Message Boards Message Boards

Kasinas

Anna's Fire Kasina Practice Log

Threads [ Previous | Next ]
Toggle
Anna's Fire Kasina Practice Log Anna L 1/8/18 4:33 PM
RE: Anna's Fire Kasina Practice Log Dileep 1/9/18 11:40 PM
RE: Anna's Fire Kasina Practice Log Anna L 1/10/18 12:00 AM
RE: Anna's Fire Kasina Practice Log alguidar 1/11/18 10:53 AM
RE: Anna's Fire Kasina Practice Log Anna L 1/11/18 4:28 PM
RE: Anna's Fire Kasina Practice Log Anna L 1/11/18 11:19 PM
RE: Anna's Fire Kasina Practice Log Anna L 1/20/18 5:15 PM
RE: Anna's Fire Kasina Practice Log streamsurfer 1/22/18 9:37 AM
RE: Anna's Fire Kasina Practice Log Anna L 1/23/18 4:32 AM
RE: Anna's Fire Kasina Practice Log streamsurfer 1/23/18 5:26 AM
RE: Anna's Fire Kasina Practice Log Anna L 1/24/18 4:42 AM
RE: Anna's Fire Kasina Practice Log streamsurfer 1/24/18 8:05 AM
RE: Anna's Fire Kasina Practice Log Anna L 1/28/18 11:40 PM
RE: Anna's Fire Kasina Practice Log Anna L 2/2/18 7:14 PM
RE: Anna's Fire Kasina Practice Log Bruno Loff 2/22/18 3:30 AM
RE: Anna's Fire Kasina Practice Log Anna L 2/22/18 10:28 PM
RE: Anna's Fire Kasina Practice Log Bruno Loff 2/23/18 2:44 PM
RE: Anna's Fire Kasina Practice Log Anna L 2/25/18 11:23 PM
RE: Anna's Fire Kasina Practice Log Anna L 2/25/18 11:29 PM
RE: Anna's Fire Kasina Practice Log alguidar 1/23/18 5:58 AM
RE: Anna's Fire Kasina Practice Log Stuie Charles Law 1/23/18 6:58 AM
RE: Anna's Fire Kasina Practice Log Anna L 1/23/18 4:34 PM
RE: Anna's Fire Kasina Practice Log Stuie Charles Law 1/24/18 3:53 AM
RE: Anna's Fire Kasina Practice Log Anna L 1/24/18 4:33 AM
RE: Anna's Fire Kasina Practice Log Anna L 1/24/18 4:36 AM
RE: Anna's Fire Kasina Practice Log alguidar 2/22/18 8:32 AM
RE: Anna's Fire Kasina Practice Log Anna L 2/22/18 10:29 PM
RE: Anna's Fire Kasina Practice Log Anna L 3/14/18 12:49 AM
RE: Anna's Fire Kasina Practice Log Yilun Ong 3/14/18 5:12 AM
RE: Anna's Fire Kasina Practice Log Anna L 1/7/19 7:46 PM
RE: Anna's Fire Kasina Practice Log Andromeda 1/8/19 6:37 AM
RE: Anna's Fire Kasina Practice Log Anna L 1/8/19 4:07 PM
RE: Anna's Fire Kasina Practice Log Anna L 1/12/19 9:29 PM
RE: Anna's Fire Kasina Practice Log Anna L 1/15/19 4:18 AM
RE: Anna's Fire Kasina Practice Log Anna L 1/18/19 5:07 AM
RE: Anna's Fire Kasina Practice Log Anna L 1/20/19 1:33 AM
RE: Anna's Fire Kasina Practice Log Anna L 1/29/19 4:28 AM
RE: Anna's Fire Kasina Practice Log Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 1/30/19 6:49 AM
RE: Anna's Fire Kasina Practice Log Anna L 2/4/19 4:24 PM
RE: Anna's Fire Kasina Practice Log Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 2/4/19 5:06 PM
RE: Anna's Fire Kasina Practice Log Ward Law 1/31/19 9:35 AM
RE: Anna's Fire Kasina Practice Log Anna L 3/17/19 5:07 AM
RE: Anna's Fire Kasina Practice Log shargrol 3/17/19 8:58 AM
RE: Anna's Fire Kasina Practice Log Anna L 3/19/19 5:38 PM
RE: Anna's Fire Kasina Practice Log shargrol 3/19/19 7:03 PM
RE: Anna's Fire Kasina Practice Log Anna L 3/19/19 11:44 PM
RE: Anna's Fire Kasina Practice Log Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 3/20/19 3:23 AM
Anna's Fire Kasina Practice Log
Answer
1/8/18 4:33 PM
Hi all, I have become a bit of a jhana junkie lately and finding that my kasina practice is too interesting not to share (well, to me anyway!). I am going to record my sits here as it may be of benefit to other kasina practitioners. 

I've been practising on and off for about 2 years. I started to go into the jhanas immediately, but the second jhana has changed over time (more colours are starting to appear). I have been really sporadic and slack with practice (I go through periods of aversion to sitting), but have now committed to a daily practice (and this log will provide some more motivation!). I am drawn to sitting at the moment and find it very comfortable and tranquil. This may well change at any moment!

CURRENT PRACTICE:

- stare at candle flame for approx 1-3 mins (access concentration seems to correspond with seeing the blue interior of the flame; once this happens I know I am concentrated enough to blow out the candle)

Close eyes and see:

- bright yellow (almost flourescent) oblong shaped light (2D) with a very thin red halo in centre of visual field.
- this light then turns circular and the centre colour changes to a white glowing colour. The white centre appears to be made of tiny particles that are all squirming and moving, maybe spinning but i can't quite make it out.
- an emerald or forest green halo then appears around the outside of this circular light.
- a fuschia pink halo appears within the green halo (so it now looks like a bright white 2D circular light, surrounded by a fuschia pink halo which is surrounded by a forest green halo)
- then the light seems to start to shrink in size and get smaller. The halos recede in. The pink halo starts to bleed into the white light and colour the light object a dark pink. 
- the light then turns a stunning indigo blue colour.
- the light then turns purple. 
- the light eventually gets darker and darker and smaller and smaller until it disappears. 
- I see visual snow against a dark field. Lots of little vibratory patterns but nothing in the centre of the field. I attempt to take the tiny little snow sparks as an object of concentration and/or focus on the entire field (as opposed to the centre where the light used to be).
- Eventually purple smoky swathes of colour begin to appear across the field. I watch these for a while and eventually feel a "reset" moment where I feel refreshed and ready to open my eyes and stop the practice. This always happens after about 20 mins of sitting. 


1 OTHER SPECIAL INSTANCE:

On one occasion I have practised on a small dose of modafinil (I have a prescription for this as I have fibromyalgia and it helps with fatigue but I rarely take it because it's pretty strong). Below are my notes from this session. I think I started to tip into fourth jhana when I started to see the 3D shapes. 

