From my understanding, The nimitta are signs you should be looking for during your jhana meditation. Like once your focusing on your visual object you will notice a white light. Thats a sign your entering acess concentration. Or you may notice your breathing becoming very faint. Thats another sign.

Is this correct? Is there certain signs i should look for during my jhana meditation?

3 Answers 3


It is not correct.

As Suminda Sirinath S. Dharmasena says in this post (Does contemplation activity, before hand, give rise to the mental image?) in this context, nimitta (that we usually translate as sign) refers to a mental image. In case of concentrating on the breath, it says it resembles white light.

But the measure of achieving an access level is not just that, for the mental image of the breath is found way before, according to Abhidharma. Before the access level, there is samatha, and the measure of achieving samatha are physical and mental pliancy, and physical and mental bliss. As long as these pliancy and bliss are not present, you can be sure you have not obtained samatha, much less the access level. That pliancy is the direct antidote to laziness, which means that one can at last meditate for as long as he wishes without experiencing discomfort (no more backache, no more unwilling mind that you feel you can not bend, etc).

You should not actively seek for these (pliancy, bliss, and even the finding of the mental image of the breath) because it will make your mind tight and narrow. We do not meditate just to cultivate more attachment. Rather, you should count on ethical discipline, contentment, few desire, the lack of many discursive thoughts, regular and repetitive practice, and an understanding of the Dharma to lead you there eventually.

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    Thank you. I knew you Weren't suppose to seek them i was trying to find out more about what they are. Thank you again friend
    – DeusIIXII
    Commented Apr 30, 2017 at 12:45

Its not correct. When the nimitta arises, it is like being hit with a sledge hammer. It can't be missed.

In short, the more looking & craving, the less progress that will be made.


Its not correct.You should not be looking for the nimitta when your practicing jhana.

You should not be looking for anything or doing anything besides focusing on the meditation object.

To practice Jhana means only focusing on one thing and one thing only until Jhana states form.

You are basically doing ONE THING.For 1 hour,2 hours,5 hours,10 hours...etc---focusing on your meditation object----

If you even for a milli second have time to do other things,such as look for a nimitta or think about nimitta Concentration Weakens.

Nimitta appearing directly correlates with how much attention you place on the meditation object.

so while meditating don't focus on the breath while looking for nimitta,while anticipating a light,while...Drop these whiles. As long as these whiles exist concentration weakens.Weak concentration cannot sustain a stable nimitta.

By the time the nimitta arises you will be GLUED,i mean GLUED DEAD to your object of meditation.Its like being bolted.Its not a state where you can easily shift or move around.You don't have to go looking for the nimitta,it will come to you.

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