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Confused about kasina vs PCE practice

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Confused about kasina vs PCE practice
Answer
2/22/18 3:30 AM
Hi all,

I am somewhat confused about the compatibility of kasina and PCE practice. I was under the impression that they were completely incompatible, I remember Tarin saying at some point that there was "only darkness" when he closes his eyes, and that there were no jhanas while in PCE.

But reading Daniel's practice it seems he believes that there is nothing further to gain from his practice of the PCE, while at the same time being engaged in magick, visualizations, and jhanas, and so on.

This translates into a very specific recent doubt of mine: should I or should I not do kasina practice?

I could clearly use the concentration, but I would not like it if it would move me away from the PCE (and I get a sense that it does, though maybe that's incorrect?).

I would appreciate some input on this.

Thank you for reading,
Bruno

RE: Confused about kasina vs PCE practice
Answer
2/22/18 10:34 PM as a reply to Bruno Loff.
Hey Bruno, I’m not sure I can comment regarding PCE, however my 2c is that I’ve only ever noticed positive things from fire kasina. For me, the tranquility that comes from the practice seems to continue off the cushion. I used to get a similar effect from TM (mantra Meditation) but find the effect stronger for fire Kasina; perhaps the fire is naturally more interesting to me than a mantra sound and hence easier for me to get absorbed by. Let us know if you try it ...

RE: Confused about kasina vs PCE practice
Answer
2/23/18 9:05 AM as a reply to Anna L.
you mention tranquility but i found it much too energizing when tried Fire Kasina for the first time on Tuesday night. 

I was great in terms of ability to concentrate and sit well.  But then i was up much of the night and  back on my cushion to meditate in the morning.  and The next day, my eyes looked somewhat mad, i was clear minded but a bit too tired.  

i think part of the part of the problem may relate to the fact that i never read up on how to do it--and was open eyed for most if not the entire sit.  this made for some interesting lava lamp psychelic experiences.  When i did close my eyes after a few minutes of gazing, i often got the suggested visuals.  

Seems like fun but I may (edit) not dive back in right away. 

One Question
: Where should i put the candle? on the floor? Won't i strain my neck as i look down?  I also tried putting the candle on a chair but found that didn't work as well.

RE: Confused about kasina vs PCE practice
Answer
2/25/18 11:08 PM as a reply to Rednaxela.
Hey Bruno, I only gaze at the candle until I get access concentration (usually after 2 mins) then blow it out and close my eyes and use the after image as the meditation object. I usually hold the candle or place it on a stool so it’s at eye level when I’m sitting cross legged on the floor. 

I’ve not tried gazing at it for longer than a few minutes at a time emoticon 

RE: Confused about kasina vs PCE practice
Answer
3/2/18 6:38 AM as a reply to Bruno Loff.
I had a chat with Nick Haley via facebook on this topic, here is a slightly edited version.

Bruno. Hey Nick
Bruno. I am a bit confused about PCE vs kasina practice
Bruno. is it even possible to get a nimita going while in a PCE?
Bruno. I am not sufficiently deep into that territory to be able to answer this question for myself

Nick. Certainly not an expert on pce. I haven’t had one for years. But what I remember is Kadina requires a narrowing of attention onto the Kasina, and a fabrication of the kasina as an “object” to hold. In a pce, or what I gathered was a pce, this is very not necessary. Using a Kasina insinuates a need to do something with attention. In a pce (or what I thought was one) this “need” was non-existent.

Nick.But I’m not a expert

Bruno. Hmm
Bruno. To me a PCE, or the closer I get to such territory, seems like perception is missing a certain layer
and that the nimita lives in this layer
Bruno. but I could be wrong
Hmm, I think there are so many experiences being called pce. So add mine to the pile.

Nick. In a pce there was no need to “pay attention” , so in my memory, Kasina and pce don’t seem to go together, but that’s my interpretation of a pce, *throws it on the pile*
Nick. I could also be wrong
Nick. Kasina is all about “paying attention to “some thing” . I distinctly remember what I considered a pce to be missing the need to “pay attention to anything as no “thing” was co-arising

Bruno.
ok, so you lean on them being incompatible. But of course it's different to say that there is no need to do something than saying it couldn't be done even if attempted
Bruno. I guess
Bruno. Daniel claims to have reached some sort of resolution with respect to actualist practice, but still does kasina practice. My confusion stems from this fact, together with my belief that they would be incompatible

Nick. Yeh true , I never tried to do Kasina practice while that was going on
Nick. So maybe it’s possible.
Nick. Remember the talk of an “attention bounce”?

Bruno.I do, what about it?

Nick.
Do you see it in your experience?
Nick. And if so have you seen it cease ?

