A Tulp A

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Golden Shrimp Plant? It reminded me of a tulpa.

And tulips as his lesser cousin.

Photo credit: Nature and all it’s Glory https://web.facebook. com/natureandallitsglory/

Found at: https://purplerays.wordpress .com/2017/08/03/good-morning-with-golden-shrimp-plants-2/

Breathing Nimitta

The Third Eye - Page 5 - Dharma WheelTHE MYSTERY OF THE BREATH NIMITTA
OR THE CASE OF THE MISSING SIMILE

By Bhikkhu Sona.

INTRODUCTION

As the title suggests, there is a significant puzzle to be solved by any meditator or scholar who tries to clearly understand the qualities of experience, which accompany the transition from mere attention to respiration to full immersion in jhanic consciousness. I will attempt to show that there are good grounds for confusion on this matter as one traces the historical progression of the commentarial accounts from the Patisambhidamagga through the Vimuttimagga to the (later) Visuddhimagga.

Since the Visuddhimagga is so influential and so widely quoted by modern teachers, it would seem critical that it is reliable and, if in certain aspects it is not, then, with supporting evidence, to show clearly why it is not.

The body of this essay will show that a description of the mind of the jhanic meditator found in the Canon itself and quoted in the Patisambhidamagga as a simile involving a comparison of mind with a full clear moon, degenerates to a mistaken literalization of these images as internally produced visual data. Since the contents of mind are not easy to point to, the Buddha frequently used similes comparing visual and other sense objects with mental contents in order for meditators to clearly understand what they should be seeking and experiencing.

In religious traditions of all kinds we often find a naive tendency to take literally what is meant as a simile. It seems this process has occurred somewhere along the line and has become enshrined in the Continue reading

Animate Nimitta

... Black Fashion Magazine Black Models Black Contemporary Artists ArtNimitta

By Nynatiloka, Buddhist Dictionary

Nimitta: mark, sign; image; target, object; cause, condition. These meanings are used in, and adapted to, many contexts of which only the doctrinal ones are mentioned here.

  1. ‘Mental (reflex-) image’, obtained in meditation. In full clarity, it will appear in the mind by successful practice of certain concentration-exercises and will then appear as vividly as if seen by the eye. The object perceived at the very beginning of concentration is called the preparatory image (parikamma-nimitta). The still unsteady and unclear image, which arises when the mind has reached a weak degree of concentration, is called the acquired image (uggaha-nimitta). An entirely clear and immovable image arising at a higher degree of concentration is the counter-image (paṭ””’ibhāga-nimitta”). As soon as this image arises, the stage of neighbourhood (or access) concentration (upacāra-samādhi) is reached.
  2. ‘Sign of (previous) kamma’ (kamma-nimitta) and ‘sign of (the future) destiny’ (gati-nimitta); these arise as mental objects of the last karmic consciousness before death (maraṇ””’āsanna””’ kamma.

Usages (1) and (2) are commentarial (s. App.). In Sutta usage, the term occurs, e.g. as: Continue reading

Touch of Nimitta

100 day meditation challenge 010Day 10 of Wildmind’s 100 Day Meditation Challenge
Bodhipaksa, 2013

Yesterday I wrote about samapattis, which are slightly strange, and often a bit disturbing, experiences that can arise in meditation. They’re often a bit hallucinatory, and it’s not a good idea to pay much attention to them.

Nimittas are another kind of unusual experience we can have in meditation, but they’re more useful. The word “nimitta” literally means a “sign” or a “hint.” These are experiences we can have that let us know we’re making progress in meditation.

Nimittas, like samapattis, come in different forms. They can be visual, or kinesthetic, or even auditory.

In one classic meditation text, the Vimuttimagga, the arising of nimittas is described like this:

“the nimitta arises with a pleasant feeling similar to that which is produced in the action of spinning cotton or silk cotton. Also it is likened to the pleasant feeling produced by a breeze.”

These are kinesthetic nimittas. They can be auditory, like a subtle sound accompanying the breathing that’s not heard through the ears. Visual nimittas might take the form of a stable image, or just a stable perception of light. Continue reading

Samapathy

100 day meditation challenge 009Day 9 of Wildmind’s 100 Day Meditation Challenge
Bodhipaksa, 2013

During my sit I saw a bright white/yellow circle shape flash of light in between my eyebrows (closed eye meditation). The light came rushing at me and filled my vision then vanished. While very interesting, it actually freaked me out a bit. Is there a name for this experience?

I replied, “It’s what we call a samapatti. There are various kinds of these, and some of them involve light, although they can be tactile, proprioceptive, auditory, etc. They usually arise as the mind is starting to settle, and they’re more common in people who are relatively new to meditation. They’re nothing to worry about (they’re common) nor are they something to get very excited about (they’re just “noise” in the system).”

I see samapattis as arising in a few ways: They’re very similar to experiences that people have when they’re exposed to sensory deprivation, which makes me think there’s an element of that going on; the mind is getting quieter, but we’ve not fully tapped into the richness of our experience — especially of the body — and so the mind starts trying to make sense of random neuronal “noise.” One of the most common samapattis is the perception of “swirling lights.” Continue reading

KMT Dreams

(Ancient) Egyptian  Dream Beliefs
From Beliefnet [2015] [Edited]

Dream interpretation links back to the ancient Egyptians with the first written record of dream interpretation around 1350 B.C. – although modern findings see it as much earlier.  This record is called the Chester Beatty Papyrus. It is the oldest dream book in existence. The book portrayed images of what the dreams meant. In KMT HetHeru was responsible for dreams. [The article stated Bes, but it is HetHeru. 7M]

Dreams were a very important, and indeed, sacred part of KMT culture. Dreams were of utmost importance and dream interpreters were called “Masters of the Secret Things”. These temple priests were educated and most of their knowledge was taken from The Book of the Dead – a book of KMT wisdom. In this system of belief the gods revealed themselves in dreams. They also saw that dreams gave warnings, advice, and prophecies.

In dreams our eyes are opened. The word for dream, rswt, is etymologically connected to the root meaning “to be awake”. It was written with a symbol representing an open eye. Continue reading

Veil of Dreams

- otomi-charms 2Photo: Otomi protective figure made with amate paper (bark cloth) in Sam Noble Museum, University of Oklahoma

Why Dreaming Is Important
By Robert Moss, 2015

A dream is a wake-up call. It takes us beyond what we already know. Dreams are the language of the soul, and they are experiences of the soul.

There are “big” dreams and “little” dreams, of course. In big dreams, we go traveling and we may receive visitations. We travel across time – into the future and the past – and we travel to other dimensions of reality. This is reflected in the words for “dream” that are used by indigenous people who have retained strong dreaming traditions and respect for dreamers. Among the Makiritare, a shamanic dreaming people of Venezuela, for example, the word for dream is adekato, which means “a journey of the soul”.

Most societies have valued dreams and dreamers for three main reasons. First, they have looked to dreams for contact with a wiser source than the everyday mind – call that God, or Nature, or the Self. Second, they have looked to dreams as part of our survival kit, giving us clues to possible future events we may want to avoid or enact. Third, they have known that dreaming is medicine, in several important senses. Dreams show us what is going on inside the body, often before physical symptoms present. Continue reading

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