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17 June 2013 @ 02:01 pm
meditate on this  
What metaphors do you use for meditation?

For example, I've heard meditation described as standing on the bank of a river, where the river are thoughts and emotions, or as being an empty room with open windows, where the thoughts and feelings pass through (and hopefully don't linger).

What metaphor(s) describe the experience of meditation for you?
 
 
I'm feeling: curiouscurious
 
 
 
existential hot showerveek on June 17th, 2013 06:36 pm (UTC)
Most of my metaphors involve energy visualized as (sometimes sparkling) light.

(That's when I use metaphors. Often I don't. When I don't, my visualizations involve my own body, changing every moment.)

Edited at 2013-06-17 07:54 pm (UTC)
lazyzlazyz on June 17th, 2013 07:51 pm (UTC)
Sitting in an ocean of air and feeling it go in and out of my body.
blkblk on June 17th, 2013 08:29 pm (UTC)
Breathing colors in and out.
tickles, the angry lemurclara_girl on June 18th, 2013 12:12 am (UTC)
Watching a river flow by, and the thoughts are the leaves on the river, passing you by.

When I'm anxious or tense, the 2am-freakout-time, the thoughts are pieces of paper floating down and I shoot them with a bb-gun. :)
"I've been ionized.  But I'm okay now."gentlescholar on June 18th, 2013 12:44 am (UTC)
Interesting...I'm not sure I use any imagery. It's all too abstract for that in my head. But then, I completely fail at meditation. I haven't even tried in a long time.
Beahbeah on June 18th, 2013 01:11 am (UTC)
The closest I get to meditation is shavasasa, and one image that has helped me is to imagine my body growing roots deep into the ground, spreading and flattening and deepening as calm descends on me and everything else melts down and out of me.

I also use the method of trying to relax one little body part at a time, from my toes up or my head down, and pushing everything extraneous out along that path as I go.

Edited at 2013-06-18 01:12 am (UTC)
Ellen: cheerfulkeyne on June 18th, 2013 05:19 am (UTC)
Squirrels running around in a cage. :} Clearly Eastern forms of meditation are not my thing.

I can put groups into trance via guided meditation, and achieve deep relaxation at the drop of a hat -- I teach relaxation techniques -- but the methods that work for me involve thoughts and images. I just don't do "empty mind" well.
Kcatkcatalyst on June 18th, 2013 12:45 pm (UTC)
My brain is a puppy that keeps getting up and wandering off and I need to gently move it back to center.
David Policardpolicar on June 18th, 2013 02:28 pm (UTC)
There's a lot of visual/kinesthetic imagery I use when inducing meditation, depending on just what's going on in my head.

If I'm feeling angry or over-stimulated, I typically sit in the middle of a globe of cool blue water, about 20' in diameter, that spins gently around me. (At least, I think that's what it's doing. It's hard to tell just what a globe of water is doing.)

If I'm feeling injured, or fatigued, or disconnected from pieces of myself, I typically feel waves of energy rising up from the ground through my feet, flowing up through the front of my body and down through the back and returning to the ground. (Most often a standing meditation in tadasana; or on my knees if my leg isn't up to that.) If I feel the need for more focus I overlay a visual of "nerves" lighting up and dimming as the current flows through them.

If I'm walking, I'm typically in a current that carries me with it.

I'm often floating in empty air.

There's a particular sequence of visual/kinesthetic images I use with metta meditations; I initially developed them as a mnemonic aid, but now I use them as the spine of the practice and often don't bother with the words.

That said, none of these really are metaphors for the experience of meditation... as with many things, what gets me there is importantly distinct from the experience itself.

I haven't really thought about that question before. Thinking about it now... it's like being a zero-thickness sphere enclosing a vast space that is at the same time empty and massive, a little bit like an underground cavern, maybe, and having stray breezes and bits of debris and sounds and odors drift through me as they enter and leave that space.

Except, you know, not like that at all.

Chance: waldenmiss_chance on June 18th, 2013 06:04 pm (UTC)
A a metaphor for my experience, there's one I've always enjoyed: the surface of the lake. When calm it reflects a clear picture of all that's going on above, and at the same time allows you to see into what's going on below. When the wind starts to whip up the surface, the reflection is distorted; a simple form, reflected in a choppy surface seems fractured and complicated, and what's going on underneath is invisible. If the world feels choppy and fractured and I feel like I'm only seeing the surface, my mind may need settling.

I don't use metaphors while actually meditating, I think the metaphor becomes to much part of the narrative for me, but as a reminder as to what the experience is, and why it's important to me, that one ..heh, reflects my experience well.
DancingWolfGrrldancingwolfgrrl on June 28th, 2013 01:05 am (UTC)
I use a lake image: the lake is stillness and silence and sometimes I'm looking at it or standing in it or floating on it (but not like a person floating, like some of the water floating).