Kasinas, Hypnagogia and other imagery

Hector, modified 11 Months ago.

Kasinas, Hypnagogia and other imagery

Posts: 89 Join Date: 5/9/20 Recent Posts
Rebooting the thread on Kasinas, Hypnagogia and Nimittas at the request of hae1en.

I'll summarize it in the table below. I come from a technical background so I'll use specific terms to describe what I am seeing.
You can google them to see pictures of them - Laplacian of Gaussian, Gabor filter, Gabor wavelet, photoreceptor bleaching,
lateral inhibition, variational auto encoder, convolutional encoder/decoder, interpretability of convolutional neural networks.

It typically looks like the column under "sleep state". I use the foot feels of walking meditation to stay concentrated past the hypnagogia
and sometimes vipasanna the "murk". Last night I tried amplifying color instead of form like I normally do and got
different results, like colored lightning spirals and spreading flowers accompanied with pleasurable body feels
but didn't progress to the other stages since it was a new method to me.

I also regularly alternate methods, so I don't stick to a stage or progression and since I am not starting
from the  same methods I might be seeing stuff that might or might not be the same as that experienced
in kasinas. I also found the first time doing fire kasina, I didn't really need it to sustain the nimitta since
I was already used to looking at "the murk" from other methods (mathematics, vipassana using computer vision 
conceptual models of visual perception under computer  vision CV column on the left, lucid dreaming and drum journeying).

This is all very subjective so posted mostly so that people know there's more than one way to experience
all the fund weird stuff. Past the narrative stage there is another one
that my watch calls deep sleep. I used a smart watch to measure the sessions and found that the REM
sleeps did correspond to my lucid dream and semi lucid dream states. 1 and 4 were hypnagogic and hypnopompic
and I presume 2 and 3 were rebound ones from deep sleep.

Crude correspondence map of CV/CG/Lucid dreaming/meditation 
CVCGSleep statespecular highlight kasinawild guesspossible eeg?
photonsgeometry + texturelooking at roomlooking at lightphysical worldalpha
ccd bucket overflowray castclose eyes + afterimagered dotphotoreceptor bleachingbeta
Laplacian of Gaussianunsharp maskafter image fadesblack dotlateral inhibition
3x3 convGabor waveletspeckleswavy black dotedges generatingtheta
max pool 1radially symmetric basishypnagogic tunnelsacred geometryparts generating
YUV compressionwireframe rendererwireframe dreams3rd screenobjects generating
decoder not convergedSGI crimson opengllow chroma dreams
CPPN networkprocedural texturesscene become autonomousbackground generating
word2vecprocedural gamesnarrative becomes autonomousstory generatingdelta
super resolutionfilm noir filterUltra 4k HD, low chroma4th screenwild guessgamma?
forgot to remove camera capultra black pixelsunconscious sleepsleep yogadeep sleep
Hector, modified 11 Months ago.

RE: Kasinas, Hypnagogia and other imagery

Posts: 89 Join Date: 5/9/20 Recent Posts
Here's a fun thought experiment I'll call meditation upon perception using a variational auto encoder
See "https://worldmodels.github.io/" for visuals

While looking at something, imagine, what if perception was happening like a convolutional variational auto encoder with the following structure:
encoder for eye vision, encoder for mental imagery, shared decoder for both that can generate mental imagery that is also
connected to the input for the encoder for mental imagery.

typical encoder:
light enters the eye -> decomposed to dots and edges -> decomposed to gabor like stuff ->
parts -> object representation. A decoder follows the stages backwards to make imagery.

also imagine a 'mental image' counterpart where imaginary light enters imaginary eye and is also
bi-directional, that is, an auto encoder. mental image -> mental parts -> mental object -> mental parts -> mental image

While separating the perception into these conceptual stages I was able to classify how I felt when a dog barked at me
and I jumped as : dog barks -> image of dog -> feel of dog -> idea that dog is an object -> triggering some
kind of presumtions about a dog -> mental image decoder generating image of dog lounging at me -> going through the mental image encoder -> mental object of dog -> responding to that -> realizing it was just a mental object -> suppressing the response.

This was before I read up on vipassana, so was just deducing the principles from the wikipedia entry on vipassana and winging
it using how I build machine perception models. When I subsequently tried wake induced lucid dreaming the stages of passing through the murk felt suspiciously like the stages of the mental decoder .. murk formed of dots, lines, then spirals, then parts, then objects but with additional later stages like background and narrative generation.
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Chris Marti, modified 11 Months ago.

RE: Kasinas, Hypnagogia and other imagery

Posts: 3875 Join Date: 1/26/13 Recent Posts
While separating the perception into these conceptual stages I was able to classify how I felt when a dog barked at me and I jumped as : dog barks -> image of dog -> feel of dog -> idea that dog is an object -> triggering some
kind of presumtions about a dog -> mental image decoder generating image of dog lounging at me -> going through the mental image encoder -> mental object of dog -> responding to that -> realizing it was just a mental object -> suppressing the response.

This was before I read up on vipassana, so was just deducing the principles from the wikipedia entry on vipassana and winging it using how I build machine perception models.

Hector --  I love this!
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hae1en, modified 11 Months ago.

RE: Kasinas, Hypnagogia and other imagery

Posts: 98 Join Date: 10/13/19 Recent Posts
Hector:
typical encoder:
light enters the eye -> decomposed to dots and edges -> decomposed to gabor like stuff ->
parts -> object representation. A decoder follows the stages backwards to make imagery.

also imagine a 'mental image' counterpart where imaginary light enters imaginary eye and is also
bi-directional, that is, an auto encoder. mental image -> mental parts -> mental object -> mental parts -> mental image

When I subsequently tried wake induced lucid dreaming the stages of passing through the murk felt suspiciously like the stages of the mental decoder .. murk formed of dots, lines, then spirals, then parts, then objects but with additional later stages like background and narrative generation.

Hector, I also try to grasp this sequence :-), great to see you here. And I came up with - less nerdy - but similar conclusions. I also have some more questions:

  • how the world and self continuum is constructed in general :-)
  • how to stabilize and slow down perception so the stages of self-world construction are visible beyond what we normally call perceving vibrations in vipassana, for example when lucidly falling asleep and waking up
  • is sacred geometry and protoforms in hypnagogia a way to see "inside" vibrations - this is a metaphore, but:
  • is there a intermediate state between formed and formless realms (dots, lines, spirals, parts, objects, background etc?)
  • when deconstructing the illusion of pure formless awareness (mirror or substrate consciousness/alayavijnana/true self/one mind) as a final destination and piercing through it to annata/emptiness - is imagery a mark of progress: I noticed that some people on the forum like Linda or Chris Marti, before fruitions saw variations of indra's net or pixaleted tunnels, same with Malcolm
  • is it possible to observe all 12 elements of dependent origination separately
  • how deep the insight has to go with the imagery for it to "click and lock in" (so the psychological effects of "body and mind drop off" linger and become permanent)
  • does one have to see specific imagery, which is a mark of success of this permanent shift (in some spiritual traditions there are)
I will write more on Indra's net (it can be a cobweb with pearls too, Tim) later.
Hector, can you write more on auto-encoder? 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 11 Months ago.

RE: Kasinas, Hypnagogia and other imagery

Posts: 5375 Join Date: 12/8/18 Recent Posts
hae1en:
Hector:
typical encoder:
light enters the eye -> decomposed to dots and edges -> decomposed to gabor like stuff ->
parts -> object representation. A decoder follows the stages backwards to make imagery.

also imagine a 'mental image' counterpart where imaginary light enters imaginary eye and is also
bi-directional, that is, an auto encoder. mental image -> mental parts -> mental object -> mental parts -> mental image

When I subsequently tried wake induced lucid dreaming the stages of passing through the murk felt suspiciously like the stages of the mental decoder .. murk formed of dots, lines, then spirals, then parts, then objects but with additional later stages like background and narrative generation.

Hector, I also try to grasp this sequence :-), great to see you here. And I came up with - less nerdy - but similar conclusions. I also have some more questions:

  • how the world and self continuum is constructed in general :-)
  • how to stabilize and slow down perception so the stages of self-world construction are visible beyond what we normally call perceving vibrations in vipassana, for example when lucidly falling asleep and waking up
  • is sacred geometry and protoforms in hypnagogia a way to see "inside" vibrations - this is a metaphore, but:
  • is there a intermediate state between formed and formless realms (dots, lines, spirals, parts, objects, background etc?)
  • when deconstructing the illusion of pure formless awareness (mirror or substrate consciousness/alayavijnana/true self/one mind) as a final destination and piercing through it to annata/emptiness - is imagery a mark of progress: I noticed that some people on the forum like Linda or Chris Marti, before fruitions saw variations of indra's net or pixaleted tunnels, same with Malcolm
  • is it possible to observe all 12 elements of dependent origination separately
  • how deep the insight has to go with the imagery for it to "click and lock in" (so the psychological effects of "body and mind drop off" linger and become permanent)
  • does one have to see specific imagery, which is a mark of success of this permanent shift (in some spiritual traditions there are)
I will write more on Indra's net (it can be a cobweb with pearls too, Tim) later.
Hector, can you write more on auto-encoder? 

