I’m looking to buy some clay to make my own Earth Kasiṇa disc. The Visuddhimagga advises to avoid colours such as white or red. Instead, it recommends a colour like the dawn. I was thinking of buying some in terracotta. Would this be ok?
If you have access to a printer you can also just print a clay image. Looking at a clay image in the screen also works.
Red clay is best as described in the vsm.
It promotes “earthiness.” Which is the concept you want to find . But not the colour itself.
Just like blue tint container can help you contemplate water (not mentioned). However that is why (imo) many pools have blue bottoms and many bottled waters have blue tint.
I read before that if the earth kasina is red, blue, white, yellow, it will become a color kasina.
The Visuddhi Magga said
Now, the four faults of the earth kasiṇa are due
to the intrusion of blue, yellow, red or white. So instead of using
clay of such colours, he should make the kasiṇa of clay like that in
the stream of the Gangā, which is the colour of the dawn.
I think this refers to a light brown color.
Terracotta would be ok wouldn’t it?
I think you’ll just have to try it and see if you get the concept of soil or color.
By the way I also read (if I am not mistakein in Vimutti Magga) that the kasina need to have an outer border with different color. So maybe a clay plate put over a white circle background.
If you take it as red, it is red kasina. If you take it as earth it is earth kasina.
Go on a hike. Get some dirt.
These days we have to travel far and near in order to find earth. It was not that way even in less than 200 years ago.
It seems strange that earth would be a “first subject” to teach samatha, but it was everywhere.
Many monks just ask a kappiya to scratch a circle in the dirt. They memorize it and then it is used for jhāna. Usually they have attained 8 jhānas before that time.
From the Vimuttimagga
KINDS OF EARTH
Q. How many kinds of earth are there? Taking which earth as sign should one
A. There are two kinds of earth. 1. Natural earth. 2. Prepared earth. Solidity
is the property of natural earth. This is called natural earth. What is made of
earth dug out by a man himself or by another is called prepared earth. Earth is
of four colours, namely, white, black, red and the colour of dawn. Here a
yogin should not add anything to natural earth. He should exclude white, black
and red. Why? When he meditates on earth of these colours, he does not get the
after-image. By dwelling on white, black or red, he practises colour kasina.
Why? If a yogin meditates on natural earth or prepared earth, he will get the
(after-) image. If it (i.e., earth) is of dawn- colour, he should take that