"Yesterday's practice was different as a new light sequence started after the object went dark pink. The light went a teal blue and was surrounded by a golden yellow halo. There was also a golden yellow dot in the middle of the teal light. Then the whole thing morphed into pinks (mainly bright fuschia pink). At this point my practice was interrupted and I lost the nimitta. I then candle gazed and attempted again. This time, I started with the fuschia light and it was brighter and actually 3 dimensional, like a sphere with lots of granular moving detail. It was amazing. Again, I was interrupted and gave up for the evening." 

CURRENT GOALS:

1. Currently I am doing one 20 minute sit and stopping when the purple smoky flumes disappear. I am now going to experiment with 2 back to back sits (i.e. candle gazing a second time and starting again once the 20 mins is up) to see if I can reach a deeper concentration. 
2. Setting intention and sharing merit (as suggested by Shannon - thank you!).
Setting the intention at the beginning of practice: "May I awaken quickly for the benefit of all beings."
Sharing merit at the end of practice: "May the merit of this practice benefit all." (imagine sending the enjoyment I feel in my sit out to share with all beings).

With Metta, Anna

RE: Anna's Fire Kasina Practice Log
Answer
1/9/18 11:40 PM as a reply to Anna L.
Hello Anna,

Do you pratice Candle Kasina in a dark room or in a lit room? Which do you think is better?
I practice Candle Kasina in dark room for the reason that the candle light looks pleasing to eyes.

~~- stare at candle flame for approx 1-3 mins (access concentration seems to correspond with seeing the blue interior of the flame; once this happens I know I am concentrated enough to blow out the candle)

In the above quoted line,are you referring to the blue part of the flame at the base of the flame over which we can see the golden part of the flame?Also, I used to close my eyes without blowing out the candle. Should I blow out the candle before closing my eyes?

Regards.

RE: Anna's Fire Kasina Practice Log
Answer
1/10/18 12:00 AM as a reply to Dileep.
Dileep:
Hello Anna,

Do you pratice Candle Kasina in a dark room or in a lit room? Which do you think is better?
I practice Candle Kasina in dark room for the reason that the candle light looks pleasing to eyes.

~~- stare at candle flame for approx 1-3 mins (access concentration seems to correspond with seeing the blue interior of the flame; once this happens I know I am concentrated enough to blow out the candle)

In the above quoted line,are you referring to the blue part of the flame at the base of the flame over which we can see the golden part of the flame?Also, I used to close my eyes without blowing out the candle. Should I blow out the candle before closing my eyes?

Regards.

Hey Dileep, 

I practice at night time in a completely dark room (lights off) as I currently like to do this practice before bed as it's very relaxing for me and that's also the time when my mind is settled without distractions or interruptions from daily life. I have practiced before in the day time with blinds closed, or sitting in a cupboard! This works well too. 

Yep, I am referring to the blue part of the flame at the base. I find that when I really get absorped, this part of the candle becomes very prominent to me. It almost seems to "lock into" my attention. That's when I know I am quite concentrated. 

I blow out the candle before closing my eyes just so I don't have any other light source in the room that might distract me from the nimitta. I also sometimes open my eyes during the meditation to experiment with seeing the nimitta with open eyes and I thought the flame might be distracting. It would be interesting to keep the flame going and to keep periodically re-focusing on the flame to deepen and build concentration - I might try that in a future sit. 

Last night's sit was the same sequence and I repeated it three times. i.e. candle gazed, got to the "murk" and then started over again from the beginning. There were no major changes except that early on in the third attempt there was new granular detail in the nimitta (brown squiggly lines). Frustration arises because no matter how hard I try, I can't see this granular squiggly moving detail in any more clarity in order to describe it better. It is so small. I wish I could magnify the image of the nimitta in my mind in order to see it in more detail.

Last night's sit was not one of my better sits. I think this was for two reasons: 1. I was really tired. 2. The candle I have been using (a scented one that someone gave me) does not have a stable flame - it wavers a lot. I am going to go back to my preferred candle which is an IKEA brand tealight! It has a really still flame. 

I'll sit again tonight and update this tomorrow. I hope your practice is going well! Even if you don't get the lights yet, I think just focusing on the candle is so beneficial and calming for the mind and really helps to build concentration. Speak soon

RE: Anna's Fire Kasina Practice Log
Answer
1/11/18 10:53 AM as a reply to Anna L.
HI anna, great to read you log.

i played around with fire kasina but only got the red dot, then the black dot then nothing.

curious to read your experience.

RE: Anna's Fire Kasina Practice Log
Answer
1/11/18 4:28 PM as a reply to alguidar.
Ok ... a quick update. Doubling up on sessions (2 back to back) seems to cause subtle changes in the nimitta (more granular detail and sometimes a colour change to teal and gold light).

This morning in the shower I stared at the light in the ceiling for a few seconds to see if I could make a stable nimitta and it worked, however the nimitta was predominantly white and it did start to cycle through my normal colour variations but the colours were greatly faded. I like the idea of trying to do “micro-sessions” throughout the day to boost concentration. Similar to how I practice noting. This is just an ad-how experiment for now. 

Dreams are more vivid and have more positive affective content on the nights I practice. Not sure yet if this is a trend or just a coincidence. 

RE: Anna's Fire Kasina Practice Log
Answer
1/11/18 11:19 PM as a reply to alguidar.
alguidar:
HI anna, great to read you log.

i played around with fire kasina but only got the red dot, then the black dot then nothing.

curious to read your experience.
Thank you, I hope you get something out of it! 

RE: Anna's Fire Kasina Practice Log
Answer
1/20/18 5:15 PM as a reply to Anna L.
A quick update... 

Practices have been short (20 to 30 mins at the end of the day) and there hasn't been much change in the phenomenology of practice (I probably need to increase length of sit to get major change). However, some nice "off-the-cushion" effects:

- calm/tranquility and focus from the sits continues throughout the day
- increased dream recall
- conversations that I have had or situations that have occured throughout the day are now sometimes being replayed in my dreams
- vision is crystal clear

The plan for now is to continue with short sits, and then when time permits, in the coming weeks, dedicate a weekend to some solid multi-hour sits. 

RE: Anna's Fire Kasina Practice Log
Answer
1/22/18 9:37 AM as a reply to Anna L.
Sounds cool emoticon
A weekend with long sits is a good opportunity to get some insight with this as well.
You can find the three characteristics in these visuals and the different nanas too. I bet it is easy to see doing longer sessions.
Keep up emoticon

RE: Anna's Fire Kasina Practice Log
Answer
1/23/18 4:32 AM as a reply to streamsurfer.
streamsurfer:
Sounds cool emoticon
A weekend with long sits is a good opportunity to get some insight with this as well.
You can find the three characteristics in these visuals and the different nanas too. I bet it is easy to see doing longer sessions.
Keep up emoticon


Thanks, do you do this practice too?