As for slowing down perceptions, Daniel writes about such a version of the A&P in MCTB2. I think that may have been what I had the time when time was solid and still. There have also been incidents on the threshold between A&P and dissolution when I have been able to hear the vibrations of people talking, as if they were talking in slow motion.

I think sacred geometry and hypnagogic images are a product of how consciousness works and thereby sort of a chrystallized version of the vibrational level of samsara (which is also nibbana).

I think of those dots and lines and spirals and soforth as an intermediate state inbetween third and fourth jhana and - when they reach a certain quality - as part of fourth jhana. I think that's the vipassana jhana version. At least it appears so for me. That would also explain why it has so often preceded fruitions, which always come after equanimity in which fourth jhana occurs. It seems like some imageries are shared among practicioners, but not among everyone, but I don't know.

As for dependent origination, I haven't even bothered learning all the names and categories. I don't think I would necessarily agree with the model for it. I certainly hope that I won't need to dig deep into those specificities as modelled in the sutras. I trust that the process will take care of whatever needs to be seen. 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 11 Months ago.

RE: Kasinas, Hypnagogia and other imagery

Posts: 5375 Join Date: 12/8/18 Recent Posts
Hector:
I linked the 'story generating vae' I think in the 2nd post under world models https://arxiv.org/abs/1803.10122. There's also the wikipedia article https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Autoencoder 
some fun analogies
concentration as sofmax - concentrating the gradients to pass through only a few neurons
clarity as distentanglement - using information theory to make the codes orthogonal like how cellular systems use orthogonal code in CDMA https://arxiv.org/abs/1912.12818 
clarity as L1 regularization or RELU - setting non active channels to 0
mode collapse in a vae - when the generator gets stuck generating one kind of thing or generating nothing
like having a piano and you can choose to play nothing, a note, a chord or a music from a sheet or something you come up with
I actually use 'equinamity' to avoid mode collapse - sampling all the modes and seeing how they feel even if it's an unpleasant dream
Nowadays I choose not to wake up from nightmares because I find it fun to see them through to resolution.

...and dream yoga, indeed. I have often had that approach with nightmares too, by the way. I know that many people use lucid dreaming for that purpose, but I don't need for a dream to be lucid to do that. Periodically it just happens on its own: a sudden plot twist that changes everything and resolves the danger.
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 11 Months ago.

RE: Kasinas, Hypnagogia and other imagery

Posts: 5375 Join Date: 12/8/18 Recent Posts
Hector:

While looking at something, imagine, what if perception was happening like a convolutional variational auto encoder with the following structure:
encoder for eye vision, encoder for mental imagery, shared decoder for both that can generate mental imagery that is also
connected to the input for the encoder for mental imagery.

typical encoder:
light enters the eye -> decomposed to dots and edges -> decomposed to gabor like stuff ->
parts -> object representation. A decoder follows the stages backwards to make imagery.

also imagine a 'mental image' counterpart where imaginary light enters imaginary eye and is also
bi-directional, that is, an auto encoder. mental image -> mental parts -> mental object -> mental parts -> mental image

While separating the perception into these conceptual stages I was able to classify how I felt when a dog barked at me
and I jumped as : dog barks -> image of dog -> feel of dog -> idea that dog is an object -> triggering some
kind of presumtions about a dog -> mental image decoder generating image of dog lounging at me -> going through the mental image encoder -> mental object of dog -> responding to that -> realizing it was just a mental object -> suppressing the response.

This was before I read up on vipassana, so was just deducing the principles from the wikipedia entry on vipassana and winging
it using how I build machine perception models. When I subsequently tried wake induced lucid dreaming the stages of passing through the murk felt suspiciously like the stages of the mental decoder .. murk formed of dots, lines, then spirals, then parts, then objects but with additional later stages like background and narrative generation.


That’s some great vipassana right there, making these observations. I think the mind does follow specific rather predictable algorithms, which may differ depending on specific wirings of the brain and other conditions pertaining to the sense organs and individual experiences and cultural frameworks that may effect the processing. The overlap inbetween our species is probably huge, though.
Tim Farrington, modified 11 Months ago.

RE: Kasinas, Hypnagogia and other imagery

Posts: 2454 Join Date: 6/13/11 Recent Posts
Hector:
Rebooting the thread on Kasinas, Hypnagogia and Nimittas at the request of hae1en.

Just a side note - I'm coming from this practice from a very different route and set of rules and axioms.
I was a charismatic Christian two decades ago and experienced what seems to be called Arising and Passing which
in that tradition is called Revival and recently last year experienced it again via a different route. Since then
I've done a lot more research into the phenomenon and have picked up some more understanding but I'm
arriving at this from several different alternate routes. I'm also counting decades of computer graphics and computer vision
concentrated thinking as 'meditation' for the purposes of generating kasina.

My progression in imagery was - thinking of math for decades -> lucid dreaming arriving with charismatic Christian practices
two decades ago -> 2nd kind of A&P last year -> ok let me investigate this phenomenon, it's disturbing to me,
I don't understand why it is happening suddenly and why is time not linear and why is stuff happening spontaneously
-> investigating Jungian thought on dreams and synchroniticities -> did something for someone using synchronicities who
turned out to be a shaman and taught me drum journeys -> reading up on dream yoga and wake induced lucid dreaming and
fire kasina and realizing that the 'white stuff' in hypnagogia seems to be the same manipulable white stuff -> wanting to know if they are all the same thing and posting my question a few days ago. 

I'll summarize it in the table below. I come from a technical background so I'll use specific terms to describe what I am seeing.
You can google them to see pictures of them - Laplacian of Gaussian, Gabor filter, Gabor wavelet, photoreceptor bleaching,
lateral inhibition, variational auto encoder, convolutional encoder/decoder, interpretability of convolutional neural networks.

I'm more familiar with lucid dreaming and drum journeying that specular highlight kasina which seems to me to correspond up to 3rd screen.
The insight stages come to me in the alternate modes past background generating at the narrative generating stage.
Or sometimes just walking down the street to a dead end.

It typically looks like the column under "sleep state". I use the foot feels of walking meditation to stay concentrated past the hypnagogia
and sometimes vipasanna the "murk". Last night I tried amplifying color instead of form like I normally do and got
different results, like colored lightning spirals and spreading flowers accompanied with pleasurable body feels
but didn't progress to the other stages since it was a new method to me.

I also regularly alternate methods, so I don't stick to a stage or progression and since I am not starting
from the  same methods I might be seeing stuff that might or might not be the same as that experienced
in kasinas. I also found the first time doing fire kasina, I didn't really need it to sustain the nimitta since
I was already used to looking at "the murk" from other methods (mathematics, vipassana using computer vision 
conceptual models of visual perception under computer  vision CV column on the left, lucid dreaming and drum journeying).

I'm also employing two additional instruments "faith" and "grace" from the charismatic Christian tradition.
The first one, trust that something will happen, so proceeding past failure modes and the second one
feels a bit similar to equinamity - not sweating it and trusting in God when it comes to dealing with bad feels or bad imagery.
I also use Jungian dream interview techniques to digest the obtained insights, translating them from
metaphorical language. I'm also not looking for salvation or liberation since in the Christian tradition
you get to use it as an axiom instead of a stage, so I'm not too stressed about experiencing pure nothingness
and don't have feelings of guilt about enjoying dream imagery which in some traditions might be considered a bardo or trap.

This is all very subjective so posted mostly so that people know there's more than one way to experience
all the fund weird stuff. For the ones who believe in nothingness - some stages feel like just watching
yourself fall asleep -- nothing happens and it's all gray. Past the narrative stage there is another one
that my watch calls deep sleep. I used a smart watch to measure the sessions and found that the REM
sleeps did correspond to my lucid dream and semi lucid dream states. 1 and 4 were hypnagogic and hypnopompic
and I presume 2 and 3 were rebound ones from deep sleep.

