Fire Kasina

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Michial N, modified 2 Years ago at 11/14/19 7:42 PM
Created 2 Years ago at 11/14/19 6:02 PM

Fire Kasina

Posts: 102 Join Date: 10/27/19 Recent Posts
I work in a factory as a welder and occasionally "flash" myself with the weld gun. I did it the other day, and as I closed my eyes to let them adjust I remembered a part in MTCT about Fire Kasina. 

So I stood there with my eyes closed and watched as a dim red ball/dot centered itself in my vision. After about 15 to 30 seconds a ranbow mixed with white light started to spiral out of the center of the red ball/dot towards the top of my vision. It started to strech out past the edge of the red ball/dot and wrap around it. This all took about 1 to 2 minutes.

I had to stop and get back to work. So I think I'm going to try it with a candle this weekend. I want to record what happens in this thread over maybe a week or so. I'm not going to read up on what can or will happen. I don't want to influence it in anyway.

I hope you enjoy reading about my little experiment.
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Bardo, modified 2 Years ago at 11/15/19 2:21 AM
Created 2 Years ago at 11/15/19 2:21 AM

RE: Fire Kasina

Posts: 260 Join Date: 9/14/19 Recent Posts
That's interesting. Maybe use the image to train your concentration by maintaining a smooth and stationary focus of the attention. I don't know much about fire kasina but I meditate on nothing by training my attention in precisely this way on nothing. This allows me to access those levels of concentration outside the meditation session. As I understand, meditating on nothing is quite tricky for some people and that's why we have a whole range of meditation objects to aid focus and develop concentration skills. Concentration helps penetrate the dream, and we can do other interesting things with it to like, ummm... looking through a telescope or using two tin cans and a piece of string to listen from a distance and so on. 
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Michial N, modified 2 Years ago at 11/17/19 6:52 PM
Created 2 Years ago at 11/16/19 10:45 AM

RE: Fire Kasina

Posts: 102 Join Date: 10/27/19 Recent Posts
Day 1

Set up, sitting at my desk with a candle, no music, all other lights off.

The sit was from 8:00 to 11:00 pm. Over all it was great, a lot of new things happened. I really like this powerful technique, and can't wait to sit again tonight.

The first attempt was a little shaky. The eyelids were twitchy and had a lot of uncontrollable eye movement. I was able to focus on the red dot until it faded. The twitchy eye movement clammed down a bit and just sat with my normal breath meditation, feeling clam. I had some new visual effect going on that I hadn't encountered before , it looked kind of like a black silk sheet blowing around in the moon light at the very edge of my vision, its hard to describe. The effect was clearer/sharper then the normal visual field, which normally looks grainy or pixelated.

The second attempt and from then on went a bit better. Each after-image/red dot was a little different. I experimented with looking at different parts of the candle flame to try and get the clearest after-image/red dot. What seems to work best is focusing on the tip of the flame for 30 to 60 seconds.
When the red dot faded to the point it became to small to focus on. I would relax my focus and turn to the sensations in the body and breath. This is the point when that new visual effect would come back. Seeing it more often, lasting  longer and it occasionally taking up the whole field of vision. It looks more like 3D gray and white smoke and flames swirling together, very cool effect.

Over the three hours of doing this I got to see some very intense colors. The one that stood out the most was when the red dot of the flame turned chartreuse (neon-green) and there was a magenta (hot-pink) aura around it. When this happened the visual field turned very clear and a deep black (non pixelated). My focus zoomed in on the after-image with a "woosh". This made my heart flutter a bit. It stayed focused on it for about 20 seconds and then it faded
.
I found as the red dot starts to fade I can open my eyes ever so slightly (or more like letting the eyes relax just a bit) and it is easier to keep it in focus. Doing this its also easier to see the green and yellow halo around the red dot.

I haven't done a sit for a few years and it feels like the mind is like a race car, but I don't know how to drive it well. Shifting it at the wrong time, hitting the gas to hard then braking to hard. I was getting waves of  energy filling the body, heart and head at times. At times I felt like I could focus and then push the mind like a acceleration peddle diving deeper into it. The mind chatter was almost non existent, or if it was there it was most definitely in the back seat. 

