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Dots of light
Answer
12/15/12 8:10 AM
Hello everybody,


I noticed when I start to get more relaxed and more concentrated on my objet of meditation,dots of blue and violet light start to pop in my visual field, and it's like a pulsatile thing sometimes, with small dots starting to appear in the periphery and all the dots converging toward the center to form a bigger dot, that finally disappears, It happens as well when i meditate with my eyes open but that time i don't really see that it pulses. Do you guys see the same things than me? And if yes, do you have some tricks that you can do with the dots of light, like making change colors, or taking a particular shape? can you control them actually or are they just a visual sensation? And by the way is this a sign that I'm in access concentration, or does it happen before that stage as well?


Thank you very much for taking the time to read this :emoticon

RE: Dots of light
Answer
12/17/12 2:32 AM as a reply to aurélien berthomé.
Those are 'Thigles' which are manifestations of energy. You most likely have a natural energetic predisposition which allows for manifestations of that sort. Ok to play with them (you can gain a certain level of control over their appearance) but don't get too caught up and fixate or focus on them too excessively, better to just relax and let them do their thing. For most people thigles are byproducts of a considerable amount of realization within one's own experience, but some individuals just have the energetic makeup for them to appear naturally after little to no meditation (or even without ever having meditated at all). Doesn't necessarily mean that practice will come any easier or harder for you, just means thigles pop up. Thigle phenomena is discussed most often in higher tantra (mahayoga, anuyoga, atiyoga).

"Thigle: Literally means “drops” and is traditionally used to describe ‘spheres of rainbow light’ which is the ground substance reality. In traditional Buddhism it is sometimes understood to be a very specific form or shape. However, it is the actual visual experience of the true nature of the universe experienced as particles of light which are seen as spinning or moving dots or wheels, both large and small. It can also sometimes be observed as squiggles or moving shafts of light. More precisely its ‘nature’ can be described as Dakini (sky dancer) because of the way it constantly moves around. Its ‘form’ can be described as that of Daka (sky flower) when one sees the specific form that the light particles take. This gives one a direct experience of Dakini and Daka as moving, dancing light. The practical experience is somewhat similar to that of static visible on a television screen. A good way of becoming aware of it is to look directly at clouds on a humid day. When one looks at it one can see these tiny sparks of light jumping around all over the place. These particles of light can sometimes be seen to be strung together in strands or at other times form part of large spiralling discs. Another example is to look at a dense arrangement of plants just after doing some strenuous exercise. Often at these times one sees the leaves making a kind of spinning circle. The trick is to realise that this is the true nature of reality, emptiness containing moving bits of energy. Once one experiences this, it is important to remember that everything is made of the same substance, including ones own body. It is also imperative to remember that it is in fact a projection from your heart and exiting through your eyes, playing out ‘out there’. This provides one with a direct visceral experience of the Nature of the Mind and the more one integrates it the more one is liberated...."

I took the quoted excerpt above from a website and it describes thigles fairly well... although there's a few parts I disagree with (or personally would've worded differently). The 'ground substance of reality' sounds a bit materialistic/substantialist, also calling them 'particles of light' while somewhat poetically true, is again a little materialistic. Also to see those darting and shooting 'tiny sparks of light' (as they put it) it certainly doesn't have to be a humid day. And the 'emptiness containing moving bits of energy' wouldn't be quite accurate either since the emptiness and energy are one and the same. And 'everything is made of the same substance' is not an accurate statement either, but that's ok.

RE: Dots of light
Answer
12/20/12 6:41 AM as a reply to K D.
Hey thank you for your answer,

I think maybe I see what you mean by thigle but I'm not even 100% sure because it's always something subjective that might be intrepreted in the way you want your experience to stick to the theory. But when I look at the window i can see very small dots of light having a very random trajectory, and they disappear almost instantly, maybe this is what you mean by thigle or no? Tell me what you think

Otherwise I looked for other articles about jhanas and others stuff, and I think now that it's more related to a nimitta manifestation, it's doesn't really have a particular shape, and all the different small dots converge to form a bigger one at the center, it's like it's contracting itself, and as soon as I paid too much attention to it, it tends to vanish or become fainter. But it's not something stable at all, and the intensity gets stronger as the concentration increases,. So I will continue to do my usual practice and see if it gets more stable, even though apparently you're not meant to look at that thing directly but should stay on your concentration object.
Do you know something about nimittas and their different manifestations?

