Can someone explain to me this phenomenon that has happened to me?

I am not a serious Buddhist practitioner. I used to do mindfulness practice daily (20–30 min on 90% of days), just observing normal breaths or maybe counting the breath.

Last night I didn't get proper sleep so I just started observing my thoughts. Images started appearing and disappearing and also voices (as if I were talking or someone else was). Whatever we call reasoning is again a sequence of images and voices. The 'I' existed in the images and in the voices (as in I did this, I have this work, I had headache..., something like that) and, at the same time, the 'I' did not exist and everything was just a sequence of thoughts (voice or image). As a consequence, any egoistical thing like a superiority complex or that kind of thing made no sense – but this whole experience lasted roughly for 3–5 mins. I am slightly hesitant to use word I this morning but yet somewhat comfortable.

Can someone explain this phenomenon to me?

  • Welcome to Buddhism SE? I'm not sure I understand your description of what happened. Can you elaborate? From your question title I take it you felt like your 'I' or ego disappeared for a moment. When exactly did this happen?
    – THelper
    Dec 24, 2015 at 9:27
  • I am just listening to songs last night, usually when I am listening to I will deviate from the song and start thinking about something else but that is not happend i just listened it mindfully and then I didn't get any sleep, I was not tired and mentally active not lethargic
    – Saravanan
    Dec 24, 2015 at 10:27
  • Looks like today's modern spirituality questions.. I don't think this should be asked in Buddhism SE, as people here know what's real and what's not essential & meaningless, like modern spiritualism's inner voice or lucid dreaming or connecting energy bla bla or or traveling dimensions or whatever..
    – Gokul NC
    Dec 24, 2015 at 16:30
  • Sounds like nonduality, how long since you slept and are you currently stressed?
    – hellyale
    Dec 31, 2015 at 23:33
  • When you say images sequenced and you were in the image, were you also observing the image externally to it? As in both the observer of the image sequence and the image sequence simultaneously?
    – hellyale
    Dec 31, 2015 at 23:35

2 Answers 2


It happened that images are appearing and disappearing

This is seeing.

voices(may be a kind of I am talking or someone else) appearing and disappearing.

This is hearing.

Can someone explain me this phenomenon?

All conditioned phenomenon that are subject to arising are also subject to cessation. You experienced Images that came and went, and voices that came and went. There's really nothing more to it than that.

In Vipassana, the aim is to clearly see reality as it is. When we are hearing, we simply know it as hearing. If you heard voices in your head, that was still only hearing. It wasn't "your speech", or "someone else's speech", it was merely noise that came and went. To say anything more about it is to falsely ascribe meaning to reality, that reality simply does not admit of. The same can be said of whatever you saw, thought, smelled, felt, tasted.

Here is an instructional booklet on Vipassana practice you may find of some use.

The "I" is just a compounded formation of learned behaviors that is culturally and behaviorally conditioned as one grows, and helps one ( in some regards) relate to the world. I don't know why the "I" disappeared for you in this case, but what can be said is that now you can see that the idea of "I" or "Me" is impermanent just like anything else. We spend our entire lives building up the "I" into some idea that we like, but it is subject to ceasing like everything, and so is also not worth clinging to.

  • 2
    "To say anything more about it is to falsely ascribe meaning to reality, that reality simply does not admit of" can you tell what did you mean by it? And tell about the strange feeling of absence of 'me' that had happened, the title question?(It felt good many concepts disapappeared like isaid complexes etc)
    – Saravanan
    Dec 24, 2015 at 11:02
  • "To say anything more about it is to falsely ascribe meaning to reality, that reality simply does not admit of" Such as, if you say the voices you heard was your voice, or it was someone else's voice, you are adding additional meaning to that experience that is not representative of that experience; you are projecting meaning onto that experience above and beyond what it is. The experience of hearing is only the experience of hearing. When you say "i heard MY voice", you are adding the "my voice" to the experience.
    – Ryan
    Dec 24, 2015 at 11:08
  • 1
    Ok, I am getting it I wrote hear like that, but at that moment I just experienced it as just as sound. Thank you
    – Saravanan
    Dec 24, 2015 at 11:12

phenomenon that is happened to me....

When you experience most of the phenomenon you describe, some emotion (mental feeling) of physical sensation would have popped up. These are sometimes not readily apparent sometimes but if you practice insight meditation especially in the way taught by S.N.Goenka you will get sensitive enough to experience them.

What you have to do is to look at the arising and passing of these sensations with equanimity. (Pahāna Sutta, Avijja Pahana Sutta 2 and more in detail it is discussed in: Indriya Bhāvanā Sutta)

Also it seems that your ego identification is dissolving due to meditation.

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