It appears often in translation associated with abandoning sloth and drowsiness but there isn't much else said.
https://suttacentral.net/dn12/en/thanissaro?reference=none&highlight=false wrote:Abandoning sloth & drowsiness, he dwells with an awareness devoid of sloth & drowsiness, mindful, alert, percipient of light.Attempting to understand this phrase experientialy and making an educated guess, percipient here usually gets translated from saññī of ālokasaññī (percipient of light). Saññī and saññā probably mean something very similar? Saññā being what one does with phenomena through one of the 5 aggregates (pancakhanda).
So likely means someone notices/recognizes the brightness of their immediate surroundings. Similar to leaving a darkened office or building into a sunny day and think "Wow it's bright outside" but the noticing is not with the verbal. More like in-the-moment noticing how bright the grass-covered area you often walk by is on a particular sunny day. Dwelling percipient of the light brightening the grass nearby brings alertness/abandons sloth & drowsiness..
Post by frank k » Tue May 30, 2023 7:44 am
These are all the sutta references to perception of light, all day all night, mind luminous...
(excluding the 5 hindrance short pointer that you refer to)
AN 6.29 is the best one, showing the full context.
If you have a lamp that's charged with solar panels, if you only charge it up 20-30%, it's not as bright as it is charged up to 100%.
Jhāna and perception of light works the same way.
Most people living a 'normal' worldly lifestyle, their jhāna battery is never going to be more than about 30% charged.
If you do high quality jhāna meditation everyday, I'd say 6-10 hours for at least several weeks are necessary to get to the point where you'll experience what the suttas describe of seeing super bright light, all day all night even with your eyes closed.
You don't need much sleep, maybe 1-2 hours a night, and you may just be lying there awake letting your body rest.
You see light even with your eyes closed.
The light is so bright it's like someone tore off your eye lids and shining a bright flashlight in your face.
Some people may see visions, with their eyes closed.
Some people develop this to the point of divine eye, they can see real things accurately from past, present future, in vivid color with their eyes closed, as if standing in front of the vision with eyes open.
If you develop that, THEN you can ward off drowsiness with perception of light.
Otherwise, the only way it could work is if you open your eyes.
And if you're really sleepy, then even opening your eyes wouldn't work.
But if you have your jhana battery charged up really high, then you can see bright light all day all night, some see visions, and you'll be very energetic and need little sleep.
This is what MN 127 and MN 128 is talking about, it's not about VRJ (vism. redefinitiion of jhāna and nimtta of light about the size of a dime in front of your face).
It's all about charging up the jhāna battery, using the Buddha's authentic instructions on jhāna.
Doing Vism. redefinition of jhāna, it's also possible to reach the same state (of Buddha's jhāna and perception of light), but odds are highly against you because Vism. instructions cause great mental and physical tension for most people, which either blocks Buddha's jhāna completely, or retards its growth and full potential.
Re: "Hypnogogic" imagery during long meditation sits.
Post by frank k » Thu Jun 15, 2023 8:29 am
..Perfectly normal [to experience imagery].
Most people would be slumped over, fallen asleep and snoring.
So if you can keep an upright body posture sitting, it shows pretty good jhānic force and good store of energy charged up in your jhana batteries.
The more you keep celibacy, noble silence, the more your jhana batteries will charge up and the more awake, lucid you can remain while in this state.
People with less charged up jhana batteries, their mind will be more murky, the visions less vivid, or no visions at all and just perceptions of dream like narratives, or they fall into the dream and believe the dream is real just like someone lying down falling asleep.
The more lucid and alert you can develop, the more control you have over whether you want to observe the visions, or make them go away instantly.