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Localization - dualist in space - endless musings

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  • Gregory Goode
    Sorry about my top posting too! Is that a rule here? Nice article Bob! I d say that the maglev phenomenon is a physical metaphor for what we were talking
    Message 1 of 21 , Jan 29, 2004
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      Sorry about my top posting too! Is that a rule here?

      Nice article Bob! I'd say that the "maglev" phenomenon is a physical metaphor for what we were talking about here. It could be an aid in teaching it! One can understand first the physical body, qua solid physical body, floating or levitating. This is actually how some people first visualize the movement meditation I was speaking about. They first need to sever their notion of the physical body from some other customary notions, like "a body always sinks" - before they can begin to see that it isn't physical in the first place. The body is made of sensations, just like the teacup and the freight train. There's no Out There with physical substance external to these sensations, causing them. And of course the sensations don't sink! They are lightness, and come and go, like breath.

      Love,

      --Greg


      On 1/30/04 00:02 am medit8ionsociety (no_reply@yahoogroups.com) wrote:
      <html><body>


      <tt>
      Dear Nina and all,<BR>
      Sorry about the top posting, which I under/overstand is no longer PC.<BR>
      There's a (supposedly) spiritual truism which states "As above, so<BR>
      below". Well, Nina and Greg's fine commentaries on moving,<BR>
      weightlesness, gravity, etc may somehow connect with this article on<BR>
      magnetic levitation from Popular Science magazine, and all of it may<BR>
      have some evolutionary spiritual understanding to be gained in regard<BR>
      to seeing how things in the physical world relate to the inner universe.<BR>
      <a href="http://www.popsci.com/popsci/science/article/0,12543,577754,00.html#"><a href="http://www.popsci.com/popsci/science/article/0,12543,577754,00.html#" target="NewWin">http://www.popsci.com/popsci/science/article/0,12543,577754,00.html#</a></a><BR>
      I found this article at least semi-interesting, and with some possibly<BR>
      magical thinking, I extrapolated how being centered/having developed a<BR>
      "higher body"/having control overand/or being in touch with your<BR>
      moving center, and other similar things, could lead to being able to<BR>
      do what most would think can't be done, which is a kind of sub-plot to<BR>
      the article. There's also a very cool Real Player levitation<BR>
      demonstration thing if you click on a link on the right side of the<BR>
      page. In any event, as with Gregji's brillant presentation on<BR>
      movement, I enjoyed Nina's sharing very much. Thanks!<BR>
      Peace and blessings,<BR>
      Bob<BR>
      "Nina" <murrkis@y...> wrote:<BR>
      > To pick up on this thread again, I wanted to share a few<BR>
      > randome musings, including something I heard on XM Radio <BR>
      > Discovery channel.<BR>
      > <BR>
      > First, a few links:<BR>
      > <BR>
      > <BR>
      > <BR>
      > <BR>
      > A general overview of the physiological effects of weightlessness:<BR>
      > <BR>
      > <a href="http://www.permanent.com/s-nograv.htm"><a href="http://www.permanent.com/s-nograv.htm" target="NewWin">http://www.permanent.com/s-nograv.htm</a></a><BR>
      > <BR>
      > 11. vertigo and spatial disorientation: Without a stable <BR>
      > gravitational reference, crew members experience arbitrary and <BR>
      > unexpected changes in their sense of verticality. Rooms that are <BR>
      > thoroughly familiar when viewed in one orientation may become <BR>
      > unfamiliar when viewed from a different up-down reference. Skylab <BR>
      > astronaut Ed Gibson reported a sharp transition in the familiarity of <BR>
      > the wardroom when rotated approximately 45 degrees from the "normal" <BR>
      > vertical attitude in which he had trained. There is evidence that, in <BR>
      > adapting to weightlessness, the brain comes to rely more on visual <BR>
      > cues and less on other senses of motion or position. In orbit, Skylab <BR>
      > astronauts lost the sense of where objects were located relative to <BR>
      > their bodies when they could not actually see the objects. After <BR>
      > returning home, one of them fell down in his own house when the <BR>
      > lights went out unexpectedly [4, 18].<BR>
      > <BR>
      > <BR>
      > <BR>
      > Here is another general overview if the physiological effects of <BR>
      > weightlessness:<BR>
      > <BR>
      > <a href="http://216.239.41.104/search?"><a href="http://216.239.41.104/search?" target="NewWin">http://216.239.41.104/search?</a></a><BR>