The last thing was I had a dream last night were I got to apologize for something that had broke up a friendship of mine. I felt very peaceful this morning.
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Lars, modified 2 Years ago at 11/16/19 12:25 PM
Created 2 Years ago at 11/16/19 11:09 AM

RE: Fire Kasina

Posts: 420 Join Date: 7/20/17 Recent Posts
You can get the kasina effect from an interesting variety of light sources. One of my favourites is when I make coffee late at night i'll sometimes stand in the kitchen with the lights off, looking in the direction of the one small window with eyes unfocused. The window faces open sky with no light sources, though it's brighter than the surrounding dark room. If I just stand there for a while suddenly the window shape will form a kasina that overlays the visual field and the room plunges into total darkness. If I remain relaxed it stays that way for a while, if I try to focus on it or look around it pops back to normal. After a few times flipping back and forth it won't happen anymore, like i'm overusing a muscle (or the eyes become dark adapted and the contrast isn't high enough to produce the effect).

I just did an experiment in photoshop and confirmed how this works. If the entire visual field becomes a kasina object (negative image) instead of just one aspect of that field, then the kasina and the usual field of vision cancel each other out and the visual field appears blank.
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Bardo, modified 2 Years ago at 11/16/19 2:24 PM
Created 2 Years ago at 11/16/19 2:22 PM

RE: Fire Kasina

Posts: 260 Join Date: 9/14/19 Recent Posts
Lars:

I just did an experiment in photoshop and confirmed how this works. If the entire visual field becomes a kasina object (negative image) instead of just one aspect of that field, then the kasina and the usual field of vision cancel each other out and the visual field appears blank.

Could you say some more about this? Specifically, where you mention the kasina and usual field of vision cancel each other out leaving the visual field blank?

When this happens, is there no visual artefact for concentration to land on?

Were you ever using your entire peripheral vision as a means to concentration?

When the blank-ness emerges, is concentration no longer possible? ...in what way does this tell you that concentration is no longer possible?

I'm making the assumption that the two paragraphs refer to two individual instances but share some similar characteristics.

Concentration in others is an area of intrigue for me. Fire kasina is something I've only played with once or twice but I have a particular interest in your description as it appears you're working entirely with your eyes open?
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Michial N, modified 2 Years ago at 11/16/19 3:37 PM
Created 2 Years ago at 11/16/19 3:37 PM

RE: Fire Kasina

Posts: 102 Join Date: 10/27/19 Recent Posts
I just did an experiment in photoshop and confirmed how this works. If the entire visual field becomes a kasina object (negative image) instead of just one aspect of that field, then the kasina and the usual field of vision cancel each other out and the visual field appears blank.

Sounds interesting, i'll have to check it out.
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Lars, modified 2 Years ago at 11/16/19 7:12 PM
Created 2 Years ago at 11/16/19 6:59 PM

RE: Fire Kasina

Posts: 420 Join Date: 7/20/17 Recent Posts
Bardo Cruiser:

When this happens, is there no visual artefact for concentration to land on?

Were you ever using your entire peripheral vision as a means to concentration?

When the blank-ness emerges, is concentration no longer possible? ...in what way does this tell you that concentration is no longer possible?

I'm making the assumption that the two paragraphs refer to two individual instances but share some similar characteristics.

I have a particular interest in your description as it appears you're working entirely with your eyes open?

There is still some level of noise in what remains in the visual field, and there's the darker color that it "merges" to.

Yes, I often defocus eyes when meditating with eyes open or on walks, so i'm not focusing on any particular thing, just the whole field. 

Concentration is still possible, it seems to be factor in how long the kasina remains. This doesn't lead to cessation if that's what you're getting at. I don't so much use this as a technique, I just relax while making coffee and watch the interesting optical illusion unfold.  emoticon

Not sure what you mean by your assumption. I used photoshop to see what happens when negative images (kasinas) are overlaid on top of positive images, and to see the difference between only a certain part of the positive image becoming a kasina, versus the whole image.

Yes this is done with eyes open the whole time, but the main thing seems to be defocused eyes verus staring at the window itself.

