Visions During Meditation | 27 Symbolic Meanings Explained (2023)

> 27 Symbolic Meanings Explained

Visions During Meditation | 27 Symbolic Meanings Explained (1)

Have you ever had visions during meditation? Well, if you have the experience can freak you out initially or be something beautiful leaving you feeling warm and fuzzy.

Or sometimes they are just plain confusing! I wanted to know exactly what they were, so I decided to research them and find an answer to why visions actually occur and their symbolic meaning.

What’s the meaning of visions during Meditation? Visions during meditation occur when you reach a zone betweenconscious awareness and sleep. They can be unconscious images, visual thoughts or as you go deeper in meditation, lights and forms of the inner world. These are to be considered an insight, a gift that could give you important guidance in your life.

Whether visions during meditation are triggered by the sound of your coach’s voice, your subconscious mind or by your third eye, I’m sure you have many questions you’d like answered.

You might want to know how to react while meditating, what visions actually mean or whether they are positive or negative. So let’s find that out together!


While researching visions during meditation, I couldn’t help but notice that there are two very different perspectives on the topic: the believers and the more skeptical minds. Out there, you will find many meditation teachers who consider the occurrence of those visions as a mere distraction; whereas others, the believers will tell you that the appearance of visions during meditation is a pure gift from the Divine Presence.

According to the more skeptical minds, the belief claiming that having visions during meditation would allegedly symbolize the opening of the “Third Eye”, the symbol of insight and enlightenment, is nothing more than a popular, unfounded rumor. To them, the ultimate and only goal of meditation is not obtaining some sort of super powers, rather awareness, presence and serenity.

Given that visions during meditation tend to occur when you reach a state between sleep and wakefulness, it’s understandable that many Zen meditators have labelled them as mara, illusions with the only aim of distracting you from your meditating experience. Indeed, they claim that the mind does have the tendency to conjure the things you desire the most, therefore those visions are nothing more than dream-like, visual thoughts. You can notice them, but then let them go with no further ado.

Not much fun on this side of the field I’m afraid. But the story dramatically changes if you read what the believers have to say…

Many meditation teachers claim that, if while seeing visions during meditation you have managed to forget your self-ego and you feel a sense of peace and bliss, those visions can be the real thing. In that case, you can consider them a gift from the Divine presence, an insight, that can have an important impact on your life.

Should you have genuine visions, you will definitely recognize them, as they will be entirely different from anything you have experienced before. Not only that, but you will also feel uplifted and deeply changed in your being. Obviously, meditation teachers want to highlight the fact that, in order to aspire to such experiences, you would need all of your energy to concentrate at the level of your Third Eye and for its chakra, Ajna, to be open.

Both skeptics and believers, however, strongly recommend that visions not be your meditation goal. During your meditation practice, your goals should always be increased calmness, decreased desire for the futile things of this World and learning to accept anything life sends your way. That said, which side do you choose to barrack for?


As I briefly mentioned before, despite your decision to be a skeptic or a believer, most meditation coaches will give you the same advice in regards to how to behave when seeing a vision during meditation: i.e. don’t get sucked in!

Honestly, it’s easier said than done! When I have visions during meditation, being them the real thing or dream-like thoughts, all I want to do is to look at them, to see how they evolve of their own will, to get lost in them. But hey, we must always remember our meditation goal (to relax, to unwind, to fight high blood pressure…). Therefore, when you have visions, the general suggestion is to enjoy them, but do not cling to them, simply let them go.

If after your meditation practice you feel like you’ve had visions that had some deep meaning, because of the way they made you feel or because they infused you with a particular sensation, why don’t you write about them in your journal? Recording them could also help to discuss the event with your meditation coach or spiritual guide, as they might give you an insight on the meaning of those visions or help you work out some strategies to disregard them or, conversely, to be guided by them.


But what actually are those visions that can have such a deep impact on your life? Well, if you browse the internet you are sure to find many examples, from simple light halos to three dimensional personifications.

To make things easier for you though, here I have listed 27 of the most common ones with their meanings…

1. Seeing an Eye – it’s a beautiful sign to see Eyes while meditating, as it symbolizes the opening of your Third Eye. Located in your forehead, the Third Eye symbolizes your inner knowledge and wisdom that you can access through symbolism and dreams, and it controls your psychic, inner sight.

2.Seeing Faces –seeing faces while meditating is a “side effect” derived from opening your Third Eye. The faces you see, drawn in by your energy, will mainly belong to deceased dear ones, who may appear to you because you need them in that moment, or Spiritual Guides, who support and guide you.

