‘Nimitta’ means mark, sign, image, target, object, etc. Here it refers
to the ‘mental image’ obtained in meditation. Three types of
nimitta are to be noted.
1 Parikamma-nimitta – preparatory image
It is the object of parikamma-bhàvanà. It is the object perceived at the early stages of meditations.
2 Uggaha-nimitta – acquired image
As the meditation proceeds, the meditator finds that hecan see the object, eg. kasiõa, without looking at it directly. He has acquired the image in his mind, and he can see it with eyes closed. The acquired image is still unsteady and unclear; it arises when the mind has reached a weak degree of concentration.
3 Pañibhàga-nimitta – counter image
As the meditation proceeds on, at the point when the concentration reaches upacàra-samàdhi, the acquired image suddenly changes into a bright, clear and steady image. It is similar to the original object, but it is many time brighter and clearer than the acquired image. It is entirely free from faults such as unevenness, graininess, etc., that may be present in the original object. It is immovable as if it remains fixed in the eye. As soon as
this image arises, the stage of upacàra-bhàvanà and neighbourhood concentration is reached.
1 Parikmamma-nimitta and Parikamma-bhàvanà
The meditator looks at the earth-circle attentively, saying mentally or inaudibly: “Pathavã, pathavã” or “earth, earth”. Now,
from this time onwards, the earth-circle that he is looking at is called ‘parikamma-nimitta’ and the meditation he is doing is called
2 Uggaha-nimitta and Parikamma-bhàvanà
After meditating for some time, perhaps weeks or months, he will be able to close his eyes and visualise the object. This means that he could see the earth-circle vividly in his mind as he has seen it with open eyes even though his eyes are closed. This visualised object or acquired image is called ‘uggaha-nimitta’. Although the image has changed, his bhàvanà does not change yet. At this stage he is meditating on uggaha-nimitta with
3 Pañibhàga-nimitta and Upacàra-bhàvanà
From the time the acquired image appears, it is no longer necessary to look at the original earth-circle, unless his concentration
disperses. By concentrating on the acquired image, he keeps on meditating: “Pathavã, pathavã” or “earth, earth”.
When his concentration reaches the level of upacàra-samàdhi, the uggaha-nimitta changes into pañibhàga-nimitta (counter-image). This change is very distinct and is easily noticed as the pañibhàganimitta is very different from uggaha-nimitta. The change is as distinct as taking out a mirror from its leather-case, or as a flock of herons flying out of dark clouds.
The parikamma-bhàvanà is now raised to the level of upacàrabhàvanà. The meditation is now at the stage of pañibhàga-nimitta and upacàra-bhàvanà.
At this stage all the hindrances (nivàranas) are suppressed,
and the five jhàna-factors become quite strong and function their
duties efficiently. Therefore the mind is well fixed on the counterimage.
For this reason, upacàra-bhàvanà is also called ‘upacàrajhàna.’
4 Pañibhàga-nimitta and Appanà-bhàvanà
Concentrating on the pañibhàga-nimitta, the meditator carries on his meditation, noting: “Pathavã, pathavã” as before. When the counter-image is firm and immovable, it is made to expand by will-power inch by inch until it fills every space in all directions. Concentrating on this new abstract image, he keeps on meditating: “pathavã, pathavã.
If he is an intelligent, quick-witted person, he soon reaches appanà-bhàvanà when the first jhàna
arises. If he is a slow-witted person, he must try hard to maintain the pañibhàga-nimitta with special care, and if he keeps on
meditating, he too attains the first jhàna sooner or later. He is now at the stage of pañibhàga-nimitta and appanà-bhàvanà. This means that the object of appanà-bhàvanà. This means that the object of appanà-bhàvanà is the counter-image of the earth-circle.
Towards the Second and Higher Jhànas
The yogi (meditator), who has attained the first jhàna, should
develop five kinds of abilities with respect to that jhàna. These
abilities are called ‘vasitàs’, meaning literally ‘habits’.
1 âvajjana-vasità – the ability to reflect on the jhàna factors
2 Samàpajjana-vasità – the ability to attain the jhàna
3 Adhitthàna-vasità – the ability to remain in the jhàna as
long as one wishes;
4 Vutthàna-vasità – the ability to come out from the jhàna
(meditative absorption) at the moment one has predetermined,
eg one hour after getting to jhàna;
5 Paccavekkhaõa-vasità – the ability to review the jhàna
factors quickly by reducing the number of bhavaïgacittas
Now in order to eliminate vitakka to go up to the second
jhàna, the yogi contemplates on the coarse nature of vitakka how
it can divert the mind towards a sensuous object and thus destroy
the jhàna. He also contemplates on the subtle nature of the second
jhàna which is free from vitakka.