Crude correspondence map of CV/CG/Lucid dreaming/meditation @eigenhector
CVCGSleep statespecular highlight kasinawild guesspossible eeg?
photonsgeometry + texturelooking at roomlooking at lightphysical worldalpha
ccd bucket overflowray castclose eyes + afterimagered dotphotoreceptor bleachingbeta
Laplacian of Gaussianunsharp maskafter image fadesblack dotlateral inhibition
3x3 convGabor waveletspeckleswavy black dotedges generatingtheta
max pool 1radially symmetric basishypnagogic tunnelsacred geometryparts generating
YUV compressionwireframe rendererwireframe dreams3rd screenobjects generating
decoder not convergedSGI crimson opengllow chroma dreams
CPPN networkprocedural texturesscene become autonomousbackground generating
word2vecprocedural gamesnarrative becomes autonomousstory generatingdelta
super resolutionfilm noir filterUltra 4k HD, low chroma4th screenwild guessgamma?
forgot to remove camera capultra black pixelsunconscious sleepsleep yogadeep sleep


okay!

I was a charismatic Christian two decades ago and experienced what seems to be called Arising and Passing which
in that tradition is called Revival and recently last year experienced it again via a different route. Since then
I've done a lot more research into the phenomenon and have picked up some more understanding but I'm
arriving at this from several different alternate routes.

I have handled snakes, spoken in tongues, and had the flame of the Holy Ghost descend down and blaze away in my crown chakra. In my gtradition, this is called "Wednesday."
I'm also counting decades of computer graphics and computer vision concentrated thinking as 'meditation' for the purposes of generating kasina.

well, obviously.

My progression in imagery was - thinking of math for decades -> lucid dreaming arriving with charismatic Christian practices
two decades ago -> 2nd kind of A&P last year -> ok let me investigate this phenomenon, it's disturbing to me,
I don't understand why it is happening suddenly
 that will do it, all right: the old Divine sink or swim.
and why is time not linear
yup.

and why is stuff happening spontaneously
Amen, and let the chruch say, Amen.

> investigating Jungian thought on dreams and synchroniticities -> did something for someone using synchronicities who
turned out to be a shaman and taught me drum journeys -> reading up on dream yoga and wake induced lucid dreaming and
fire kasina and realizing that the 'white stuff' in hypnagogia seems to be the same manipulable white stuff -> wanting to know if they are all the same thing and posting my question a few days ago. 

I can see why you pulled the thread so quickly, you're a complete fucking nut job, Hector. Welcome to the club here at DhO. Drop by the Bar of Last Resort anytime, but don't tell them Tim sent you, they'll throw your ass out. Otherwise, the drinks are free and the entertainment is literally to die for, until all beings are saved.

love, tim
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hae1en, modified 11 Months ago.

RE: Kasinas, Hypnagogia and other imagery

Posts: 98 Join Date: 10/13/19 Recent Posts
Just for the sake of the continuity (and some links I value) - the thread starts with Linda's log, quoted above and the discussion on tigles, rezzas, pixels and other light-born creatures.

---

Hector:

I am not sure if it's because I work in the field of computer vision, but the visual field for my hypnagogia looks a lot like the progression
from dots and edges (Sobel, Laplacian of Gaussian), wavy dots and lines (Gabor filter family), parts and circular waves,
then recognizable objects, then autonomous scenery and then the autonomous narrative kicks in.


Linda ”Polly Ester":

Interesting. In one of my first fruitions, three images presented themselves rapidly: reality as vibrating strings, as waves, and as particles formed around a black hole. Then everything including myself vanished into the black hole. 

hae1en:

Hi Linda, Hector and Not two, Not one,

Since this is Linda's thread, how about we move the discussion on relationship between hypnagogia, nimittas, lucid dreaming, fire kasina and insight vs concentration work to the thread Hector set up? I couldn't find it though.... 

There are interesting parallels to be described with neuroscience of hallucination. Check out this video summary of Jack Cowan's papers on psychedelics and migraine auras. It basically shows how neural activation wave travels through our visual cortex, with columns coding protoforms (like dots, edges, angles, swings etc.) coming together in a caleidoscopic conscious fractal visions. This mechanism probably underlays all the phenomena we talked about. So it can reflect the movements (or nonmovements) of attention, I would say, Linda. We can activate this wave by willfull concentration whereas psychonauts drop magical substances on the surface of their visual cortex, which we do not need apparently.

Not two, Not one - the hexagonal grid (honeycomb) is called Indra's net in dzogchen and there is a sequence of steps to work with it.

If any of you is interested to exchange more, could you respond in a dedicated thread? Linda, thanks for the hospitality! :-) 
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Not two, not one, modified 11 Months ago.

RE: Kasinas, Hypnagogia and other imagery

Posts: 903 Join Date: 7/13/17 Recent Posts
hae1en:


Not two, Not one - the hexagonal grid (honeycomb) is called Indra's net in dzogchen and there is a sequence of steps to work with it.


Interesting - all I could find from google was metaphorical references to Indra's net.  Can you point me towards the specific Dzogchen resources you mentioned?

Thanks!

Malcolm
Tim Farrington, modified 11 Months ago.

RE: Kasinas, Hypnagogia and other imagery

Posts: 2454 Join Date: 6/13/11 Recent Posts
Not two, not one:
hae1en:


Not two, Not one - the hexagonal grid (honeycomb) is called Indra's net in dzogchen and there is a sequence of steps to work with it.


Interesting - all I could find from google was metaphorical references to Indra's net.  Can you point me towards the specific Dzogchen resources you mentioned?

Thanks!

Malcolm

"all" you could find, those pesky metaphorical references. Tsk, tsh, Malcolm, you hard-core specific-resource lasered madman.
 
Here’s a specific technique for you, Not Two, Not One, from my tradition: go out in the wilderness and fast alone for forty days and forty nights (you may accept any sustenance offered by ravens and angels, use careful discernment and beware of crows and demons bearing gifts). Then wake before dawn and find a spiderweb hung with dew. Take your shoes off, for you are standing on holy ground, and sit just west of it, until the light dawns.
 
This technique must be performed only in the wilderness, so that no one is hurt by the shrapnel when your mind explodes.
 


now, Indra's net:


 
 
"Imagine a multidimensional spider's web in the early morning covered with dew drops. And every dew drop contains the reflection of all the other dew drops. And, in each reflected dew drop, the reflections of all the other dew drops in that reflection. And so ad infinitum. That is the Buddhist conception of the universe in an image." –Alan Watts
 
 so far, so imagistic and metaphorical, my bad.
Endless action arises from the mind; from action arises the multifarious world. Having understood that the world's true nature is mind, you display bodies of your own in harmony with the world. Having realized that this world is like a dream, and that all Buddhas are like mere reflections, that all principles are like an echo, you move unimpeded in the world.
from the Avatamsaka sutra
 
turning to Buddhist scriptures, at least, right?
Good Old Wikipedia, chasing down them pesky metaphors and shit:
The Avataṃsaka Sūtra (IASTSanskrit: आवतंसक सूत्र); or the Mahāvaipulya Buddhāvataṃsaka Sūtra (Sanskrit: महावैपुल्य बुद्धावतंसक सूत्र), is one of the most influential Mahāyāna sutras of East Asian Buddhism. The title is rendered in English as Flower Garland Sutra, Flower Adornment Sutra, or Flower Ornament Scripture. It has been called by the translator Thomas Cleary "the most grandiose, the most comprehensive, and the most beautifully arrayed of the Buddhist scriptures." . . .

The Avataṃsaka Sūtra was written in stages, beginning from at least 500 years after the death of the Buddha. One source claims that it is "a very long text composed of a number of originally independent scriptures of diverse provenance, all of which were combined, probably in Central Asia, in the late third or the fourth century CE." Japanese scholars such as Akira Hirakawa and Otake Susumu meanwhile argue that the Sanskrit original was compiled in India from sutras already in circulation which also bore the name "Buddhavatamsaka" . . .

According to Paramārtha, a 6th-century monk from Ujjain in central India, the Avataṃsaka Sūtra is also called the "Bodhisattva Piṭaka." In his translation of the Mahāyānasaṃgrahabhāṣya, there is a reference to the Bodhisattva Piṭaka, which Paramārtha notes is the same as the Avataṃsaka Sūtra in 100,000 lines. Identification of the Avataṃsaka Sūtra as a "Bodhisattva Piṭaka" was also recorded in the colophon of a Chinese manuscript at the Mogao Caves: "Explication of the Ten Stages, entitled Creator of the Wisdom of an Omniscient Being by Degrees, a chapter of the Mahāyāna sūtra Bodhisattvapiṭaka Buddhāvataṃsaka, has ended."
 
