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Pāli term of uncertain etymology denoting a device used as a meditation object, mainly in the Theravāda tradition. The object functions as a support for concentration and the mind and the object become one. The Pāli Canon provides a list of ten kasiṇa: earth, water, fire, wind, blue, yellow, red, white, space (ākāśa), and consciousness (viññāṇa; Skt., vijñāna). As an example of kasiṇa practice, the meditator may set up a coloured disk a few feet away. This object is known as the preparatory image (parikamma-nimitta). He concentrates his attention on this until a mental image of it, known as the acquired image (uggaha-nimitta), arises. By directing attention further towards this a perfectly clear and stable counter-image (paṭibhāga-nimitta) is produced, and at this point the meditator will have reached the threshold of the trances (dhyāna).

Subjects: Buddhism.

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