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12604Re: [Meditation Society of America] Re: Localization - starfish

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  • Gregory Goode
    Jan 30, 2004
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      At 02:32 PM 1/30/2004 +0000, Nina wrote:

      >The first is that a sense of 'center' emerges. It is this
      >center that is the origin of movement, which radiates
      >outwards (through the limbs, for instance), and interacts
      >with the environs.

      This sense *does* emerge. But when these kinds of exercises are used to loosen one's notion of being a truly separate place, things can be different. It can be seen that this sense of center is itself a floating thing. All appearances float freely, even the appearance of being centered or stuck. So in this way, the sense of center is similar to the sense of motion in the visual field.

      >The second is that a sense of 'bodies in space' emerges -
      >a sense of 'body standing on the floor' diminishes,
      >and a sense of 'body touching/pushing floor' comes forth.


      ===Yes, this can emerge too, and it can melt as well. Let's take two sticky examples that often happen in these yoga and meditation. Also, I do stretching for weightlifting and cycling. Since I saw the world this way, my flexibility has increased amazingly and markedly. Francis Lucille has experienced the same thing in his yoga:

      1. You're in meditation, trying to sit in half-lotus. Your cushion is too thin, and your ankle starts to hurt from pressing into the floor. This discomfort might really seem to disprove the "all experiences float" meditation. It seems to indicate a center, a rootedness. It's because we are visualizing in the mind's eye an ankle-bone contacting the floor. This image is more or less of a fixed thing. But it is actually akin to imagination. It can be broken down. Sensory evidence is that there is a feeling and a discomfort. Belief chips in to say "this feeling is inevitable when bone contacts floor." But when it is seen that the floor and the ankle aren't any more than sensations, then the rootedness dissolves. Sensations do not have spatial location. Rather, spatial location is imputed to external physical objects. Without this imputation, centeredness melts.

      2. You're doing a very gentle neck stretch. (You can do this one now, in your chair!). Your back is straight, your head is erect like in Zen meditation. Very slowly, gently, and steadily, you rotate your head to the right. After a few seconds, you reach your "limit" where any further motion would be forced. Part of the limit is due to a visual image, the mind's eye imagining a picture. You might be imagining a cable stretching, or a tendon in the neck about to pop and become damaged. Material things like necks and ligaments are said to have weight and mass and density and stopping power. This causes fear and tiny muscular contractions throughout the neck, chest and shoulders, and of course can further inhibit motion. But this visual image and belief system can be relaxed. We can "stick to the evidence" and allow the neck and the head to be seen as nothing more than sensations. There's really no evidence that they are anything more than sensations. The amazing thing is that those superfluous visual images of limited physical objects are not needed to operate, to do yoga, to live life. Sensations are weightless, positionless.

      Not having those images in mind, has made practitioners more flexible. It's not about acquiring a new belief system that the body really *is* sensations (it's really so much *less* than that). But rather letting go of a visualized spatio-mechanical working model of the body which is very limiting.

      Nina:
      >When one spins a world globe by walking the fore and middle-
      >fingers across the surface, one perceives that one is remaining
      >stationary, and the globe is 'being moved'. However, if one
      >reduces oneself to the scale of a dustmote and then walks across
      >the surface of the globe, one is more likely to perceive that
      >one is moving and that the globe is remaining still.


      I think the dust mote can see that it's not moving either! I'm trying to imagine what the dust mote sees. Let's try to be the dust mote on a walkabout. Let's look out of the microscopic eye. The entire visual field we'll say consists of (what a human would call) the ground or dirt. Colors and patterns in this visual field are brown and green and seem to be moving from top to bottom. Nothing in the visual field indicates a "me" or that "I" am moving. The visual field itself is stationary, but things inside it are moving. Dude, I'm not moving! Cool!

      Nina and Bob, much fun talking to you about this!

      --Greg
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