Likewise, in book 30:
 
In all atoms of all lands
Buddha enters, each and every one,
Producing miracle displays for sentient beings:
Such is the way of Vairocana....
The techniques of the Buddhas are inconceivable,
All appearing in accord with beings’ minds....
In each atom the Buddhas of all times
Appear, according to inclinations;
While their essential nature neither comes nor goes,
By their vow power they pervade the worlds.
 
Our very Chris Marti was enquiring just yesterday about this book and its flagrant metaphors:
In Gödel, Escher, Bach (1979), Douglas Hofstadter uses Indra's net as a metaphor for the complex interconnected networks formed by relationships between objects in a system—including social networks, the interactions of particles, and the "symbols" that stand for ideas in a brain or intelligent computer.
 
also:
 
In Vermeer's Hat (2007), a history book written by Timothy Brook, the author uses the metaphor:
Buddhism uses a similar image to describe the interconnectedness of all phenomena. It is called Indra's Net. When Indra fashioned the world, he made it as a web, and at every knot in the web is tied a pearl. Everything that exists, or has ever existed, every idea that can be thought about, every datum that is true—every dharma, in the language of Indian philosophy—is a pearl in Indra's net. Not only is every pearl tied to every other pearl by virtue of the web on which they hang, but on the surface of every pearl is reflected every other jewel on the net. Everything that exists in Indra's web implies all else that exists.

and 
Writing in The Spectator, Sarah Burton explains that Brook uses the metaphor, and its interconnectedness,
to help understand the multiplicity of causes and effects producing the way we are and the way we were [...] In the same way, the journeys through Brook's picture-portals intersect with each other, at the same time shedding light on each other.
 
and:
 
In Indra's Net (2014), Rajiv Malhotra uses the image of Indra's net as a metaphor for the profound cosmology and outlook that permeates Hinduism. Indra's Net symbolizes the universe as a web of connections and interdependences [...] I seek to revive it as the foundation for Vedic cosmology and show how it went on to become the central principle of Buddhism, and from there spread into mainstream Western discourse across several disciplines.
 
fucking metaphors fucking up our nice neat practice, fuck this shit.

Has it really never occurred to you that every specific technique IS a metaphor? And so, every metaphor implies any number of techniques. It is the fruitful metaphor of scriptures, a fruit bursting with nothing whatsoever but metaphor seeds for each to cultivate as s/he will, that makes a tradition live. What Daniel did was going back to the sources, grow some of his own, and this home-grown stuff is strong shit. But only an idiot would despise the seed, looking for the fruit.

(edit) "Here is the parable: the sower sows the word." Yes, a parable, worse still than a metaphor ("meta-phor," from the Greek, means literally "to carry over"--- sea of samsara, anyone?). But that's scripture for you. And who's the sower? Jesus Fucking Christ, Malcolm.
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Not two, not one, modified 11 Months ago.

RE: Kasinas, Hypnagogia and other imagery

Posts: 903 Join Date: 7/13/17 Recent Posts
Thank you Tim, I do agree about metaphor. I believe that our super powerful subconcious speaks to us through metaphor. And in the end, metaphor is all we have. We are an ever evolving web of metaphors.

My interest in Indra's net is not just the metaphor, but also to dig deep into the specifics of the construction of the eye faculty.  Simlar to digging deep into the specifics of the sense of touch.  I think the honeycomb (which we overlay with all sorts of perceptions and sacred geomtery, and metaphor, and is itself a metaphor), may be a deep perception of some base component of the eye faculty.  Digging deep deep deep deep into that sense may help deconstruct reality, just as digging deeply into physical sensations does. So aside from the metahpor, and not to in any way downplay the metahphor, I am wondering whether the honeycomb, or web, provides another perceptual thread dangling from the garment of self, that we can pull and pull to unravel.

Much love

Malcolm
Tim Farrington, modified 11 Months ago.

RE: Kasinas, Hypnagogia and other imagery

Posts: 2454 Join Date: 6/13/11 Recent Posts
Not two, not one:
Thank you Tim, I do agree about metaphor. I believe that our super powerful subconcious speaks to us through metaphor. And in the end, metaphor is all we have. We are an ever evolving web of metaphors.


yes
My interest in Indra's net is not just the metaphor, but also to dig deep into the specifics of the construction of the eye faculty.  Similar to digging deep into the specifics of the sense of touch.  I think the honeycomb (which we overlay with all sorts of perceptions and sacred geomtery, and metaphor, and is itself a metaphor), may be a deep perception of some base component of the eye faculty.  Digging deep deep deep deep into that sense may help deconstruct reality, just as digging deeply into physical sensations does. 
yes. and this:

Tear down this house.A hundred thousand new houses can be built from the transparent yellow carnelian buried beneath it, and the only way to get to that is to do the work of demolishing and then digging under the foundations.With that value in hand all the new construction will be done without effort.And anyway, sooner or later this house will fall on its own.  The jewel treasure will be uncovered, but it won't be yours then.  The buried wealth is your pay for doing the demolition, the pick and shovel work.  If you wait and just let it happen, you'd bite your hand and say, "I didn't do as I knew I should have."This is a rented house.  You don't own the deed.You have a lease, and you've set up a little shop, where you barely make a living sewing patches on torn clothing.  Yet only a few feet underneath are two veins, pure red and bright gold carnelian.Quick!Take the pickaxe and pry the foundation.You've got to quit this seamstress work.What does the patch-sewing mean, you ask.  Eating and drinking.  The heavy cloak of the body is always getting torn.  You patch it with food, and other restless ego-satisfactions.Rip up one board from the shop floor and look into the basement. You'll see two glints in the dirt.rumithe house that fear built

rumi has something for everything, lol.like shargrol, maybe.

So aside from the metahpor, and not to in any way downplay the metahphor, I am wondering whether the honeycomb, or web, provides another perceptual thread dangling from the garment of self, that we can pull and pull to unravel.

yes, got it. thank you. a gentle steady clear tug, watching warp and woof dissolve.
Much love

Malcolm


much much
love, tim
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Stirling Campbell, modified 11 Months ago.

RE: Kasinas, Hypnagogia and other imagery

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Not two, not one:

I think the honeycomb (which we overlay with all sorts of perceptions and sacred geomtery, and metaphor, and is itself a metaphor), may be a deep perception of some base component of the eye faculty.  Digging deep deep deep deep into that sense may help deconstruct reality, just as digging deeply into physical sensations does. So aside from the metahpor, and not to in any way downplay the metahphor, I am wondering whether the honeycomb, or web, provides another perceptual thread dangling from the garment of self, that we can pull and pull to unravel.

One of the moments where I knew this board, and Daniel's book were timely was in the section titled "The 3 Doors" where he says:

When the no-self door predominates with suffering as its second aspect, then a very strange thing happens. There may be an image on one side staring back, but even if there isn’t, the universe becomes a toroid (doughnut-shaped), or occasionally a sphere, and the image and this side of the toroid switch places as the toroid universe spins.

https://www.mctb.org/mctb2/table-of-contents/part-iv-insight/31-the-three-doors/

This is quite similar to my Stream Entry experience/moment of insight into emptiness only with it the toroid shape had a grid/honeycomb type pattern that was gently traced underneath the toroidal distortion of reality, and it came with a seemingly extraordinarlily deep Indra's Net/Implicate Order (Bohm) seeing of the interconnectedness of all illusory points and the awareness of them reflecting each other's wholeness in each one. 

I have since seen and felt this a few times in a much weaker fashion, generally when nothing special is going on. My teacher has also seen this and believes this is about as far out a swing as you can go still expressing the karma of a "person". My instinct is that this is correct.

I'd be very interested to hear if anyone else has had this experience, or knows something about it.
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hae1en, modified 11 Months ago.

RE: Kasinas, Hypnagogia and other imagery

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Stirling Campbell:
Not two, not one:
I am wondering whether the honeycomb, or web, provides another perceptual thread dangling from the garment of self, that we can pull and pull to unravel.
(...)
This is quite similar to my Stream Entry experience/moment of insight into emptiness only with it the toroid shape had a grid/honeycomb type pattern that was gently traced underneath the toroidal distortion of reality, and it came with a seemingly extraordinarlily deep Indra's Net/Implicate Order (Bohm) seeing of the interconnectedness of all illusory points and the awareness of them reflecting each other's wholeness in each one. (...) My teacher has also seen this and believes this is about as far out a swing as you can go still expressing the karma of a "person". 

So we have a nice collection of a web-like images in various people's experiences. Chris, I hope you don't mind me reposting from your log - wonder if it belongs to the same family: "the fraction of a second image always reminds me afterward of a mandala that you see from the Vajrayana tradition or a series of tiny network nodes connected by tiny threads". 

I remember Linda once mentioned the flower of life. This is Malcolm's honeycomb with small "eyes". Hector has triangles. Anyone else?


My own images have different flavours, shapes, eye sizes, volume, duration and motion. From hectagonal, through square to diamond like. With pearls, knods or drops of light in the intersections or without. Some of them have elemental nature - sculpted on airy or water texture.  The latter ones already have volume and 3d quality to it, like this braid.

After rethinking the thing I'm afraid I don't have that much knowledge to share. My boyfriend used to be dzogchen instructor and we practice together. I can say that evolution of indra's net (how they call it) during samatha meditation can be used as a feedback device on how the progress is hapening. I wouldn't like to give it in, especiallly that it's not my root tradition and I also wouldn't disclose koan answers here. 

But how about we practice with it together and share?

I started with prolonging duration of the appearance. It started with flashes of the network in what I call slides. Seems jhana is stable and suddenly there is this rapid slide with network flash and when jhana is reestablished, it seems that it's energy potential and panoramicity increased. With practice these drifts  - which felt like second-long attention drifts or even momentarily dozing off - turned out to be sources of deeper attentional modes. I read on the forum about similar attention drifts in agnostic's posts and earlier Dream Walker's. 

I learned to perceive the slides and images more clearly: (1) when they finish and jhanic focus returns, (2) after some practice: when they start and finish, (3) then while inside the slide, (4) prolonging their duration, (5) interacting with the net inside the slide, (6) actively searching for the gravitational pull in the hidden jhana structure and provoking slides. 

Naturally then the ability to prolong the duration of the grid increased, also it started to evolve. 
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Chris Marti, modified 11 Months ago.

RE: Kasinas, Hypnagogia and other imagery

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So we have a nice collection of a web-like images in various people's experiences. Chris, I hope you don't mind me reposting from your log - wonder if it belongs to the same family: "the fraction of a second image always reminds me afterward of a mandala that you see from the Vajrayana tradition or a series of tiny network nodes connected by tiny threads". 

No problem! I believe it is indeed in the same family.
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Not two, not one, modified 11 Months ago.

RE: Kasinas, Hypnagogia and other imagery

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For me there is another rare experience that has greater separation - maybe ten times the distance, and is more vivd or vision like than the honeycomb.  For me this was a precisely symmetrical star field.  Īn MCTB2 Daniel talked about a field of skulls, which I rightly or wrong recognised as the same phenomena.  I think Linda has reported this too.  Kasina folk might also report a star field? 
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hae1en, modified 11 Months ago.

RE: Kasinas, Hypnagogia and other imagery

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Not two, not one:
a star field? 

Picture?
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Not two, not one, modified 11 Months ago.

RE: Kasinas, Hypnagogia and other imagery

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hae1en:
Not two, not one:
a star field? 

Picture?

Like this, but more rectangular (laterally) and not quite as desnse as this picture.

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hae1en, modified 11 Months ago.

RE: Kasinas, Hypnagogia and other imagery

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Not two, not one:
Like this, but more rectangular (laterally) and not quite as desnse as this picture.


I also see it, both in jhanas and in deep formless sleep. Sometimes in 3D. So how can they be formless if there are textures like this in their coating?

Sometimes I think it's the result of doing vipassana on formless realms. That would explain why the patters reveal themselves short of fruitions.

And sometimes the dots - white, blue or rainbow color form a tunnel. 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 11 Months ago.

RE: Kasinas, Hypnagogia and other imagery

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hae1en:
Not two, not one:
Like this, but more rectangular (laterally) and not quite as desnse as this picture.


I also see it, both in jhanas and in deep formless sleep. Sometimes in 3D. So how can they be formless if there are textures like this in their coating?

Sometimes I think it's the result of doing vipassana on formless realms. That would explain why the patters reveal themselves short of fruitions.

And sometimes the dots - white, blue or rainbow color form a tunnel. 

Personally, I don't count such states as formless, because that is form. When I have been in formless realms, there were no such imageries. It started out as endless bright white space, but the whiteness was the first to go. Then there were no visuals or other sensory impressions whatsoever. It was just endless awareness, then endless nothingness, then a very tangible absence even of nothingness. 
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hae1en, modified 11 Months ago.

RE: Kasinas, Hypnagogia and other imagery

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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö:

Personally, I don't count such states as formless, because that is form. When I have been in formless realms, there were no such imageries. It started out as endless bright white space (...).


Linda, I think you wrote somewhere that you find imagery between 3J and 4J, right? But for me it happens most often when I finish sitting meditation - in the mornings, in order to go beyond the last conturs of the body - I assume a reclining position, lean against the wall and try to enter the dream state consciously.

I usually end up in a lucid shallow dreamless sleep or simply lucid hypnagogic dream. The dreamless lucidity is difficult for me to distinguish from formless jhanas (all 4, including the last one, since sometimes there are no mental engines on even to recognize one is in, cuz language and perception don't work, only on the threshold when leaving one becomes self-aware). BTW - can you think in formless jhanas or recognize you are in? How about in dreamless sleep? I think that in commentaries vitaka and vicara (thinking) is described as arupa jhana factor. But in the suttapitaka - not! This is what constitutes the difference between hard and soft jhana, right?

Anyhow, while in dreamless lucidity or in formless jhanas - there is this slide I told you about. And in the empty galaxy for a fraction of second one of the images is formed. A cobweb or tunnel. Field of stars. Indra's net. Puff of smoke. DMT-like mozaics or water waves textures covering whole screen. Rotating diamond or rotating rock on empty screen. Drops of blue, red or rainbow light. Flowing dust. All photorealistic and in 3D.

I learned to prolong them - this phase I start to consider vipassanizing formless jhana, because my insight learned how to find forms within what seems pure content-less awareness. In the beginning I realized there are subtle changes there in this seemingly empty field and energy currents and subtle evolution of illumination AND then these geometric flashes started to show up.

It's hard for me to return to believing in pure witness empty awareness right now, I think all there is are discreet mind-moments with gaps between them and this is what in fact constitutes jhana fabric, which at the first glance (or without insight) can seem continuous and unified.
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 11 Months ago.

RE: Kasinas, Hypnagogia and other imagery

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hae1en:

Linda, I think you wrote somewhere that you find imagery between 3J and 4J, right?

Yes, that’s right, and in fourth vipassana jhana.


But for me it happens most often when I finish sitting meditation - in the mornings, in order to go beyond the last conturs of the body - I assume a reclining position, lean against the wall and try to enter the dream state consciously.

For me it also tends to happen in the morning as I wake up, as a hypnopomp, I guess.

I usually end up in a lucid shallow dreamless sleep or simply lucid hypnagogic dream.

Yeah, that happens to me too.

The dreamless lucidity is difficult for me to distinguish from formless jhanas (all 4, including the last one, since sometimes there are no mental engines on even to recognize one is in, cuz language and perception don't work, only on the threshold when leaving one becomes self-aware).

I think of those criteria as relevant to all jhanas if they are hard. As for lighter jhanas, it seems to be possible to balance on the threshold and maintain verbal thinking, but to a lesser degree the higher up in the Jhanic arc you get.

BTW - can you think in formless jhanas or recognize you are in? 

I didn’t, not in any discursive way, but there is experience. When I come out of it, I translate it into concepts to the best of my ability.

How about in dreamless sleep? 

Sometimes I can, sometimes I can’t. I suspect that discursive thinking remains in light dreamless sleep and disappears as the sleep deepens.

I think that in commentaries vitaka and vicara (thinking) is described as arupa jhana factor. But in the suttapitaka - not! This is what constitutes the difference between hard and soft jhana, right?

I don’t know. Sounds reasonable. I have heard that a nimitta is required for the hard jhanas.

Anyhow, while in dreamless lucidity or in formless jhanas - there is this slide I told you about. And in the empty galaxy for a fraction of second one of the images is formed. A cobweb or tunnel. Field of stars. Indra's net. Puff of smoke. DMT-like mozaics or water waves textures covering whole screen. Rotating diamond or rotating rock on empty screen. Drops of blue, red or rainbow light. Flowing dust. All photorealistic and in 3D.

That sounds like form to me. If form appears in it, I would think of the subjective formlessness before that as a formless aspect of some of the formed jhanas, like Daniel does, because that makes more sense to me sequentially. I’m no expert, though. Regardless, spotting that slide is excellent phenomenology.