      > q=cache:u3UUmJLWudoJ:library.thinkquest.org/C003763/index.php%3Fpage%<BR>
      > 3Dadapt02+the+effects+of+weightlessness&hl=en&ie=UTF-8<BR>
      > <BR>
      > In this link to an experiment on 'critters in space', it is<BR>
      > possible to reflect on how deeply rooted our spatial mapping<BR>
      > in relation to gravity may be:<BR>
      > <a href="http://lsda.jsc.nasa.gov/scripts/cf/exper.cfm?exp_index=256"><a href="http://lsda.jsc.nasa.gov/scripts/cf/exper.cfm?exp_index=256" target="NewWin">http://lsda.jsc.nasa.gov/scripts/cf/exper.cfm?exp_index=256</a></a><BR>
      > (click +Read full experiment description)<BR>
      > <BR>
      > More on some experiments:<BR>
      > <a href="http://www.redcross.org/news/bm/holland/010313wtless.html"><a href="http://www.redcross.org/news/bm/holland/010313wtless.html" target="NewWin">http://www.redcross.org/news/bm/holland/010313wtless.html</a></a><BR>
      > <BR>
      > Gravity, is the force of attraction between any two objects.<BR>
      > It seems, that our physiological relationship to duality is<BR>
      > 'built in' - not just in our own bodies, but in all of<BR>
      > physical space and form - which has some interesting implications<BR>
      > for nonduality.<BR>
      > <BR>
      > The other interesting mention in the link above is the<BR>
      > experiments that are being done with orthostatically suspended<BR>
      > mice. Apparently, restrained suspension produces physiological<BR>
      > effects similar to those of suspension in zero gravity, such<BR>
      > as the production of opioids and certain changes in the immune<BR>
      > system.<BR>
      > <BR>
      > <BR>
      > <BR>
      > <BR>
      > <BR>
      > Returning, now, to what I heard on Discovery Channel / XM Radio,<BR>
      > it was an interview with an astronaut about her experiences<BR>
      > upon returning to earth from weightless, zero gravity space<BR>
      > flight. She described how her inner ear took a while to<BR>
      > 'reboot', and so during this time, her eyes had to serve as<BR>
      > her main means of spatial navigation.<BR>
      > <BR>
      > This astronaut describe how everything<BR>
      > in space becomes referent to her, rather than the other way<BR>
      > around. This is remarkably like what Greg and Gene have described<BR>
      > in previous posts - the world moved around her, rather than<BR>
      > her moving through the world. For instance, upon returning, she<BR>
      > found that it was not that she was climbing steps, but rather,<BR>
      > that she was pushing steps down. (This may also have something to<BR>
      > do with the physiological changes experienced by pressure<BR>
      > receptors.)<BR>
      > <BR>
      > On this show, it was also described how sudden changes in the<BR>
      > visual field, such as the lights going off, would cause returned<BR>
      > astronauts to lose their balance and fall.<BR>
      > <BR>
      > This is interesting to me, because our eyes do function in this<BR>
      > way, and can be trained to assume more of this role. A steady<BR>
      > gaze and steady breathing in combination with all of the<BR>
      > sensory information coming from the muscles and skin of the<BR>
      > body are used to perform complicated balance postures in <BR>
      > hatha yoga. I've always thought this has interesting implications<BR>
      > for folks with vertigo.<BR>
      > <BR>
      > It is remarkable how our 'brains' (inclusive of body and mind)<BR>
      > adapt to different experiences of gravity. Could it be that we<BR>
      > are not sick because of a certain 'condition of gravity', but<BR>
      > rather, we are sick due to the processes of adaption/change?<BR>
      > Seasickness does not seem too far removed from space sickness.<BR>
      > <BR>
      > One way to play with the way the body adapts to gravity is<BR>
      > to jump on a trampoline long for a time and then come back<BR>
      > to solid ground. Even with a few minutes of altered relation<BR>
      > to gravity (muscular, inner ear, sight), the return to solid<BR>
      > ground creates a situation in which balance and muscular effort<BR>
      > is taken from the 'background' into 'foreground'. Just try<BR>
      > jumping after returning to solid ground, and you will see what <BR>
      > I mean.<BR>
      > <BR>
      > At any rate, what I'm getting at is that what Greg and Gene<BR>
      > are pointing to is a manner of working in space that seems<BR>
      > counter to the way our bodies and brains are generally set<BR>
      > up to work. What I wonder is - how much of a role does<BR>
      > disciplined imagination play in an 'on earth' experience<BR>
      > of space that makes objects in space referential to the<BR>
      > one who sees them? Does this disciplined imagination actually<BR>
      > change the workings of our physiology, such that the experience<BR>
