Four formless absorptions

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Four formless absorptions, or four perception spheres (Tib. སྐྱེ་མཆེད་མུ་བཞི་, kyemché mu shyi, Wyl. skye mched mu bzhi) are practised in the formless realm, the third of the three realms, where gods without any form dwell in four types of perception spheres.

Four Perception Spheres (Tib. སྐྱེ་མཆེད་མུ་བཞི་, Wyl. skye mched mu bzhi)

  1. Infinite Space (Skt. ākāśānantyāyatana; Tib. ནམ་མཁའ་མཐའ་ཡས་, nam mkha’ mtha’ yas)
  2. Infinite Consciousness (Skt. vijñānanyāyatana; Tib. རྣམ་ཤེས་མཐའ་ཡས་, rnam shes mtha’ yas)
  3. Nothing Whatsoever (Skt. ākiṃcanyāyatana; Tib. ཅི་ཡང་མེད་པ་, ci yang med pa)
  4. Neither Existence Nor Non-existence (Skt. naivasaṃjñānasaṃjñāyatana; Tib. ཡོད་མིན་མེད་མིན་, yod min med min). Being the highest possible state in worldly existence, this fourth sphere is also called the Peak of Existence (Tib. སྲིད་པའི་རྩེ་མོ་, Wyl. srid pa'i rtse mo).