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Sunlight on Water: A concentration technique

Forum: Practical Dharma

This topic is being posted independently of another Dharma Overground discussion thread " impermanence via the visual field" (see )

I stumbled on this technique but doubt that I am the first to discover it.

Watching the water from the ordinary point of view (normal consciousness), I saw the usual flickering reflections of sunlight from the complex pattern of wave interference patterns on the surface of the water. Then I began practicing meditative concentration. Very quickly, I noticed a change in my perception of the sunlight reflected from the water. Previously, there had been some specific (albeit uncounted) number of reflection points on the water's surface. Now, in meditative concentration, I saw each those points broken into many more smaller points, each of which was moving at a faster pace than before.

To explain this, let's consider a single point of reflection. What had appeared to be a single point before—a point which appeared and then disappeared over the course of a fraction of a second—now appeared to be composed of several smaller points, each of which appeared and disappeared more swiftly than had the previous perception of a single point. These smaller points began and ended at different instants, but their duration overlapped, thus producing (from my original point of view) a single, larger point with a longer total duration.

This technique may have some value as a tool for gauging one's concentration. The more perceptions (or sensations) that one can observe per unit time in indicative of one's state of concentration. Finding the most suitable object of concentration for this purpose is somewhat limited. Most objects change very little over normal human time scales.

If you have the opportunity to experiment with this technique, please let me know how it does for you.

RE: Sunlight on Water: A concentration technique
6/3/09 11:22 AM as a reply to Gozen M L.
Author: xanados

Gozen: Thank you, this is exactly the kind of post that me and many others come here for. Practical advice rather than theorization about the True Objective Nature of Reality.

Your post makes me wonder if there are other, more convenient objects that would provide a similar benefit. Say, a fan set to a low speed or something? In any case, definitely a technique with promise.


RE: Sunlight on Water: A concentration technique
6/3/09 4:40 PM as a reply to Gozen M L.
Sounds cool, I'll give it a try. Thanks Gozen.


RE: Sunlight on Water: A concentration technique
6/3/09 7:52 PM as a reply to Gozen M L.
Reading this reminds me of the same experience with sound (using the cricket sound in one ear as a focus for concentration)

Its a great description