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Denman Island Fire Kasina FAQ Project done!

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Dear All,

I am excited to have finally finished editing the audio files from the Denman Island 2018 Fire Kasina retreat, in which a group of us answered 65 common questions about the practice, called the Denman Island FAQ Project.

https://firekasina.org/diaries/denman-island-2018/denman-island-2018-faq-project/

Enjoy!

Daniel

RE: Denman Island Fire Kasina FAQ Project done!
Answer
3/10/19 1:45 AM as a reply to Daniel M. Ingram.
Really enjoyed the first five minutes.  Will listen to the whole lot during my commute this week.  Thank you!

RE: Denman Island Fire Kasina FAQ Project done!
Answer
3/10/19 3:07 AM as a reply to Daniel M. Ingram.
Fantastic! Thanks for all the work that went into this pithy resource, Daniel. Not to mention the retreat itself! The gift that keeps on giving.

RE: Denman Island Fire Kasina FAQ Project done!
Answer
3/10/19 10:06 AM as a reply to Daniel M. Ingram.
Downloaded and in the listening queue!

RE: Denman Island Fire Kasina FAQ Project done!
Answer
3/10/19 10:29 AM as a reply to Daniel M. Ingram.
Shannon is talking about 8th jhana as she did talk about the formless realms in the book.

How do you go from fourth jhana to fifth jhana with fire kasina? Start expanding the visual field?

RE: Denman Island Fire Kasina FAQ Project done!
Answer
3/10/19 10:31 AM as a reply to Daniel M. Ingram.
Listening with great interest and realizing that I must do this, because I’m already sort of doing it without the candle. I only tried with a candle for ten minutes once, and since then I have gradually started to see both images and nimittas (mostly while doing yoga; they appear when I do Vipassana too but I mostly investigate them in a way that makes them dissolve over and over again). I recognize what the participants talk about in the first two of these recordings (that’s what I have listened to so far). I think I used to have aphantasia because I couldn’t even visualize my loved one’s faces. I can do that now, and I can also at least sometimes decide what colors should appear and have them appear rather quickly. This morning chrystal clear and detailed symmetric patterns (two different ones flashing by briefly but very visibly) were the first things that I saw after I woke up from sleep. It really is possible to develop visualization skills late in life. I would never have imagined!

RE: Denman Island Fire Kasina FAQ Project done!
Answer
3/10/19 3:37 PM as a reply to Daniel M. Ingram.
Great job, Daniel. Sounds like you've been doing a lot of editing behind the scenes. Thanks for the time you've put into this.

RE: Denman Island Fire Kasina FAQ Project done!
Answer
3/10/19 10:33 PM as a reply to Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö.
Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö:
Listening with great interest and realizing that I must do this, because I’m already sort of doing it without the candle. I only tried with a candle for ten minutes once, and since then I have gradually started to see both images and nimittas (mostly while doing yoga; they appear when I do Vipassana too but I mostly investigate them in a way that makes them dissolve over and over again). I recognize what the participants talk about in the first two of these recordings (that’s what I have listened to so far). I think I used to have aphantasia because I couldn’t even visualize my loved one’s faces. I can do that now, and I can also at least sometimes decide what colors should appear and have them appear rather quickly. This morning chrystal clear and detailed symmetric patterns (two different ones flashing by briefly but very visibly) were the first things that I saw after I woke up from sleep. It really is possible to develop visualization skills late in life. I would never have imagined!
So interesting that you experience nimitta during asana practice - I do too if I close my eyes during practice. When I told my teacher this, she told me to stop closing my eyes during practice as I was supposed to be keeping my eyes open - oops! (I have also experienced fruitions during practice (floor asanas; forward bends in particular) when eyes are closed).

I have also noted an increase in hypnagogic and hypnopompic visuals when I am regularly practising fire kasina. 

Sorry to hijack this thread! Maybe we can discuss these things more in a fire kasina thread. 

Very much looking forward to listening to the audio. 

Cheers!
A

RE: Denman Island Fire Kasina FAQ Project done!
Answer
3/11/19 12:33 AM as a reply to Anna L.
Anna L:
Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö:
Listening with great interest and realizing that I must do this, because I’m already sort of doing it without the candle. I only tried with a candle for ten minutes once, and since then I have gradually started to see both images and nimittas (mostly while doing yoga; they appear when I do Vipassana too but I mostly investigate them in a way that makes them dissolve over and over again). I recognize what the participants talk about in the first two of these recordings (that’s what I have listened to so far). I think I used to have aphantasia because I couldn’t even visualize my loved one’s faces. I can do that now, and I can also at least sometimes decide what colors should appear and have them appear rather quickly. This morning chrystal clear and detailed symmetric patterns (two different ones flashing by briefly but very visibly) were the first things that I saw after I woke up from sleep. It really is possible to develop visualization skills late in life. I would never have imagined!
So interesting that you experience nimitta during asana practice - I do too if I close my eyes during practice. When I told my teacher this, she told me to stop closing my eyes during practice as I was supposed to be keeping my eyes open - oops! (I have also experienced fruitions during practice (floor asanas; forward bends in particular) when eyes are closed).

