When I first started meditating, the body scan phase confused me. For a long time, I imagined the shape of a body in front of me in the distance, and scanned down through it. More recently I’ve realised that you get much more out of it by scanning through the feeling of my own body “in place” — but I still sometimes get muddled about which perspective I am “seeing” or “experiencing” parts of the body from.
I’ve had the same challenge with the visualisation of the white pinprick at the solar plexus. Sometimes I wonder whether I should be looking “down” from my eyes, through my neck and into my chest… or if my “eyes” should themselves move to the chest … or… something else?
At the moment I am practicing with the visualisation of the red pearl / red lotus at the throat chakra, as recommended in the book Dream Yoga by Andrew Holocek. The same puzzle keeps coming up! Where should this shape be relative to my mind’s eye? What angle relative to my spine in three dimensions should it be in, where should the “camera” of my mind be in relation to it, and what should the resulting image actually look like? How should the feelings of my body relate spatially to this shape?
Here’s another example, a simple description of a visualisation from this blog entry that puzzles me:
Picture the energy of your root chakra as a ball of ruby light centered on the base of your spine. With each breath, see this ball becoming larger.
In this example, should I be “seeing” my body in front of me, like watching a mirror, so that I can look at the base of my spine? Or should I be feeling the base of “my” spine where I know it to be? In which case, “where” is the “ruby light”? My eyes can’t see the base of my spine when they are looking roughly ahead with eyelids closed.
I feel very confused, especially as I have managed to feel very “in” the breath and body at this point in my practice, but visualisation always humbles me. I’d welcome any guidance about this, including simple steps and theoretical underpinnings. Am I somehow too attached to the position and perspective of the eyes in my head and, if so, how would you loosen that and what replaces it? Is this a known challenge of body visualisation? Nobody seems to talk about “where” in experience a visualisation should emerge. It’s a bit disheartening.