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Advice on tactile "nimittas", and how best to use them? - Page 2 - Dhamma Wheel

Advice on tactile "nimittas", and how best to use them?

The cultivation of calm or tranquility and the development of concentration
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Re: Advice on tactile "nimittas", and how best to use them?

Postby AdvaitaJ » Tue Feb 02, 2010 12:37 am

The birds have vanished down the sky. Now the last cloud drains away.
We sit together, the mountain and me, until only the mountain remains.
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Re: Advice on tactile "nimittas", and how best to use them?

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Re: Advice on tactile "nimittas", and how best to use them?

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Re: Advice on tactile "nimittas", and how best to use them?

Postby Freawaru » Fri Feb 05, 2010 3:16 pm


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Re: Advice on tactile "nimittas", and how best to use them?

Postby Freawaru » Fri Feb 05, 2010 4:24 pm


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Re: Advice on tactile "nimittas", and how best to use them?

Postby Dmytro » Sat Feb 06, 2010 11:38 am



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appicchato
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Re: Advice on tactile "nimittas", and how best to use them?

Postby appicchato » Sat Feb 06, 2010 12:49 pm

I didn't wade through this entire thread, but my understanding is we don't use them at all...note them and move on...

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Re: Advice on tactile "nimittas", and how best to use them?

Postby IanAnd » Sat Feb 06, 2010 3:48 pm

"The gift of truth exceeds all other gifts" — Dhammapada, v. 354 Craving XXIV

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Re: Advice on tactile "nimittas", and how best to use them?

Postby imagemarie » Sat Feb 06, 2010 5:18 pm

As a samatha practitioner of several years who experiences tactile nimitta, I think striking a balance between being observer, and being an active participant in jhana meditation, is pretty subtle stuff. It's a bit like the "objectivity" of the scientific method - impossible to abstract the contribution made by the scientist to the experiment..what is active..what is "letting go"...what is "just" observing?
I would say, FWIW, that "using" is not so much an appropriate description, as being given an alternative object to "investigate". A gift, if you like. But not one in which any investment is made. That seems to defeat the object (groan :smile: )
Again, from my perspective, it's subtle stuff - requiring a balance of active/passive processes. And no investment, clinging, craving..
"Things" have a tendency to move on, anyway. And "noting" can be more "active" :smile:

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Re: Advice on tactile "nimittas", and how best to use them?

Postby appicchato » Sat Feb 06, 2010 10:55 pm


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Re: Advice on tactile "nimittas", and how best to use them?

Postby IanAnd » Sun Feb 07, 2010 4:27 pm

"The gift of truth exceeds all other gifts" — Dhammapada, v. 354 Craving XXIV

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Re: Advice on tactile "nimittas", and how best to use them?

Postby Heaviside » Fri Sep 13, 2013 10:06 pm

I found this old thread only recently through the kind reference of someone else on the forum, and I have really been engrossed with it.

May I add my own experience? I have been practicing fairly religiously for forty-five minutes each day for about two years.

I have experienced what might be termed "flashes," or perhaps "tantalizing glimpses" of the white light nimmita specified by Ajahn Brahm. I have also, much more consistently a la Leigh Brasington, experienced warm and pleasurable sensations in both head and feet. In addition, I have---on three or four occasions---experienced what might be called "a frisson," that is, something like ectasy, shuddering, and even tears in my eyes. But I then seemed to have experienced a corresponding tension which had the effect of dropping me back out of whatever state I was in. I have experimented with relaxing my forehead muscles, and find that this induces a quite out-of-the-ordinary feeling of detachment. Since then, I have lost the thread, and my sessions seem to be ho-hum and highly nonproductive. Consequently, I am losing heart.

But I do want to say how much value I have found in the postings on this thread. It epitomizes what I had hoped to find on the forum. Unfortunately, most of the other threads I have found both here and on other web sites are much too nonspecific to be of much value for me, a beginner who needs specific indicators and signposts for assurance that he is on the right track.

I would love to see many more threads in which specific experiences are discussed. I do understand that many have a natural reluctance to open themselves to possible contentious commentary and ridicule, but it would be of enormous usefulness to me---and undoubtedly to other pilgrims at the beginning level. Would anyone be so kind and so bold as to help me in resurrecting this thread topic? Or has everything to be said been said?
Do the best you can with what you have to work with.

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Re: Advice on tactile "nimittas", and how best to use them?

Postby reflection » Fri Sep 13, 2013 10:54 pm


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Heaviside
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Re: Advice on tactile "nimittas", and how best to use them?

Postby Heaviside » Fri Sep 13, 2013 11:31 pm

Do the best you can with what you have to work with.

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Re: Advice on tactile "nimittas", and how best to use them?

Postby reflection » Fri Sep 13, 2013 11:36 pm

Well, bad is quite relative. In my experience the mind has usually gone beyond those kind of judgments at such a stage. I wouldn't call it bad, but just the way it is. I think minding it disappearing is more fitting to be called bad, because that will set one back much further. That goes at any level, also including losing heart because you think you are not progressing. I find it more conducive to view a meditation session as a place of just being with things, not as a time and place to do and achieve things.

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IanAnd
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Re: Advice on tactile "nimittas", and how best to use them?

Postby IanAnd » Sat Sep 14, 2013 6:36 am

"The gift of truth exceeds all other gifts" — Dhammapada, v. 354 Craving XXIV

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Heaviside
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Re: Advice on tactile "nimittas", and how best to use them?

Postby Heaviside » Sat Sep 14, 2013 3:40 pm

You have made a good point, reflection, about my use of the word "bad". My first reaction was, "Oh, well, it was only a choice of words!" But after further (ahem!) reflection, I realized just how deeply ingrained judgement is and, in truth, I was indeed making a value judgement. It is so hard to let go the old type A behavior! So thanks for pointing that out. I'm sure it is a major hindrance in my meditation practice. By the way, I just noticed that I mistakenly used an initial uppercase R for your screen name. It was only when I edited the change that I got the point. You have made an excellent choice!

Thanks for all your helpful suggestions, Ian. Being retired, I should be able to easily find the time for longer and more frequent sessions, but for some strange reason it is hard to do anyway. But I will work on it.

Though my own pleasurable feelings are probably quite different from yours, I will do some cogitating on the past and try to come up with comparables. In any event, I think I understand your point that these sensations aren't to be forced, but should occur rather aturally as a kind of segue into a more relaxed frame of mind. I will definitely work on it.

I think your comment (and I think someone else earlier in this thread used the same metaphor) on a feeling of airiness in the head was in response to my question about the forehead, was it not? As I relax my forehead muscles, I seem to feel a kind of "unfolding sensation" further in toward the middle of my head. Is there a possibility that this is the feeling you described? Unfortunately, it seems to be difficult to distinguish between relaxation and effort when I am experiencing these sensations.

I know that the oft repeated refrain is "If you want it, it makes things go away" spells out the problem, but it diesn't offer a solution. After all, if I didn't want it to happen I wouldn't be meditating! There seems to be a fundamental inconsistency here! And perhaps the rationale for the Zen koan, hunh?
Do the best you can with what you have to work with.

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kmath
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Re: Advice on tactile "nimittas", and how best to use them?

Postby kmath » Mon Oct 07, 2013 4:54 am

Dear OP,

Have you heard of Ayya Khema? She's a highly respected jhana teacher in the Sri Lankan tradition. She talks about tactile nimittas in her book called "Being No One, Going Nowhere." Perhaps it might of some use to you. I think the book it's pretty widely available.

Good luck,

KM

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