Seeing White Light in Meditation

General discussion of issues related to Theravada Meditation, e.g. meditation postures, developing a regular sitting practice, skillfully relating to difficulties and hindrances, etc.
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Seeing White Light in Meditation

Post by sgns » Wed Oct 18, 2017 7:35 pm

Many spiritual traditions as well as new religious movements and teachers speak of a "white light". This light may also be accompanied by feelings of bliss, ecstasy, or characterized as one-ness, non-duality, ego loss, union, etc.

Are there any experiences described within the Canon, or any related commentaries, that also speak of "white light"?

I know there is some reference to colored disks as nimitta, in the Visuddhimagga, and I believe the white disc is "preferable". Obviously the nimitta is, in the commentaries, a prerequisite for jhana, and jhana would be blissful, etc, but is the actual appearance of the nimitta connected to any particular affective experience (bliss, rapture, etc.)?

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Re: Seeing White Light in Meditation

Post by mikenz66 » Wed Oct 18, 2017 7:43 pm

Hi sgns,

Perhaps this thread will be helpful:
Suttas mentioning tranquility and concentration nimittas


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Re: Seeing White Light in Meditation

Post by Garrib » Wed Oct 18, 2017 7:59 pm

I have experienced something I would describe as "white light" during meditation (not always), and I would describe it as a blissful experience, although it is limited in extent, so I definitely wouldn't characterize it as jhana. It seems to happen when the mind stops identifying with thoughts, and manages to prevent more course thoughts from arising, by being acutely aware of the "place" where thoughts originate in the mind. The white light seems to be pouring forth, or bubbling up - it is dynamic/flowing. My awareness is centered on this activity - this happens naturally because it is pleasurable - but I am still aware of other things, though they are more on the periphery. That is a clumsy way of describing my experience - I've never talked to any meditation teacher about this but I'm interested in what they might say; Probably something like, "don't worry about it - go back to your meditation subject" etc...

Sorry for the self-indulgent detour. Looking forward to hearing what more knowledgeable persons have to say about this!

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Re: Seeing White Light in Meditation

Post by form » Wed Oct 18, 2017 8:15 pm

In commentaries that is the countersign. Countersign is linked to luminosity, what is perceived by the consciousness when its state has been altered to a higher level. It may continue to increase in intensity and clarity if one is still progressing. It may change in form also. In Chinese context, many times they may call it the moon. The moon that appeared after the clouds went away.

In the pali canon, that is not explained in details but it should be linked to the colour kasina meditation. The clues can only be borrowed from other traditions or the commentaries. It should be also proceed to the whole body covered with a white cloth as stated by the Buddha in DN.

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