      > moves out of the realm of imagination and rewrites our<BR>
      > physiological workings?<BR>
      > <BR>
      > I can certainly see that this is possible, having practiced<BR>
      > asana for some time. The mind and body fundamentally change.<BR>
      > It is a different relationship to gravity and space, and even<BR>
      > the objects in space.<BR>
      > <BR>
      > Lastly, there is another connection I want to draw out, and<BR>
      > that is something that Dona Holleman shared in an interview<BR>
      > (from the book "Eyes of Innocence", the complete interviews<BR>
      > taken for the documentary video "A Fish in Search of Water").<BR>
      > She speaks of how young flamenco dancers project energy<BR>
      > outwards and mature flamenco dancers consolidate energy within.<BR>
      > The movements of a mature flamenco dancer are 'of the mind',<BR>
      > directed from within, rather than expressed outward. It brings<BR>
      > to my mind a sense of compaction and 'central locus', that is<BR>
      > the same sense I have gotten from Greg and Gene's description<BR>
      > of 'moving space around me'. Awesome!<BR>
      > <BR>
      > This 'consolidation of energy' may be observed in those who<BR>
      > have practiced asana to a degree of proficiency. The coorinated<BR>
      > effort is so efficient as to create a movement that is... nearly<BR>
      > non-movement. Certainly, it changes one's relation to gravity<BR>
      > and space, or perhaps, it merely removes one's obstacles to<BR>
      > 'understanding' gravity and space.<BR>
      > <BR>
      > Dona Holleman describes, also, how brilliant Douglas Fairbanks<BR>
      > was in his movements, in the movie Zorro, for instance. She<BR>
      > describes how most people have a 'center of gravity' that<BR>
      > resides in the upper chest and that the lower body 'dangles'<BR>
      > from this. However, Douglas Fairbanks seemed to have his center<BR>
      > of gravity directly between his ankles, and his body projected<BR>
      > upward and outward from this place, in some surprisingly<BR>
      > 'impossible' ways. (Zorro was long before the stunts of<BR>
      > the Matrix, but there is a definite relation - and Fairbanks<BR>
      > was performing his 'stunts' without cables and computer<BR>
      > animation.) However, his energy was still consolidated -<BR>
      > it simply moved a moment before his physical body.<BR>
      > <BR>
      > This really highlights the role of the imagination in<BR>
      > navigation. Essentially, Douglas Fairbanks was putting his<BR>
      > mind one step before his body - and his body was being sucked,<BR>
      > vacuum-like, into the space created by his mind!<BR>
      > <BR>
      > I stumbled across this function on my own a while back. <BR>
      > I noticed I had 'impressions' and 'images'<BR>
      > of my limbs being in other places in the space around me.<BR>
      > So, I followed those impression/images... precisely filling <BR>
      > the space created by those impression/images with my limbs.<BR>
      > It took me through various positions, and into some strange<BR>
      > contortions, which I recognized months later on a poster<BR>
      > of hundreds of asanas as advanced yoga asanas. Some of those<BR>
      > positions are places I have not been able to return to,<BR>
      > despite what I know now about the techniques of asana.<BR>
      > It is remarkable to me how the mind creates and limits<BR>
      > possibility.<BR>
      > <BR>
      > <BR>
      > <BR>
      > <BR>
      > <BR>
      > <BR>
      > Thanks for bearing with me in this incredibly long and<BR>
      > chaotic message. It was nice to spit it all out without<BR>
      > trying to organize it.<BR>
      > <BR>
      > Nina<BR>
      > <BR>
      > <BR>
      > <BR>
      > <BR>
      > <BR>
      > --- In meditationsocietyofamerica@yahoogroups.com, Gregory Goode <BR>
      > <goode@d...> wrote:<BR>
      > > I've done this with people, and it really works.� It goes against <BR>
      > the grain of belief, and it can help dissolve the grip of belief.<BR>
      > > <BR>
      > > People feel limited partly because they feel like they are in the <BR>
      > body.� They feel like, "I'm RIGHT HERE."� This is the feeling of <BR>
      > being localized.� Part of this is because of muscular contractions, <BR>
      > and part is related to beliefs about the physical structure of the <BR>
      > body and the notion of the little humunculus supposedly directing <BR>
      > things from within.<BR>
      > > <BR>
      > > But there are several ways to experience things differently, and <BR>
      > begin to see through and dissolve the assumptions of physical <BR>
      > structure notion.<BR>
      > > <BR>
      > > You can see this through movement.� <BR>
      > > <BR>
      > > Through movement, you can see that you never move.� <BR>
      > (snip)<BR>
      <BR>
      </tt>


