Specific question about light

William David Bodell, modified 10 Years ago.

Specific question about light

Posts: 4 Join Date: 4/21/10 Recent Posts
I am trying to clarify my experience whilst sitting, specifically related to signs / symptoms of nana. My current focus is on light and I would appreciate informed views of forum members:

I experience light in the following forms:

* billowing clouds forming, changing and dissolving in the centre of my visual field, no local feeling - this I associate with 4 nana (a&p)

* a light patch stuck to / in a single eye, has feeling tone (mild pulse, mildly unpleasant) - may not be nana but experience of sense door

* a 'strobing' band of light (not solid or uniform strip) just above the eyes of which only the bottom edge is seen, has feeling tone it can be unpleasant but not always - may be a&p but don't think so.

Very grateful for assistance
Trent H., modified 10 Years ago.

RE: Specific question about light

Posts: 361 Join Date: 8/22/09 Recent Posts
Hi,

Are you pre or post path? Are you doing concentration and/or insight meditation? How long do you tend to sit for? Do the lights shift suddenly to one of the three types you mention, or do they morph into one another (e.g. the 1st slowly expands and morphs into the 3rd)? What about timing? (Is one of the three always there? Are they only there for the first of a sit? How long does any one of the three stay relatively stable (if ever)?) Are there any changes in other sense doors or non-visual perception in general during any of the three which seems to correlate with the changes in the visual patterns, such as feeling of warmth upon the face during the first which pulses with a similar frequency or a sense of spaciousness with the third?

Trent
William David Bodell, modified 10 Years ago.

RE: Specific question about light

Posts: 4 Join Date: 4/21/10 Recent Posts
Hi Trent

Thank you for your response - I hope you can make sense of my limited descriptive capacity.

"Are you pre or post path?" - it's an open question which I am taking time to address, I have reason to suspect I maybe sotapanna but with more reason to doubt ("was that a cessation? Err I don't know!").

My sits involve a 1 hour sit in am, an evening sit 30-60 mins most nights but on days off work I can do upto 4 hours per day. Most of the time it is insight but not with a heavy emphasis on noting.

The 1st type of light is common I.e. Almost all sits, can occur several times over the hour and makes it's first appearance early on. The 2nd and 3rd type are less common and there is a separation / gap from the 1st. The 2 & 3 light occur equally as often sometimes close in time but not co-occurring. How stable? They can persist but many seconds or a few minutes I don't know. I think I am in 11th nana (but low) territory when they occur but my concentration skill is not great and I tend to the unspectacular.

With the light in the eye (number 2) I feel as if my consciousness / awareness is located at the surface ( I know the use of I or consciousness or awareness language is fraught with conceptual and contextual challenge).
Trent H., modified 10 Years ago.

RE: Specific question about light

Posts: 361 Join Date: 8/22/09 Recent Posts
Hi,

William David Bodell:
Thank you for your response - I hope you can make sense of my limited descriptive capacity.


You're welcome. If it is actually the case that your descriptive capacities are limited, you may find it helpful to ameliorate that situation via vocabulary building. Doing so has wide ranging benefit: improved communication, improved ability to think, improved understanding of everything in general, etc., no improvement of that nature is insignificant (and it is immediately relevant).

*

Based on your responses, I am surmising that the lights you're seeing are indicative of one of the first four lower jhanas (or all of them); possibly samatha jhana, possibly vipassana jhana. A bit more specifically in the context of the samatha jhanas (but very much a guess given the provided information): the 1st could be 2nd jhana, 2nd could be 1st jhana or 3rd jhana, and 3rd could be 4th jhana.

Hypothetically speaking, if those guesses are accurate and it's not samatha jhana related (but is instead vipassana jhana related), then you'll likely notice some sort of cycling from sit to sit. E.g.: one is dominant one hour / one day / one week, another is dominant the next, another is dominant the next, etc. Sorting that out would be a mess, especially if you are post-path. More to the point: it's just not necessary to map down to the sub-jhana level, which is what would be necessary.

Regardless of the specificities, this indicates that you've likely got pretty strong concentration (could have been cultivated by focusing on these lights, could be a byproduct of your insight practice). To confirm any of these suspicions, you could dig into the samatha jhanas and hit them "hard," which is likely quite doable given your current concentration strength. If your aim is insight instead, it would be best to note the lights without fixating on them, as fixating on them will stabilize the jhana as opposed to penetrating it (which is necessary for fruition).

Trent
William David Bodell, modified 10 Years ago.

RE: Specific question about light

Posts: 4 Join Date: 4/21/10 Recent Posts
Thanks for the input. I have been doing some candleflame kasina work as well as insight and am starting to discriminate boundaries of jhanas. Also had following experiences:

In meditation

*the 'strobing' / flickering light above eyes preceding the light in the right eye,

*Small blobs of light (sort of breaking off but not sure) moving from 3rd eye area / 'strobing' light and moving towards (3 dimensional sense of space) my right eye/self consciousness and impacting on the eye repeatedly give rise to sense of (transmitted) pulses. This also paralled the movement of 2-3 thoughts/images (formations) though I could not say there was a causal link.

Outside of meditation

*some very painful dark night stuff with sleep disturbed due to restless legs, severe pain in the right eye and some brief but powerful emotional experience of loss and compassion (who knew compassion hurts?).