Here I am posting in this section again. I'll try and keep this succinct. I've had the opportunity to practice quite often these days, and it seems to be paying off. I do believe (not -know-) I've been able to reach the stage of so-called access concentration. However, there is this issue of nimittas.
I've had experiences of these nimittas which seem in accordance with what I've learned of them. Rarely, I've had the orb-like visual signs as described by Ajahn Brahm, however, these are uncommon to the appearance of the tactile ones. I believe that these are not simply idiosyncratic happenings, since they consistently only occur after a fairly long time of sitting, when everything is calm, quiet, and focused.
This bit from the Vimuttimagga describes it well enough:
I'm fairly confident this is not simply the arising of normal aspects of life that I've been previously unaware of, since quite a bit of that sort of expansive body-awareness increasing type stuff occurs far before this point and levels off. Only after dwelling in that calm state of awareness for awhile does this "nimitta" show up, and this breezy soft feeling which beings at and grows around the original breath-point is accompanied by a particular sort of pressure. It's subtle yet distinct from any normal experience.
However, all the literature on samatha I have only mentions these sort of experiences shortly, but tends to continue to describe the progression of the practice in terms of more visually-oriented nimittas. So, I'm asking for the experience or advice of anyone who has similar experiences and how to take advantage of them, since I'm finding that at this point, despite how well everything seems to go up until then, every time it seems to fall apart. It's as if at the threshold of a jhana, every time I screw up the transition point.
Is it best to continue to watch the breath at this point, or rather, is this the proper time to let go allow the focus to fall naturally where it will? Whatever you do, I seem to botch this transition every time so far. Enough times that I've given up and made a thread about it.
And if I'm clearly chasing in a direction I shouldn't, of course let me know.