Meditation that is NOT visual based

This may sound weird but I have aphantasia and I can’t visualize in my mind, or close my eyes and visualize. This makes meditation very difficult.

Anyone else have Aphantasia or know of any non-visual guided meditations - like on youtube or similar. I have tried to do it mysef but I get lost and my mind wanders very easily so some kind of guide makes it easier to keep focused.

Please don’t give me suggestions on how to ‘fix’ this as I have lived with this for my entire life and have tried everythig out there to fix it. I don’t need fixing, i just need a ‘work-around’. (sorry, not trying to be or sound snotty, but ways to ‘fix’ me is the only answsers i ever get when I ask for advise, which i why I came here.)

Thank you for any help you can sugest.
Mindi

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I changed the category for this post to Q&A. I think you’ll have better chances of your post being seen.

Visualization is something I seriously struggle with too! It takes not just hours but sometimes a whole day to really find a vision in my mind’s eye that I can picture in my brain.

Can I asked how you were diagnosed? I have never heard this term and am seriously intrigued!

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I researched it years ago as i was completely shocked that i was the only one who couldn’t ‘see/visualize’ their happy place with birds, rivers, etc. I brought it to my GP who laughed at me saying that was impossible, so i went to several different DRs til someone listened to me, and confirmed that is what i have. I did numerous studies, trial, tried all kinds of techniques but nothing. I remember not being able to visualize as a child. As a teacher would tell us to close our eyes and imagine an apple; that is it red, and has a brown spot, etc; classmates could ‘see’ the apple but i just saw black. But I can describe an apple for you and go into great detail, but that is based on logically memory not visualization.

I have tried hypnotherapy, medication, astral projection, dream therapy but nothing works. I also don’t dream, or at least I don’t remember them. (Again, tried lots of techniques to help remember them) I do wake up feeling scared or sad, or upset so i assume i had a dream that i don’t recall. I do sometime get what i call a polaroid moment - where i will get a sudden ‘flash’ of somehting but i can’t focus on it, or study it or even mentally hold onto it, it just pops up and as quickly as it appears it is gone.

I have tried many different guided meditations and found that i can kinda stay focused on ones that use feelings instead of pictures. Instead of imagine your happy place i enjoy the feelings that are mentioned. Like you are on a beach it is warm and sunny and you are feeling so happy, and content, you can feel the warmth of the sun…

Mindi

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My first meditations were silent group meditation at a Buddhist temple. The point was to keep your mind blank and just let your thoughts float over. It sounds bland, but I had really good luck with it & I still dont do too well with visualization during meditation. I’d rather do it “my” way lol

Edit- reading your reply made me giggle, because while I can picture something, it takes awhile. And I also have very few dreams. Maybe I have a little bit of that issue going on in my head too. It’s funny bc I’m an artist but I really dont ever visualize my work, I just go by instinct.

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Yes, i am very ‘artistic’ but i just go by what i put to paper. i have an idea logically/logistically how i want something to turn out based on things i have seen before. But until i get my hands on the project i never know how it will turn out.

I also can’t learn by reading - i have to see it in action. I was reading a book on iching and re-read the same few pages multiple times because i couldn’t figure it out but then i went to youtube and found a video that showed each step and then the words made sense. I can’t read fiction books because i can’t imgaine the scenery. If i watch the movie, i can kinda follow along in the book.

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I agree with @haley that probably just being mindful is better than trying to “see” something that isn’t there!

Maybe that’s because instead of imagining something, you are just thinking of it, in a different way?

Anyway, a simple breath meditation never fails!

  1. For an anchor, use the breath. Focus on smells, the weight of your own body.
  2. Do a body scan: Focus on each part of the body, from the top of your head down to your toes. Notice how each individual part feels.
  3. Go back to focusing on the breath. Count the duration of each breath if that helps you stay focused.

If at any point your mind wanders off, think of your breath and continue from there.

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