Message Boards Message Boards


Blurry vision / eyes crossing during LED/Fire kasina practice

Hello,I am practicing led kasina meditation with the following procedure :1. Sit/lay down in a dark room2. ‎Stare at the led in my phone(which is covered with a folded peace of paper to decrease intensity and create a nice round circle of light) for 10-20 seconds3. ‎Turn off led, look at a fixed spot (still with open eyes). At this point I can see the after burn image with open eyes. If I pay it attention it grows stronger, and becoms dark neon green/cayenne circle with red hoop/ring srounding the neon green. I can choose to focus on the red or the green. If I focus on the red ring srounding the green, the red ring develops and the green kind of turns red. As time goes on the entire circle gradually fades away, shrinks and get further away from me. Twards the end the circle becomes more and more red, and sometimes becomes almost a complete red circle. But it fades away. It takes about 3-10 to fade completely 4. ‎repeat
I have a problem which I hope to overcome. After ending the session my vision is blurry. During the session, the circle wants to move (I know In reality I move it, but it moves on its own, though I have control over it and can counciously move it if I will).If I let it move as it wishes, It moves to the center of the visual field and then my eyes start to cross (as if I was looking at my nose). If I stay with crossing the eyes for long periods my eyesight becomes damaged and blurry. This also happens with eyes closed. The crossing eye issue isn't very new to me. I Also do daily TMI style meditation (anapansati shamata vipassana), during which the same problem with crossing the eyes happens. If I focus on the breath at my nose with eyes closed, the eyes start to look at the nose and cross and my vision gets blurry within seconds. If I increase councious power with body scan then my eyesight may become very sharp and return to normal. If I meditate with eyes open, I can keep my eyes focused for long periods on one spot, and the eyes stay there. I suspect crossing the eyes happens due to dullness and tiredness. If it helps I am at stage 5 in tmi. Put over 500 hours into tmi, and also 500 hours into shinzen young system before. 
My Questions: 1. Why do you think my eyes wants to cross. And how do I solve this problem? 2. ‎ Eventually the green circle should turn completely red, right? Marking first jhana.
Hopefully Daniel, or someone experienced will answer, but what do you guys think? Any input is appreciated. Thanks, Peace. 

RE: Blurry vision / eyes crossing during LED/Fire kasina practice
4/10/18 8:40 AM as a reply to SHAP.
Quick answers: You are using your eyes too much. Do not think that concentration comes from strong effort, it is more how you pay patient attention to it. Definitely drop powering your eyes, as it is mental. Pay attention to the whole thing at the start, the rings and the core. Do not be frustrated if they move, just go along maintaining patient attending to them. Do not force your eyes to move/not move the after-image/nimitta and yes it is your attention that moves them - try both and understand how that works. 

Think in terms of the pleasure jhanas - to get to 1st you need Applied/Sustained Effort, after that you have to find the effort/concentration balance by playing with it.

You may benefit from some mind-eye (where your attention goes) exercises. Move the mind eye all around your body, feet for e.g. can you feel the attention/mind-eye there but see that there is no need for the physical eyes to look there for that to happen? Keep doing such visualization exercises till you drop the eye/mind-eye connection...

It is not your eyes! Have fun... emoticon

RE: Blurry vision / eyes crossing during LED/Fire kasina practice
4/10/18 9:14 AM as a reply to Yilun Ong.
Thank you so much for answering. 
I Think what you meant is to use intentions instead of effort and will. 
If that's the case, then I am using intentions to control attention. 

I if I pay attention to the after image(this is completely a mental yet visual thing, I can see it clearly with eyes open) then my eyes kind of "relax" and start to cross.
In anapansati when I let go of my eyes the same thing happens, they relax and lose "muscle tone" and start to cross. In anapansati I also meditate on pleasant sensations in my third eye area, I definitely use intentions. I Try to hit first pleasure  jhana and very close to access concentration(attention alternates sometimes with visual sight and mental thoughts/images). But just cant get there, If look for pleasant sensations in my body, I can find some in my legs hands, but its just not enough to enter jhana. I have sufficient introspective awerness to know what attention is doing, and what happens in awareness. 

