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.
- ‘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.
- ‘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
Day 10 of Wildmind’s 100 Day Meditation Challenge
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
Esoterism and MDW NTR Pt. 2
A re-interpretation of Chaps. 3 & 4 of Esoterism and Symbol by R. A. Schwaller deLubicz
By Temple of MAAT-TEHUTI
The cerebral organ operates in stages. The first stage consists of your five senses. The senses acknowledge and record observations. The second stage consists of your memory. The memory compares the recorded ideas. The third stage is reason, which operates on a different level and will be dealt with later for the sake of clarity.
The senses are the organs we use to become aware of the principle elements.
– Touch belongs to the Earth element.
– Taste belongs to the water element.
– Smell belongs to the air element.
– Sight belongs to the fire element.
Our senses are not aware of an activity until they can oppose it with resistance of a similar nature.
Our ability to touch or physically feel things lets us become aware of everything that forms a material obstacle to the body. Touch is the Earth element. Our ability to taste is only possible when something is Continue reading
by Walter Last [Edited]
Sexuality is closely related to spirituality in several ways. In its negative aspects of lust, sexual excess, degradation and rape, it appears as the antithesis of spirituality, and in this light it has been seen in the Christian tradition. However, in its positive aspects our sexuality can open our heart to love, and enable us to have experiences similar to meditative states and mystical bliss during or instead of an orgasm and its afterglow. In a less obvious way, sexual energies can be channeled upward to develop our energy centers or chakra system and higher energy bodies. According to esoteric and yoga teachings, this is all part of our spiritual evolution.
The idea of celibacy for priests, nuns and monks is to spiritualize sexual energies as in meditation, rituals and other devotional practices. While this generally involves conscious exercises as in yoga, Christian mystics commonly transformed their energies without conscious awareness through intense Continue reading
Humiliation is [an attack on a person through] the abasement of pride, which creates mortification, or leads to a state of being humbled or reduced to lowliness or submission. It is an emotion felt by a person who feels his social status has been (deliberately) decreased. Humiliation can be brought about through intimidation, physical, verbal or psychological abuse, mistreatment or trickery, or by embarrassment if a person is revealed to have committed a socially or legally unacceptable act. Whereas humility can be sought alone as a means to de-emphasise the ego, humiliation must involve other person(s), though not necessarily directly or willingly.
Humiliating is often used as a way of asserting power over other people, and is a common form of oppression or abuse used in a police, military, or prison context, (most reported to happen) during legal interrogations or illegal torture sessions. Many now-obsolete public punishments were deliberately Continue reading
MySleepButton – The Cognitive Science
What your mind does: Mentation
The mind is always active, creating mental content such as thoughts, images, wishes, wants, intentions, plans, assessments, feelings, stories, perceptions, recollections. The waking mind is usually engaged in a limited number of more or less conscious activities such as planning, imagining, assessing, ruminating, perceiving and/or listening. “Mentation” is the word that stands for all of these activities. It’s more general than “thinking”, if you assume that thinking and feeling, for instance, are not the same.
The mind is a sense making machine
At almost all times, whether you are awake or asleep, your mind is engaged in some kind of sense making. That is, your mind is trying to make sense of the information that it gets from its senses or that Continue reading
Brain areas involved with consciousness
From Quantum Mind
Dorsal stream (Brain areas involved with consciousness)
Even at the very early stage of the retina, an important division arises between two parallel visual streams, the dorsal stream and the ventral stream. The dorsal stream projects to the parietal cortex, and is responsible for movements in relation to objects, many of them of a routine or reflex nature. It is also seen as an answer to the ‘where is it?’ location question. The processing of the dorsal is unconscious, and is faster than the consciousness-related processing of the ventral stream. Speed is adaptive for the dorsal because it has to respond to immediate developments in the external environment. Damage to the dorsal stream is shown to lead to deficits in movements and actions, rather than problems with visual perceptions. On the other hand, damage to the ventral stream results in difficulties in recognising objects, rather than actions such as grasping objects even if they are not recognised. Continue reading