THE MYSTERY OF THE BREATH NIMITTA OR THE CASE OF THE MISSING SIMILE

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Dream Walker, modified 7 Years ago at 9/17/14 11:43 AM
Created 7 Years ago at 9/17/14 11:43 AM

THE MYSTERY OF THE BREATH NIMITTA OR THE CASE OF THE MISSING SIMILE

Posts: 1452 Join Date: 1/18/12 Recent Posts
Here is an interesting article about Nimittas. It goes into some great details and some interesting directions...
THE MYSTERY OF THE BREATH NIMITTA
OR
THE CASE OF THE MISSING SIMILE


"preparatory image or sign" (parikamma-nimitta)
"acquired sign" (uggaha-nimitta)
"counter-image" or "counter-sign" (the patibhaga-nimitta)

This has been discussed before HERE but it was immediately hijacked and the article was never really discussed.
I thought is worthy of pointing out again and possibly discussing.
~D
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Not Tao, modified 7 Years ago at 9/17/14 2:10 PM
Created 7 Years ago at 9/17/14 2:10 PM

RE: THE MYSTERY OF THE BREATH NIMITTA OR THE CASE OF THE MISSING SIMILE

Posts: 995 Join Date: 4/5/14 Recent Posts
Yes, I was very confused by the whole Nimitta debate before...  I think I've actually read this article a few times.  I've never had any strong visual effects when meditating - actually quite the opposite.  The dark field that's covered with little moving spots and that tunnel of squares when I normally close my eyes tends to smooth out completely while doing concentration meditation.  It's part of a general "smoothing" that happens to all the senses for me.  I tend to use body awareness as an object, though, so maybe this is a "body awareness nimitta" haha...

The visuddhimagga, from what I've read of it, has a stong focus on kasina practice, so it probably was common for the monks using it to see a bright light of some kind.  Eventually I just ignored the commentaries and went with the sutta definitions.  It's pretty obvious when the body disappears that you're going into a "formless realm" - what else would it be?

I think there's an equally passionate (angry?) debate about how thoughts relate to the jhanas as well.  Best thing, in my mind, is to look at concentration meditation like a slope rather than a staircase.  You can ascend 8 jhana type experiences that match the descriptions perfectly, and then things flip over and 8 more stages unfold.  Suddenly you think, wow, I must never have been doing jhana before!  But then, HEY, another 8 levels appear.  At that point you just give up and let it do its thing - that's when the really weird stuff starts to happen, haha.

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