I have also noted an increase in hypnagogic and hypnopompic visuals when I am regularly practising fire kasina. 

Sorry to hijack this thread! Maybe we can discuss these things more in a fire kasina thread. 

Very much looking forward to listening to the audio. 

Cheers!
A

I would gladly continue discussing fire kasinas and nimittas with you because I did a fire kasina yesterday and now I’m hooked (thanks Daniel!). We are encouraged to close our eyes during yoga practice sometimes, but occassionally I see nimittas with my eyes open as well. How cool that yoga asanas can induce fruitions! I have had some of my best experiences of dissolving by body and the floor during yoga (that was the restorative kind, though, not the regular kinds).

RE: Denman Island Fire Kasina FAQ Project done!
Answer
3/11/19 9:29 AM as a reply to neko.
Meditation: one might recite a thousand Oms.

Audio Editing: one might cut out a thousand Ums.

RE: Denman Island Fire Kasina FAQ Project done!
Answer
3/11/19 9:44 AM as a reply to Daniel M. Ingram.
Daniel M. Ingram:
Meditation: one might recite a thousand Oms.

Audio Editing: one might cut out a thousand Ums.



That’s my kind of humor. Nerdy context specific humor.

RE: Denman Island Fire Kasina FAQ Project done!
Answer
3/12/19 5:33 AM as a reply to Daniel M. Ingram.
Ok listened to all the recordings today - amazing! What a resource. 

The curious thing that I love about FK is how it elegantly provides a visual map for progress of insight and jhanas.

Which reminds me - I had a question a while back that no one answered on the forums and that wasn’t answered in the recordings. That question is: do the 4 screens also map with the 4 path attainments. That is, can you only access certain screens based on where you are on the path. E.g. currently I am somewhere in the middle paths and that maps with my current predominant experience of FK (screen 2/ murk with possible flashes of screen 3).

Or to to put it another way, can only arahats access screen 4? Or could anyone given enough FK retreat time? I’ve truthfully just not put in the solid hours yet to get to screen 4. 

RE: Denman Island Fire Kasina FAQ Project done!
Answer
3/12/19 8:45 AM as a reply to Anna L.
Anna L:
do the 4 screens also map with the 4 path attainments. 
Not even remotely.




Anna L:
hat is, can you only access certain screens based on where you are on the path. E.g. currently I am somewhere in the middle paths and that maps with my current predominant experience of FK (screen 2/ murk with possible flashes of screen 3).

Or to to put it another way, can only arahats access screen 4? Or could anyone given enough FK retreat time?

If anything, the 4 screens map to the different phases of sleep. Everyone accesses each one of the 4 screens each night when they go to sleep. Many don't notice, though.



Anna L:
I’ve truthfully just not put in the solid hours yet to get to screen 4.

The screens were numbered by Daniel for convenience, but it is not like 4th screen trumps 3rd screen beats 2nd screen, or anything like that. It is of course true that it is very unlikely to skip from 2nd screen to 4th screen without ever meeting 3rd screen. But it pretty much stops at that. Particularly if you consider that 1st and 2nd screen coexist most of the time for most people, and 3rd screen can coexist with 1st and 2nd occasionally. 4th screen is more of its own thing, although that too might, rarely, combine itself / interact with the other screens.

Most importantly, you don't need to get to 4th screen for anything specific except for 4th screen's own sake, entertainment value, bragging rights, and stuff like that. It also seems that some people have a natural skill for stuff like 3rd and 4th screen, others for control (of shape, colour, and so on), others for other things yet. Working against type probably means setting yourself up for failure.

1st and 2nd screens are where basically all of the useful stuff happens as far as insight is concerned.

RE: Denman Island Fire Kasina FAQ Project done!
Answer
3/12/19 1:05 PM as a reply to Daniel M. Ingram.
When you talk about going wide, what do you mean? How do I go wide? Because I get halos early on and see after images of a larger part of the room. So what should I do with it, except just noticing that?

RE: Denman Island Fire Kasina FAQ Project done!
Answer
3/12/19 5:55 PM as a reply to neko.
Neko, thanks for your response. That's all really good to know. 

I like the theory that the 4 screens map to phases of sleep. I have noticed that screen 2 seems to be very similar to the hypnagogic imagery that I experience before sleep. Hypnagogic imagery also increases for me when I am regularly practising FK. 

For a period roughly between 2009-2013 I used to experience night terrors (night time hallucinations of rats, spiders and lizards in my room. Once I even "saw" a tarsier sitting in my bed!). While I have not experienced 4th screen during a FK sit, I can imagine that it might be similar to that experience (but hopefully less terrifying!). Thankfully I no longer experience night terrors, however I still sometimes (although rarely) experience unusual visual perceptual changes if I wake during the middle of the night. Most recently I "woke" but could not see my bedroom, only a three dimensional space containing lights that looked like stars. This only lasted for 5 seconds or so but was impactful enough for me to notice and remember the experience.