My last few sits have been different - the nimitta is faded and less stable. Colours are not vivid. More discursive thought arises. The initial tendency is to feel disappointment and cling to memories of my “best sits”, but I’m being stoic and reminding myself to work with whatever arises! Haha 

RE: Anna's Fire Kasina Practice Log
Answer
1/23/18 5:26 AM as a reply to Anna L.
Yes, at the moment I do fire kasina as well. Can use the focus for my exams preparation. emoticon

Being stoic is a good approach, you can't escape the impermanence doing kasina. But the more consistent the practice, the better your meditation, the clearer your perception, and finally it's really likely for insights to arise.

RE: Anna's Fire Kasina Practice Log
Answer
1/23/18 5:58 AM as a reply to Anna L.
Anna L:
A quick update... 

Practices have been short (20 to 30 mins at the end of the day) and there hasn't been much change in the phenomenology of practice (I probably need to increase length of sit to get major change). However, some nice "off-the-cushion" effects:

- calm/tranquility and focus from the sits continues throughout the day
- increased dream recall
- conversations that I have had or situations that have occured throughout the day are now sometimes being replayed in my dreams
- vision is crystal clear

The plan for now is to continue with short sits, and then when time permits, in the coming weeks, dedicate a weekend to some solid multi-hour sits. 


I got better vision also.

Now can look at PC monitor without eyes getting tired for much longer.

RE: Anna's Fire Kasina Practice Log
Answer
1/23/18 6:58 AM as a reply to alguidar.
Could I just check please..... Your practice is 20 to 30 minutes per day,  yes....... 
Could I be so forward as to ask how many total hours of cushion time you have, please?
I would like to immerse myself in kasina practice and perhaps you might assist an old man with your fresh approach 

Is there a way to obtain these skills without putting in the hours of cushion time that our beloved leader Daniel and company speak of in the their writings.....

Thanking you in anticipation.      Stuie. 

RE: Anna's Fire Kasina Practice Log
Answer
1/23/18 4:34 PM as a reply to Stuie Charles Law.
Stuie Charles Law:
Could I just check please..... Your practice is 20 to 30 minutes per day,  yes....... 
Could I be so forward as to ask how many total hours of cushion time you have, hi please?
I would like to immerse myself in kasina practice and perhaps you might assist an old man with your fresh approach 

Is there a way to obtain these skills without putting in the hours of cushion time that our beloved leader Daniel and company speak of in the their writings.....

Thanking you in anticipation.    
Hi Stuie! My case is probably a bit unusual in that I have always had an affinity for concentration practice and a natural inclination to see visuals. I saw a nimitta in my first week of Transcendental Meditation training back in 2011. So for me, it took no time at all to develop that initial concentration. I don’t think it needs to take years. Sincerity and curiosity help. 

In terms of total cushion hours, that is hard to say. Since 2011, maybe 1000 hours of formal sitting concentration practice (tm and fire Kasina). That’s a very rough guess based on 20 mins per day. I’ve also been practicing yoga asana for at least a few hours per week since 2009 (so maybe 2000 hours). I count that as concentration practice too. Since 2013/14 I’ve been doing “during the day” mindfulness and noting, and spending a lot of time doing self-inquiry and reading meditation literature.  

In truth, I went into meditation practice with zero expectations (I had no idea what it was; I thought it was just “relaxation”) and I think this helped because it allowed me to practice without any pressure or expectation of results. 

Even if you do not see a nimitta, I reckon you will still get the “off the cushion” benefits of fire Kasina! It’s my favourite practice for creating a tranquility that permeates your daily life. Don’t get hung up on what other people see (visuals might be my strength, but I have plenty of weaknesses too) and just maintain sincerity and curiosity for practice and enjoy it! It’s never too late to start emoticon 

RE: Anna's Fire Kasina Practice Log
Answer
1/24/18 3:53 AM as a reply to Anna L.
Thank you so much for that.  never mind,  it was worth a try.....

RE: Anna's Fire Kasina Practice Log
Answer
1/24/18 4:33 AM as a reply to Stuie Charles Law.
Stuie Charles Law:
Thank you so much for that.  never mind,  it was worth a try.....


Have you experimented with fire kasina practice yet? 

RE: Anna's Fire Kasina Practice Log
Answer
1/24/18 4:36 AM as a reply to alguidar.
Interesting ... do you also find you need less sleep when doing fire kasina regularly? I’m naturally a “long sleeper” and average 9 hours per night. The past three nights I’ve only needed 6, which is unusual (actually, unheard of) for me. All I can attribute it to is the kasina practice. 

RE: Anna's Fire Kasina Practice Log
Answer
1/24/18 4:42 AM as a reply to streamsurfer.
streamsurfer:
Yes, at the moment I do fire kasina as well. Can use the focus for my exams preparation. emoticon

Being stoic is a good approach, you can't escape the impermanence doing kasina. But the more consistent the practice, the better your meditation, the clearer your perception, and finally it's really likely for insights to arise.
Yeah, impermanence will get you every time! Haha 

States are transient but there’s some nice stable trait changes that seem to accompany this practice (better concentration, improved visual perceptual acuity, feeling more alert and less tired during the day). 

RE: Anna's Fire Kasina Practice Log
Answer
1/24/18 8:05 AM as a reply to Anna L.
Anna L:
streamsurfer:
Yes, at the moment I do fire kasina as well. Can use the focus for my exams preparation. emoticon

Being stoic is a good approach, you can't escape the impermanence doing kasina. But the more consistent the practice, the better your meditation, the clearer your perception, and finally it's really likely for insights to arise.
Yeah, impermanence will get you every time! Haha 

States are transient but there’s some nice stable trait changes that seem to accompany this practice (better concentration, improved visual perceptual acuity, feeling more alert and less tired during the day). 
Yeah emoticon I like the solidity of concentration, too. Normally before rough exams I am near a mental freak out, and my normally healthy life style almost  vanishes emoticon With two rounds of fire kasina I am definitively more relaxed and just do what is to be done. It does wonder for mental sanity in my experience.

RE: Anna's Fire Kasina Practice Log
Answer
1/28/18 11:40 PM as a reply to streamsurfer.
Some updates and thoughts from the past week's practice:

- practice has been strong. The nimitta has been strong, bright and stable. Spontaneous feelings of love and gratitude arise during practice and throughout the day. I've just started Culadasa's dedicated practitioner course so my current daily practice is 30 mins fire kasina and 30 mins guided meditation by Culadasa (attention and awareness training). Ashtanga practice 4 hours per week. 

- it occurred to me the other day that the nimitta sequence looks like the sun when rising in the morning, then a full moon surrounded by a pink and green lunar halo, and then finally an eclipse. It also roughly follows the colour pattern of the chakras. (this insight came as lately I've been up early enough to see the sunrise).