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    • Nina
      Hey, I ll top that! (I m bummed that top posting has become unpopular, as it seems to make a lot of sense - like filing your telephone bills new on top of
      Message 2 of 21 , Jan 30, 2004
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        Hey, I'll top that! (I'm bummed that top posting
        has become unpopular, as it seems to make a lot of
        sense - like filing your telephone bills new on
        top of old.)

        Bob, you mention your extrapolation about how being centered/
        having developed a "higher body"/having control over and/or
        being in touch with your moving center, and other similar things,
        could lead to being able to do what most would think can't be done.
        You've no doubt heard the tales of levitating yogis, which is an
        interesting happening (real or no) to compare to the diamagnetically
        suspended objects, including the hamster. Who is doing something -
        the hamster or the yogi? From the outside (just assume there exists
        one for a moment, Greg ;) ), it would seem that the yogi is
        doing something and the hamster nothing - but they seem to be
        having the same experience. But are they having the same
        experience? Are their sensations 'not sinking' in the same way?
        Who has more self-determination?

        At the end of Matrix reloaded, there is a scene where Neo
        declares 'something has changed - I can feel them', and he
        is able to turn and hold off the attacking monster robots
        with his 'will'. Afterwards, however, he collapses. This,
        to me, is an analogy for the 'seasickness' that arises when
        one first begins to venture into new areas of spatial
        understanding. As long as the mind experiences the least
        amount of resistance (deep down), to the new mode of operation,
        there is this nauseating backlash. Is this the nausea that
        comes from the dynamic of imagination vs. logic? Thoughts,
        creating nausea - not necessarily a change in 'the world'.
        Thinking of it this way, the suspended hamster might experience
        nausea, whereas the levitating yogi, who has transformed
        imagination into mind, may not. 'Self-determination' may be
        the foil to nausea.

        Nina

        P.S. Greg, regarding teaching 'the body as a collection of
        sensations', have you ever read the book 'Aligned, Relaxed,
        Resilient: The Physical Foundations of Mindfulness'? Will
        Johnson, the author, offers several meditations on that very
        area. I found them to be well-done and effective.
        P.P.S. Yes, I know I have deleted both of your posts from
        this message and so am not really top-posting at all.
        However, at least for a few minutes, I will be top-posted
        over you both in the message records on the Home page. ;)
        Top-posting is the way of the universe!
      • Nina
        The levitation visualization Greg mentioned as a means to understand what you are getting at as regards movement is really great. Playing around with it, a
        Message 3 of 21 , Jan 30, 2004
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          The levitation visualization Greg mentioned as a means
          to understand what you are getting at as regards movement
          is really great. Playing around with it, a couple of
          'interpretations' emerge...

          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.

          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.

          'Trapped within a world' moves down on the perceptual scale,
          while 'world to world interaction' moves up on the perceptual
          scale.

          Think of it this way:

          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.

          Percpetion of movement seems to be, in part, a matter of scalar
          relationship. If I am immersed within something, I am less likely
          to sense that it is moving relative to my movements.

          The genius of the levitation meditation is that it reveals
          a story of 'bumper cars in space', many-dimensional free-floating
          'bodies', making contact, churning like gears amongst one another.

          It is great fun to play around with asana and other movement forms
          in this respect. One's relationship to gravity, quality of
          extension and form-taking fundamentally change. You are a
          starfish adrift in the sea!

          Nina
        • Gregory Goode
          ... 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
          Message 4 of 21 , 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
          • carolina112900
            Hi Nina, Top posting, bottom posting-- I go for the middle way! ... Not that this is rocket science or anything, (well, perhaps it is in a way :)
            Message 5 of 21 , Jan 30, 2004
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              Hi Nina,

              Top posting, bottom posting--
              I go for the middle way!


              --- In meditationsocietyofamerica@yahoogroups.com, "Nina"
              <murrkis@y...> wrote:
              > Hey, I'll top that! (I'm bummed that top posting
              > has become unpopular, as it seems to make a lot of
              > sense - like filing your telephone bills new on
              > top of old.)
              >
              > Bob, you mention your extrapolation about how being centered/
              > having developed a "higher body"/having control over and/or
              > being in touch with your moving center, and other similar things,
              > could lead to being able to do what most would think can't be done.
              > You've no doubt heard the tales of levitating yogis, which is an
              > interesting happening (real or no) to compare to the diamagnetically
              > suspended objects, including the hamster. Who is doing something -
              > the hamster or the yogi? From the outside (just assume there exists
              > one for a moment, Greg ;) ), it would seem that the yogi is
              > doing something and the hamster nothing - but they seem to be
              > having the same experience. But are they having the same
              > experience? Are their sensations 'not sinking' in the same way?
              > Who has more self-determination?
              >
              > At the end of Matrix reloaded, there is a scene where Neo
              > declares 'something has changed - I can feel them', and he
              > is able to turn and hold off the attacking monster robots
              > with his 'will'. Afterwards, however, he collapses. This,
              > to me, is an analogy for the 'seasickness' that arises when
              > one first begins to venture into new areas of spatial
              > understanding. As long as the mind experiences the least
              > amount of resistance (deep down), to the new mode of operation,
              > there is this nauseating backlash. Is this the nausea that
              > comes from the dynamic of imagination vs. logic? Thoughts,
              > creating nausea - not necessarily a change in 'the world'.
              > Thinking of it this way, the suspended hamster might experience
              > nausea, whereas the levitating yogi, who has transformed
              > imagination into mind, may not. 'Self-determination' may be
              > the foil to nausea.
              >
              > Nina


              Not that this is 'rocket science' or anything,
              (well, perhaps it is in a way :) but....since
              I have never been in a space capsule, I
              would not know...

              There are certain rides at amusement parks and
              carnivals that in certain people can produce disorientation and
              nausea similar to seasickness. Those are the ones
              where there is a lot of random switching from 'upside down
              to right side up';
              the giant loop de loop roller coasters, where
              there is sudden changing of position in top speed
              and the feeling
              of being hurtled through space; and the ones where
              your back is against the wall in a giant circle,
              and the speed of the circle going around and around
              like a whirling dervish, keeps you glued to the
              wall. Also those high towers where you are dropped
              in a tube to the ground at a speed to simulate
              zero gravity.