You write: "1st and 2nd screens are where basically all of the useful stuff happens as far as insight is concerned."

That's good to know. Currently I feel a bit "slack" with my FK practice as I am quite happy to just "maintain" my current level of experience and feel no desire or pull to sit for hours in order to reach the 4th screen. My practice is irregular and short (20-40 mins per sit) but nearly always very pleasant (especially 2nd jhana) and tranquil. Perhaps there will be a pull to sit for longer periods in the future.

I was very interested to hear the feedback that others also experienced very interesting phenomena early on in the practice and that this then "went away" or wasn't replicated in later sits. This is also true for me. Early on I experienced CGI type images (the most interesting being a 3 dimensional model of a human heart) but this hasn't happened again. However, like Daniel noted, I find the best way to approach this practice is not to try to replicate past experiences but to stay curious and to be grateful for whatever arises. Each sit is always different and there are always subtle and new "off the cushion" effects. That is why I love this practice. It is endlessly fascinating.

Thank you to all who put the recordings together. They are a fantastic resource and I am very grateful emoticon

RE: Denman Island Fire Kasina FAQ Project done!
Answer
3/12/19 10:45 PM as a reply to Daniel M. Ingram.
Very cool, Daniel. Looking forward to listening!

RE: Denman Island Fire Kasina FAQ Project done!
Answer
3/13/19 1:39 PM as a reply to Daniel M. Ingram.
Cross posted - Hi, I have tried Fire Kasina and loved it, so I thought I would cross-post this from my practice log in case it is of interest to others thinking about the practice. Apologies if it is too much or too personal. My preparation was listening to the recordings, trawling the website, and reading the first 50 pages of the Fire Kasina book.


So I have started candle flame Fire Kasina, with 40 minute sits last night and the night before. Here is was I have found so far.

I am amazed at how quickly the red dot pops out. For me it is very small but very clear, with a white centre, candyfloss pink inner ring, and scarlet outer ring. Then it can get a dark forest green border, and maybe one more colour. I feel that I can make it grow from a couple of pixels to the full dot, and stabilise for a second or two (but it might actually just be doing that on its own). Despite growing, it is still very small, and tends to a fat diamond shape. It drifts down towards the right, but I can slow that down by looking just to the above left. I don't see rotation, but the border flickers, and sometimes the white centre is in two or three chunks. I can't keep it for more than about five seconds. On the first night that was frustrating, but on the second night I was learning to appreciate it arising and passing away. I could bring it back (or it would come back on its own) three or four times.  

After that, I would often get a grey dot with a black ring and then green or purple outside. This was otherwise similar to the red dot but didn't last long. It would be there just once or twice. Then the black dot would appear with an intense flickering purple boundary and maybe some other boundary colour. This was smaller than the red dot, and didn't seem to move as much. This would come back three or four times. Sometimes there would be a purple dot before the black dot.

From there, the murk seems like familiar territory as I used to watch lots of contracting thigles and colour washes with eyes closed. These phenomena stopped last year, but the murk still seems like a friend. So I would be in it, and nothing much seems to happen, except lines and colours faintly appear after a while, but almost as if I am seeing them but not seeing them. On the first night I managed to get a Casper-The-Friendly-Ghost grey face in the murk - like those toys that have a thousand nails in a frame that show the impression of whatever you put underneath them.

After 30 to 35 minutes of practice, when I refresh, the red dot is different. It becomes lumpy and fuzzy with no colours other than red, although on one occasion this turned into a precise little cone and rotated 90 degrees.  When the red dot gets fuzzy I think, okay I'm done, but then on the second night at that point I started getting photorealistic images popping up. One I remember was the back of a car, pastel blue and a large number plate. Others were people. They would just come and go. None had any particular meaning or special interest, but they were very vivid and had a hypnogogic quality. I started to realise that dullness was a phase, rather than a problem.

My takeaways so far ... it seemed like a easy practice to do, because it was so varied and interesting. It is also seems to work really well - I was amazed to get a clear white/candyfloss/scarlet red dot on my very first attempt, and to get this continually repeated over two nights. It is also really interesting so see how you have to get the mind to lay off, and not grab, and just accept whatever comes up, and to work with subtle intention not direction. It feels like a great practice.

RE: Denman Island Fire Kasina FAQ Project done!
Answer
4/4/19 7:40 PM as a reply to Daniel M. Ingram.
Daniel M. Ingram:
Dear All,

I am excited to have finally finished editing the audio files from the Denman Island 2018 Fire Kasina retreat, in which a group of us answered 65 common questions about the practice, called the Denman Island FAQ Project.

https://firekasina.org/diaries/denman-island-2018/denman-island-2018-faq-project/

Enjoy!

Daniel
Thank you so much for the effort to put this online!
This is gold.