Then concentrating on the pañibhàga-nimitta of pathavã-kasiõa,
he tries to develop the three stages of bhàvanà in the normal order
of parikamma, upacàra and appanà, without letting vitakka associate
with the citta. This series of bhàvanà without a desire for vitakka
is known as ‘vitakka-viràga-bhàvanà’. The culmination of this
bhàvanà is the attainment of the second jhàna.
The second jhàna contains only four jhàna-factors viz. vicàra,
pãti, sukha, ekaggatà, which are subtler than those present in the
The yogi then tries to develop the five abilities called ‘vasità’
(habit) with respect to the second-jhàna. He then eliminates vicàra
in a similar way to attain the third jhàna. The fourth and the fifth
jhànas are attained by eliminating pãti and sukha respectively in a
The cultivation of calm or tranquility and the development of concentration
Råpàvacara fifth jhàna is used as the base for going up to
aråpàvacara jhànas. First the five abilities called ‘vasità’ with
respect to the fifth jhàna must be developed. then the yogi
contemplates on the faults of corporeality (råpa) to suppress his
attachment to corporeality. He may reason like this:
“This body is subject to hot and cold, hunger and thirst,
and to all kinds of diseases. Because of it, one quarrels with
others. To clothe it, to feed it, and to house it, one has to go
through many miseries.”
The yogi should also contemplate how subtle and calm the
aråpàvacara jhàna is to strengthen his desire to attain it.
Then he develops the five råpàvacara jhànas one after one
on any of the nine kasiõas, excluding àkàsa-kasiõa. he comes out
from the fifth jhàna and, without paying attention to the pañibhàganimitta,
he concentrates on the space behind it and meditates
repeatedly: “Space is infinite! space is infinite!”. This is
parikamma-bhàvanà – the pre-requisite for the arising of higher
The pañibhàga-nimitta will be in front of him so long as he
still has a subtle desire (nikanti) for it. When that desire is gone,
the pañibhàga-nimitta is also gone unfolding infinite space.
Concentrating on this space, he meditates on: “Space is infinite!
Space is infinite!’.
When his desire (nikanti) for the råpàvacara fifth jhàna
disappears, he is said to reach upacàra-bhàvanà. If he goes on meditating
earnestly and strenuously, he may soon reach the appanàbhàvanà
and attain the first aråpàvacara jhàna called ‘àkàsàna¤càyatana
He then develops the five abilities (vasità) with respect to
the first aråpa jhàna. Then to develop the second aråpa jhàna, he
contemplates on the unsatisfactoriness of the first aråpa jhàna
for being close to råpàvacara-jhànas and being coarse compared
to the second aråpàvacara jhàna. Then concentrating on
àkàsàna¤càyatana kusala citta which focuses on infinite space, he
meditates: “consciousness is infinite; consciousness is infinite”.
This is the new parikamma-bhàvanà. When his subtle clinging
(nikanti) to the first aråpàvacara jhàna disappears, he comes to
upacàra-bhàvanà. When he attains the second aråpàvacara-bhàvanà.
when he attains the second aråpàvacara jhàna called ‘vi¤¤àna¤-
càyatana-kusala citta’, he reaches appanà-bhàvanà.
Similarly by practising the parikamma-bhàvanà on the nonexistence
of àkàsàna¤càyatana kusala citta, mentally repeating:
“There is nothing whatsoever!”, the third aråpàvacara jhàna, called
‘àki¤ca¤¤àyatana kusala citta’, is attained.
Furthermore by practising the parikamma-bhàvanà on
àki¤ca¤¤àyatana kusala citta, mentally repeating: “This citta is
calm! It’s excellent!’, the fourth aråpàvacara jhàna called ‘nevasa¤¤
à-nasa¤¤àyatana kusala citta’ is finally attained.
Going higher to Abhi¤¤à
‘Abhi¤¤à’ is ‘higher power’ or ‘supernormal knowledge’. Those
who have attained five råpàvacara jhànas and four aråpàvacara
jhànas may further develop five mundane (lokiya) supernormal
knowledge by practising these jhàna in various ways based on
1 Iddhividha Abhi¤¤à
Powers of creating forms, flying through the air, walking
on water, diving into the earth, etc.
2 Dibba-sota Abhi¤¤à
Divine ear or clairaudience, which enables one to hear
subtle or coarse sounds far or near.
3 Paracitta-vijà¤àõa (Ceto-pariya ¤àõa)
Power of penetrating the mind of others to discern their
Power to remember the former existences of oneself and
the former worlds.
Divine eye or clairvoyance, which enables one to see
subtle or coarse things far or near and also the celestial
worlds and the apàya abodes.
The last one, i.e. dibba-cakkhu, may be extended to two more
Power of seeing beings in the 31 planes of existence and
knowing their respective kammas which have given rise
to their rebirths.
Power of knowing future existences and future worlds.
