12615Re: [Meditation Society of America] Re: Localization - starfish - stretching the mind
- Jan 31, 2004Thanks for this Nina!I tend to think it's pretty valid to asess the position of a center. I think it also valid to take note that perception really never moves (even when it does or is perhaps always moving) it's still me that perceives, movement, stillness or absense.I also tend to think that it's this localized format that keeps the contrast in play (me verses you). With that said, along the lines of anything is possible, would this include "not being me at all"? Maybe experiencing anothers experience through thier eyes, as them, without a sense of me-ness? That might be pushing the limits, but it does seem curious.I have tended to notice through astral travel practice, that there is no localized format but vision (some have said sound, I've never had a long enoguh journey to notice). This really doesn't jib well with non-dualist thunking or even dualist thunking either, since there is no real way that one is holding a position or witnessing a definite contrast (light vs dark). It's sort of like a cartoon without the "flatness". My skills at painting (slow to progress) have been somewhat indicative of this effect. I'd be curious as to what, if anything at all, this Lisa Clark has to say, if you have a chance.Peace and Love
Nina <murrkis@...> wrote:
Hello, Greg, Jason, Michael L. and all,
This weekend, I am taking a workshop with Lisa Clark, who
teaches Body Mind Centering. I'm enjoying getting her perspective
on the things we are discussing.
In yogasana, one learns that one must go down to go up. Lisa
Clark is particularly adept at explaining how one meets the
earth, engaging it, by "yielding" (language in quotes is from
the BMC vocabulary). This is a sattvic state, the balance within
contact. When one 'befriends' gravity and does not attempt to
"prop" (rajasic resistance) against gravity or "collapse"
(tamasic release) into gravity, then there may be felt a
rebound of energy upwards through the body. Her way of practicing
is such that she always finds her support first, such as the
floor or the bolster, and her relation to gravity, and then
builds the pose upwards along that rebounding energy.
It was curious, however, to wonder where she might place her
sense of 'center' (in fact, I might ask this question today).
Is it at the source of gravity? In this case, she is placing
it outside of her body. Or, is it within her body, perhaps
behind the navel, which is something I might guess, knowing
a bit more about the biomorphic developmental understandings
of Body Mind Centering. (This reminds me of the starfish -
a shape that we explored last year at her workshop - many
asanas resemble this starfish expression - radiance from the
center.) Quite possibly, there are multiple centers at
work in the way she practices asana, but I suspect that
only one is seen to be the 'source' of the asana.
This illustrates how 'center' is movable, and more a matter
of 'origin of work' or 'origin of perception'. Greg, it would
seem that your center moved the moment you attempted to
understand the perspective of the dustmote. My center, when
practicing your levitation meditation, was very mobile -
and depending on the location of it, my movement and perception
of the world altered.
This was the main reason it was curious to hear Lisa Clark talk about
finding the ground/support first and then building the asana:
while playing with the levitation meditation, I also
played with finding that ground/support somewhere other than
'on the floor'...
'Origin of work' or 'origin of perception' might be ways of
describing that. It reminds me of what Michael L. posted in
his website dedicated to Awareness watching awareness. That
is most definitely the sense one can get from even a mobile
center within the levitation meditation.
On to what you wrote about stretching, Greg, yes indeed! Isn't
One of the ways I offer people to get out of their 'I'm stuck
in a stretch' mentality, is to treat the asana as an organic
experience. There is this tendency to go directly to one's
edge in an asana and bump hard against it - by hamstrings that
are strung, or a psoas muscle that says 'stop!' Sometimes, too,
fear will say 'stop!'. When I practice, it is as if the asana
is growing from the ground - there is a push down, the rebound,
and then instead of coursing it right to its edge, I let it
play out wave-like, rhythmically through the body. It can be
a very subtle thing, but I find that I am usually carried beyond
my 'direct access edge', and that the asana feels spacious even
in its deepest expression - it keeps open the door of possibility -
the feeling is that 'yes, there is room beyond where I am' instead
of the feeling that I am pressing my face against the glass ceiling.
Roger Cole offers another way of stretching - to go to your edge,
and then back off into a comfort zone. Then, take a breath, remember
in your mind the feeling and place of resistance, and release
that place just prior to re-entering it. He also mentions that
muscles in a petri dish will stretch to 1.5x their resting length -
an interesting thing to remember when our hamstrings are strung
at 1.025x their resting length. Why in the world would this be?
It is, as you say - all in the mind and the minions of the mind.
Note: for me, asana is a metaphor for just about everything,
as it is literaly 'a seat of consciousness'.
Regarding the dustmote, I think we're on the same page, or
world globe, as the case may be. :) I was pointing to how it
may be that sometimes we do not understand ourselves to be
'not moving' in a 'moving world'... that it may be a matter
of scale and how we might define or not define ourselves against
something else depending on 'how big it is'. If we are teeny
and our world is enormous, it may be that we are more likely
not to be able to see out of that world and thus assume that
we are the movers, and that the world is still.
Have a great day!
--- In email@example.com, Jason Fishman
> As usual Greg, this is one of the clearest writtings of dissolving
centers I have seen. Yet this still envolves a point of perception,
even if that perception is floating out there somewhere, no?
> Gregory Goode <goode@d...> wrote:
> 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
> 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.
> >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!
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