I learned to prolong them - this phase I start to consider vipassanizing formless jhana, because my insight learned how to find forms within what seems pure content-less awareness. In the beginning I realized there are subtle changes there in this seemingly empty field and energy currents and subtle evolution of illumination AND then these geometric flashes started to show up.

Aha, okay. Interesting. I could of course be wrong. I’m just saying how I use the concepts in documenting and making sense of my practice. When I was sucked into the formless realms one by one l sequentially, there was no way to change anything or finding anything outside that very specific focus. There was such a strong pull and (subjectively) no sense of agency whatsoever. It felt... inevitable. And the world was taken away, part by part, until not even nothingness was there. And of course that’s still a mind construct, but it seemed to be an inevitable mind construct, based on how the human attention system functions.

It's hard for me to return to believing in pure witness empty awareness right now, I think all there is are discreet mind-moments with gaps between them and this is what in fact constitutes jhana fabric, which at the first glance (or without insight) can seem continuous and unified.

Yeah, I don't believe that it is possible to experience anything that isn't a construct. I think we can get glimpses, sort of inbetween the lines, but those glimpses are still filtered and thus constructs. 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 11 Months ago.

RE: Kasinas, Hypnagogia and other imagery

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Not two, not one:
For me there is another rare experience that has greater separation - maybe ten times the distance, and is more vivd or vision like than the honeycomb.  For me this was a precisely symmetrical star field.  Īn MCTB2 Daniel talked about a field of skulls, which I rightly or wrong recognised as the same phenomena.  I think Linda has reported this too.  Kasina folk might also report a star field? 

Interesting that yours is rectangular, as illustrated in your later post. Mine is circular. 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 11 Months ago.

RE: Kasinas, Hypnagogia and other imagery

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hae1en:

I started with prolonging duration of the appearance. It started with flashes of the network in what I call slides. Seems jhana is stable and suddenly there is this rapid slide with network flash and when jhana is reestablished, it seems that it's energy potential and panoramicity increased. With practice these drifts  - which felt like second-long attention drifts or even momentarily dozing off - turned out to be sources of deeper attentional modes. I read on the forum about similar attention drifts in agnostic's posts and earlier Dream Walker's. 

I learned to perceive the slides and images more clearly: (1) when they finish and jhanic focus returns, (2) after some practice: when they start and finish, (3) then while inside the slide, (4) prolonging their duration, (5) interacting with the net inside the slide, (6) actively searching for the gravitational pull in the hidden jhana structure and provoking slides. 

Naturally then the ability to prolong the duration of the grid increased, also it started to evolve.
 

This is excellent phenomenology. I have noticed too that what may seem like drifting off is really a eay to access something deeper. I haven't been able to map it as thoroughly as you, though.
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hae1en, modified 11 Months ago.

RE: Kasinas, Hypnagogia and other imagery

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Stirling Campbell:
Not two, not one:
I think the honeycomb (which we overlay with all sorts of perceptions and sacred geomtery, and metaphor, and is itself a metaphor), may be a deep perception of some base component of the eye faculty.  
My teacher has also seen this and believes this is about as far out a swing as you can go still expressing the karma of a "person". 

For the sake of excitement, here is the excerpt not from Tibetan but earlier Indian tradition - Visuddhimaga (Vis. VIII, 213-215) stating that nimittas can have similar shapes:

214. When he does so in this way, the sign soon appears to him. But it is not the same for all; on the contrary, some say that when it appears it does so to certain people producing a light touch like cotton or silk cotton or a draught.
215. But this is the exposition given in the commentaries: It appears to some like a star or a cluster of gems or a cluster of pearls, to others with a rough touch like that of silk-cotton seeds or a peg made of heartwood, to others like a long braid string or a wreath of flowers or a puff of smoke, to others like a stretched-out cobweb or a film of cloud or a lotus flower or a chariot wheel or the moon's disk or the sun's disk.

We see a web, we see gems in the intersections. We also see a draught - which I think can be a way to describe the gravitation pull in the slide. 

And here, here and here is something from Western tradition, where honeycomb is explained by neuroscience: "something, for example the presence of a drug [or meditation/me], throws the neural network off its equilibrium, kicking into action a snowballing interaction between excitatory and inhibitory neurons, which then stabilises in a stripy or hexagonal pattern of neural activity in V1/visual cortex."

Stirling, how do you understand "expressing karma" here?
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Stirling Campbell, modified 11 Months ago.

RE: Kasinas, Hypnagogia and other imagery

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hae1en:

For the sake of excitement, here is the excerpt not from Tibetan but earlier Indian tradition - Visuddhimaga (Vis. VIII, 213-215) stating that nimittas can have similar shapes:

I would characterize what I observed as being woven into the fabric of everything rather than localized like a nimitta, but that IS interesting.

Stirling, how do you understand "expressing karma" here?

My background is Dzogchen/Zen. My understanding: The eyes (senses) are mirrors of the mind, not windows onto any solid reality. Reality looks to as it does because of your karma.
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hae1en, modified 11 Months ago.

RE: Kasinas, Hypnagogia and other imagery

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Hector:
Also interesting from the paper "One possible location for their origin is provided by fMRI studies of visual imagery suggesting that V1 is activated when human subjects are instructed to inspect the fine details of an imagined visual object" which is probably why I don't see it during focus on breath (in that case I see large blobs) and only during vipassana style focus on detail / hypnagogia.

Hector :-) Sometimes when I read you, I'm no longer clear, if we talk about hypnagogia, lucid hypnagogic sleep, deeper meditation/jhana or lucid dream. Can you clarify, when you write, please? And here - what is "it" in the sentence?

Despite not knowing I can share that imagery I get also changes depending on techinque.

It's blob-like (is this what you call blob ? I think this is what Visudhimagga calls cotton-like or ball of cotton sign) or homogeneous light -  during focus on breath, or during focus on large objects (like hwadu-big insight questions: what is it that perceives, like location of the observer, like the whole sensate field at once, like the whole awareness excluding it's content all at once etc.). 

And with single-focus onepointed concentration on zero-dimensional point (the don't know point ;-)) the vision on periphery becomes snowy, full of flickering dots, flowing dust, starry, basically points of light. Is this what you call white stuff? 
Tim Farrington, modified 11 Months ago.

RE: Kasinas, Hypnagogia and other imagery

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emoticon

It's blob-like (is this what you call blob 

Hae1en, wow. I see that all the time. All of space was once raining similar, more scintillating stuff once, after a particularly deep and gentle massage.
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hae1en, modified 11 Months ago.

RE: Kasinas, Hypnagogia and other imagery

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Tim Farrington:
emoticon

It's blob-like (is this what you call blob 

Hae1en, wow. I see that all the time. All of space was once raining similar, more scintillating stuff once, after a particularly deep and gentle massage.

Dear Tim, this is the neuroactivation wave travelling through visual cortex. It happens not only in epilepsy or migrains or other neurological syndromes, but in meditation as well. I'm just curious how do these visions known to neuroscience translate into nimitta - like phenomena and other "sacred geometry" imagery.
Tim Farrington, modified 11 Months ago.

RE: Kasinas, Hypnagogia and other imagery

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hae1en:
Tim Farrington:
emoticon

It's blob-like (is this what you call blob 

Hae1en, wow. I see that all the time. All of space was once raining similar, more scintillating stuff once, after a particularly deep and gentle massage.
x
Dear Tim, this is the neuroactivation wave travelling through visual cortex. It happens not only in epilepsy or migrains or other neurological syndromes, but in meditation as well. I'm just curious how do these visions known to neuroscience translate into nimitta - like phenomena and other "sacred geometry" imagery.

In Siddha yoga, Muktananda described the long process of finding and stability and clarifying "The Blue Pearl." And, of course, down in the trenches of us, blue pearls everywhere.
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 11 Months ago.

RE: Kasinas, Hypnagogia and other imagery

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hae1en:
Tim Farrington:
emoticon

It's blob-like (is this what you call blob 

Hae1en, wow. I see that all the time. All of space was once raining similar, more scintillating stuff once, after a particularly deep and gentle massage.

Dear Tim, this is the neuroactivation wave travelling through visual cortex. It happens not only in epilepsy or migrains or other neurological syndromes, but in meditation as well. I'm just curious how do these visions known to neuroscience translate into nimitta - like phenomena and other "sacred geometry" imagery.

Neuroactivation wave travelling through visual cortex - yet another concept to google! I'm learning so much here.
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 11 Months ago.

RE: Kasinas, Hypnagogia and other imagery

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Hector:
Also interesting from the paper "One possible location for their origin is provided by fMRI studies of visual imagery suggesting that V1 is activated when human subjects are instructed to inspect the fine details of an imagined visual object" which is probably why I don't see it during focus on breath (in that case I see large blobs) and only during vipassana style focus on detail / hypnagogia.