- i tried again to get in contact with Bhava Ram (the yogi who tauught me this practice 3 years ago) and he is still on retreat (he went on retreat shortly after teaching me fire kasina, so I never got to ask him about it!). His wife kindly emailed me back and sent me a link to some resources that mention this practice:

http://www.biharyoga.net/yoga-vision/meditation/
http://www.biharyoga.net/yoga-publications-trust/bihar-yoga-books/
https://www.amazon.com/Books-Bihar-School-Yoga/s?ie=UTF8&page=1&rh=n%3A283155%2Cp_27%3ABihar%20School%20of%20Yogahttp://www.biharyoga.net/yoga-vision/meditation/
http://www.biharyoga.net/yoga-publications-trust/bihar-yoga-books/
https://www.amazon.com/Books-Bihar-School-Yoga/s?ie=UTF8&page=1&rh=n%3A283155%2Cp_27%3ABihar%20School%20of%20Yoga

RE: Anna's Fire Kasina Practice Log
Answer
2/2/18 7:14 PM as a reply to Anna L.
Update: on 1st Feb started to see the beginnings of 3D nimitta (in pink) in my 2nd round fire kasina sit. I also seemed to be able to change the nimitta halo colours surrounding the black dot (end part of nimitta light show phase) by thinking of the colour I wanted to change it to (i tried blue, green, purple). It was very subtle and I would need to replicate to be sure that it was a solid effect. 

Did not practice fire kasina last night as I was out and had already practiced a Culadasa guided meditation and one hour of ashtanga during the day. Will practice again tonight. Concentration is strong, tranquility dominates experience. The combination of one hour sitting and one hour ashtanga asana per day is a really nice balance. Still getting spontaneous arising of warmth and love/gratitude feelings around the heart centre during the day.

Unfortunately the need for less sleep was not a permanent effect - I am back to requiring a solid 8-9 hours. damn! ;)

RE: Anna's Fire Kasina Practice Log
Answer
2/22/18 3:30 AM as a reply to Anna L.
Would love an update emoticon

RE: Anna's Fire Kasina Practice Log
Answer
2/22/18 8:32 AM as a reply to Anna L.
Anna L:
Interesting ... do you also find you need less sleep when doing fire kasina regularly? I’m naturally a “long sleeper” and average 9 hours per night. The past three nights I’ve only needed 6, which is unusual (actually, unheard of) for me. All I can attribute it to is the kasina practice. 


I sense i need to sleep less since begining meditation.

Also i fall assleep much faster. 

But my dreams are more vivid and sometimes i get cool kaleidoscopic psychadelic colors in dreams.

I think this is not especific to Fire Kasina practice but meditation in general.

RE: Anna's Fire Kasina Practice Log
Answer
2/22/18 10:28 PM as a reply to Bruno Loff.
Hi Bruno, I’ve not practiced fire Kasina for 2 weeks now! Argh! My excuse is that I’ve been doing a lot of asana ( 6 hours per week) and guided meditations for a Culadasa course I’m doing. The Culadasa meditations are looking at the qualities of attention and awareness, and while useful, do not get me into deep concentration like Kasina. I’m on vacation now until early March so will pick up a candle and get back into it this week. Thanks for writing, it keeps me motivated to get back into it. I’m missing the tranquility and the vivid dreams emoticon 

RE: Anna's Fire Kasina Practice Log
Answer
2/22/18 10:29 PM as a reply to alguidar.
I definitely feel more alert and less tired during the day but am still needing a solid 8 hours of sleep per night for now ... 

RE: Anna's Fire Kasina Practice Log
Answer
2/23/18 2:44 PM as a reply to Anna L.
Good to know.

I can get the nimita going and it lasts for 5-10 minutes before it disappears. But when it does, I do not quite see anything I would describe as white static.

When the nimita disappears, there is still some sense that there is something of that process still going on, but precisely what is not clear. It is not clear what to do at that point, so I hang out there until I'm distracted and then just start again.

One time I just stayed in that after-the-nimita disappears place and at some point clearly got into 5th jhana (at least that's what I call that experience whenever it happens, the sense of a very large space expanding around a shrinking center, behind my eyelids, to the point when the space is gigantic and the center very very tiny). But I couldn't replicate it clearly a second time.

I am curious to see where such practice leads. Any pointers on what to do after the nimita vanishes?

Also: do you sense that the nimita is most often blinking? For me there are lots of gaps in the nimita: it blinks/strobes on and off, by way of the same blinking/strobing process that gets activated when I close my eyes and look at the center of the forehead/ajna chakra. Do you get that? Any idea what that's about?

RE: Anna's Fire Kasina Practice Log
Answer
2/25/18 11:23 PM as a reply to Bruno Loff.
Hey Bruno, after the nimitta disappears there is a phase that Daniel describes as the “murk”. For me it’s kind of just dark grey/black with a static-y feel. Similar to what I would normally see with eyes closed. The initial tendency (for me anyway) was to feel that “nothing is happening” so I used to end my sit at this point. I would keep focusing on the centrepoint of the field of vision, where the nimitta used to be, find nothing was happening and eventually give up (feeling like I’d had a good sit anyway). I then took Daniel’s advice to soften my attention during this point of the sit and focus on the periphery rather than the centre of the field. Once I did this, I started to get swathes of misty purple colour coming across the field. So far I have not moved past this point in practice as I’ve not committed the time yet to doing long sits. Like you, I can usually go through the nimitta cycle in 5-10 mins and then spend another 10 mins in “the murk” before I inevitably need to get up off the cushion due to other commitments ... sometimes I repeat the cycle so I do two 20 min sits back to back. 

Re the nimitta, for me it seems to be made up of tiny vibrating particles. So it doesn’t “blink” off and on as such, but the light is very much alive and moving, vibratory, definitely not static. Maybe shimmer is the word i would use?  

RE: Anna's Fire Kasina Practice Log
Answer
2/25/18 11:29 PM as a reply to Bruno Loff.
[quote=Bruno

]when I close my eyes and look at the center of the forehead/ajna chakra. Do you get that? Any idea what that's about?

Can you describe this more? Sounds really interesting. When I do other forms of concentration practice (e.g. using a sound mantra) I get a purple nimitta that looks like it’s approaching towards me and then receding. Almost like going down a tunnel ... I don’t know anything much about chakras but I always thought it might be associated with ajna chakra as it’s purple ... 

RE: Anna's Fire Kasina Practice Log
Answer
3/14/18 12:49 AM as a reply to Anna L.
Finally - an update! 

The past month I have barely practised kasina, for two reasons; it has fallen way down my list of priorities (yoga, TMI, family and work taking precedence) and I have also been experiencing an aversion to formal sitting. This happens sometimes. 

