simply being. Does that make sense?

              Anyone else get this effect? Any ideas on what it is? Any thoughs on dealing with it...besides "don't try" or "just sit"?

              More stuff to simply let go. Happens to me too in various ways. I used to think it was "something," shikantaza helps me see that it is nothing . . . so my advice is to neither seek nor avoid these things. However, it is recommended by many teachers that your room not be too dim, it helps the eyes not "freak out" from lack of sensory input.

              My two cents.

              Gassho,
              Bill
              [size=150:m8cet5u6]??[/size:m8cet5u6] We are involved in a life that passes understanding and our highest business is our daily life---John Cage

              Comment

              • Jundo
                Treeleaf Founder and Priest
                • Apr 2006
                • 39450

                #8
                Re: Hallucinations

                I concur in Bill's advice about the lights. Sensory deprivation, and really paying attention to objects of sight that we usually do not pay attention to (the patterns on the carpet, for example) can have such an effect. I do not think it is anything with your Zazen particularly, such as that you are going off somewhere in your head. These things usually are connected to the mechanics of the visual sense, and often beyond our control. It is just an optical illusion.

                I was just looking at my copy of Dr. Austin's Zen and the Brain ... he has a discussion of all manner of hallucinations here (from about page 373). We call them "Makyo", and they are really not a bother. I once saw a little Buddha pop out of the wall and chat with me for a few minutes during a Sesshin (I was not indulging in Will's mushrooms either).

                http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&source=w ... DyJTKBdEnA

                But I am going to take a wild guess and say it may also be the pattern on the carpet or wall you are looking at. I have experienced floor undulation too. Kind of like this:

                http://www.moillusions.com/2007/11/wavy ... usion.html

                It passed with time. Try changing what you are facing. In any case, I would not worry about it.

                Gassho, Jundo
                ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

                Comment

                • Tobiishi
                  Member
                  • Jan 2009
                  • 461

                  #9
                  Re: Hallucinations

                  I once saw a little Buddha pop out of the wall and chat with me for a few minutes during a Sesshin
                  :!: what mantra do i chant to get that one?
                  It occurs to me that my attachment to this body is entirely arbitrary. All the evidence is subjective.

                  Comment

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