              A natural experiment occured where I noticed
              that if I closed my eyes while on these rides,
              or rode one that was completely in the dark,
              there were none of these effects. Then, I
              tried them with my eyes open but focused on
              nothing--perhaps a kind of fixed stare, where I just
              saw movement, but not objects--not aiming to 'see' or interpret
              anything.
              Again, none of these effects.

              So it seemed to me that when I was 'looking'
              for meaning and relationships in any objects the mind saw and
              tried to distinguish while
              in alternate unusual positions and conditions, that this
              causes 'uncomfortable' sensations simply because
              I make a relationship to time and space where
              there is none.

              When I first tried smoking pot (a long time
              ago), I experienced nausea and disorientation.
              I can only surmise that the substance allowed my perception
              to change from its usual way, a break from logic
              and reason and a tapping into something else not usually seen,
              illiciting a
              'letting go of' and my false equilibrium
              was disturbed.

              There is a supposedly state of the art
              flotation tank in a local place
              here called 'MindWaves' which I have been
              toying with the idea of trying, have never
              tried that. If anyone has any experience
              with that, I'd like to hear it.

              I enjoyed your description of 'filling the space
              with your limbs' relating to yoga asanas.

              ~~Freyja


              >
              > P.S. Greg, regarding teaching 'the body as a collection of
              > sensations', have you ever read the book 'Aligned, Relaxed,
              > Resilient: The Physical Foundations of Mindfulness'? Will
              > Johnson, the author, offers several meditations on that very
              > area. I found them to be well-done and effective.
              > P.P.S. Yes, I know I have deleted both of your posts from
              > this message and so am not really top-posting at all.
              > However, at least for a few minutes, I will be top-posted
              > over you both in the message records on the Home page. ;)
              > Top-posting is the way of the universe!
            • Onniko
              ... 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.
              Message 6 of 21 , Jan 30, 2004
              • 0 Attachment
                --- In meditationsocietyofamerica@yahoogroups.com, 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.

                *v* There are people with damage to a certain part of their brain
                who lose all sense of where their body is in space. They retain
                normal sensations and movement of muscle, skin, pressure, etc. but
                they cannot tell where any body part is. Whether an arm is lifted or
                down, or even whether they are sitting or standing on their head, it
                makes no difference because the brain no longer has the ability to
                interpret that information.
                The only way they know what their body is doing is to learn to
                use their eyes to check on it and every motion has to be guided
                by the eyes. It is interesting to note that skin and body sensations
                on their own had nothing to do with being able to tell where any
                of those sensations were located in space.
              • Onniko
                ... done. ... diamagnetically ... something - ... exists ... *v* Very key point, Freyja, about closing those eyes. Most of those rides are smoother and less
                Message 7 of 21 , Jan 30, 2004
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                  --- In meditationsocietyofamerica@yahoogroups.com, "carolina112900"
                  <freyjartist@a...> wrote:
                  > Hi Nina,
                  >
                  > Top posting, bottom posting--
                  > I go for the middle way!
                  >
                  >
                  > --- In meditationsocietyofamerica@yahoogroups.com, "Nina"
                  > <murrkis@y...> wrote:
                  > > Hey, I'll top that! (I'm bummed that top posting
                  > > has become unpopular, as it seems to make a lot of
                  > > sense - like filing your telephone bills new on
                  > > top of old.)
                  > >
                  > > Bob, you mention your extrapolation about how being centered/
                  > > having developed a "higher body"/having control over and/or
                  > > being in touch with your moving center, and other similar things,
                  > > could lead to being able to do what most would think can't be
                  done.
                  > > You've no doubt heard the tales of levitating yogis, which is an
                  > > interesting happening (real or no) to compare to the
                  diamagnetically
                  > > suspended objects, including the hamster. Who is doing
                  something -
                  > > the hamster or the yogi? From the outside (just assume there
                  exists
                  > > one for a moment, Greg ;) ), it would seem that the yogi is
                  > > doing something and the hamster nothing - but they seem to be
                  > > having the same experience. But are they having the same
                  > > experience? Are their sensations 'not sinking' in the same way?
                  > > Who has more self-determination?
                  > >
                  > > At the end of Matrix reloaded, there is a scene where Neo
                  > > declares 'something has changed - I can feel them', and he
                  > > is able to turn and hold off the attacking monster robots
                  > > with his 'will'. Afterwards, however, he collapses. This,
                  > > to me, is an analogy for the 'seasickness' that arises when
                  > > one first begins to venture into new areas of spatial
                  > > understanding. As long as the mind experiences the least
                  > > amount of resistance (deep down), to the new mode of operation,
                  > > there is this nauseating backlash. Is this the nausea that
                  > > comes from the dynamic of imagination vs. logic? Thoughts,
                  > > creating nausea - not necessarily a change in 'the world'.
                  > > Thinking of it this way, the suspended hamster might experience
                  > > nausea, whereas the levitating yogi, who has transformed
                  > > imagination into mind, may not. 'Self-determination' may be
                  > > the foil to nausea.
                  > >
                  > > Nina
                  >
                  >
                  > Not that this is 'rocket science' or anything,
                  > (well, perhaps it is in a way :) but....since
                  > I have never been in a space capsule, I
                  > would not know...
                  >
                  > There are certain rides at amusement parks and
                  > carnivals that in certain people can produce disorientation and
                  > nausea similar to seasickness. Those are the ones
                  > where there is a lot of random switching from 'upside down
                  > to right side up';
                  > the giant loop de loop roller coasters, where
                  > there is sudden changing of position in top speed
                  > and the feeling
                  > of being hurtled through space; and the ones where
                  > your back is against the wall in a giant circle,
                  > and the speed of the circle going around and around
                  > like a whirling dervish, keeps you glued to the
                  > wall. Also those high towers where you are dropped
                  > in a tube to the ground at a speed to simulate
                  > zero gravity.
                  >
                  > A natural experiment occured where I noticed
                  > that if I closed my eyes while on these rides,
                  > or rode one that was completely in the dark,
                  > there were none of these effects. Then, I
                  > tried them with my eyes open but focused on
                  > nothing--perhaps a kind of fixed stare, where I just
                  > saw movement, but not objects--not aiming to 'see' or interpret
                  > anything.
                  > Again, none of these effects.
                  >
                  > So it seemed to me that when I was 'looking'
                  > for meaning and relationships in any objects the mind saw and
                  > tried to distinguish while
                  > in alternate unusual positions and conditions, that this
                  > causes 'uncomfortable' sensations simply because
                  > I make a relationship to time and space where
                  > there is none.

