Fire Kasina daily practice

Mark Peacock, modified 2 Months ago at 2/6/24 2:19 PM
Created 2 Months ago at 2/6/24 2:19 PM

Fire Kasina daily practice

Posts: 19 Join Date: 5/15/16 Recent Posts
I've resolved to get more purposeful and careful with my fire kasina (FK) practice.  Over the years I've taken some different approaches to candle-gazing and visual field practices but now I want to be more clear about developing jhana factors and insight while doing FK.

This fabulous interview with Michael Taft is a great gift for my current goals because it spells out so well what's involved with practicing FK towards insight:
https://deconstructingyourself.com/the-liberating-practice-of-the-fire-kasina-with-daniel-ingram.html

( This article by Michael Taft is also very helpful on this topic https://deconstructingyourself.com/fire-kasina-hints.html)

I'm 70 years old in a few days and have done a few different practices in some different traditions over the years, had beliefs and passions about different practices and approaches and seen them wax and wane and change. I'm also a big fan of Rob Burbea and am currently working with his Seeing That Frees (STF) practices as well, which favor fading of fabrication. And I see a teacher every couple of months who advises me against fixating further on emptiness practices but rather to bring awareness and surrender to whatever human nitty gritty that's held under the rug in my body.

Nevertheless, I'm just in love with FK practice. Maybe it gets into the Soul Making territory that I know next to nothing about.  It's embarrasing to talk about the feelings that it brings up for me anywhere but here.  Maybe it's partly having experienced (evidently, from the interview linked about) different jhana states while doing FK, makes me associate it with those experiences. 

But also there's something about the beauty and wonder of the mind expressing, communicating & co-creating itself to itself through colors, shapes, movement and change, that is just amazing. I really have a crush on that.  I was well into that state of romantic love with the FK-induced mind yesterday morning and then remembered I need to catch up on the practice in Ch 25 of STF for the book-study practice group my wife and I are in, titled "Emptiness and Awarness (2)", and that did deflate the state to something that also feels very important in a much more respectable way.

I got myself into a bunch of different practice commitments over a year ago when I thought I had active advanced cancer (it proved to be just idling not doing much damage, maybe it never will activate), at the same time found out I needed complex open heart surgery. All of that took my practice to a different level.

Once I mostly recovered and got back to my work and householding responsibilities I had to try to cull my practice involvements and simplify but these 3 or more different aspects of my practice continue to have legs and manage to move along with each other in a way that works for me.  

Currently I aim at 2 hours each morning with 1 to 1.5 hours on FK-related and 30 mins at least on the STFs (Seeing That Frees, Rob Burbea) practices.  And sometimes some kind of doing nothing, dropping the ball, letting go.

But FK is the fire in the engine for my daily practice.
Mark Peacock, modified 2 Months ago at 2/6/24 2:33 PM
Created 2 Months ago at 2/6/24 2:33 PM

RE: Fire Kasina daily practice

Posts: 19 Join Date: 5/15/16 Recent Posts
"This fabulous interview with Michael Taft is a great gift for my current goals because it spells out so well what's involved with practicing FK towards insight:
https://deconstructingyourself.com/the-liberating-practice-of-the-fire-kasina-with-daniel-ingram.html"

I meant to say this fabulous interview of Daniel Ingram by Michael Taft because as far as I can tell without Daniel fire kasina might not have become a viable option for contemorary practitioners. 
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Papa Che Dusko, modified 2 Months ago at 2/6/24 7:49 PM
Created 2 Months ago at 2/6/24 7:49 PM

RE: Fire Kasina daily practice

Posts: 2733 Join Date: 3/1/20 Recent Posts
I don't know why exactly I wish to schmack you with a kyosaku right now, but the urge is really strong and funnily very loving too emoticon&nbsp;<br /><br />Best wishes, and may this practice be of benefit to you and many too!&nbsp;<br /><br />p.s. you could be my father by age and much respect for that and shame on me for writing what I wrote to you above emoticon&nbsp;<br />btw, in my local zen center in Lund of Sweden they would hit me to increase the blood flow and awakeness ( no time for wasting in absorbtions)&nbsp;
Mark Peacock, modified 2 Months ago at 2/7/24 9:40 AM
Created 2 Months ago at 2/7/24 9:40 AM

RE: Fire Kasina daily practice

Posts: 19 Join Date: 5/15/16 Recent Posts
Thanks Dusko for the wake-up whack! That had a serendiptous impact on my sitting. I've been tuning into fears of physical attack, loss and death. I think this is connected to my core beliefs. I've been trying to see, feel and maybe relax the feelings and beliefs.

I'm feeling some insight into this from things Shargrol and Daniel have said about going into the feelings while keeping awareness "of the whole room". Maybe this conteracts taking a dissociated stance. This even seems to play well with the Rob Burbea practice, I'm trying to catch up on for my book group, of investigating how awareness and object mutually co-arise. (And since objects are fabricated and empty (previous 20 chapters), if awareness depends on something empty, then awareness is also empty.)  

Can't say I feel on top of the moving parts in that inquiry, but taking it up seems to expand the scope of experience not taken for granted and - in some synchrony with whole-room and non-dissociated experience - opens up an intriguing new felt sense of something not pinned down (?).

This reminds me of something that zinged with me that Angelo Dillulo said recently about parking attention in the visual field.

Sometimes fire kasina practice yields to these insight questions. After paying careful attention to Daniel's description to Michael Taft about how jhanic factors manifest in FK practice, I was interested to see/feel a J1 state come up and even a J2 state (with some of the FK-distinctive phenomenology Daniel described - nimatta presents effortlessly & with more green and less red) even though I was engaged in some stabilized impromptu inquiry at the time. And later I even noticed 3rd jhana-esque background state (diffuse color black with white energetic patterns) happening on its own in the background. At that point I turned to it for a bit.

I'm guessing this might be like what's described as vipassana jhanas? It's fascinating to see how these factors seem to mutually support one another. For me FK seems to be able to work as a platform practice for all of this, so far.

Lately I've noticed that my mind is more responsive to passing color intentions when I'm not really overtly trying. I saw some blue holiday lights outside at night and thought that would be fun to meditate on, and soon after the mind served up that color in the visual field. Thanks!

Recently while peeing I saw some nice orange and thought, I really like apricot color but couldn't quite bring up a memory of exactly what that looks like. From a different part of visual presentation than memory (which feels more back of the head), my mind served up within the visual field (more front of the head) a delicious apricot color along with a feeling of joy. Thanks again!!

Officially I'm not doing much manipulative practice, going for insight, but that's pretty fun and might go with jhana type cultivation.  

Yesterday I woke up having a dream of color green. That's new. This morning when I woke up, the dream was butterscotch or apricot color. I guess it was a dream, it's what the sleeping mind was doing right before waking up.

Dusko, I got to mostly liking the keisaku when I went to the zen center too.  I liked being stimulated awake, and feeling like I was a zen guy.  If only I could still sit cross-legged (and wasn't afraid of covid) I would likely do it again. I really miss the chanting, bowing and vows. Thinking about trying to get that into my home practice again.  And then there's the qi gong I'd like to fit in.  I need to retire. 
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Papa Che Dusko, modified 2 Months ago at 2/7/24 10:11 AM
Created 2 Months ago at 2/7/24 10:11 AM

RE: Fire Kasina daily practice

Posts: 2733 Join Date: 3/1/20 Recent Posts
I do enjoy the Kanzeon chant! It's just great accompanied by those zen drums! emoticon 

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