What do you mean by mind eye exresices? Do you mean to visualize the body part?
Or does it mean to body scan it, like tmi body scan/budhist meditation on the elements? 
Thanks again.

RE: Blurry vision / eyes crossing during LED/Fire kasina practice
4/10/18 11:16 AM as a reply to SHAP.
First you need to differentiate intention to focus your attention on kasina between:

1. Eyes - you use physical muscles to strain or relax the eye to see visually.
2. Attention or mind-eye - this is where you use what you called intention/will/effort to focus or pay attention to the object.

The kasina is a mind exercise but you are having problems because you are using muscles. 

Mind-eye exercises e.g. bring 2. to the back of the head/throat/neck/spine/buttocks/etc. - what does your eyes do? They should not be doing anything and most definitely they cannot roll 180 degrees to face the back. I think you are using the eyes to power a wrong concentration. Check that you can bring 2. to out of eye-reachable areas and that the eye does not act on it. You can do visualizations/body scan through the whole body and check that the eyes do not move as well. I think that you may need to check that the eye muscles are completely relaxed and not participating in powering your concentration on unrelated objects e.g. cross-eye when focusing on nose - most likely, your eyes are trying to look hard at it? [First try to achieve relaxed eyes, no crossing with nose breathing exercises to gain confidence.]

You mention that you see the visuals with eyes open. This means that you should be able to see them with eyes closed and unstrained, whilst using your mind to work on the kasina, yes? Why would the eyes do anything unless you are making them do so, is my question back at you.

The other issue that you are probably facing is fear/aversion for whatever the eyes do. Do get into a relaxed mode, do not judge, drop all negativities and assumptions before proceeding as objectively as you can...

Try it out and let us know how it goes... emoticon

RE: Blurry vision / eyes crossing during LED/Fire kasina practice
4/14/18 12:16 AM as a reply to Yilun Ong.
Hey, I think you were right, I finally realized exactly what the problem was.

I was trying to look at the after image with my physical eyes, just like I was trying to look at the nose when I started tmi. 

I am just too "attached" to my visual field, I guess I am just wired this way( I am very visual oriented person, and its probably the most developed sense I got).

Any way I think I got around the problem for now by using another light. After I looked at the after image, I turn another light to, light what is in front of me, so my eyes would automatically focus on it, while "I" focus on the after image. It kinda works, and my eyesight was sharp after 1 hour session, but it takes a real setup for all this: dark room, phone,extra led, paper. 
I Also realized that the after image is always "above/on top" of my visual field, meaning whenever I look the after image would appear, so it overlays visual reality, so in a sense it's "closer" to me physically than visual reality(maybe in my head emoticon ) so I guess I was intuitively trying to look at it, but because its in my head my eyes were crossing. 

Any way thanks so much for the help, hopefully my visual sense will get pacifed, so I could do this without such a setup. 
But there is still the  question on the progression that is left unanswered. If you think you can answer please check out my other post. 

Thanks, Peace. 

RE: Blurry vision / eyes crossing during LED/Fire kasina practice
4/15/18 1:08 AM as a reply to SHAP.
You're a stubborn guy aren't you? emoticon What we see is more of a mental image than visually captured by the eyes.

I ignored it because you are kind of insisting how it should be done with the answers you want. The answer lies within your patient practice of attending to it. Stay with the actual practice, if the desire for mental cognition weighs too heavily for you to focus exclusively on the fact that you are doing it right, read the fire Kasina pdf by Shannon & Daniel. Or find the Kasina practice log by Anna L. My experience may not be helpful to you as I do not need to have a flame for Kasina practice, just concentrating on any mental image kicks off the process. I read that Daniel looks at the flame only once in the beginning of each day/session and proceeds to protect that and progress from there.

Clue: Be open to effort vs concentration - only you can find out the right effort at the right time. Don't give up and stay with whatever seems to be nothing happening for at least a few minutes before restarting the process of looking at the naked flame/light again. Resist doing that until completely satisfied that the mental images are gone. Open eye or close - whatever remains the same is what you need to work on. If you are really stuck again, be more detailed with exactly where you find the problem. You need to deconstruct the dependence on powering wrong focus completely - pacification is hardly the right way to look at this problem IMO.

Have fun!