So we may say there are seven lokiya-abhi¤¤às. But when we
count five mundane supernormal knowledge (five lokiya
abhi¤¤às), (6) and (7) are included in dibba-cakkhu. Also
catupapata¤àõa, which is the knowledge with regard to the dying
and reappearing of beings, is included in dibba-cakkhu.
In counting six abhi¤¤às, a supermundane power (lokuttara
abhi¤¤à) is added to the five lokiya abhi¤¤às. This lokuttara abhi¤¤à
is called âsavakkhaya-¤àõa.
8 âsavakkhaya-¤àõa (Arahatta-magga-¤àõa)
Knowledge associated with Arahatta-magga that can
extinct all cankers (àsava).
Chalàbhi¤¤a is an Arahat who possess the six superknowledge
mentioned above. It should be noted that the five
mundane supernormal knowledge are attainable through the
utmost perfection of mental concentration (samàdhi) and they
are the culmination of samatha-bhàvanà (tranquility-meditation).
The supermundane power, i.e. âsavakkhaya-¤àõa, is attainable
through penetrating insight (vipassanà) and it is the culmination
of vipassanà-bhàvanà (insight meditation).
The five mundane higher powers are not a necessary condition for arahatship. Only the sixth supermundane, the extinction of all cankers, deliverance through wisdom, is a necessary condition for that attainment.---"Buddhist Dictionary", Nyanatiloka.
That is my experience too.So when your nimitta first appears, do not
move your mind from the breath to the nimitta. If you
do, you will find it disappears.
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”
This is because the release of the focus on the breath is premature. You have to give full attention to the breath and allow nimitta to develop sufficiently if you want to move your attention to it. You have to develop sufficient relaxation during the transition from breath to nimitta. Allow the nimitta to appear naturally. Keep in mind that this is a samatha practice and not satipatthana.
Bright dots of light that apear when eyes are closed or open (in dark) - its a nimitta?
When you watching object then do it through the eyes. It is eye and the object, eye is the observer. 'But after you untagle that knot then that comes default till it gets tangled again'.Saengnapha wrote: ↑Tue Mar 13, 2018 5:22 pmThis is from a very good Thai meditation master, Luang Por Pramotte Pomojjo:
At first, we breathe all the way into the abdomen, but as we get more tranquil, the breath will get finer and shorter until it is just at the tip of the nostril. After that, the breath will become a sphere of light seen or sensed in the mind' eye. At this point, we should switch objects and be focused on the light rather than the breath. When our concentration on the light is powerful enough, we will be able to expand and shrink the sphere of light as desired. The mind or (heart) will be very happy and filled with joy. Our job at this point is to be mindful of such feelings that arise in the mind or heart. The mind will arise out of its focus on the light. It will no longer be contemplating it or thinking about it. All that will remain is a oneness of mind; correct samadhi or concentration, the stable observer. No more object will be present and no more contemplation--only the stable observer.
When we exit the deep concentration and come back to the regular world, the oneness of mind, the stable observer, will still be there. It sustains itself without any effort required. The body will be experienced as merely an object of observation.
The stable observer is what he calls the mind in samadhi, equanimity. This is the purpose of jhana and samatha, to prepare the way for engaging in special insight, vipassana, and the direct experience of selflessness of the mind and body.
Observer feeling comes from doing, when you move your eyes then you cultivate breath, a sensation what feels self.
Before you untagle that perception the substance flows from forehead towards back of the head, but when you see through the eyes the object you will untangle the knot there and thereon substance/breath will flow downwards from forehead.
it is one point in body in forehead.
Same way the quote is about one point. In short, the jhanas correspond with the chakras, channels, pathways(what you want to call them) in body.
Well yep, after you go through the point you get knowledge and can contemplate about it and its fun.
(but how to get to that point is another story, its not like i go and do it, since the perception itself is percepting grosser things and at the beginning there is nothing seen or felt if you are on other point you see those relevant thing to that point)
(sorry if i am off topic, the post should belong to connection to other paths probably)
Sorry i use my connection to other paths wildcard again.Saengnapha wrote: ↑Thu Mar 15, 2018 4:19 amThis is because the release of the focus on the breath is premature. You have to give full attention to the breath and allow nimitta to develop sufficiently if you want to move your attention to it. You have to develop sufficient relaxation during the transition from breath to nimitta. Allow the nimitta to appear naturally. Keep in mind that this is a samatha practice and not satipatthana.
We have two eyes. Internal and external ayatanas. The path changes regularly from one eye to another, idea is to recon what is the relevant or dominant one and take that as object or focus. The dominant one is what is shiny and the other is inactive dusty by noticing the inactive one on arrival from there..same thing is nimitta arises from mind arrival from being lost in thoughts and dreams.
In short the nimitta is between(not in void standing independently but included in arrival) the time of arrival and next action
Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 16 guests