3.Seeing Yourself – this vision occurs when you come in contact with your real Self. When this happens, ask yourself a question, listen, see if you have a message to give yourself, because your inner self, your soul, your fraction of divinity is always trying to give you directions to help you be the best version of yourself.

4.Seeing Golden Light – the golden light is often considered an expression of our aura and energy. Seeing it during meditation might signify a divine presence, the one compassionate being that can elevate you above any fears and make you feel completely fulfilled. It exists within each person, although we often neglect it.

5.Seeing a Baby – the obvious interpretation of seeing a baby while meditating is your unborn baby (from this or another life) who wants to start connecting with you. Alternatively, this vision could mean that something new and important is about to happen, or you need to start working towards a new project.

6.Seeing a Snake – Snake visions are full of symbolism. Seeing a snake could be a message to develop awareness of your surroundings to decide when to act on something. It can mean calmness, to use in the chaos of everyday life. It also means transformation, in that you need to shed off some bad habits or change something in your life.

7.Seeing Water – Water is a common imagery in meditation as it can help your mind focus on the practice. It’s a purifying element that can symbolize your need to get rid of negative emotions, like stress or anxiety. It’s also the main symbol of transformation (water never stays the same), which could mean something in your life needs changing.

8.Seeing a Tunnel–Seeing a tunnel or vortex during meditation means that you are activating your spiritual eye, which is also called your third eye. The third eye is the sixth chakra, that rests between your eyebrows and creates a connection between what we see physically and what we visualize.

9.Seeing an Angel–Angels in meditation represent comfort and peace. Angels make their presence felt when people need support and guidance, so it may be a sign that you are going through a time of suffering and need direction.

10.Seeing a Lotus Flower–Seeing a lotus flower in meditation means enlightenment. In its natural habitat the beautiful lotus raises from the sludge of mud. This reinforces the meaning of resurrection. If you have a vision of a lotus flower it means thata current experience of difficulty you may have will be overcome through perseverance.

11.Seeing the Moon–The moon represents birth, reincarnation, death, wisdom and intuition during meditation. Visualizing a full moon in meditation symbolizes that there is a sense of fullness or realization about something in your life. Seeing a crescent moon during meditation can mean that you have a path, desire or goal that is unfulfilled.

12.Seeing Animals–Many different animal visions can occur in meditation. From a badger to a dolphin and even a dog. Each animal has its own specific meaning for being present. Meanings can be; strength, courage, wisdom, power, healing and others. Sometimes multiple different animals can appear in meditation at the one time.

13.Seeing Doves– Dove visions in meditation signify peacemaking. In your current life journey, you may be wanting to repair relationships of importance, therefore needing the assistance of the dove to make peace. The dove can also mean the commencement of renewal and spiritual growth in your life.

14.Seeing an Eagle–When you visualize an eagle during meditation, this is usually an indication that you need to go after your dreams. An eagle doesn’t wait, it aims, and soars after goals. It is telling you to trust your current journey and intuition and pursue what it is you are after.

15.Seeing an Elephant– Elephant imagery in meditation represents that you need to cooperate with other people. If you haven’t been cooperating, it is time to start now. They can also signify that you have much greater power and strength than you ever realized and your future might include a calling for leadership.

16.Seeing an Owl–Owls symbolize maturity, wisdom and strength. An owl in meditation suggests that one must pay consideration to their intuition and evaluate their present journey in all potential directions. Owl visions during meditation may also mean that you should work on your dreams whilst others sleep, just how owls do.

17.Seeing a Lion– A lion is often considered an expression of strength and personal power. Seeing it during meditation is normally connected to a depiction of individual strength. Visualizing it throughout meditation can also mean that you should follow your heart as your heart knows the way to your deepest potential and happiness.

18.Seeing the Sun – Seeing the sun during meditation specifies enlightenment, peace of mind, goodwill, serenity, awareness, and wealth. The sun conveys the divine power and beaming energy to your life, making it a good sign in your life and specially if the sun is radiantly shining.

19.Seeing a Door– A Door in meditation represents courage, chances, new beginnings, change, privacy, mystery and hospitality. A locked door can be a representation of achievements out of grasp or of talk behind your back. Though, an open door signifies that your desires might be satisfied shortly.

20.Seeing a Trees–It is a beautiful sign to see a tree during meditation as they signify growth and resurrection. Trees have also been said to represent physical and spiritual nutrition, renovation, fertility, union and liberation. A sea of positivity that could be occurring in your life presently or in the future.