That may explain why I experience detailed sacred geometry in fourth vipassana jhana but not in fourth shamatha jhana. Thanks!
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 11 Months ago.

RE: Kasinas, Hypnagogia and other imagery

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hae1en:
Stirling Campbell:
Not two, not one:
I think the honeycomb (which we overlay with all sorts of perceptions and sacred geomtery, and metaphor, and is itself a metaphor), may be a deep perception of some base component of the eye faculty.  
My teacher has also seen this and believes this is about as far out a swing as you can go still expressing the karma of a "person". 

For the sake of excitement, here is the excerpt not from Tibetan but earlier Indian tradition - Visuddhimaga (Vis. VIII, 213-215) stating that nimittas can have similar shapes:

214. When he does so in this way, the sign soon appears to him. But it is not the same for all; on the contrary, some say that when it appears it does so to certain people producing a light touch like cotton or silk cotton or a draught.
215. But this is the exposition given in the commentaries: It appears to some like a star or a cluster of gems or a cluster of pearls, to others with a rough touch like that of silk-cotton seeds or a peg made of heartwood, to others like a long braid string or a wreath of flowers or a puff of smoke, to others like a stretched-out cobweb or a film of cloud or a lotus flower or a chariot wheel or the moon's disk or the sun's disk.

We see a web, we see gems in the intersections. We also see a draught - which I think can be a way to describe the gravitation pull in the slide. 

And [url=]here, [url=]here and here is something from Western tradition, where honeycomb is explained by neuroscience: "something, for example the presence of a drug [or meditation/me], throws the neural network off its equilibrium, kicking into action a snowballing interaction between excitatory and inhibitory neurons, which then stabilises in a stripy or hexagonal pattern of neural activity in V1/visual cortex."

Stirling, how do you understand "expressing karma" here?
This is interesting! Thanks for sharing!

As for karma, I have been thinking of all these chrystallized expressions as the art of temporarily turning samsara into a diamond.
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Stirling Campbell, modified 11 Months ago.

RE: Kasinas, Hypnagogia and other imagery

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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö:

As for karma, I have been thinking of all these chrystallized expressions as the art of temporarily turning samsara into a diamond.

Fortunately, samsara is always already a diamond. emoticon

Then the venerable Sariputra said to the Brahma Sikhin, "As for me, O Brahma, I see this great earth, with its highs and lows, its thorns, its precipices, its peaks, and its abysses, as if it were entirely filled with ordure."

Brahma Sikhin replied, "The fact that you see such a buddha-field as this as if it were so impure, reverend Sariputra, is a sure sign that there are highs and lows in your mind and that your positive thought in regard to the buddha-gnosis is not pure either. Reverend Sariputra, those whose minds are impartial toward all living beings and whose positive thoughts toward the buddha-gnosis are pure see this buddha-field as perfectly pure."

Thereupon the Lord touched the ground of this billion-world-galactic universe with his big toe, and suddenly it was transformed into a huge mass of precious jewels, a magnificent array of many hundreds of thousands of clusters of precious gems, until it resembled the universe of the Tathagata Ratnavyuha, called Anantagunaratnavyuha. Everyone in the entire assembly was filled with wonder, each perceiving himself seated on a throne of jeweled lotuses.

Then, the Buddha said to the venerable Sariputra, "Sariputra, do you see this splendor of the virtues of the buddha-field?"

"Sariputra replied, "I see it, Lord! Here before me is a display of splendor such as I never before heard of or beheld!"

The Buddha said, "Sariputra, this buddha-field is always thus pure, but the Tathagata makes it appear to be spoiled by many faults, in order to bring about the maturity of the inferior living beings. For example, Sariputra, the gods of the Trayastrimsa heaven all take their food from a single precious vessel, yet the nectar which nourishes each one differs according to the differences of the merits each has accumulated. Just so, Sariputra, living beings born in the same buddha-field see the splendor of the virtues of the buddha-fields of the Buddhas according to their own degrees of purity."

- VIMALAKIRTI NIRDESA SUTRA

Big toe is optional.
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 11 Months ago.

RE: Kasinas, Hypnagogia and other imagery

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Stirling Campbell:

Fortunately, samsara is always already a diamond. emoticon


According to the Vimilakirti sutra, sure, but I’m not so sure I’m buying it. It’s kind of hard to sell that to my friend who has basically been lying in his own shit for two years now because he can’t get the support he needs.


Big toe is optional.


?
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Stirling Campbell, modified 11 Months ago.

RE: Kasinas, Hypnagogia and other imagery

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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö:

According to the Vimilakirti sutra, sure, but I’m not so sure I’m buying it. It’s kind of hard to sell that to my friend who has basically been lying in his own shit for two years now because he can’t get the support he needs.

It's a view that features frequently in many traditions. Simply put, Nirvana is not something or somewhere other than right here, right now. Believing it (as you point out) won't necessarily do you any good, but even just reading it might be enough to make it suddenly obvious.

?

In the sutra it is the Buddha's big toe that touches the ground and allows Sariputra to see beyond his everyday samsaric vision. It's supposed to be funny, IMHO. emoticon
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 11 Months ago.

RE: Kasinas, Hypnagogia and other imagery

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Stirling Campbell:
Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö:

According to the Vimilakirti sutra, sure, but I’m not so sure I’m buying it. It’s kind of hard to sell that to my friend who has basically been lying in his own shit for two years now because he can’t get the support he needs.

It's a view that features frequently in many traditions. Simply put, Nirvana is not something or somewhere other than right here, right now. Believing it (as you point out) won't necessarily do you any good, but even just reading it might be enough to make it suddenly obvious.

?

In the sutra it is the Buddha's big toe that touches the ground and allows Sariputra to see beyond his everyday samsaric vision. It's supposed to be funny, IMHO. emoticon

I know, but there are very different ways of framing it, resulting in very different implications, some of which can be harmful depending on the context. Sometimes it's just more appropriate to lend a hand or two than to poke with one's toe, especially if you're not really a Buddha.
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 11 Months ago.

RE: Kasinas, Hypnagogia and other imagery

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Stirling Campbell:
Not two, not one:

I think the honeycomb (which we overlay with all sorts of perceptions and sacred geomtery, and metaphor, and is itself a metaphor), may be a deep perception of some base component of the eye faculty.  Digging deep deep deep deep into that sense may help deconstruct reality, just as digging deeply into physical sensations does. So aside from the metahpor, and not to in any way downplay the metahphor, I am wondering whether the honeycomb, or web, provides another perceptual thread dangling from the garment of self, that we can pull and pull to unravel.

One of the moments where I knew this board, and Daniel's book were timely was in the section titled "The 3 Doors" where he says:

When the no-self door predominates with suffering as its second aspect, then a very strange thing happens. There may be an image on one side staring back, but even if there isn’t, the universe becomes a toroid (doughnut-shaped), or occasionally a sphere, and the image and this side of the toroid switch places as the toroid universe spins.

https://www.mctb.org/mctb2/table-of-contents/part-iv-insight/31-the-three-doors/

This is quite similar to my Stream Entry experience/moment of insight into emptiness only with it the toroid shape had a grid/honeycomb type pattern that was gently traced underneath the toroidal distortion of reality, and it came with a seemingly extraordinarlily deep Indra's Net/Implicate Order (Bohm) seeing of the interconnectedness of all illusory points and the awareness of them reflecting each other's wholeness in each one. 

I have since seen and felt this a few times in a much weaker fashion, generally when nothing special is going on. My teacher has also seen this and believes this is about as far out a swing as you can go still expressing the karma of a "person". My instinct is that this is correct.

I'd be very interested to hear if anyone else has had this experience, or knows something about it.
I have seen a flower of life version of this spinning toroid. It was during a period when I had a lot of sacred geometry showing up. It may have been around the time of my stream entry as well. 
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Stirling Campbell, modified 11 Months ago.

RE: Kasinas, Hypnagogia and other imagery

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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö:

I have seen a flower of life version of this spinning toroid. It was during a period when I had a lot of sacred geometry showing up. It may have been around the time of my stream entry as well. 

I can't say I know much more about it, other than to say that it makes sense that it appears when the "emptiness door" is triggered.

Being from a different practice, noticing fruitions (for example) rarely happens for me. Some times ago, after some practice, I was able to unreliably trigger something I think was probably what is being discussed, but it didn't have any characteristics that made me want to work at it further. It still happens occasionally of its own accord, but seems longer, (or sort of "smeared") than what you'd describe as "blip".