Didn't mean to threadjack, my main point is that you can get creative with this and use lots of light sources (or even high contrast lighting situations) to play with kasina objects.
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Michial N, modified 2 Years ago at 11/16/19 7:20 PM
Created 2 Years ago at 11/16/19 7:18 PM

RE: Fire Kasina

Posts: 102 Join Date: 10/27/19 Recent Posts
Didn't mean to threadjack,

Your not, your on topic, and both are always welcome on my threads. I'm about to start my next sit, i'll post about it tomorrow. Sleep well friends.
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Michial N, modified 2 Years ago at 11/17/19 8:53 AM
Created 2 Years ago at 11/17/19 8:53 AM

RE: Fire Kasina

Posts: 102 Join Date: 10/27/19 Recent Posts
Day 2 

Sat on the floor with the candle on the coffee table. 8:00 to 10:30 pm.

Not much to report. The crazy color changes have chilled out. The after-image is consistently seen as a red orange dot with two halos around it yellow and green and a larger orange dim aura on the outside edge. It becomes smaller and smaller until the colors fade and change into a black dot. I am able to see the black dot for much longer then day 1.

Once the black dot fades and the attention relaxes, there seems to be a burst of engery, not seen but felt. This is when I sometimes get the "1080p HD" effects. The effect swirls and mix with the pixelated background. 

I'm not sure, but it feels like the "1080p HD" effect is the next step to this thing. I think I just need to experience it more offten so when it does happen I don't feel so blown away by it. I need to get use to it and relax for it to stay. That feels like the right direction.

My goal for the upcomming work week is to do this for one hour before work and one hour before bed.
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Michial N, modified 2 Years ago at 11/18/19 5:39 PM
Created 2 Years ago at 11/18/19 5:39 PM

RE: Fire Kasina

Posts: 102 Join Date: 10/27/19 Recent Posts
Day 3

Sitting at the table again on the floor. 8:00 to 11:00 pm

A tiny bit of progress. After the black dot fades and i'm left with the murk. Starting to see white/gray mist or clouds floating out of the murk and into my "face" were it pushs past and moves out of the field of vision. This happens about once every 2-3 sec. Almost looks like driving down a foggy road with all the lights out.
Ben Sulsky, modified 2 Years ago at 11/19/19 1:22 PM
Created 2 Years ago at 11/19/19 1:22 PM

RE: Fire Kasina

Posts: 148 Join Date: 11/5/19 Recent Posts
Thanks for the log Michial.  Really into vipassana stuff at the moment but have a strong intention to work with kasina at some point in future.  It's helpful to see a day by day report from another enthusiastic practitioner.  Best of luck!  Ben
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Michial N, modified 2 Years ago at 11/19/19 3:59 PM
Created 2 Years ago at 11/19/19 2:20 PM

RE: Fire Kasina

Posts: 102 Join Date: 10/27/19 Recent Posts
Your welcome, and you should check it out in the future. It feels like a blend of vipassana, visual meditation and insight. Plus its just plain fun.
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Michial N, modified 2 Years ago at 11/19/19 4:13 PM
Created 2 Years ago at 11/19/19 2:29 PM

RE: Fire Kasina

Posts: 102 Join Date: 10/27/19 Recent Posts
Day 4

Sat in my room in complete darkness. Was only able to get one hour in.

I did a little experimenting with a small LED flash light, and did some of the meditation with eyes open in the dark.
It didn't work as well as the candle, the after-image didn't last as long and I didn't like the funny shapes it would make. I'm going to go back to the candle tonight. I didn't feel like it held me back from getting into jhanas, but it didn't help either. Saw the clouds/fog again, yet this time they were comming out of my face, condensing into one place and disappearing into itself.

Picked up a new big white candle today. Going to test it out tonight.
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Michial N, modified 2 Years ago at 12/3/19 2:43 PM
Created 2 Years ago at 11/20/19 4:40 PM

RE: Fire Kasina

Posts: 102 Join Date: 10/27/19 Recent Posts
Day 5

Sat at the coffee table on the floor with my new candle. 6:00 to 8:00 pm

Progressed as usual, with a gift at the end.

