As I'm learning to master the first jhana one must do two things, master the five masteries & be able to extend the sign. For the masteries,

• Mastety Of Adverting  ×Turning your attention & focus on any jhana factor after! anywhere,time or place

• Mastery Of Attainment   × Entering jhana concentration quickly, Anytime you wish 

• Mastery of Resolving ×Staying in the absorption for as long as one wants. 

• Mastery of Emerging × Emerge from The Jhanas Quickly

• Mastery Of Reflection ×Looking at & learn each thing you did to enter each jhana factor.

Please tell me if I'm incorrect. Now for extending the sign. I don't truly understand how to do such a thing, or even what it is. Here's a passage from the book I'm reading.

The perfecting of the first jhana involves two steps: the extension of the sign and the achievement of the five masteries. The extension of the sign means extending the size of the counterpart sign, the object of the jhana. Beginning with a small area, the size of one or two fingers, the meditator gradually learns to broaden the sign until the mental image can be made to cover the world-sphere or even beyond (Vism. 152-53; PP.158-59).

Can someone please elaborate for me please. I need to understands what the counter-part sign is & how to extend it. Is it a mental image you have? So a kasina ot any other mental image you form?

3 Answers 3


From my own meditation experience... For what it's worth...

Usually, when meditation is going well, you feel very comfortable and can relax, your level of concentration grows. Concentration on what? On nothing really, just on sitting and being in the moment. At some point even the breath stops being important, it's more like you no longer get distracted from sitting and staring at your own "raw" mind...

When that happens, it feels almost like you start tripping. I'm sorry for using a highly contemporary comparison, but I can't come up with a better image for what happens at that moment. At least in my experience, I start floating into some altered state of mind... While staying firmly in the present moment, without losing my concentration... In this state of mind I "see" feelings as "shapes" and "colors". It's hard to describe, because that "seeing" is not really visual, the shapes are not really shapes and the colors are not colors. They are feelings. But they are much more "loud" and "thick" than our normal feelings, they have more structure and differentiation so to speak. I believe this is the so-called "counterpart sign".

No two people have the same experiences, but when your get in touch with your deep subconscious emotional mind, you will experience something strange. This something, whatever it is in your case, will start small and then grow and expand. Then you have a choice to either keep relaxing and going deeper into that, or hold on, or come back out. In my experience, when I go deeper I eventually fall into something like a dream state.

In this dream state I lose sense of time, and I don't really have control, but there is still a sense of something going on, and I feel that, and it is good. Sometimes there is a feeling of some mental knots getting untied. Sometimes there is a feeling of resting. Sometimes there is a feeling of opening. Sometimes there is a feeling of sweetness. It also serves as a kind of reset button, meaning, when you "wake up" you feel much refreshed, more grounded, well-rested, balanced, and calm.

It's not really that magical. It's rather similar to a moment when you're falling asleep.

So my answer to your question, "how to extend the counterpart sign" is: "by relaxing into it, by relaxing deeeeep into the present moment".

  • 1
    So i just shouldn't worry about it. Just focus on my object and it will come when it comes. Ive reached access concentration before, the feeling was amazing. I felt a pleasant feeling slowly creeping through my body. Mg breath became faint and that kind of jumped me out of it. But i will keep going and counter part sign will come i guess theres no need to try and understand it but experience it
    – DeusIIXII
    Jun 1, 2018 at 21:51
  • Yeah, except if I were you I wouldn't hold on to the object too much. It serves as an anchor to stabilize the mind, but once the mind has stabilized, it will want to let go of the object and rest on itself.
    – Andriy Volkov
    Jun 3, 2018 at 21:07

I am a practitioner of tummo and I can say that after I after entering jhana multiple times can enter jhana quicker than I used to.

The best advice I can give to anyone is relaxed awareness in your meditation object! This is how I gained proficiency!

Gaze into space with both eyes, with the body motionless, without speaking, and with a gentle and natural coming and going of the breath. Tilopa has said: Hold the mind as if it is space.Make it like space and bind the breath evenly. When there is complete knowledge of equality, it dissolves completely.

You can different exercises in order to gain proficiency like changing your object of meditation size,colors ect...

Also take a look at this


I think i found some insight into so i want to provide my own answer for others. This is just one view though.

Pure, Beautiful mental image. It will feel strange at first. But mentally joyful. We never experienced such things but the mind will try to described & understand it. For some its some form of light, some a ecstasy feeling. But all 5 sense are gone. You see no light you feel no sensations but this is just the mind trying to understand & classify the beauty. Even though the mind experience different perspectives one thing is the same the pure mental object.

  • the goal of meditation in an object is to have no objects remember that,bliss is only temporary what will you do then?
    – user13064
    Jun 5, 2018 at 10:33
  • You move to the bliss and focus your mind to reach higher jhanas. Until you feel nothing. Not pain/ pleasure have no thoughts etc
    – DeusIIXII
    Jun 6, 2018 at 0:41
  • where are you based for these statements?
    – user13064
    Jun 6, 2018 at 10:07
  • Personnel experience. May be different for others
    – DeusIIXII
    Jun 6, 2018 at 16:22

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