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[Meditation Society of America] Re: Localization - starfish

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  • 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 1 of 21 , Jan 30, 2004
      --- 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 2 of 21 , Jan 30, 2004
        --- 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 3 of 21 , Jan 30, 2004
          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 4 of 21 , Jan 31, 2004
            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 5 of 21 , Jan 31, 2004
              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 6 of 21 , Jan 31, 2004
                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 7 of 21 , Jan 31, 2004
                  > "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 8 of 21 , Feb 1, 2004
                    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 9 of 21 , Feb 1, 2004
                      > > "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 10 of 21 , Feb 1, 2004
                        --- 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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