                  *v* Very key point, Freyja, about closing those eyes.
                  Most of those rides are smoother and less exciting
                  that a ride in a car with your eyes closed.
                  At the science dome where they show the movies that
                  curve all around the big dome shaped room, they had a
                  film about roller coasters. The viewers are put in
                  the position of being on the various coasters and in
                  one also traveled as energy through a twisting tube
                  of light, very much like the feeling of speed and
                  position you feel when returning from a dream to
                  waking and visa versa. The point is, though, I was
                  never so nausious in my life than I was when that
                  movie was over, and all I'd done was sit there and aim
                  my eyes as if I were sitting in the coaster seats.
                  It was alot of fun, though. I'd recommend it but do
                  take your dramamine first!

                  > When I first tried smoking pot (a long time
                  > ago), I experienced nausea and disorientation.
                  > I can only surmise that the substance allowed my perception
                  > to change from its usual way, a break from logic
                  > and reason and a tapping into something else not usually seen,
                  > illiciting a
                  > 'letting go of' and my false equilibrium
                  > was disturbed.
                  >
                  > There is a supposedly state of the art
                  > flotation tank in a local place
                  > here called 'MindWaves' which I have been
                  > toying with the idea of trying, have never
                  > tried that. If anyone has any experience
                  > with that, I'd like to hear it.
                  >
                  > I enjoyed your description of 'filling the space
                  > with your limbs' relating to yoga asanas.
                  >
                  > ~~Freyja
                  >
                  >
                  > >
                  > > P.S. Greg, regarding teaching 'the body as a collection of
                  > > sensations', have you ever read the book 'Aligned, Relaxed,
                  > > Resilient: The Physical Foundations of Mindfulness'? Will
                  > > Johnson, the author, offers several meditations on that very
                  > > area. I found them to be well-done and effective.
                  > > P.P.S. Yes, I know I have deleted both of your posts from
                  > > this message and so am not really top-posting at all.
                  > > However, at least for a few minutes, I will be top-posted
                  > > over you both in the message records on the Home page. ;)
                  > > Top-posting is the way of the universe!
                • 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
                  Message 8 of 21 , Jan 30, 2004
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                    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?
                     
                    I mean it's clear that a person cannot feel a body without the prorper mechanism in place, yet during life there is some sort of indicator that the visual plan is there, if not (like in blindness) then there is some other sense taking the crux of perception. That perception still comes to a center, no?
                     
                    Even if that center is non-localized, it's still a point of perception?
                     
                    Peace and Love

                    Gregory Goode <goode@...> 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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                  • Nina
                    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
                    Message 9 of 21 , Jan 31, 2004
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                      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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                    • Jason Fishman
                      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
                      Message 10 of 21 , Jan 31, 2004
                      • 0 Attachment
                        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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                      • Gregory Goode
                        ... This is true! It s a way of allowing resistance to dissolve. In nondual meditation, it is easier to lose your sense of separation once it is first found.
                        Message 11 of 21 , Jan 31, 2004
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                          At 11:54 AM 1/31/2004 +0000, Nina 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.


                          This is true! It's a way of allowing resistance to dissolve.

                          In nondual meditation, it is easier to lose your sense of separation once it is first found. If it is well-identified and well-integrated, it's easier to get a handle on. Which is why therapy is often very helpful. That's like when I was in the Army in the 70s. About guys who weren't doing well, the drill sergeants said, "He don't have his shit together." About other guys who were doing a bit better, they said "He's got his shit together in one bag, but he just can't find the bag."