Bruno.
I see the focus moving around, and I get a sense that it is completely unnecessary
Bruno. is that what you mean?
Bruno. (I get the sense that it lives on the same layer where the nimita lives; so my confusion is practicaly relevant as I'm not sure whether I should do kasina practice or not)

Nick. Yeh totally unnecessary , for me the pce was lacking that bounce

Bruno. I remember you tried to induce PCEs at some point by paying attention to everything at once

Nick.
The Kasina practice for me was all about taming or honing or directing that bounce , it didn’t cease it but it narrowed it down

Bruno. I see

Nick. Yeh, you can do a few things to interrupt it momentarily

Bruno. I never had an extended PCE, only glimpses and moments

Nick. The bounce is dependant origination in action, Kasina practice makes the mental fabrications arsing due to said bounce more refined and “manageable” in my opinion
Nick. Kasina practice takes the bounce, a tamed bounce is probably more prone to ceasing
Nick. Kind of like “felicity”

Bruno.
hmm

Nick. No absolutes of course, this is just my interpretation

Bruno. I think you may be right, I had thought of that possibility as well
Bruno. that by practicing kasina I would improve the phenomenon to the point where it might subside easier

Nick. Yeh, it’s easier to see it all drop when there is less “fighting” it I.e craving its cessation , which is the case when it’s bouncing everywhere

Bruno. ok Nick, thank you for the feedback

Bruno.
would you be OK with me posting this chat on DhO, on the thread I started on the subject?

Nick. Sure, just a disclaimer , my thoughts are wispy and are not absolute. They represent the current take which is subject to change with the wind.
I have concluded that while kasina might be compatible with the PCE, or that the attention bounce is necessary for the nimita to form... but in any case I guess this already answered my practical dilema satisfactorily: whether kasina is possible in PCE or not, its practice might still facilitate PCE practice nonetheless

So I will do this practice for a while and see where it leads.

Thank you both, and Nick, for the feedback.

RE: Confused about kasina vs PCE practice
Answer
3/2/18 10:02 AM as a reply to Bruno Loff.
Heya Bruno, 


does  "attention bounce" means attention changing objects really fast?

Or am i getting it wrong?

 

RE: Confused about kasina vs PCE practice
Answer
3/2/18 12:01 PM as a reply to Anna L.
Anna L:
Hey Bruno, I only gaze at the candle until I get access concentration (usually after 2 mins) then blow it out and close my eyes and use the after image as the meditation object. I usually hold the candle or place it on a stool so it’s at eye level when I’m sitting cross legged on the floor. 

I’ve not tried gazing at it for longer than a few minutes at a time emoticon 

awesome advice.  thank you

RE: Confused about kasina vs PCE practice
Answer
3/3/18 2:40 AM as a reply to alguidar.
alguidar:
Heya Bruno, 


does  "attention bounce" means attention changing objects really fast?

Or am i getting it wrong?

 
More from that conversation (edited for clarity)
Bruno. I am curious to know what is the relationship between PCE and the fluttering sensation I am always talking about
Bruno. also about the PCE and the vibrations emanating from the dantien

Nick. Behind the third eye area?

Bruno.
yes
Bruno. my guess is that the PCE happens when [those two phenomena] are gone

Nick. Yeh, I still get that fluttering
Nick. But right before and right after a cessation it is collapsed

Nick. That for me is the bounce
Nick. From there to “objects” “out there”
Nick. Moving from fluttering to “objects” back and forth. This is what I call the attention bounce
Nick. Giving off the “selfing” vibe

Bruno. I am not sure if you are saying what I think you are saying
Bruno. would you say that the fluttering itself is the bounce, or that the bounce is the focus moving from fluttering to other perceived objects?

Nick. There is a pint behind the eyes, it’s vibratory, fluttering is a good word for it
Nick. It pulls attention there
It gives off a sense of “self” , doer etc. but the bounce is from that area to everywhere else

Bruno. Yes, I know
Bruno. there is an aspect of compulsiveness to it

Nick. Yes, very compulsive
Nick. If I pay attention to it AND everything else at once, it soon collapses and I get a cessation


Bruno. ah
Bruno. That's so interesting that you say that
Bruno. my practice used to consist of focusing on the fluttering to the exclusion of all else
Bruno. because there are times when it dissolves a little bit
Bruno. but doing only that eventually leads to pain

Nick. Above, I d go with your 2nd explanation: Fluttering to other perceived objects is the bounce

Bruno. ok gotcha
Bruno. so to get a cessation your strategy is to focus both on fluttering and everything else at once
Bruno. hmm

Nick. I feel like not paying attention to it all at once is “ignorance” in action. The whole crap show that is Dependent Origination arises from this ignorance. But when it is all seen at once, the cause ceases and so then do the following links...boom! cessation.
Nick. Paying attention to just the fluttering just makes it stronger or more obvious in my experience. The magic ingredient is adding the whole periphery, which seems to zap the “fluttering” of its assumed “mental weight” as a “thing” , which then leads to equanimity/dispassion/non-attachment to it all

Bruno. ah, that is so interesting that you are saying that
Bruno. since SE it feels like my whole meditation project is a weird mystery surrounding this fluttering phenomenon
Bruno. like all significant shifts in daily life follow from shifts in this process
Bruno. yet when I focus on it too much, I get pain
Bruno. but I can see how "focusing on it too much" might mean that I'm loosing the periphery

Nick. Practice is about honing “paying attention” , refining the “objects” that we give rise to mentally. Ie via jhanas or Kasina practice etc. the more refined this “paying attention” prices becomes, the easier it is to let go of. Nirvana means “blown out”. Nir being the negation and vana meaning wind or breath.
Nick. The bounce is the flame in my opinion

Nick. A friend gave me these instructions specifically to deal with this weird bounce: link to blog post