Starting Fire Kasina Practice

luke345, modified 5 Years ago at 2/28/17 2:29 PM
Created 5 Years ago at 2/28/17 2:29 PM

Starting Fire Kasina Practice

Posts: 6 Join Date: 2/28/17 Recent Posts
Greetings,
This is my first post on the site. I appreciate all the good information available here and the supportive community.

So, I've been meditating for years, not too seriously until two years ago when I took my first Vipassana (Goenka) retreat. Since that first retreat I've sat another four and served six retreats as well. My at home day to day meditation has been sporadic and as a result I have had no luck developing significant concentration.

At any rate, at this point I am doing something of a self-retreat in my quiet studio apartment for 20 days (today is day 8, I've been lax about my computer usage (mostly strictly for dharma topics) since day four). Getting entirely frustrated with the breath and having felt drawn to kasinas in reading about them before. Last night while perusing the boards here, I came across Daniel's reference to firekasina.org and with a little investigation found myself inspired! So, since last night, I turned on the LED on my iphone, and started working with the light and it's negative.

Current Practice Plan.
Sitting 10 to 11 hours a day for the next 13 days. 
Sitting on the floor cross legged, with the iphone on top of a covered stack of books about 5 feet away from me. 
Focusing on the light for a minute or several.
Closing my eyes and then focusing without straining on the retinal burn that results until it fades away.
Reopening my eyes and focusing on the light again, rinse repeat. Until my timer goes off that the hour or so for each sitting has ended.
Trying not to adjust my posture as much as possible, maybe adjusting my hips but trying to keep hands and feet in place for sitting sessions.

My hope is to be so much closer to access concentration or first jhana by the end of this period. As I am floundering getting focused with the breath and need something that works better!
Since last night I have already found that it is much easier to sit the hours without nearly as much thought or reactivity and that I am much more joyful about this object than I have been about the breath.

Questions?
Does this all sound appropriate? Any suggestions for modification? 
Also, assuming I attain a decent level of concentration, will that concentration transfer as I change to a different object, such as going back to the breath and trying to work with it more in a Than. Bhikku style than working Goenka Anapana/Vipassana way?

Thanks for your time and any feedback
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Daniel M Ingram, modified 5 Years ago at 2/28/17 5:50 PM
Created 5 Years ago at 2/28/17 5:50 PM

RE: Starting Fire Kasina Practice

Posts: 3231 Join Date: 4/20/09 Recent Posts
Kasinas are great for building concentration. While some of the aspects of the wiring you will develop are specific to the kasina, other aspects of the core attention control mechanisms are generic and translate well to other endeavors. Just keep going, and, if possible, up the dose, as concentration practices benefit from high dose in short duration.
luke345, modified 5 Years ago at 2/28/17 6:48 PM
Created 5 Years ago at 2/28/17 6:48 PM

RE: Starting Fire Kasina Practice

Posts: 6 Join Date: 2/28/17 Recent Posts
As I'm doing the practce, i'm finding the afternoons especially challenging, lots of discursive mental activity, but it's not keeping me from the kasina. should i do something about the thinking or just let it be and just not engage with it and stay on the kasina hoping or allowing the thoughts will eventually fade?
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Noah D, modified 5 Years ago at 2/28/17 6:52 PM
Created 5 Years ago at 2/28/17 6:52 PM

RE: Starting Fire Kasina Practice

Posts: 1198 Join Date: 9/1/16 Recent Posts
I'm possibly stating the obvious here but have you absorbed all the info on this site yet?
firekasina.org
luke345, modified 5 Years ago at 2/28/17 6:57 PM
Created 5 Years ago at 2/28/17 6:57 PM

RE: Starting Fire Kasina Practice

Posts: 6 Join Date: 2/28/17 Recent Posts
honestly, i have not. i don't find the firekasina.org site terribly intutive as a learning tool, it seems mostly like audio diaries and reports of what people experienced afterwards. nothing really intuitively instructive. listening to someone talking about how things are going for them midstream doesn't explain to me what they are doing, and i havent had the time to listen to several hours of audio diaries to tease out whatever might be explained within the diaries
luke345, modified 5 Years ago at 2/28/17 7:01 PM
Created 5 Years ago at 2/28/17 7:01 PM

RE: Starting Fire Kasina Practice

Posts: 6 Join Date: 2/28/17 Recent Posts
okay, so now i see that the information i'm looking for is at the very bottom of the audio page. 

Daniel, A suggestion. Make those more obvious, like giving them their own page or permatopping them?

thanks
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Daniel M Ingram, modified 5 Years ago at 3/5/17 5:52 AM
Created 5 Years ago at 3/5/17 5:52 AM

RE: Starting Fire Kasina Practice

Posts: 3231 Join Date: 4/20/09 Recent Posts
Sound advice. Will see what I can do.

Thanks!

Oh, yes, don't worry if the mind just keeps chattering while you watch the kasina-generated images. You could add a mantra to give it something to do, but you can then end up with two thought streams, one of the mantra, one of chatter, but that's ok.

Just keep noticing the images, see what they do, and up the dose if you can safely, as that helps.
luke345, modified 5 Years ago at 3/5/17 6:23 AM
Created 5 Years ago at 3/5/17 6:23 AM

RE: Starting Fire Kasina Practice

Posts: 6 Join Date: 2/28/17 Recent Posts
Thanks for getting back to me. I never upped the hours just because of my own wrecked momentum in this 'retreat' have been ratcheted down to somewhere between 5 and 10 hours per day, mostly on the low side.
yesterday I stopped using the Karina for the most part largely because of the headaches. In the. Enter of my forehead, partially symptomatic of energy/increased concentration but also because I was staring into a superbright led!
while using the kasina I would get little artifacts but these were all from the light itself (I think). A spark of much more intense bright light than the regular light. Not sure if that was a beginning of countersigned instead of just a point of refraction in the light.

yesterday much of the sitting I did was back to anapana. I definitely found my mind cleared out massively compared to when I switched over to the kasina. And was getting a lot more tingling and sensations in the body areas I would use to focus on the motion of the breath. Not sure how much that is an indication of progress into jhana.

realise now that the book I bought several months ago (the jhanas and vipassana by shaila Catherine) was the wrong one, should have gotten focused and fearless.

anywho, may still try to switch between kasina and breath as the kasina work I have done has had good result thus far. Just feel like the pressure from headaches may be counterproductive to the calm I am trying to generate.
thoughts/feedback appreciated 

cheers
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Daniel M Ingram, modified 5 Years ago at 3/5/17 6:42 AM
Created 5 Years ago at 3/5/17 6:42 AM

RE: Starting Fire Kasina Practice

Posts: 3231 Join Date: 4/20/09 Recent Posts
Tension in the head and eyes is normal in certain stages and passes.

You need to get used to letting the kasina show itself once you close your eyes and track a bit less tightly.

Also, focusing a bit more broadly, like taking in some of the background to the kasina in your sense of directed attention, can help the eye tension.

Also, more drifting can help, in which you stare at the light, close your eyes, follow the kasina images until they vanish, then just let the meditation run a moderate while longer, with gentle attention to the disorganized colors with very light intention to have them increase and organize just a little bit: this can help lessen the eye tension, as the less organized colors occur across the whole visual field, which requires a diffuse and non-tense focus.

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