                          Same thing in the localization and movement exercises we were speaking about. Once we have identified the center of our self, it's easier to see its fairy-tale aspect. Where is my center? Is it my entire body? Is it my chest? The upper middle of my chest? The spot between my eyes? A point 2 inches behind the eyes? Often these points are associated with muscular contractions or visualizations, along with the feeling that HERE it is, and with the belief that my center must be somewhere, so it is probably there. Once we have it localized to THERE, then it is more obvious just how I seem to be moving. These non-localization exercises seem more clear, the clearer is our presumed center.

                          Maybe Jason would venture to say that it really *is* our center? If it is our center, then why does it seem to be felt as an object? Something is feeling or cognizing the "RIGHT HERE" - which makes the RIGHT HERE just like a patch of blue, another perceived object. And of course that which perceives the center is not the center! Another thing to wonder about would be - What does this RIGHT HERE have to do with "me"? Why is it *my* center? Where is the link between this feeling and "me"? If "I" am feeling this center, then I'm not 100% totally it - there's at least a splinter's gap or more. And this is where the localization meditations can begin....

                          Pranams,

                          --Greg
                        • Gene Poole
                          ... If the surface of the Urth can be compared to a strainer, we bodies are too big to fit through the grid. Yet, there is a force which sucks from
                          Message 12 of 21 , Jan 31, 2004
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                            > "Nina" <murrkis@y...> 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.

                            <<snip>>

                            If the surface of the Urth can be compared to a
                            strainer, we bodies are too big to fit through the
                            grid. Yet, there is a force which sucks from below;
                            and it does not stop.

                            If I lean over too far, the force grabs my head harder
                            than it does my feet, and over I go.

                            Thus, where is my 'center'? Nowhere local, obviously;
                            it is in fact, at the hypothetical 'core' of the sucking
                            force. The 'downward' movement I experience when
                            falling, is thus a movement of 'return to center'.

                            If I travel to outer space, it seems that as I float about
                            aimlessly, that I am not being acted upon by my remote
                            center; but that would be illusion. It turns out that my
                            remote center is actually at the center of the force which
                            informs all bodies, be they planets or suns; thus, my
                            remote center is not (for any practical purpose) localizable
                            or even locatable; it is in fact, 'omnipresent'; it is 'everywhere'.

                            Seen this way, it becomes apparent that the term 'local'
                            is a parochial convenience, and not fact. There can be no
                            'local', because all of everything is 'merely' a temporary
                            multidimensional 'expansion' of a single dot, which is
                            itself the one and true 'center of everything'; there is
                            no 'nonlocal'.

                            'We' live in a universe which is informed (created) by
                            the force which projects from this 'dot'; in reality, we
                            have no literal distance from it, although it seems to be
                            utterly distant in time and space...



                            ==Gene Poole==
                          • Nina
                            There seem to be two understandings of center emerging: 1. Center as a movable origin of work . For instance, the origin of the earth s gravity would be a
                            Message 13 of 21 , Feb 1, 2004
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                              There seem to be two understandings of 'center' emerging:

                              1. Center as a movable 'origin of work'. For instance,
                              the origin of the earth's gravity would be a center, which,
                              draws everything within its field towards itself, but also,
                              like a movie projector, projects outward, through all bodies
                              in space. This highlights the sense of 'gravity' and 'levity'
                              about a gravitational center. It may be seen that all centers,
                              whether gravitational or mental/ perspectival (which may also be
                              understood to be a sort of gravity), have this dual in/out
                              nature.
                              2. Center as that which is aware of whatever centers may emerge.
                              This is not as definable as regards location - where is it?
                              Could it be, like a movie projector, it is 'informing' all of those
                              various centers? Or, if you prefer, she is the borglike mothership,
                              sending out her minions. :)

                              After re-reading Gene's post (#12623 "Focalization - starfish -
                              stretching the mind"), what I have written above seems to be
                              getting to the same place.

                              I like how Gene has made a subtle point with the renaming of
                              one of the related threads as 'Focalization'... is what is
                              felt to be 'local', or that which 'localizes', really local,
                              or is it only how it is seen, ie, how it becomes a 'focal point'.

                              I asked Lisa Clark about centers, and the answer was neutral.
                              I think perhaps she felt that answering it was 'too big' for
                              the time we had. Oh well!

