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upacara samadhi; access concentration; When it comes very close as if about to sink or merge with the object we may consider it as access concentration. By then one has overcome the hindrances as it is close to fixed absorption.
The mind has reached a very subtle and sleeplike state. If one is not careful one may fall asleep.
One has to be mindful to maintain the flow of metta and yet not too energetic that it stirs it up to a restless state.
At this state visions may creep in but one has to be mindful enough to maintain the flow of metta.
The Visuddhimagga describes this state as a state when the barriers are broken.
That is, at that time one's metta is developed to the state that one is as if one with the person.
One cannot be said to have any less or more metta one has for oneself than another or a close one from a hostile one.
As concentration develops, the object of mind likewise becomes more refined and steady.
It may be very gross ideas of the person at preliminary concentration to fine, transparent-like visualisations at access concentration.
However the development of the object is not as obvious as in kasinas.
So in initial stages the states of mind and metta are more obvious and important criteria for checking one's development.
With frequent meditation one can also be aware of the nature of this fine object.
I remember that the first time I noticed it was as the person outlined on a crystal-clear surface.
It has appeared again in another way.