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Shannon's 25-day Fire Kasina Retreat Audio Diaries!

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Shannon completed a 25-day solo fire kasina retreat last Fall with a bit of feedback from Florian and myself.

Her audio diaries of her practice are extraordinary in many ways and are highly recommended for anyone interested in kasina practice, jhanas, visualization practice, using refined visual objects for insight practices, magick, out of body traveling, and lots of other related topics.

Actually, one of the most uncanny things about her practice was the degree of psychological balance, poise and maturity in relating to these practices, as will become very aparent as you listen to her reports. It really helps to have that well-developed a foundation for doing this kind of work.

May her fine work inspire many to wise and deep practice.

Enjoy!

Daniel

RE: Shannon's 25-day Fire Kasina Retreat Audio Diaries!
Answer
3/3/16 4:01 AM as a reply to Daniel M. Ingram.
Took in the first part of Shannon's practice last night, and the second tonight.  Please....please....please,  do yourself a favour and wrap your listening gear around this lot, yes!

Pure unadulterated, practice log of magical observation.  Absolutely bowled me over and enthused me no end. 

Found Shannon's voice so soothing i spent more than half the hours in 2nd jhana...this is the type of stuff that bought me to this forum.  Hard hitting real time practice,  with an exacting cost.  But paid in full.  (big pity about the blue medicine buddha, but small price, for the ride)

Thank you so much for going on before....and leaving us with such exquisite directions.

Yours in the fellowship of this forum, and may we all move in unison, into the sunlight of the spirit.

RE: Shannon's 25-day Fire Kasina Retreat Audio Diaries!
Answer
3/6/16 5:19 PM as a reply to Daniel M. Ingram.
I was really glad to see this audio come out! I definitely feel that more data points people can glean from the experiences of other practitioners, the easier it will be for them to go deep into the practice themselves.

After having listened to the full audio of Shannon's retreat, one question stands out in my mind.  I am curious as to people's opinions as to what adjustments could me made to the structure and format of the retreat in order to increase the chances of Shannon's original, main intention for the retreat to have been met more fully.

At the outset, Shannon mentions that she is interested in having an interaction with the Medicine Buddha, preferably by traveling to his abode, as opposed to having him visit her.


Here are some thoughts...

Elemental Kasina: Is there another element that may be more conducive towards interactions with the Medicine Buddha? The water element is often viewed as being connected with deep emotions, as well as the fluidity of emotion. Considering that in Tibetan Medicine and the closely related field of Traditional Chinese Medicine physical ailments are often seen as the result of emotional (as well as energetic) blockages, perhaps a water katsina would provide a more conducive approach.

There is also the fact that the Medicine Buddha is blue and the water katsina set-up, as it has been described on the DHO, uses water dyed with blue food coloring. When I look at thangkas of Tibetan Deities I'm often struck by strong elemental resonance in the images. For example Green Tara gives me a strong sense of primarily the earth element, whiles some others give me impressions of more than one element at a time.

In the thangkas of the Medicine Buddha, he is often portrayed being surrounded by the herbal pharmacopeia of Tibetan Medicine. This part of his iconography definitely gives off an earth kasina vibe. My instincts for reaching out to the Medicine Buddha would be to go with either water and/or earth as the kasina element. How to balance the other elemental influences on the retreat would also be interesting to consider.

Thangkas: In Eastern Orthodox traditions of Christianity, you'll often hear stories of people having interactions with an icon, where the image seems to come alive and animate, as a result of staring at the image for hours. These are likely people who at the time had extremely high levels of concentration. How might the results have been different if an hour or two of daily focusing on the Medicine Buddha thangka, was part of the daily schedule.

This sort of approach might yield itself more to having an interaction with the Medicine Buddha right there in the retreat space, then again, who is to say that honing in on the iconography and it's resonance, and having the Medicine Buddha make a house call would not increase opportunities for meeting with him on his own turf.

Mantra: Shannon mentions that her primary mantra for the retreat was "Om Ah Hum", with some Medicine Buddha mantra added in. Would be really curious to know what ratio of these two where used and what the effects might have been on the desired outcome of adjusting that ratio. Also curious to know if there might be any potential increased risk with adjusting this blend more in favor of the Medicine Buddha's mantra.