In Indo-Tibetan Vajrayana Buddhism (Engl.: Diamond Way), that was primarily practiced in Tibet and Himalayan countries like Bhutan and Nepal, meditating on buddha forms is a common practice. Often confusingly referred to as ‘deities’, These buddha forms are expressions of a well-functioning mind (see trust-based approaches to meditation) and calling such forms to mind as “forms of energy and light” plays an important role in formal meditation practice.
In a recent study carried out by researchers in the US, it was shown that meditating on buddha forms as the one seen on the right, enhances visuospatial processing efficiency. Compared to a group of meditators who engaged in a different form of meditation, called ‘open presence’, that involves a high levels of distributed attention without a particular object of attention, meditators who focused on an internally generated visual image of a buddha form, demonstrated a dramatic performance increase in a computerised mental imagery task they completed prior and directly after a meditation session.