RE: Dots of light
Answer
12/23/12 1:57 AM as a reply to aurélien berthomé.
I get that, or at least something very similar when I meditate with eyes open by staring at a wall and concentrating on a point. The point on the wall begins to shimmer, wavy patterns begin to emerge, turn blue and violet, fade in an out, deepen and spread out as I feel stronger physical energetic sensations and go through the first four jhanas. I've been told that what I see is a type of qi, specifically hunyuan qi. Since I don't currently do qigong, I have no means of verifying that and I don't currently have a means of making sense of what that means. I had a friend who did the same meditation who would see exactly the same thing.

RE: Dots of light
Answer
12/20/12 11:59 AM as a reply to Jigme Sengye.
Hey Jigme thanks for reply,

Yes it seems like it is very similar to what you are saying. I tried to look for some infos on google, and i didn't really find anything precise about hunyuan qi and the phenomena I describe. Have you got a link? And in your opinion it's not something that we can call nimitta?

RE: Dots of light
Answer
12/20/12 12:14 PM as a reply to aurélien berthomé.
The thing about nimittas is that it's a word for any concentration sign, which this is. Since I get this from basically doing kasina meditation without a kasina, I treat it as a nimitta and use it to focus and get deeper into the meditation and into higher jhanas at which point the bluish pattern completely takes over the visual field at the 4th jhana, which is where I close my eyes, since I like doing 5 to 8 with eyes closed and without paying attention to closed-eye visuals. That doesn't tell us what it is physically. Are we seeing something that's outside our bodies that only becomes visible during meditation, which would be implied by it supposedly being a type of qi, is it something physical in the eye or does the brain produce this like any of the other visual distortions that happen with kasina meditation?

Does anybody else experience this during kasina meditation? I've also gotten this while doing candle flame meditation or when I'm staring at anything in a concentrated way for a few minutes.

RE: Dots of light
Answer
12/20/12 12:56 PM as a reply to aurélien berthomé.
aurélien berthomé:
Hello everybody,


I noticed when I start to get more relaxed and more concentrated on my objet of meditation,dots of blue and violet light start to pop in my visual field, and it's like a pulsatile thing sometimes, with small dots starting to appear in the periphery and all the dots converging toward the center to form a bigger dot, that finally disappears, It happens as well when i meditate with my eyes open but that time i don't really see that it pulses. Do you guys see the same things than me? And if yes, do you have some tricks that you can do with the dots of light, like making change colors, or taking a particular shape? can you control them actually or are they just a visual sensation? And by the way is this a sign that I'm in access concentration, or does it happen before that stage as well?


Thank you very much for taking the time to read this :emoticon


When in access you can change the shape and/or the color of the nimitta, but it will only make you loose your concentration, so don't do that. The nimitta appears before access and gets clearer and clearer up to access.

RE: Dots of light
Answer
12/22/12 6:46 AM as a reply to mind less.
And when you concentrate on a kasina object, so with your eyes open, how do you stay focus on your object with all those little flickering lights all around your eyes? Do you have to close your eyes and focus exclusively on the nimitta? I thought that looking directly at the nimitta, if it wasn't stable enough could cause it to faint, and makes you lose your concentration, so I don't really know what to do because they are on the way for me to see my object.

RE: Dots of light
Answer
12/22/12 5:10 PM as a reply to aurélien berthomé.
aurélien berthomé:
And when you concentrate on a kasina object, so with your eyes open, how do you stay focus on your object with all those little flickering lights all around your eyes? Do you have to close your eyes and focus exclusively on the nimitta? I thought that looking directly at the nimitta, if it wasn't stable enough could cause it to faint, and makes you lose your concentration, so I don't really know what to do because they are on the way for me to see my object.


