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iPhone Flashlight Kasina

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iPhone Flashlight Kasina
Answer
8/27/14 11:45 AM
Hi all!

There is an excellent bit in MCTB starting on page 221 where Daniel describes moving through the jhanas using the retina-burned afterimage of a candle flame as his object.

If you don't have a candle to hand you can achieve exactly the same thing using any bright light. I did this using the flashlight on my iPhone. Stare at the LED for 10 seconds or so, turn it off, then close your eyes and use the retina-burned afterimage as your object. I do this in a completely dark room so there are no distractions from other light sources when the eyelids start to flicker etc.

Please note the object (kasina) is the retina-burned afterimage, not the direct light itself which should be turned off once a decent afterimage is created.

I have no idea if this level of brightness from the LED is bad for your eyes or not. I looked it up and there's not a lot on it, except an estimate of 5-10 lumens, and with it not being a laser I think 10 seconds might be all right.

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The first time I tried this it was an interesting experience but I did not get the cool visuals described in the book beyond the golden spinning star (which genuinely looks like a real sun).

On the second attempt, this time in a completely dark room, I got more of the visuals. I also fell asleep straight into a lucid dream after hitting what I believe was fourth samatha jhana. In the lucid dream I appeared to gain access to the unconscious's "master narrative" -- the ultra-condensed storyline it maintains about your character and direction of your life, filled with archetypes in the form of dream characters, all of which I hypothesized in an article I wrote a few months ago but which I had only ever dreamed non-lucidly. I believe major aspects of one's character can be changed by entering this narrative in a lucid dream and changing the archetypes and dream scenery, but I never really thought it would be possible to enter this narrative lucidly (I had only ever experienced it in non-lucid dreams up until this point). I appeared to this time but just had a good look around and even met the "caretaker" of my unconscious who showed me around as kind of tour guide!

I am continuing research into this idea and, as usual, am writing everything down as I go. I'm also treading carefully as I believe changing elements of this unconscious narrative could have potentially far-reaching and serious consequences for one's life.

On the third attempt with the kasina, I got practically every visual Daniel describes in the book. This included sparkling, fractal imagery within the "sun" itself and, when the sun faded and the outside edges of the "black hole" around the faded sun became the focus, I found they were made of coloured, beautiful fractals which looked basically identical to this: http://www.misterx.ca/FRACTALS/800px-Mandel_zoom_08_satellite_antenna.jpg

I found that image on the following page: http://www.misterx.ca/Mandelbrot_Set---Thumb_Print_of_God.html
Coined as the THUMBPRINT OF GOD, each MANDELBROT BUG is a near copy of the original, yet is an individual UNIVERSE unto itself with subtle and original variations.  One could eXplore the above image FOREVER and still see new worlds.  In fact, you can actually "zoom in" to the Set as seen above until the original image is larger than the UNIVERSE itself!  Truly, it is an equation of INFINITY.

I could literally see infinite complexity in those fractals around the black hole in my visual field. Truly, you could not make this stuff up. The excitement of it all was nearly enough to break the jhana (this used to happen to me when first experiencing visuals) but I can hold things together pretty well now (and I get better at this seemingly exponentially every time I practise). I also noticed that the purple and green lines emanating around the black hole were made up of fractals themselves.

Studying these fractals was the last thing I remember because, suddenly -- BOOM! I was into what appeared to be a future-prediction vision. I saw a girl I haven't seen for ages in a bar I rarely go in. I'm quite often right when I have such visions, so I'm going to go to that bar on Friday to see what happens.

I woke up this morning with apparently a deep understanding of all things I turn my attention to. These ideas -- about people, concepts and themes -- drift around as kind of "whole images" in dimensions "interspersed" with our existing 4 dimensions, which are then interpreted by my logical brain as easy-to-understand rules and paradigm shifts.

Since getting this book I've had "clicks" and mini Dark Nights lasting a few hours or a few days, revolving around whatever I turn my attention to (the more personal importance the "thing" has to me, the longer the cycle), kind of like mini fractal versions of the Path of Insight.

I now believe any human change in understanding, on any topic, follows the Path of Insight in smaller or larger fractal versions of itself. Even the Path of Insight itself can be seen as just a change in understanding about something bigger than usual (the nature of reality itself) and therefore lasts longer (but needn't, once you grasp the territory) -- so the Path of Insight is just a larger fractal version of the changes in understanding we make about any little piece of our reality (an idea or thing) everyday in our day-to-day lives. Some new knowledge, such as finding the internet doesn't work that day, triggers a little Dark Night before the "reality" is adjusted in accordance with the new information.

I now believe that "everything is everything" (it's all just itself) and that everything is contained within everything else. I'm sure that didn't make much sense to many but hopefully some will understand. emoticon

Thanks Daniel for all your work!

RE: iPhone Flashlight Kasina
Answer
8/28/14 5:58 AM as a reply to Illuminatus.
Hey Edd, nice work! Sounds like you have some strong concentration skills.

I have a couple of tiny LED night lights that I keep my kids' rooms, the bulb is very small but very bright. I found it much easier than using a candle flame. The after-image was more visible and it only took a few seconds before it became clear. With a candle flame, it felt like I had to stare for much longer to get an after-image that is much dimmer. Plus, an LED light doesn't bounce around if you accidentally breathe on it. emoticon

My concentration isn't so good, but the after-image stabilized into a small red dot that presented on its own within a few seconds. If I kept my concentration up, it would get bigger and start changing colors. I never made it past this point, as my biggest obstacle is my physical eyes keep trying to "look" at the image, and they pop open whenever something interesting happens. Sometimes I want to gouge my eyes out in frustration! Daniel advised me to simply keep practicing and my eyes will adjust.

RE: iPhone Flashlight Kasina
Answer
8/28/14 7:59 AM as a reply to Eric M W.
Eric M W:
I never made it past this point, as my biggest obstacle is my physical eyes keep trying to "look" at the image, and they pop open whenever something interesting happens. Sometimes I want to gouge my eyes out in frustration! Daniel advised me to simply keep practicing and my eyes will adjust.

Daniel is right in that by practising eventually you will "figure it out". It's stuff your mind and body just figure out how to do on their own and cannot really be explained, especially not in text. I'll have a go anyway.

I personally have this thing where I can "snap" my focus onto something. It's like I pull the object out of the background and into a "plane of concenctration". So the dot will suddenly be suspended in a "concentration space" in front of me, and I can have it hang there and all this cool stuff happens.

Via the same reflex, I can make the entire present moment (material reality around me) "snap" into my "concentration space" and everything becomes 3D. You can hack this by using your hands to "grab" reality while looking at it. Your body is all connected into your concentration. You will see Jesus depicted as having his hands out turned upwards in hundreds of artworks: http://slodive.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/real-pictures-of-jesus/sagrado-jesus.jpg

This is the same pose I am describing. You can "hold" reality into your concentration space. Adopt the pose now while looking at the room and see if it "pops" into 3D. You can memorize the hand thing, notice what reflex that "grabbing reality" feels like in your mind, and do that with the afterimage kasina to "grab" it into your concentration space. You can use the hand thing at first to grab the kasina until you figure out how to do it without moving your hands.

If I do this "grabbing reality" thing while out walking, my posture straightens up, breathing becomes regular, everything settles down, and walking feels like floating. I believe this is where the "walking on water" myth comes from -- Jesus probably taught people to feel like they're floating "in" reality, and it got twisted into a more literal interpretation.

I believe Eckhart Tolle's "presence" is simply first jhana applied to material reality in this way. That's why I found his "just be present" or "put your focus on your breath" stuff so difficult to follow before I got first jhana and figured out its ubiquity in any field of accomplishment. Trying to be "present" without first jhana is just pissing in the wind, in my opinion.

I recommend a completely dark room for the kasina so it doesn't matter too much when your eyes pop open. The afterimage will stay exactly where it is. You can close them gently again and the concentration won't be broken by visible outside distractions since there won't be any. But you can also train your eyes and mind to keep the image stable and central. Practice makes perfect.

My mental/physical state affects my ability to concentrate in this way. E.g. last night I was feeling pretty wiped out and couldn't get it beyond the "sun" stage. My attention was scattering due to my body's state. I ended up just falling asleep and seemed to need it.

RE: iPhone Flashlight Kasina
Answer
8/28/14 10:53 AM as a reply to Eric M W.
Oh yeah, I forgot, you can get into a smooth rhythm with your eyes and mind in terms of bringing back the attention to the kasina. Make the movements away and back to the object as smooth as possible. Eventually the frequency of the "away and back" will become very low and feel very smooth like a continuous wave (first jhana) then cease completely and you will have more effortless concentration (second jhana).

A lot can be said for smoothness in the concentration game.

RE: iPhone Flashlight Kasina
Answer
8/28/14 8:49 PM as a reply to Illuminatus.
"In the lucid dream I appeared to gain access to the unconscious master narrative -- the ultra-condensed storyline it maintains about your character and direction of your life, filled with archetypes in the form of dream characters, all of which I hypothesized in an article I wrote a few months ago but which I had only ever dreamed non-lucidly. I believe major aspects of ones character can be changed by entering this narrative in a lucid dream and changing the archetypes and dream scenery, but I never really thought it would be possible to enter this narrative lucidly; I had only ever experienced it in non-lucid dreams up until this point. I appeared to this time but just had a good look around and even met the caretaker of my unconscious who showed me around as kind of tour guide!"


Hi Edd,

I have definitely heard of others who share your hypothesis (I probably think its true as well) that changing psychological factors within a lucid dream sort of allows you to skip the steps you might take to change them in the real world.  This fits in with an overall idea that everything we experience in dreams is a representation of a part of ourselves and that dreams have some predictative power over the future.  Theoretically (and oversimplified), one dreams what will happen the next day, it happens, then a reaction dream occurs the next night, and so on.  Acting lucidly within the dream skips the step of altering reality!  The implication are that this is using Magick to accelerate progress in Morality training.  Cool stuff, I'm jealous that you are able to do this.

-Noah

RE: iPhone Flashlight Kasina
Answer
3/5/17 12:06 AM as a reply to Noah.
Noah:
The implication are that this is using Magick to accelerate progress in Morality training.  Cool stuff, I'm jealous that you are able to do this.

-Noah

Hi Noah,

I always start off with the assumption that if someone else can do it, so can I! A resolution is powerful in triggering lucid dreams. Then, maintaining the lucid dream state requires literally the same concentration skills learned on the cushion. So it is by no means out of anybody's reach.

If you ever get sleep paralysis you can change that into a lucid dream very quickly by investigating the sensations that make up the fear (most people freak out when sleep paralysis happens) via insight meditation. In reality this seems to simply distract one from the fear of the sleep paralysis so that more stable states can be achieved. I can choose to go to a lucid dream or OOBE at this point.

RE: iPhone Flashlight Kasina
Answer
9/1/14 2:57 PM as a reply to Illuminatus.
Edd,
Lots of interesting stuff here.  I'm not super intent on exploring lucid dreams at this point but I definitely find them fascinating.  And I agree with the initial assumption you offered.