1. 30 to 60 seconds looking at the candle.
2. After-image fades and leaves the red "dot"
3. Eyelids were twitchy and had a lot of uncontrollable eye movement.
4. Red dot fades to about 50% size.
5. Crazy "1080p HD" effect comming and going.
6. Red dot fades and turns into black dot
7. Black dot fades.
8. A
ttention widens out, accompanied by a wave of energy felt in the body.
9. A few more flashs of "1080p HD" effect.
10. Attention is placed on the murk, observing what it does, with interest.
11. Checking back in with the body and breath for a short time.
12. White clouds/fog (nimitta) starts to appear out of the murk, swriling and dancing across my vision.

So at this point in the sit. I had been watching the clouds for a few minutes. My guess would be 5 or 10 minutes. I turned my attention back to the body and breath just to check in. I noticed my heart beating faster and my breath had quickened by quite a lot. I felt appsolutely no concern about this, I knew I was 100% ok. I stayed with the quickened breath, just watching it move in and out on its own. After 2 or 3 minutes I moved my attention back to the murk, as I did this, there was a shift.

The shift felt like passing over, through, steping down, droping into something (absorption). After the shift, attention widened out or opened up, it felt like space didn't exist. There was no distance from me and the sounds around me. My wife walked into the room, I could hear her footsteps and her comming to join me at the table, but I couldn't tell how far away she was. It was like she was walking around in my mind, no distance between the place I was and the sound arising from the footsteps. Sound was sharper and clearer.

After checking out this no-space feeling, I tried to shift attention back to the murk. There was much more activity going on in the murk, but it was very difficult to keep attention there. So I just stopped trying and hung out and enjoyed being in no-space. Hung out in no-space for about 30 minutes.

*Edit: I forgot to mention, right before I ended the sit. There was a soft pressure around the crown of my head. Like a band or soft rope squeezing all the way around my head. It didn't hurt, it felt like a kind of nice and gentle pressure.*

I think this was the first formless jhana. Feel free to comment. (I have had a headache all day so I will likely be skipping tonights sit, its not from the meditation)
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 2 Years ago at 11/20/19 5:57 PM
Created 2 Years ago at 11/20/19 5:57 PM

RE: Fire Kasina

Posts: 6673 Join Date: 12/8/18 Recent Posts
Cool stuff! 

No, not the first formless realm, because that is rather the opposite. I would say it was great vipassana. You deconstructed space. Really cool.  This is also a form of non-dual experience, if I understand it correctly, which can be reached through Mahayana practice. 

I have never experienced this. I had a similar experience with time once, though. 
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Michial N, modified 2 Years ago at 11/23/19 10:44 AM
Created 2 Years ago at 11/20/19 6:28 PM

RE: Fire Kasina

Posts: 102 Join Date: 10/27/19 Recent Posts
Thank you for your feedback.

I am using the word no-space, but it could be said to be like infinite space. Its difficult to describe without using well know descriptions. If someone has had the experience of formless  jhāna: infinite space, I feel like they might agree with this no-space, no location, no distance, just one single point of "being" with no discernible boundaries description.

Deconstructed space would make it infinite.

But I could also be totally wrong, and it was just as you say, not 5th jhana.
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Michial N, modified 2 Years ago at 11/23/19 8:27 AM
Created 2 Years ago at 11/22/19 4:14 AM

RE: Fire Kasina

Posts: 102 Join Date: 10/27/19 Recent Posts
Day 6

Sitting in my room with the candle on a small chair. 7:00 to 8:00 pm

The same progression happen as Day 5. White clouds/fog (nimitta) came and I had the intent to move into 5th jhana. I feel like the intent might have been a bit to strong, because it felt like I got stuck half way in and out of it. Might this be what they call soft jhana? In any case I left it alone and just stayed with the nimitta. After some time had passed, focusing,focusing,focusing. There started to be this sinking feeling very subtle and slow. Just allowing it to take me where it wanted to go. 