I did however do a fire kasina sit yesterday and one today. These sits were slightly different in that I did them while in a far infrared sauna, using the sauna light as the meditation object. I literally had to lock myself in a box to get myself to commit to a formal sit - oh dear. Description below:

Sit 1:

Meditation object - Green circular light in sauna
Posture - laying on back

Nimitta cycle was exactly the same as with a candle flame kasina, however the colours and shapes were slightly different. The initial retinal afterburn image was green and circular (with candle flame it is yellow and oblong). The nimitta that formed afterwards was also green and crystal clear with extremely defined edges. The edges of the afterburn were a bit fuzzy, but the nimitta was very sharp. The colour then turned white, with a thin purple edge/halo. The halo turned black and went through the usual cycle of vibrating and eventually getting smaller and turning into a black dot that disappeared. 

Sit 2. 

Cycle 1:
Meditation object: Blue circular light in sauna (you can change the light colour in the sauna so I thought I'd mix it up today).
Posture: laying on back
Cycle lenth: 8 mins from afterburn image to dot disappearing.
Same nimiitta cycle as above with same colours. Nimitta very crisp and sharp outlines.
Some discursive thoughts regarding boredom and impatience. 
Feelings of joy and comfort when the nimitta appeared. It's like seeing an old friend. Why do I feel averse to this practice when it's always pleasant? 

Cycle 2: I repeated gazing at the light again once cycle 1 ended as I was averse to sitting through the muck in 129 degree farenheit heat. 
Cycle length: 6 mins. 
Posture: sitting.
This time the nimitta was completely different. The after image started in a square shape. A yellow square that had a yellow cross (like an X) through the middle of it and a purple border. Curiosity was piqued as this was new. The nimitta that formed was the shape of a cushion cut jewel. Really beautiful, crisp purple edges and a yellow centre. It looked like an amethyst. I watched this shape until it slowly grew smaller and disappeared. 
Again, aversion to sitting through the muck, so I ended my sit here. 

14 mins in total; not a lot of time at all, but feelings of tranquility still follow even a short sit like this. Hence the power of visual kasina sits for me - I find them really potent. Feeling re-charged and refreshed after the sit. 

RE: Anna's Fire Kasina Practice Log
Answer
3/14/18 5:12 AM as a reply to Anna L.
Murk - to make it easier for the mind, control changes of colour/shapes using existing visuals, you can even play with having eyes open and looking at something similar to your murk to make that visual-mental object shift easier as the positive feedback loop does wonders. Google images that matches your murk to work with. <- I have not tried using computer images but used readily available open-eye visuals to work with. Do be careful of spending too much time controlling things in meditation and also in getting too mesmerized - know that you are absorbed but do not jump too far in...

RE: Anna's Fire Kasina Practice Log
Answer
1/7/19 7:46 PM as a reply to Anna L.
Current Status: Learning To Love The Murk!

After a long hiatus I am pulling out ye olde fire kasina practice journal for some new updates. In the spirit of full disclosure, I stopped kasina practice last year for two reasons: 1) life got incredibly busy as I was finishing up my Masters thesis, so the only practice I had time for was asana (which is a non-negotiable for me when I am at a desk for long periods of time) 2) I got impatient and fed up with "the murk." I slipped into striving mode and that attitude does not make for good kasina practice. 


I've been inspired to start practising and recording insights again after seeing the new glossary, which as far as my experiences go, is spot on. 


My current practice progresses through the usual nimitta cycle up to screen 2 or the murk. This is my current experience with screen 2:


- TV snow is a predominant feature.
- colour washes. I used to get purple colour washes float across the screen, however this did not happen in last night's sit. The visual snow and light pin points were the most dominant visual feature. 
- my current strategy for navigating the murk involves:

1. Learning to love the murk (literally). Last night during practice one of my beloved dogs was laying next to me and I heard her begin to snore. I felt love for her physically well up in my chest and as this happened a teal blue amoeba like swath of colour appeared on screen 2. I "dropped in" to a deeper focus on this object ("dropping in" for me is best described as dropping into a deeper concentration state; almost a merging with the object of concentration. I feel a pressure in my forehead in between my eyes and my eyes cross slightly. I am unable to hold this position for too long as it is physically fatiguing and can easily turn into striving which creates a headache like sensation of tension around the eye area). In this case I was able to drop in for maybe 10 seconds to examine the object before fatigue set in. Another thing I have noticed is that it is easier at the moment to cultivate a genuine curiosity and affection for the murk. This involves both a surrender to this stage of practice and an acceptance that if this is all that's going to happen (and I am in this screen forever), then I might as well get to know it as well as I can because its all I've got! 


2. Picking a pixel and focusing on that single pixel. This brings the murk "to life." Focusing on one pixel brings more detail into that pixel, while also revealing more detail in the murk as a whole. 


3. Letting go of past experiences and expectations. In a previous sit I once saw a CGI-like image of a red human heart in the murk. For a while I was fixated on wanting to re-experience a visual like that. I have now let that go and am not privileging it as a superior experience.


New insight:
 Screen 2 seems to have the same character as the visual "screen" that I see right before going to sleep. Several times in the past, while in a relaxed state just before sleep, I have seen moving images of faces on this screen. The faces are not hyper-realistic and they usually present in only one colour (usually red) and have a quality that is almost identical to the images that can appear on the second screen as colour washes. I wonder if the second screen is where hypnagogic hallucinations occur?


In terms of "off-the-cushion" effects, as per usual these sits always result in a feeling of deep rest, tranquility and a pleasant and mild sense of wonder and awe. As per usual, I wonder why I ever stopped practising this technique and vow to continue on with a regular daily practice. 

RE: Anna's Fire Kasina Practice Log
Answer
1/8/19 6:37 AM as a reply to Anna L.
After a recent FK retreat, I've continued to "play in the murk" as part of a new going to sleep practice. Lots of interesting things to learn this way and it has increased my lucid dreaming. They've been the most boring lucid dreams ever, like cooking eggs in my kitchen, but hey...

The key to the murk seems to be a very unhurried and almost lazy childlike fascination and curiosity, like we are cloudwatching on a day when it feels like summer vacation will never end. The adult world tries to beat this attitude out of us in the name of "productivity" and "bigger, better" things, like achievements and status and money, the dangling carrots we cogs are supposed to chase after in order to keep the machine running. It is probably for this reason that I truly love the murk and don't care whether or not the fancy stuff shows up (it does sometimes, but whatever). IMO that playful relationship with the murk is where it's at. It's like playing in a sandbox.

Don't let the bastards grind you down!

RE: Anna's Fire Kasina Practice Log
Answer
1/8/19 4:07 PM as a reply to Andromeda.
Andromeda:
After a recent FK retreat, I've continued to "play in the murk" as part of a new going to sleep practice. Lots of interesting things to learn this way and it has increased my lucid dreaming. They've been the most boring lucid dreams ever, like cooking eggs in my kitchen, but hey...