I suspect that for those in the shamatha-heavy traditions there is a different feel where these things come in.
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 11 Months ago.

RE: Kasinas, Hypnagogia and other imagery

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Stirling Campbell:
Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö:

I have seen a flower of life version of this spinning toroid. It was during a period when I had a lot of sacred geometry showing up. It may have been around the time of my stream entry as well. 

I can't say I know much more about it, other than to say that it makes sense that it appears when the "emptiness door" is triggered.

Being from a different practice, noticing fruitions (for example) rarely happens for me. Some times ago, after some practice, I was able to unreliably trigger something I think was probably what is being discussed, but it didn't have any characteristics that made me want to work at it further. It still happens occasionally of its own accord, but seems longer, (or sort of "smeared") than what you'd describe as "blip".

I suspect that for those in the shamatha-heavy traditions there is a different feel where these things come in.
Yeah, that sounds reasonable, as the pattern transcends boundaries between individual circles and everything is intertwined.

Interesting to hear about such variations. I'd say that "blip" only describes the impermanence door fruitions. They are the fastest and most sudden ones, and the most anticlimactic ones. And yeah, with higher concentration the moments before and after the cessation tend to be clearer and more interesting, even for the impermanence door.
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Stirling Campbell, modified 11 Months ago.

RE: Kasinas, Hypnagogia and other imagery

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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö:

Yeah, that sounds reasonable, as the pattern transcends boundaries between individual circles and everything is intertwined.

Interesting to hear about such variations. I'd say that "blip" only describes the impermanence door fruitions. They are the fastest and most sudden ones, and the most anticlimactic ones. And yeah, with higher concentration the moments before and after the cessation tend to be clearer and more interesting, even for the impermanence door.

What are the other fruitions like for you, if they are different from "blips"? I ask, not being sure I can discern any difference in them.
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 11 Months ago.

RE: Kasinas, Hypnagogia and other imagery

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Stirling Campbell:

What are the other fruitions like for you, if they are different from "blips"? I ask, not being sure I can discern any difference in them.


First of all, I’m not sure what you mean when you say ”blip”. I would be interested in hearing more about your phenomenology. I have impermanence door fruitions that come back with a beep, an actual tone together with sort of an electrical surge and a gradual powering up of the perception. At one time it was preceded by three rapid visuals: vibrating strings, waves, and particles gathered around a black hole. Then everything vanished into the black hole. I have had a not self door fruition in which I was the toroid rotating in a way that turned me inside out. I have had perception and consciousness being torn away from me gradually, fiercely and in a drawn-out way in the suffering door. Stuff like that. When there is just a blip, I usually don’t count it as a fruition because it could be anything. I try to maintain high standards in order not to fool myself. I find that there is a large grey area when it comes to impermanence door fruitions, though, because they are the trickiest ones to distinguish from the kind of subjective blip that only marks the transition between two different mind states.
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 11 Months ago.

RE: Kasinas, Hypnagogia and other imagery

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Hector:
After I read "blip" the kasina construct became a story teller.

Now it claims to be prometheus and wants to give me pandora's box. I don't have enough knowledge
about greek mythology so it sort of burns itself out.

Also, don't worry about projecting... I think it's inevitable, any output becomes an input or a new spark, my current curiosity 
is just to see how the interactions with people work. The fire kasina is like a story teller now. I want to see how many
kinds of story it tells before it the loop vanishes.

How does this storytelling manifest?
Tim Farrington, modified 11 Months ago.

RE: Kasinas, Hypnagogia and other imagery

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Hector:
You mean experientially? With all the language I'm familiar with, mostly visual and conceptual. I already know how
to talk to my brain in some ways, what I learnt here was like the gas pedal, when it's getting too hot and when to back off
and learning how to use different things as seeds, right now I'm using relationships and mythology as seeds but now I know
when I've gone too far down a path and when to back up.

If you mean the mechanism, I don't really know but my shallow belief loop is new neurons growing.

shallower still, most likely, but i think you're probably right. I think with the storyteller incarnation of faith you may have found the pitch perfect center point of indra's web, where action is non-existent and wotk is done everywhere.
Tim Farrington, modified 11 Months ago.

RE: Kasinas, Hypnagogia and other imagery

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Hector:
I think I unrolled to the top level of metaphor and cooled down my system
It really does feel like the usual process I use for asking questions about myself using dreams, but in between
it generates a lot of different, rich and beautiful metaphors with lots of different beautiful pictures.

The assumptions it was shattering I think wasn't about self or existence or magic or habit changing (or maybe it was
at those levels?). At this final level it was assumptions and illusions about *other people* that was shattered.
About not assuming I knew what was in other people's minds. I think this is the current steady
state the kasina cooled down to.

So for me, the 'heat' of the kasina system is like Gibbs sampling, a method of exploring how I feel about something.
At really high energy states it generates all sorts of theories and feels and stories and mythologies
and it's really interesting to explore because I get to experience the completeness of feel of a mythology,
in this case what it feels like if a wikipedia constructed understanding of meditation + math was real.

At the high energy states it explores points of view of other people, and shows me what it could possibly feel from
another person's point of view, of course an illusion because I don't know how anyone feels.
I think my mind just rejects each and every belief but each time it gets
closer and closer to how I actually feel about something. At the end when the insight cycle completes
I get the 'aaaaahhh' feeling and know the solution is correct and it tells me ... this is the belief
you settle on ... not the shattering of illusion of self or belief maps or a new system of magic or a new way of seeing
or a tool for analyzing organization behaviour (maybe they are all true? I don't know) but the belief that I finally picked as an explanation was I shouldn't assume I know other people's minds.

Anyway, I really do have a repeatable method of insight now ... but it's like an experiential belief explorer now I think,
I'm not sure if any of the intermediate explanations made sense or if they were real... I think they did at the time but my mind didn't accept
them and it didn't feel right. The intermediate stories were really fun and interesting though and I chose not to accept the stories
completely until I found one that fit some criteria the best which is, it's probably better for me to ask what
people mean than assume that a thing is the same thing between people. It really did turn out to be a useful tool in interacting with people.

well, thank [arbitrary Name for wherever it is that receives cosmic gratitude].
Tim Farrington, modified 11 Months ago.

RE: Kasinas, Hypnagogia and other imagery

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Tim Farrington, modified 11 Months ago.

RE: Kasinas, Hypnagogia and other imagery

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Hector:
When I click on it I can't see anything


did we ever manage to get you hooked up? i assume not, since you're not there yet. email me again.
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 11 Months ago.

RE: Kasinas, Hypnagogia and other imagery

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I loved the Chinese monkey king children's stories as a child, and I still have a soft spot for that trickster. 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 11 Months ago.

RE: Kasinas, Hypnagogia and other imagery

Posts: 5375 Join Date: 12/8/18 Recent Posts
Hector:
You mean experientially? With all the language I'm familiar with, mostly visual and conceptual. I already know how
to talk to my brain in some ways, what I learnt here was like the gas pedal, when it's getting too hot and when to back off
and learning how to use different things as seeds, right now I'm using relationships and mythology as seeds but now I know
when I've gone too far down a path and when to back up.

If you mean the mechanism, I don't really know but my shallow belief loop is new neurons growing.
Yeah, I meant experientially, so you answered my question. 

Cool.

It might be a good idea, though, to consider that storytelling can never give any ultimate insight. Storytelling constructs rather than deconstruct s, for good and for bad. It's a creative force. I believe that there's a need for both deconstruction and construction. Mere deconstruction without any room for construction tends to develop into destruction. 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 11 Months ago.

RE: Kasinas, Hypnagogia and other imagery

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Not two, not one:
Thank you Tim, I do agree about metaphor. I believe that our super powerful subconcious speaks to us through metaphor. And in the end, metaphor is all we have. We are an ever evolving web of metaphors.

My interest in Indra's net is not just the metaphor, but also to dig deep into the specifics of the construction of the eye faculty.  Simlar to digging deep into the specifics of the sense of touch.  I think the honeycomb (which we overlay with all sorts of perceptions and sacred geomtery, and metaphor, and is itself a metaphor), may be a deep perception of some base component of the eye faculty.  Digging deep deep deep deep into that sense may help deconstruct reality, just as digging deeply into physical sensations does. So aside from the metahpor, and not to in any way downplay the metahphor, I am wondering whether the honeycomb, or web, provides another perceptual thread dangling from the garment of self, that we can pull and pull to unravel.

Much love

Malcolm

Do you draw a line between the eye and the brain here, and if so, where? How do you think of the relation between eye-brain and mind? Between mind and consciousness?

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