21.Seeing a Wolf – Seeing a wolf during meditation signifies that you need to depend on on your intelligence to solve a challenging circumstance you are currently experiencing or to use it more often in everyday occurrences. Wolf visions also reverberate with your personal wants for freedom and independence.

22.Seeing a Cat–The meaning behind seeing a cat during meditation, depends on what type of cat it is. From an alley-cat that symbolizes self- sufficiency to a Persian cat that’s presence means you need to devote additional time caring for yourself, to possibly even a kitten vision that means you need to smile more.

23.Seeing Chimpanzee–Chimpanzees are a vision those potentially missing communication and understanding in their present life have, as this is what the chimpanzee represents. Chimpanzees also live extremely similar lives to humans, although they are closer to nature, therefore they tend to represent the ease of human life in visions.

24.Seeing Stars –Star visions while meditating is a stunning sight as they indicate a light in the darkness. So, if you are currently going through a gloomy part of life, and see a star during meditation, this means that you will overcome this stage soon. Star visions usually specify a joyful conclusion.

25.Seeing Pyramids–Pyramids were created at around 2550 BC without the mechanical construction equipment we have today. Therefore, pyramids visions during meditation indicate overpowering complications, trouble and major changes. This may be happening now or in the future. Once this complication or change is dealt with there will be a reward.

26.Seeing the Ocean–Seeing the ocean during meditation is soothing and relaxing to encounter and helps your mind to focus on meditating. The ocean is a sign of transformation, so there may be something in your present life that requires alteration. The ocean is a purifying element that can also symbolizes your need to discard undesirable feelings.

27. Seeing the Universe–Only after your meditation has reached the peak phase, your spirit is able to have images of the universe throughout meditation. You will be able to see the mountains, sky, rivers and oceans in this course. At this stage you will be able to transfer information amongst your Qi and the universe’s Qi.


With everything we’ve said, you could start thinking that some visions are to be considered omens for the receiver… but I wouldn’t go that far. Having visions during meditation is not clairvoyance. All visions can have a positive or a negative interpretation, but they are not telling you that something great or terrible is about to happen! Rather, they are to be used as a guide.

Because visions can have a positive or negative connotation, however, meditators have started attributing them to our Higher or to our Shadow Self respectively.

Your Higher Self is who you really are, the You who is eternal and unlimited. It can be considered like your soul consciousness that inspires you, teaches you with insights and guides you through your intuitions. The positive visions you might have during meditation, therefore, are probably just the means used by your Higher Self to communicate with you.

As I mentioned before in the article, the main issue with visions is that they’re often cryptic and need decoding, but that’s how your Higher Self likes to communicate with you. It could really help you to write down about your visions when you have them, with all details you can remember. Sometimes the sole act of writing them down on paper can help you understand their real meaning, other times you can get your insight a bit later, re-reading your notes.

There’s really not much not to like about our Higher Self, and that’s why many meditation practices mainly focus on enhancing our communication with it. However, we cannot neglect our little faults, and that’s where the Shadow Self comes to the fore.

Your Shadow Self is the part of yourself you try to hide, to society and to your own self. It’s made up of the traits of your personality that you consider unacceptable, like rage and anger, hidden traumas, wild desires or unconscious fears… everything we think should stay hidden and buried in our unconscious being.

As you know, however, during meditation our subconscious and unconscious sides find a way to resurface, with no real obstacles from our conscious mind. And in order to communicate with us, also our Shadow Self uses imagery, aka the more unpleasant visions. We might not like it, but only by getting in touch with these faulty aspects of ourselves we can overcome them and be truly at peace. Keep in mind what Carl Jung (Swiss psychoanalyst considered Freud’s heir) said: “Everyone carries a shadow, and the less it is embodied in the individual’s conscious life, the blacker and denser it is”.


What does meditation do spiritually?

The main spiritual benefit of meditations is to lead you to the depths of who you truly are, freed of all perceptions and preconceptions you had about yourself. In this journey, you will experience deep love and peace, and you will rejoice of the present moment, finding comfort beyond this chaotic world.

What is the meaning of Namaste?

Namaste, term associated with Hinduism and Yoga, is a Sanskrit term meaning “I bow to (the divine in) you”. It’s commonly used as a greeting in India and at the end of meditation practices. How to meditate with Namaste, it’s performed with a slight bow and hands pressed together in the prayer position at our heart chakra.

What is the symbol for meditation?

There isn’t one universal symbol for meditation, but the one most associated with the practice is the OM, whose spiritual meaning and sound refer to the self within, truth and the entirety of the universe. Other popular meditation symbols are the Wisdom Eyes, the Dharma Wheel and the Sri Yantra.

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