The key to the murk seems to be a very unhurried and almost lazy childlike fascination and curiosity, like we are cloudwatching on a day when it feels like summer vacation will never end. The adult world tries to beat this attitude out of us in the name of "productivity" and "bigger, better" things, like achievements and status and money, the dangling carrots we cogs are supposed to chase after in order to keep the machine running. It is probably for this reason that I truly love the murk and don't care whether or not the fancy stuff shows up (it does sometimes, but whatever). IMO that playful relationship with the murk is where it's at. It's like playing in a sandbox.

Don't let the bastards grind you down!
Love this! I am also playing with the murk as part of going to sleep. No lucid dreams yet ... 

Another insight: I have noticed that any time I am relaxed enough (e.g. pre sleep; in sauna) I can close my eyes and immediately access Screen 2. While I was initially fascinated by (and attached to) Screen 1 and the nimitta light show, the role of Screen 1 may have just been to provide an initial concentration support. Now I seem, on occasion, to be able to bypass Screen 1 and go straight to working with the murk. Key takeaway - try not to privilege any screen. Continue to observe with playfulness and curiosity. 

RE: Anna's Fire Kasina Practice Log
Answer
1/12/19 9:29 PM as a reply to Anna L.
Quick update: still in the murk. I did a sit using an LED light and noticed that it is easier for me to make out movement in the murk when using an LED light. This seems to be related to the colour difference - the murk / Screen 2 appeared as teal blue instead of grey. Movement and shapes were easier to differentiate. 

Off cushion effects: overall sense of increased daily EQ. Highly vivid dreams and much better dream recall. 

RE: Anna's Fire Kasina Practice Log
Answer
1/15/19 4:18 AM as a reply to Anna L.
Update: still in the murk although the visuals are becoming more interesting. In tonight's sit "my" colour, purple, was predominant again in the colour washes. Also saw some more high definition light visuals in the centre of the screen. These were copper coloured lights. Very difficult to describe, but finer and more vibrant and detailed than the colour washes. The image they created looked almost like an old photograph, but it disappeared before I was able to see more detail. 

During most of the sit body sensations were completely absent. However, towards the end of the sit I started to feel an uncomfortable pressure behind my eye area, in the eye socket near the eyebrows towards the centre of my face.That whole area - eye socket/sinus - started to feel achey and like there was a pressure behind my eyes. Similar to the uncomfortanble feeling that you get when crossing your eyes. Perhaps I am crossing my eyes during the sit and not noticing?

Also noticed a tension in my jaw and slight jaw clenching at the same time. I have not noticed jaw clenching before duing a kasina sit. 

RE: Anna's Fire Kasina Practice Log
Answer
1/18/19 5:07 AM as a reply to Anna L.
Really interesting sit. Concentration on the flame was fine, however nimitta was the worst quality I have experienced since I started practice. Normally I close my eyes and go straight to a brilliant yellow oblong shaped nimitta surrounded by a crisp clear red halo. Tonight I went to my old friend the red dot! I have not seen the red dot for at least 12 months if not longer. It was low res, shaky, and small. The normal nimitta light show pattern showed up but it was dull and small and I noted disappointment. 

I thought maybe I had not gazed at the flame long enough, so I gave up and started a new cycle. Gazed at the flame for about 2 mins. Access concentration seemed good. But same effect occured with nimitta - red, dull, small. The detail and sequencing was there, but it was fuzzy and not at all jhanic or tranquil. 

When the nimitta disappeared I tried a new approach - I laid down in bed, put a cover over my eyes (to darken the visual field) and started relaxing into a metta practice. I started to send metta to loved ones and then to some current acquaintences. As I went down the list of people and the gratitude and metta feeling arose in my heart, Screen 2 started to come to life with a vibrancy. Lots of pixelated buzzing detail. I started to get the jhanic feeling normally associated with Screen 2. I saw lots of swathes of purple and played around with moving the swathes and having them fill the screen, which was very enjoyable and relaxing. 

My intention at the beginning of this sit was to gain colour control. I tried to turn the purple into blue, however it went white instead. 

I have just emerged from a 6 day a&p and thought I was actually in DN fear territory but this sit makes me think it is actually dissolution. I've also had a few aches and pains which is a dissolution thing for me too. 

Insights from this sit: some clinging to the nimitta and disappointment and fear when it didn't turn out the way I thought it should. The tactics that helped were noting (disappointment, frustration, irritation, fear etc.) and surrendering to what was happening. Also, following intuition and sinking into a nice metta practice really turned things around for Screen 2. 

Off cushion effects: still having vivid dreams and great dream recall. Sleeping 1.5 fewer hours than usual.

RE: Anna's Fire Kasina Practice Log
Answer
1/20/19 1:33 AM as a reply to Anna L.
Very cool new visual effect today. I only had time for a short sit before dinner, and it is still daylight but overcast and a little darker than usual, so I decided to try something new. I gazed at the candle for about 2 mins and then closed eyes and was pleased to see that my usual yellow nimitta had appeared and was large and stable (unlike previous sit; see above). 

Anyway, I decided to open my eyes and look at the white wall in front of me. Blinds were closed, room was semi-dark but enough light to see that the wall was white. I have done this before and still seen the nimitta sequence unfold in the same colour as with eyes closed.

Today was different. With open eyes the nimitta was bright white and shimmered with a vibratory effect. It was surrounded by a turquoise halo of the most beautiful electrical intensity. The halo shimmered and vibrated and the white centre of the nimitta turned a deep indigo blue. I can't stress how stunningly beautiful this was - more intense than any nimitta I have seen to date. It was not easy to keep this eyes open nimitta in the centre of the visual field. It kept drifting upwards in a straight line towards the ceiling. It would go up a bit, then down, then up a bit more. As it got closer to the ceiling the intensity would fade. 

So after playing with that, as the open eye nimitta started to fade, I closed my eyes and WOW - the eyes closed nimitta was brighter and more intense than I have ever seen it. It was the white vibratory interior with red halo part of the sequence. It was absolutely beautiful to watch. Very stable.

After what seemed like 30 seconds or so I closed my eyes again and the same eyes open nimitta sequence appeared. Absolutely stunning in its colour and intensity. It once again went from white interior with turquoise halo to an interior of deep indigo blue. Again it started to drift to the ceiling and lose it's intensity as it did that. 

I repeated this cycle (eyes closed then open) several times until the nimitta started to get smaller and darker in the centre of the visual field (the 'fading to black dot' part of the normal eyes closed sequence). The whole sit was probably 7 minutes. Really beautiful and enjoyable. 

The intensity of the eyes open visual was so strong - undeniably a true visual hallucination. 

Insight: I went into this sit with limited time and zero expectations given the dullness of my last nimitta experience. Maybe this openness to experiment resulted in this effect. Also, the extreme vividness of this nimitta resulted in immediate fascination which resulted in a sense of wonder and awe, and intense and effortless concentration - hence creating a great feedback loop for the practice. I find my most intense visuals come from the practices where something unexpected happens in the visual field as this drives further curiosity and concentration. 

