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12615Re: [Meditation Society of America] Re: Localization - starfish - stretching the mind

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  • Jason Fishman
    Jan 31, 2004
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      Thanks 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
      that remarkable!

      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!
      Nina


      --- In meditationsocietyofamerica@yahoogroups.com, Jason Fishman
      <munkiman4u@y...> wrote:
      > 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
      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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