Fire kasina or other methods leading to lucid dream states

I was at a dinner a several weeks ago. And one person, I’ll call him Steve, there was a student of Culadasa (author of The Mind Illuminated) and had recently taken a retreat with Daniel Ingram (author of Mastering the Core Teachings of the Buddha).

Daniel Ingram has while known for his book has also gotten into something known as fire kasina. In short, fire kasina is looking a flame or a light, then shutting your eyes and watching the after burn of the light on the back of your eye lids without controlling it. This can bring someone rapidly into a lucid-like dream state.

Steve recounted his experience of the retreat and describing all the crazy imagery he experienced. The experience had permanently changed him.

A few days later I thought I’d give it a try but without using a candle and just chilling on the couch. I just squished my hands into my eyes to get a scattering of light imagery on the back of my eye lids and what I recalled from Steve’s instructions. My mind rapidly went into a lucid dream state with a story immediately unfolding relating to a character I’d seen on a TV show earlier in the day. It also spun up memories that I saw then de-identified with.

I’ve done it a few more times since then but not trying particular hard and have had varying degrees of success.

Soon I’ll be on a meditation retreat with the retreat interviews being provided by Michael Taft. In our meditation pre-game chat I recounted my experience mentioned above. And, he also asked me how I’ll meditate in the dream. I told him I intended to do walking meditation since that’s something I had done before and had seemed to work. He suggested something else…

He comes from a strong background with Shinzen Young and one of the techniques used there is to follow mental imagery. So he suggested to meditate in the dream while observing and following mental imagery and see what happens there. He said it was similar to following the after burn of the images with a fire kasina. Among many other things that’ll be done during the retreat, this is one of them. He also said I don’t need to poke my eyes with my hands but can just look at the faint light imprint and follow that to get into ‘lazy kasina.’

Part of the motivation to follow mental imagery too is to maintain just enough movement of the eyes to prevent from waking up. The eyes need to move to stay asleep (REM).


ever used a Kasina machine from Mindplace before? I’ve had one for a few years and really like it. Don’t use as often now a days tho

What was your experience like? Did you have lucid dreams before using it? If so, did the device increase your sleep and dream experiences.

Hey Barry sorry for the slow reply, not in the habit of checking up on the site yet. I’ve been pretty lucky where I’ve been lucid dreaming with some regularity since I was about 13 so I didn’t really notice any increase in that area. I like to use the Kasina for hypnagogic type meditations where I use the visual light coming through my closed eyes as my point of attention much like you if you were using a candle. Combine that with the binaural beats and you can get to some supremely focused mind states where the center point you’re looking at can start twisting and turning like a kaleidoscope and images and stuff can even start showing up in the background like classic hypnagogia. Takes practice though and those types of peak experience didn’t happen all that often.
Some other similar lights I’ve used and like are the Enkidu and the Pandora Star. They’re both great but start getting crazy pricy

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The Kasina machine is pretty pricey. Is it worth it?

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Depends. I think plus it’s been holding up well all these years. Also you can find a lot of other files that can be used on it for free pretty easily. You can even make your own if you’re technically savvy… which I’m not, so I never tried haha


Interesting. I used to press my eyes when lying in bed going to sleep as a small child. I stopped in the end because it made my eyes sore. So, that gives me more of an interest in watching the light show again :smiley: