Kasina Absorption »
Drop of Dhamma Delight!


Absorption is inducible by Object Unification!

Kasina means: Entirety, Totality, Unity, Wholeness and Oneness...
It is a purely external method of inducing concentration and reach jhāna absorption by

unifying & condensing all undivided attention on a single homogenous, pure & uniform
object or aspect...
There are 10 objects. Consciousness itself taken as entirety is regarded the finest:
1: The Earth kasina, 2: Water kasina, 3: Fire kasina, 4: Wind kasina, 5: The Blue kasina,
6: Yellow kasina, 7: Red kasina, 8: White kasina, 9: The Light or the Consciousness kasina,
10: The Space kasina. The colour kasinas is a blue, yellow, red or white circular disk ~1'
feet in diameter of cloth, or painted cardboard or plywood, which is set up ~2 meters
from the meditator, who by gazing intensively at it internalizes it, and thereby construct
an artificial visualization!  In the earth kasina, the object of gazing may be a ploughed
field seen from afar, or a round heap of earth prepared for the purpose.
In the water kasina one may gaze at a pond seen from an elevation, or at water contained
in a vessel. Similarly with the fire and wind.  One must keep the mind away from all outside
contacts & various thoughts on other objects, as well as all those disturbing and often
detrimental mental visions or pseudo-hallucinations that may arise. Now, while exclusively
fixing the eyes and thoughts on the blue disk as the sole object, the things around the disk
seem to disappear and the disk itself becomes more and more a purely mental appearance!
Then, whether the eyes are opened or closed, one perceives this now purely mentalized kasina
disk, as wholly pure uniformly bright blue. This is called the acquired image (uggaha-nimitta)
which, though apparently induced by means of the physical eyes, is nevertheless produced and
visualized only by the mind, independent of the eyes! This fragile mentally produced image one
should make so steady it no longer vanishes, but remains firmly fixed in the mind. Then it will
become continually steadier, brighter, and more intensive. Such all pervading Yves Klein blue
is the mental reflex-image (patibhāga-nimitta)  and linked with it is the access concentration
.  During this stage all mental hindrances (nīvarana) have temporarily been
suppressed.  No sensual lust (kāma-chanda) can arise in such focused state. Neither can any
ill-will (vyāpāda) irritate the mind. So is also all lethargy & laziness (thīna-middha) overcome.
Neither can any restlessness or regret (uddhacca-kukkucca) or wavering in confused doubt
divert or distract the mind. If it is still possible for these five mental hindrances
to arise, there can be no lasting calm of the mind. When they are gone, & the calm appears is if
even solid, one may reach the absorption level concentration (appanā-samādhi) and thereby
enter into the first jhāna. The first jhāna is a state of calm peace, joyful bliss, and directed
thought and sustained thinking (vitakka-vicāra), i.e. inner speech or verbal activities of the mind...
By the fading away & stilling of these verbal activities of the mind, one has attained the second
, a state of calm joy & happiness (piti-sukha), freed from & void of all thinking & pondering...
When the joy fades away the third jhāna is reached,  which is characterized by a sweet serene
equanimous happiness (upekkhā-sukha). At stilling this happiness, a state of perfect equanimity
remains. This is called the fourth jhāna.  After emerging from the fourth jhāna,
the mind becomes serene, pure, lucid, stainless, pliable, devoid of noise, completely able to act,
rock-solid, and imperturbable.
Such mind is capable of all... !


The Blessed Buddha explained:
Monks, there are the ten kasina devices (for concentration). What are the ten?
Someone perceives the earth kasina, above, below, on all sides, undivided, unbounded;
another person perceives the water kasina... the fire kasina... the wind kasina... the blue...
yellow... white...  red kasina... the space kasina... the consciousness kasina, above, below,
on all sides, undivided, unbounded. These are the ten kasina devices.  Among these ten,
this is the highest — when one perceives this subtle consciousness kasina above, below...
unbounded. There are, indeed, monks, such persons who perceive in that way. But even
for persons who thus perceive, change takes place, transformation takes place!

For a detailed explanation of the kasina exercises see Vism IV, V.
The Path of Purification:
Visuddhimagga. Excellent translation by
Bhikkhu Nanamoli. Written by 'the great explainer' Buddhaghosa
in 5th century AC on Ceylon:

More on Mental Absorption (Jhāna):


The Jhānas in Theravada Buddhist Meditation by Henepola Gunaratana Mahathera:

Absorption into the Kasina!

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