The Kasina Project
During the time of the Buddha, small colored geometrical shapes called Kasinas were used as objects of meditation for developing strong concentration and one-pointedness of mind. The meditator would simply sit and gaze at the kasina for long periods of time and watch as his or her mind would begin to dissolve and undergo alteration. While the use of kasinas has long gone out of fashion, gazing at a powerful, colored shape continues to generate a strong effect on the mind of the meditator, and I have created a number of multicoloured kasinas that I encourage people to use during meditation.
As you sit with the kasina, the colors and shapes will start to morph and merge in an at-times dazzling optical display. This shifting quality will start to happen within the first minute of meditating. When you’re finished with a session of kasina gazing (and the practice can go on for anywhere from a few minutes to an hour or more), shut your eyes immediately, and concentrate on the afterimage of the kasina that will appear behind your closed eyes. This image will have the same basic shape of the kasina, but the colors will be the opposite, complimentary colors from the kasina that you were gazing at.
To get started with kasina practice, I encourage you to go to my Store and purchase The Kasina Meditation, a pdf file with a brief text about the history of kasina use and instructions on how to meditate with a kasina. Included in The Kasina Meditation are seven of the most popular kasinas that you can print on a high quality colour printer for your personal use. Kasinas are also available through my Store as 20" x 20" canvas transfers mounted on stretcher bars that you can hang on your wall. Larger kasinas up to 48" x 48" are available on request for meditation halls and yoga studios. As art objects three kasinas of different colors, hung adjacently in a row with no space between them, create a very powerful and beautiful focal point for a living room space. I have been particularly drawn to this form of meditation as it combines my two primary fields of interest: the gazing practices of Rumi and Shams and the meditation practices of the Buddhists.