Sinking, sinking sinking, time slowing,slowing,slowing, nimtta fading (felt like falling asleep) then suddenly "WOOSH" the body and mind sprang back into full awareness and focus. A wave of bliss and mind sharpness. The nimitta flashed and strobed with brighter light then before. Things settled, but the mind sharpness stayed. The thought "that wasn't 5th jhana, lets keep going" 

Refocused on the nimtta. Some small amout of time had passed. Then it started again (about 10 minutes later), sinking, sinking, sinking, slowing slowing slowing. Just allowing it to take me where it wanted to go. Again "WOOSH" awareness came back to life and full focus. The bliss wave was even stronger this time. The nimitta looked even brighter then before, like lightning crackling through the mind. A few moments passed and things clamed down. The nimitta faded. Being left with just the murk I decided to go back to the candle for the 2nd time in this sit.

Looking at the candle for 30 sec I closed my eyes. The after-image of the large candle left a negative on my field of vision. Inside of the negative the pixelated field glowed. Every other pixel glowed a dim blueish puprle. It looked like a stary night inside the candle negative. It was beautiful!! I watched it until it faded. I felt great so I opened my eyes and blew out the candle. 

*At no point did I feel sleepy, before, durring or after the sit.*

(I think this was fruition, but I want to see if it happens more, as I am sure it will.)
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Bardo, modified 2 Years ago at 11/23/19 1:33 AM
Created 2 Years ago at 11/23/19 1:33 AM

RE: Fire Kasina

Posts: 260 Join Date: 9/14/19 Recent Posts
Thank you. What I got from this is that concentration doesn't always need to be pin-point sharp. It can be wide, free-form and spacious. 
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Michial N, modified 2 Years ago at 11/24/19 6:36 AM
Created 2 Years ago at 11/24/19 6:36 AM

RE: Fire Kasina

Posts: 102 Join Date: 10/27/19 Recent Posts
(Had coffee with a friend the other night and didn't have time to sit before bed)

Day 7

At the coffee table. 9:00 to 10:30 pm

Not much to report. The day 5 cycle seemed to be a bit faster. My guess is that it only took 10 minutes to begin seeing the first stage of what I am calling nimitta. About 10 mintues after that it moved to its second stage. It becomes a bit more defined, brighter and as it fades in and out of the visual field its pattern is more random. It is also accompanied by the Nada Sound and the body also feels lighter.
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Michial N, modified 2 Years ago at 12/3/19 3:17 PM
Created 2 Years ago at 12/3/19 3:17 PM

RE: Fire Kasina

Posts: 102 Join Date: 10/27/19 Recent Posts
Sorry to all who have been enjoying my log. I had to take a few days off from meditation. Holidays, friends, family, you know how it is. I will be sitting again starting tonight. 
David Kyle Spencer, modified 2 Years ago at 12/3/19 3:55 PM
Created 2 Years ago at 12/3/19 3:44 PM

RE: Fire Kasina

Posts: 48 Join Date: 11/21/19 Recent Posts
Michial N:
Thank you for your feedback.

I am using the word no-space, but it could be said to be like infinite space. Its difficult to describe without using well know descriptions. If someone has had the experience of formless  jhāna: infinite space, I feel like they might agree with this no-space, no location, no distance, just one single point of "being" with no discernible boundaries description.

Deconstructed space would make it infinite.

But I could also be totally wrong, and it was just as you say, not 5th jhana.

Just given the sequence, I would say it's at least j4.j5 

Initially we may notice the wide-open and boundaryless quality of the fourth jhana as a formed version of the fifth jhana, like a halfway point between the two that is starting to turn from the fourth jhana to the fifth-jhana way of perceiving space, and then we take that aspect as an object to the exclusion of the aspects of experience that are no longer obviously bounded. [I would label this state j4.j5, meaning that there is still form (j4) but that one is noticing its boundless aspect (j5)

I read it as "j5", because I believe there's enough wiggle room in the definition of "space" for there to be varied experiences of it. I believe I read somewhere that Linda used Michael Taft's guided meditation to access Boundless Space, and it indeed manifests itself as she says. However, as you may have read in my Practice Log, there is more way to skin this particular cat. To me, getting there MT's way involves unnecessary visualization steps - you yourself are 99.999999% space and are already intertwined with every other point of space - but then, I hail from a Rinzai Zen background. For me, a lot of Theravada involves what I consider to be "unnecessary steps"; particularly with regard to Non-Dual experiences, where I believe Japanese koans to possess an overwhelming advantage vis-a-vis Therevada-based systems, though Therevada may lead to a deeper understanding of these matters in some ways.