                              Nina

                              --- In meditationsocietyofamerica@yahoogroups.com, Jason Fishman
                              <munkiman4u@y...> wrote:
                              > 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@y...> 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.
                              (snip)
                            • Nina
                              ... Thanks for that post, Gene, I see what you are saying. Keeping that in mind, I will veer off into a tangent. Embodiment seems to be a hot topic. Are we our
                              Message 14 of 21 , Feb 1, 2004
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                                > > "Nina" <murrkis@y...> wrote:
                                > > 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.
                                >
                                > <<snip>>

                                --- "Gene Poole" <gene_poole@q...> wrote:
                                > <<snip>>
                                > Seen this way, it becomes apparent that the term 'local'
                                > is a parochial convenience, and not fact. There can be no
                                > 'local', because all of everything is 'merely' a temporary
                                > multidimensional 'expansion' of a single dot, which is
                                > itself the one and true 'center of everything'; there is
                                > no 'nonlocal'.
                                >
                                > 'We' live in a universe which is informed (created) by
                                > the force which projects from this 'dot'; in reality, we
                                > have no literal distance from it, although it seems to be
                                > utterly distant in time and space...

                                Thanks for that post, Gene, I see what you are saying.
                                Keeping that in mind, I will veer off into a tangent.

                                Embodiment seems to be a hot topic.

                                Are we our bodies? What, if any, value is there in living
                                a life in a body? Not only 'having a body', but in being
                                embodied. Is this at odds with enlightenment?

                                There are those, who would say: the body has nothing to
                                do with enlightenment. However, if enlightenment is a radical
                                transformation of consciousness, and 'as above, so below',
                                the body may be understood to be a 'map of consciousness',
                                then certainly the body is not a forbidden tool for enlightening.
                                It is no less forbidden than teachings from other masters. The flip
                                side of this is that it probably isn't going to get you 'there',
                                without a leap. The flip side of this, is that you have been
                                'there' from the very beginning!

                                While wandering through a local folk-art shop, I came
                                across an astounding little piece. It was astounding not
                                so much for what or how it was painted, or that it was
                                painted at all, which is already pretty astounding,
                                but rather, for the quote that was painted along the top:

                                "We walk by faith, and not by site alone."

                                This brings to mind the body as a repository of myths.
                                Faith is a blood relative of myth. Myths are diaphanous
                                and interpretable, so, strangely, it is round-about again
                                to the dissolution of the body.

                                Greg Goode has offered up one myth of dissolution of the
                                body - that the body is a collection of sensations.

                                Here is another myth of dissolution - the body is more
                                space than matter. To see this, one might immerse oneself
                                in the study of anatomy and physiology, moving, as one
                                does in yoga and meditation, from gross to subtle elements.
                                Skin, fat and fascia, muscle, bone, nerves,
                                veins and arteries, glands, cells... and so forth, through
                                molecules and atoms, subatomic particles, until finally,
                                it is revealed that within the tiniest elements that
                                compose everything within a body, there is only the tiniest
                                ratio of matter to space... if even that.

                                So, again, there is center then 'no-center'. Site, and then
                                no-site.

                                Dona Holleman has an interesting take on embodiment,
                                and the dynamic of body/no-body:

                                "To be totally attentive to the body means that you are
                                interested in the body and in the movement. 'Interest' in
                                Latin, as we said before, means 'to be inside'. It is the
                                moment of being inter-ested, being 'inside' the movement
                                or the posture as the posture unfolds that makes it complete.
                                There is no future reward and no retreating involved, but it
                                is only the moment as it is there. So the body is completely
                                filled with the mind. The mind fills the body completely
                                from the bone structure to the skin structure, while as long
                                as there is a future reward the mind is very small within the
                                skin and so there is a lot of empty space in the body."

                                Of course, Dona Holleman has also described her way of living
                                life earnestly, but as if she were giggling behind her hand at
                                it all.

                                Very nice ramblings, everyone, thank you for playing along...

                                Nina
                              • Nina
                                ... separation once it is first found. If it is well-identified and well- integrated, it s easier to get a handle on. Which is why therapy is often very
                                Message 15 of 21 , Feb 1, 2004
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                                  --- In meditationsocietyofamerica@yahoogroups.com, Gregory Goode
                                  <goode@d...> wrote:
                                  > At 11:54 AM 1/31/2004 +0000, Nina 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.
                                  >
                                  >
                                  > This is true! It's a way of allowing resistance to dissolve.
                                  >
                                  > In nondual meditation, it is easier to lose your sense of
                                  separation once it is first found. If it is well-identified and well-
                                  integrated, it's easier to get a handle on. Which is why therapy is
                                  often very helpful. That's like when I was in the Army in the 70s.
                                  About guys who weren't doing well, the drill sergeants said, "He
                                  don't have his shit together." About other guys who were doing a bit
                                  better, they said "He's got his shit together in one bag, but he just
                                  can't find the bag."

                                  Recently, I heard someone claim that one must learn the rules
                                  first before one breaks them. I tend to think this is a little
                                  one-dimensional, as we tend to me 'made up' of the tension
                                  between rules and breaking them. It isn't that someone spends
                                  the first ten years of their life learning and following the
                                  rules and then busts out from there on out breaking all the rules.
                                  Rather, the rules and the rule-breaking get written together,
                                  at the same time. Further, rule-breaking may be seen to be
                                  another rule...

                                  Could be, also, that those who aren't well-integrated have
                                  taken a shortcut to a minimizing sense of separation.

                                  grins,
                                  Nina
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