RE: Anna's Fire Kasina Practice Log
Answer
1/29/19 4:28 AM as a reply to Anna L.
A few updates:

- i have been experimenting more with using LED lights as a kasina but still have a natural preference for the candle flame
- accessing screen 2 prior to sleep is now quite natural and the visual detail is quite rich
- screen 2 visuals (when sitting) are getting more detailed and i am able to make out objects (the last one was a hand)
- still having vivid dreams with decent dream recall (much better than my usual dream recall anyway, which is generally poor. When I was younger I had great dream recall). 
- opening and closing eyes periodically during the nimitta phase strengthens the visual detail of the nimitta. So does putting a hand over my eyes to increase the darkness of the visual field. This improves foreground/object-background/screen contrast. 

That's all for now. Happy practice, everyone! 

RE: Anna's Fire Kasina Practice Log
Answer
1/30/19 6:49 AM as a reply to Anna L.
This is interesting. I know very little about kasina practice; I started to read the book The fire kasina but then I found other books that I needed to prioritize, so forgive me if I ask tiring newbie questions... Which screens are there, and which one is screen 2? I’m thinking that there is the black screen that has purple swirls on it and things like that. Then there is the mental screen that most of the time at least for me isn’t about actual vision. I’m not really seeing things there, but kind of imagining seeing things. I have really poor visualization screens, so maybe that’s why? I don’t know how common it is for people to actually see things, like really seeing, on their mental screen. For me the black screen usually dominates. Are there other screens? If you learn to visualize things in a way that actually make them visual in front of the black screen or instead of it, or on it maybe, is that cultivating a different screen? Or is it developing one of the screens? Or merging two separate screens into one?

When I started reading the fire kasina book I tried to watch a candle flame for 15 minutes just to see if I could. I alternated watching with looking at the after image at the black screen, and a visible red dot actually appeared there. First it was blurry and kind of cloudy and relatively big. Then it became more condensed into a point that was brightly red. Several days later, I tried to visualize a candle flame just to see of I could. For most of my life I have hardly been able to visualize the faces of people that I love. It’s easier if I go through other senses. If I imagine the touch and the smell of a person, this gives me access to visual memories as well. Photos are also easier to recollect. These recollections don’t seem to have that much of spatial location for me. I can’t tell where they are. I feel that they are where I saw them in reality, if that makes any sense. I don’t see them in front of me. So I didn’t really expect to see any candle flame when I tried to visualize it with my eyes closed. To my surprise I did see it. It did not appear on the mental screen as a memory, spatially dislocated, but it appeared on the black screen. It had a clear spatial location on the screen in front of me, and I could really see it. Not exactly the way candle flames look, and not like the red dot either. It was a faint version of a candle flame. Maybe it was transparent and therefore darker, or maybe it was just faint, I don’t know. It didn’t shine as brightly as a real candle flame does, but it was distinct and visible and located on the black screen where the purple swirls appear.

Since then I feel that it is easier for me to access mental images and visual memories, with a varying degree of vividness. The images are still vague most of the time, but not always, and it feels like I can almost get a sense of them being in front of me if I try, but I’m not quite there yet. When I meditate with my eyes closed, I can now imagine the room in front of me, and if I hear a sound I often immediately see images together with mental kinesthetic and chemical sensory input. That’s new. I didn’t do that before. And sometimes when I hear a sound or when a thought pops up, I can se a simple abstract pattern or a dot or collection of dots lighting up on the black screen. They have a different quality compared to the purple swirls, but sometimes also the purple swirls get this kind of quality now. I have been able to increase the brightness and form of them on one or maybe a couple of occasions.

I don’t know exactly where I’m going with this. I don’t even know enough about this to formulate questions. I guess I’m wondering about the difference that I experience between recalling the looks of something and actually seeing it on some kind of screen, and about the process of increasing one’s ability to visualize. And about the locations of the things that one sees, and of the screens.

RE: Anna's Fire Kasina Practice Log
Answer
1/31/19 9:35 AM as a reply to Anna L.
This article on the negative effects of LED lights just came out. It does not address the practice of gazing, but I'm sharing it so you and others can draw your own conclusions.

RE: Anna's Fire Kasina Practice Log
Answer
2/4/19 4:24 PM as a reply to Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö.
Hi Linda

What you describe sounds like progress to me! The "screen" we refer to in fire kasina is the "mind screen" or space of consciousness that we see with our eyes closed. Although initially we may be quick to say that this is just a simple black screen, once we pay careful attention we notice that it is actually a highly detailed and interesting space made up of tiny vibratory pixels and different colours. From what you have described it sounds like you have already noticed this. A useful analogy is to think of this space as a cave. If you look into a cave from the outside, all you can see is a wall of darkness. However, once you enter the cave and your eyes become accustomed to the darkness, then you begin to see things. Swami Saraswati writes: "The cave that seemed to be full of blackness before is seen to contain many more things, even things which you did not expect to see."

As fire kasina practice progresses, there are qualitative changes in the phenomenology/appearance of the mind screen depending on what stage of the practice we are at. Daniel has referred to these as different "screens." There is an excellent glossary here: https://firekasina.org/glossary/

You are correct when you say that the objects that appear on the screen during practice are not objects that we "visualise" in the sense of "imagining" them in our mind's eye. They appear by themselves (and are often quite surprising in their content!).

You write:

"if I hear a sound I often immediately see images together with mental kinesthetic and chemical sensory input. That’s new. I didn’t do that before. And sometimes when I hear a sound or when a thought pops up, I can se a simple abstract pattern or a dot or collection of dots lighting up on the black screen. They have a different quality compared to the purple swirls, but sometimes also the purple swirls get this kind of quality now. I have been able to increase the brightness and form of them on one or maybe a couple of occasions."

I get this too emoticon I notice that sensory input (e.g. a sound) and emotional feelings (e.g. a feeling of love) are reflected in visual changes on the mind screen. It's a really cool and interesting effect. 

It sounds like you are a natural at this practice emoticon

RE: Anna's Fire Kasina Practice Log
Answer
2/4/19 5:06 PM as a reply to Anna L.
Thankyou so much for your thorough reply! It clarifies a lot.

I like the cave metaphor. It’s very to the point, because there is space in the mind screen too but it is only discernable after one has gotten used to the darkness, as you said. A dark room looks flat at first glance too. And there may be all kinds of treasures in a cave.

I haven’t done any kasina practice yet. I’m just curious, and I like watching the swirls and patterns that appear when I close my eyes. At some point I will probably start doing this practice. It seems fascinating. I wouldn’t mind opening up my visual sense door a bit either. It has been closed too long and this practice seems to have a powerful effect on that matter. There seems to be a strong possibility for development here. That surprises me a bit because I’m not a very visual person at all. The potential for development makes me even more curious.

