Overtired adventures

4/5-4/6 2019

Moving through nature

Soon after going to bed I began to see beautiful nature scenes. I then started moving through the scenes… I wasn’t quite fully in the scene…more like a camera moving rapidly… In all, I experienced 2 or 3 minutes of very enjoyable hypnogogic imagery. (this was a real treat for me) I moved quickly over beautiful snowy fields and icy waters. I was fully aware of what I was seeing and experiencing. The scene ended and I became aware of my body on my bed.

I am a big fan of hypnogogic imagery but it seems to be quite elusive for me in general.
I seem to have the most success when I am quite overtired. I lay down in bed and even though I am really tired I make myself stay awake for 5 to 10 minutes. For some unknown reason, this seems to work much better for me upon first going to bed and much less with wbtb or taking an afternoon nap…and I don’t know why this is. In an attempt to observe HI, I have also tried propping up my arm and the like without success. I also meditate daily and have done so for years.

I think I remember Andrew saying that when he has an occasional bout of insomnia that he can watch images rise and fall for hours. I wonder if seeing hypnogogic imagery comes much more easily for some than others. At times I have waited patiently for an hour…simply observing the blackness behind my eyes without a single image appearing.

I have experienced one wild over the years and once again tiredness seemed to play a major factor.
I had slept for about 4 -5 hours and then stayed awake for 3 before returning to bed. I was so tired…the images started almost immediately and I found myself stepping right in quite naturally and easily. That being said I did try repeating this pattern a few times without success.

I feel that if I could find a way to observe hypnogogic imagery consistently I would eventually be able to wild consistently.

Has anyone experienced improved ability to observe HI? If so…what helped.
Is observing HI a skill that can be improved etc?
Perhaps just being able to hold/focus one’s awareness for longer periods of time?



Hi Bob,

Here is a link from a talk by Ajun Brahm the abbott in the Buddhist Society of Western Australia. In his 10 day retreats he teaches Anapana meditation. I see correlates between the stages of this meditation and dream, sleep, and bardo Yoga.
During the talk he informs the audience what to do when nimita (images) arise. I have found it very helpful. The main point, if you don’t feel like watching the whole thing, is to focus on the most beautiful or bright spot of the nimita and then allow it to get brighter and brighter. He said that it took him years to get the nimita to settle down and that he realised that the person watching needed to be more still (ie. his own mind).
I find that they come and go for me and that there is no guarantee of the nimita arising during meditation. I also love focusing on them during sleep as well. A few nights ago the nimita was still for me and I went to the brightest spot and the whole thing light up like a bright light in my mind. It was wonderful.
So it appears to me this is a skill that can be improved but like most of these practices it takes time and patience. The one thing that causes limits (just like lucid dreams) to disappear is our excitement of them arising.
I hope this helps. Essentially it is only necessary to watch the first hour of the video. If you have any questions about what I wrote, let me know.



Hi Adam,

Thanks so much for the tips and the video.
I often do see puffs of purple…like purple clouds moving from large to small when I meditate on the anja chakra. I have been seeing this for about 8 years but has yet to go any further. Perhaps if I focus on the brightest spot and in general be more still…more will unfold.



Great. As it unfolds, if you are feeling it, let me know how it progresses for you. I find it helpful to hear others experiences.


Video now unavailable :grimacing:

Is this the same talk? (found on YouTube via Google search)