I don't really get what you mean. Kasina meditation is when you stare at a physical object for a while and then close your eyes and focus on the afterimage to get concentrated. The afterimage is not a nimitta. The nimitta then appears as a sign of concentration, no matter how you did it (kasina, anapana, etc). Let the nimitta get as bright, stable and small as possible, then shift your attention to the nimitta and use that as your new object. If you shift to the nimitta before it is stable, the concentration will fade and so will the nimitta.

Do you mean that the nimitta appears where the afterimage is, but is not stable yet, so you can't focus on the afterimage without also focusing on the nimitta, which will fade?

RE: Dots of light
Answer
12/23/12 6:15 AM as a reply to mind less.
So my problem is, I use like a candle as a physical object to stare at, and after a while I've got the nimitta that appears made of lot of different sparkling violet dots that are spread all around my visual field and they are flickering as well, so it kind of prevents me from keeping my attention on the initial object, so what do I have to do? closing my eyes and focusing on the nimitta? because I don't think it's stable enough to do that? or should I try to keep my focus on the object even if it's still very blurry, until my nimitta gets stable? So yes it's kind of the same of what you were saying except I don't use the afterimage because my eyes are still open

RE: Dots of light
Answer
12/23/12 4:57 PM as a reply to aurélien berthomé.
aurélien berthomé:
So my problem is, I use like a candle as a physical object to stare at, and after a while I've got the nimitta that appears made of lot of different sparkling violet dots that are spread all around my visual field and they are flickering as well, so it kind of prevents me from keeping my attention on the initial object, so what do I have to do? closing my eyes and focusing on the nimitta? because I don't think it's stable enough to do that? or should I try to keep my focus on the object even if it's still very blurry, until my nimitta gets stable? So yes it's kind of the same of what you were saying except I don't use the afterimage because my eyes are still open

I'm not an expert at kasina meditation, but my advice is: Stare for a while and close your eyes. If you can see the afterimage of the flame, use it as your object, if not, check out what Visuddhimagga has to say about this stuff. I just tried myself to stare at a candle flame for about a minute, and could easily see an afterimage. Any ideas, someone?

RE: Dots of light
Answer
12/23/12 6:21 PM as a reply to aurélien berthomé.
aurélien berthomé:
So my problem is, I use like a candle as a physical object to stare at, and after a while I've got the nimitta that appears made of lot of different sparkling violet dots that are spread all around my visual field and they are flickering as well, so it kind of prevents me from keeping my attention on the initial object, so what do I have to do? closing my eyes and focusing on the nimitta? because I don't think it's stable enough to do that? or should I try to keep my focus on the object even if it's still very blurry, until my nimitta gets stable? So yes it's kind of the same of what you were saying except I don't use the afterimage because my eyes are still open


At what specific part of the flame do you look at? Try at the top or at the transition from the inner/darker part to the outer/brighter part of the flame . Sooner or later you'll probably see a white or red dot. Then, close your eyes and you'll see it clearer. If not, try with different distances and heights. Also, it may help to practice in a dark room.

RE: Dots of light
Answer
1/13/19 4:48 AM as a reply to K D.
K D:
Those are 'Thigles' which are manifestations of energy. You most likely have a natural energetic predisposition which allows for manifestations of that sort. Ok to play with them (you can gain a certain level of control over their appearance) but don't get too caught up and fixate or focus on them too excessively, better to just relax and let them do their thing. For most people thigles are byproducts of a considerable amount of realization within one's own experience, but some individuals just have the energetic makeup for them to appear naturally after little to no meditation (or even without ever having meditated at all). Doesn't necessarily mean that practice will come any easier or harder for you, just means thigles pop up. Thigle phenomena is discussed most often in higher tantra (mahayoga, anuyoga, atiyoga).

