Message Boards Message Boards

Kasinas

Basic Instructions for Practising Fire Kasina

Toggle
What are the basic practise instructions for fire kasina?

RE: Basic Instructions for Practising Fire Kasina
Answer
9/30/17 5:17 AM as a reply to Alex.
1. Stare at a candle flame or other light source (e.g. the led lamp from your smartphone (be careful not to hurt yourself)). Try to minimise blinking and eye movement.

2. Close your eyes, focus on the afterimage.

3. When the afterimage vanishes, bring it back.

4. Has it come back after having vanished? Has it changed color or shape even if just by a little bit? If yes, congratulations! You are now in some very light form of access concentration: You are meditating on a mentally created image, rather than the original stimulus that your retina received from the light, or its direct, physical after-effect on it.

5. Play with it.

6. If it vanished irreparably, and it doesn't come back, go back to (1) and repeat.

RE: Basic Instructions for Practising Fire Kasina
Answer
9/30/17 5:28 AM as a reply to neko.
Thanks for the quick reply neko!

How long should you stare at the light source for before closing your eyes?

When you say 'bring it back', you mean mentally recreate the afterimage when it vanishes?

So where does the concentration come in? Is it in staring at the light source or focusing on the afterimage? 

Once the afterimage is brought back, do I continue to stare at it like with the original light source?

Cheers

RE: Basic Instructions for Practising Fire Kasina
Answer
9/30/17 8:29 AM as a reply to Alex.
Alex:
How long should you stare at the light source for before closing your eyes?


Enough for an afterimage to form. That would might range from a handful seconds with a led light up to a minute with a very dim candle flame... or, I don't know, you might try the moon!

Alex:

When you say 'bring it back', you mean mentally recreate the afterimage when it vanishes?


I mean make it reappear. The subjective experience feels more like looking at it very intently as it is vanishing, than creating it mentally as you would with a visualisation technique. It might not look like you are creating something mentally, although in a sense you are.

Alex:

So where does the concentration come in? Is it in staring at the light source or focusing on the afterimage? 


Both. Keeping your attention on a certain thing (big or small) for some time (short or long) is what defines concentration,

Alex:

Once the afterimage is brought back, do I continue to stare at it like with the original light source?


Yes/no. Once you bring it back, it'll most likely start doing fancy things, like changing colour, shape, move about, and so on. So the way you stare at it acquires a different quality, since you are looking at something that changes more than the original object does. Staring at a kasina (the flame itself or its aferimage) and staring at a nimitta (the mentally recreated object) have some similarities but also some differences.

RE: Basic Instructions for Practising Fire Kasina
Answer
9/30/17 11:25 AM as a reply to neko.
Great, thanks!

So I gave the technique a go. I did 30 minutes with a candle flame earlier and 30 minutes on the LED on my smartphone just now.

I don't know if it's just because i've just started but I don't see any afterimage when I close my eyes, even after staring at the object for quite a while.

However, I do see what I think is an afterimage with my eyes open when I look away from the object. For the candle it was a slightly blurry purple image of the candle and flame. For the LED it was just a blob of colour, sometimes bright green and sometimes white with red outline. I could make the afterimages appear by just holding my gaze at something away from the light source object. They would then drift across the wall, glow a bit, and then dissappear. I could make the image re-appear around 3-6 times and then i'd go back to the light source.

I definitely felt very concentrated when I was looking and re-creating the afterimage, but when I was just looking at the light source there was a lot of monkey mind etc.

So does this sound right, or is it not really fire kasina (seeing as the afterimage was seen with eyes open)? Is it necessary to see the afterimage with eyes closed?

RE: Basic Instructions for Practising Fire Kasina
Answer
10/1/17 3:36 AM as a reply to Alex.
https://firekasina.org/2015/04/03/commentary-on-the-vimuttimagga/

This might help.

It seems unusual that you're getting an afterimage that you only see with eyes open. Maybe next time you can stare at the flame for a bit longer than you normally would, then blow out the flame in a pitch dark room so the eyes open/closed won't matter.

RE: Basic Instructions for Practising Fire Kasina
Answer
10/1/17 3:48 AM as a reply to Dada Kind.
Dada Kind:

It seems unusual that you're getting an afterimage that you only see with eyes open. Maybe next time you can stare at the flame for a bit longer than you normally would, then blow out the flame in a pitch dark room so the eyes open/closed won't matter.

I was surprised too. Nice idea about blowing out the flame in a pitch black room, though!

RE: Basic Instructions for Practising Fire Kasina
Answer
10/1/17 5:04 AM as a reply to Dada Kind.
Thanks, i'll give the dark room thing a go. 

RE: Basic Instructions for Practising Fire Kasina
Answer
10/1/17 6:25 AM as a reply to Alex.
The purple after image is what appears first. If you keep looking at that and let it fade, usually the red dot of the flame appears. (I'm not sure how it works with an LED light.)

RE: Basic Instructions for Practising Fire Kasina
Answer
10/1/17 2:23 PM as a reply to shargrol.
shargrol:
The purple after image is what appears first. If you keep looking at that and let it fade, usually the red dot of the flame appears. (I'm not sure how it works with an LED light.)
With the LED I’ve found that the afterimage first has the shape of the retinal burn, but then eventually kind of shrinks to become round - the edges wear away just leaving the dot. For me, the dot has the same colour as the afterimage, and then gets some fine outlines of black and some other colours, and then eventually fades and goes black, then disappears into the closed-eye vision noise. I haven’t got any red dots yet, or a feeling that my concentration was all that good, although the dot has moved both with and without my control as well as with swirls of noise.

This all takes around 1 to 3 minutes or so, although I’m fairly sure my sense of time is often skewed by my wanting to be able to concentrate for longer (though definitely more than a minute!).

RE: Basic Instructions for Practising Fire Kasina
Answer
8/25/18 12:19 AM as a reply to neko.
neko: “I don't know, you might try the moon!”

Don't try the moon! Namgyal cautioned us against this: his reason for the warning was that concentrating on the moon is used for astral travel/teleportation. "Not unless you know how to get back!" :-o 

RE: Basic Instructions for Practising Fire Kasina
Answer
8/25/18 12:23 AM as a reply to junglist.
Repeat! Repeat! Repeat!