How to Meditate With Aphantasia

June 8, 2024

The best meditations for aphantasia involve focusing on your breathing, the sounds of the environment around you and other senses. This will help you focus your attention on something that doesn’t require the use of an image in your head, and can be used to practice visualizing. There are also a number of meditative exercises that focus on the energy above your forehead (the area known as the third eye) to stimulate psychic abilities.

Most people can vividly picture a sunset when prompted, painting vibrant yellows and oranges on their mental canvas. But a smaller percentage of people’s canvas is blank—and this inability to conjure an image is called aphantasia.

Many aphantasic people are unaware that they have this condition, and even those who know it may have difficulty explaining it to others. Those who do acknowledge it often find relief in knowing they’re not alone—and research suggests that there’s no reason to feel ashamed or guilty about it.

Aphantasia can be congenital, meaning you’ve had it all your life, or acquired later in the course of an illness, accident, or mental health issue. But even if it’s acquired, it doesn’t mean that you don’t have imagination—it simply means your imagination works in different ways.

If you’re wondering whether you have aphantasia, try this simple experiment: Focus on a point of light in the center of your head and blink several times. You should see an afterimage of a red apple in your mind’s eye—or not, depending on where you fall on the visualization spectrum.

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