That said, every time I read on DhO about people struggling with No Self/Non-duality, I have to restrain myself from shouting "Just crack a koan already!" at the screen. Every time I read about someone struggling with J1-J3 using conventional breath or object focusing techniques, I want to cry out unto heaven: "Use a mantra!" New practitioners saying "myself", "self", "me", "my" all over the place make me wince. "My god," I think, "They're going to walk straight into the Dark Night with their name badge on...shouting out their date of birth, favorite rock band and social security number." 

That said, you really want to know - not think, know - that you're in J5, if only so you can upgrade to J6. I cannot recommend J6 highly enough. It is, as Daniel put it (paraphrase) "like the world's largest sticky bun for sticky bun addicts." So you want to be positive that this must be j5 before "flicking on the lights" i.e. recognizing that consciousness of boundless space is by definition a boundless consciousness. At that point, the changover should happen on it's own rather quickly: You'll know you're there when you see the Luminous Light.     
  
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Michial N, modified 2 Years ago at 12/4/19 7:05 PM
Created 2 Years ago at 12/4/19 7:05 PM

RE: Fire Kasina

Posts: 102 Join Date: 10/27/19 Recent Posts
Thanks for the info, i'll keep working at it. Fire kasina has been a great help. Everytime I sit now, feels like I am making progress.
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Michial N, modified 2 Years ago at 12/4/19 7:35 PM
Created 2 Years ago at 12/4/19 7:35 PM

RE: Fire Kasina

Posts: 102 Join Date: 10/27/19 Recent Posts
Day 8

Sitting in my room, 7:00 to 8:00 pm

Looking into the candle the first time, started to see a "shadow" around the edges of the flame. 
Closed my eyes and was greeted with a magenta flame. It quickly started to drift downwards in my field of vision, likely due to my brake from sitting. Only about 30 seconds into this, flashs of the "1080p HD/3D" images started. Eyes started to twich in time with the beating of my heart and the flashs of 3D images. It was rather intense this time. Taking up the whole field of vision in flashs, it became hard to keep my focus on the pink flame. This went on for about one minute then suddenly stopped....no dot, just murk.

Sat with the murk for a bit, no nimitta, went back to the candle. Closed my eyes and the after image did that blueish purple stary night thing again. The dot is still moving around on me. I relaxed my focus but kept looking into the field of vision. Something new started. Eyes twiching again produced a strobbing neon purple blob. Very intense color. This went on for a minute or two then I shook it off. I refocused on the field of vison and after some time the nimitta shly came into veiw. Sat with it for the rest of the time.

Getting up from the sit, felt clam and enjoyed the new experience.
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Michial N, modified 2 Years ago at 1/3/20 4:09 PM
Created 2 Years ago at 1/3/20 4:09 PM

RE: Fire Kasina

Posts: 102 Join Date: 10/27/19 Recent Posts
I was sick for 2 weeks and then had christmas break. I'm going to get back to sitting tonight and posting the experience.

Feel free to ask questions if you so desire.
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Michial N, modified 2 Years ago at 1/3/20 7:07 PM
Created 2 Years ago at 1/3/20 7:07 PM

RE: Fire Kasina

Posts: 102 Join Date: 10/27/19 Recent Posts
Day 9

Tonight's sit was odd. The first 15 minutes of the sit went mostly as it normally does. After some time, the nimitta wasn't showing up. I tried to relax, and as I did the mind would jump to a thought for about 3-4 seconds then my body would lurch forward and the thought would brake off and concentration would come back into full focus. This was odd for me. I tried to stay focused, but the mind kept pulling concentration away.. I didn't want to fight it to hard and let this continue to happen for some time, I wanted to see if it would change on its own. It went on for about 30 minutes.

Then I shifted and changed my sitting position. From that point I was able to work my way into first jhana, and stayed there for the last 15 minutes.

This lack of concentration is odd for my sitting meditation. It is what it is. We will see what tomorrow brings.