I’ll keep following your adventures.

RE: Anna's Fire Kasina Practice Log
Answer
3/17/19 5:07 AM as a reply to Anna L.
Insight into non-self ... 

After listening to the recently posted Denman Island FK recordings, I was struck by the fact that it’s very easy for me to see dukkha and impermanence in FK sits, but what about non-self? Insight into non-self has not been a feature of my sits. Tonight this changed, completely unexpectedly of course (I am learning to love the unpredictability of these sits!).


I started my sit at around 8:15pm in a pitch black room. My initial concentration was shaky and the nimitta not particularly strong. I decided to do a trick of mine that results in a clearer and larger nimitta - open and then close my eyes. Normally I have only done this in daylight sits in a semi darkened room. Hence, I see the nimitta on the “inside” of the black mind screen, then open my eyes and there it is in front of me on the white wall. 


Tonight was very different as the room was pitch black - as black as the interior of my eyelids. Hence there appeared to be zero visual transition between opening and closing my eyes. The nimitta just stayed there (albeit growing in clarity and luminosity the more I did this exercise). But I was struck by the fact that this was a visual demonstration/depiction of an essential truth - there is no “inside me” and “outside there”. This was made very clear by the existence of this nimitta that lives in a space that is neither inside my eyelids or out there in the “real world”. I could open and close my eyes many times and still this nimitta stayed completely unchanged, never blinking out of existence for even a millisecond! So simple but such an elegant and powerful insight!


I feel like this is a little bit of progress in regards to untangling the remaining knot of the “self” concept. However, sadly, I can feel this insight already starting to fade. It was so strong and powerful at the time - I really felt that I'd seen through an illusion. Now it is difficult to recall exactly how that felt as I start to write this down. 

I did three rounds of candle gazing and other features of the sit included some new colours (lavender purple) and the re-occurence of the aqua/teal electric blue, which is now becoming a regular colour for me. At one point the after-image seemed to morph into a human heart shape but it wasn't entirely clear. I didn't spend any time in the murk as I was focused on the eyes closed/open effect in order to play with the nimitta. 

Also, I seem to be in a dukkha nana cycle off the cushion, which would account for my shaky initial concentration and resulting after image. 

RE: Anna's Fire Kasina Practice Log
Answer
3/17/19 8:58 AM as a reply to Anna L.
Nice anatta observation. Yeah, it's really easy to hear the words "things are where they are, as they are" and "in the seen, only the seen" and hear it as a normal "this seeing that over there from here". But the extra effort of maintaining over here and over there is... extra. 

But many many times throughout the day -- maybe 10,000 times -- everyone will have experiences without a coordinate system... but we rarely recognize them. Usually it's only during sports, or sex, or eating, or meditation that the kind of no-coordinate system experience is noticed. But it's really just a matter of walking around and noticing how experience happens (and this is why walking meditation is as valuable as sitting meditation). 

Once this starts becoming obvious, how many experiences happen without a coordinate system, then you can bring back even the coordinate system. A big spiritual mistake is to assume that anything that creates a sense of duality is wrong. But this is a very simplistic and ignorant view that can trap people. It's important to see that there is nothing wrong with having coordinates, but.... the assumption that there is a solid thing at the center of the coordinates that needs protecting, well that's the original ignorance, the origin of suffering. There is nothing solid at the center. And when you go to "look" for the solid thing, you've created a another coordinate system, which is fine, but there is nothing at the center of the new coordinate system that is trying to look at the center of the old coordinate system.

Noticing how the assumed coordinate system's center keeps moving can be another great meditation, sitting or walking. And you can key into how effortless life is when the coordinate system is allowed to go where it wants.

The assumption of self and the paranoia of needing to protect the self sort of lean against each other and if either are seen clearly for what it is, the whole thing collapses (the ridgepole breaks), the knot unties... 

The main challenge is that when the sense of something solid in the center starts to weaken... a very subtle and primal fear will arise. Definitely. It's the fear of anniliation, death of the self. The practice will seem a bit wrong and dangerous. (Which is yet another experience with a coordinate system that has nothing at the center of the coordinates.) The main role of a teacher/mentor/guru at this stage is to help someone stay in this uncomfortable zone using various practices, but make sure they are challenging themselves and really feeling this very very subtle discomfort.  (And to warn them about the killer cows, a very important part of the sutta  emoticon ) And it's not like a meditator really needs to be forced or pushed by the teacher at this point, it's more like a non-verbal communication that it's okay to do practices that seem a bit wrong and dangerous, yet we are really really interested in where it seems to be leading.


“Then, Bāhiya, you should train yourself thus: In reference to the seen, there will be only the seen. In reference to the heard, only the heard. In reference to the sensed, only the sensed. In reference to the cognized, only the cognized. That is how you should train yourself. When for you there will be only the seen in reference to the seen, only the heard in reference to the heard, only the sensed in reference to the sensed, only the cognized in reference to the cognized, then, Bāhiya, there is no you in connection with that. When there is no you in connection with that, there is no you there. When there is no you there, you are neither here nor yonder nor between the two. This, just this, is the end of stress.”

https://www.dhammatalks.org/suttas/KN/Ud/ud1_10.html

RE: Anna's Fire Kasina Practice Log
Answer
3/19/19 5:38 PM as a reply to shargrol.
Shargrol, thank you for this response. I’ve been re-reading it and trying to digest it. 

One thing that stands out - the fear and paranoia that comes with protecting the ego. Investigating closely the thoughts / emotions / sensations that accompany this. 

Also, interesting that you note that some practices can feel “wrong” or “dangerous”. I’ve noticed this reaction from several people when I’ve suggested trying fire Kasina practice. It can bring out a strong aversion reaction in some - usually related to a fear of going insane! If anything, I’ve found the opposite with this practice - the calming effect of the Jhanas counteracts any potential destabilisation that might occur from unusual visuals or powerful insights. But it’s an interesting thought for me to explore - I’m sure I experience a subtle resistance to all practices - that slight aversion to just sitting and being that we all(?) have on some level. It’s worth investigating further. 

Thank you! emoticon

RE: Anna's Fire Kasina Practice Log
Answer
3/19/19 7:03 PM as a reply to Anna L.
You are definitely welcome and definitely thank you for putting up with my big blocks of text on your practice log! emoticon

RE: Anna's Fire Kasina Practice Log
Answer
3/19/19 11:44 PM as a reply to shargrol.
Your comments are so helpful ... otherwise I am (literally and figuratively) often just sitting in the dark here! emoticon

RE: Anna's Fire Kasina Practice Log
Answer
3/20/19 3:23 AM as a reply to Anna L.
I’m thankful to both of you. I have had many experiences without coordinates, including those with nimittas showing up like you described, Anna, but I didn’t realize the connection to no self. I even said that they just were where they were, and I still thought of it as poor clarity.