"Thigle: Literally means “drops” and is traditionally used to describe ‘spheres of rainbow light’ which is the ground substance reality. In traditional Buddhism it is sometimes understood to be a very specific form or shape. However, it is the actual visual experience of the true nature of the universe experienced as particles of light which are seen as spinning or moving dots or wheels, both large and small. It can also sometimes be observed as squiggles or moving shafts of light. More precisely its ‘nature’ can be described as Dakini (sky dancer) because of the way it constantly moves around. Its ‘form’ can be described as that of Daka (sky flower) when one sees the specific form that the light particles take. This gives one a direct experience of Dakini and Daka as moving, dancing light. The practical experience is somewhat similar to that of static visible on a television screen. A good way of becoming aware of it is to look directly at clouds on a humid day. When one looks at it one can see these tiny sparks of light jumping around all over the place. These particles of light can sometimes be seen to be strung together in strands or at other times form part of large spiralling discs. Another example is to look at a dense arrangement of plants just after doing some strenuous exercise. Often at these times one sees the leaves making a kind of spinning circle. The trick is to realise that this is the true nature of reality, emptiness containing moving bits of energy. Once one experiences this, it is important to remember that everything is made of the same substance, including ones own body. It is also imperative to remember that it is in fact a projection from your heart and exiting through your eyes, playing out ‘out there’. This provides one with a direct visceral experience of the Nature of the Mind and the more one integrates it the more one is liberated...."

I took the quoted excerpt above from a website and it describes thigles fairly well... although there's a few parts I disagree with (or personally would've worded differently). The 'ground substance of reality' sounds a bit materialistic/substantialist, also calling them 'particles of light' while somewhat poetically true, is again a little materialistic. Also to see those darting and shooting 'tiny sparks of light' (as they put it) it certainly doesn't have to be a humid day. And the 'emptiness containing moving bits of energy' wouldn't be quite accurate either since the emptiness and energy are one and the same. And 'everything is made of the same substance' is not an accurate statement either, but that's ok.


Ah. I was looking for something else now, but found the answer to one of my earlier questions.

RE: Dots of light
Answer
1/13/19 6:08 PM as a reply to aurélien berthomé.
aurélien berthomé:
So my problem is, I use like a candle as a physical object to stare at, and after a while I've got the nimitta that appears made of lot of different sparkling violet dots that are spread all around my visual field and they are flickering as well, so it kind of prevents me from keeping my attention on the initial object, so what do I have to do? closing my eyes and focusing on the nimitta? because I don't think it's stable enough to do that? or should I try to keep my focus on the object even if it's still very blurry, until my nimitta gets stable? So yes it's kind of the same of what you were saying except I don't use the afterimage because my eyes are still open

Hi aurelien, what you are describing does not sound like a nimitta. With fire kasina practice, the standrad instructions are to stare at the candle flame until you reach access concentration (this might take a few minutes or longer). Once access concentration is achieved, close your eyes and then use the candle flame afterimage (the red dot) as the object of concentration. This should then transform into a nimitta. The nimitta appears in the centre of the visual field and is unmistakable. You will know it when you see it. 

I have not stared at the candle flame continuously with my eyes open for long periods as I am only using the flame as a support object to gain initial concentration. Once that concentration is accessed, the external support (flame) can be let go, and I then use the afterimage and subsequent nimittas as the next concentration supports. 

Perhaps try to use this method (gaze until concentrated then close eyes) and see if you get a stable nimitta. You could then progress to watching the nimitta with eyes open. 

More info can be found here: https://firekasina.org/fire-kasina-book/

Happy practice! 

RE: Dots of light
Answer
1/14/19 3:12 AM as a reply to Anna L.
This was a several years old thread that I brought to life. Sorry for the confusion!

Anyway, the clarification may be useful for others.

RE: Dots of light
Answer
1/14/19 3:40 AM as a reply to Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö.
haha! All good! I am always happy to talk about fire kasina practice ;)