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Re: Localization - starfish - stretching the mind

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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 1 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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      >
      >
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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 2 of 21 , Jan 31, 2004
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        Thanks for this Nina!
         
        I tend to think it's pretty valid to asess the position of a center. I think it also valid to take note that perception really never moves (even when it does or is perhaps always moving) it's still me that perceives, movement, stillness or absense.
         
        I also tend to think that it's this localized format that keeps the contrast in play (me verses you). With that said, along the lines of anything is possible, would this include "not being me at all"? Maybe experiencing anothers experience through thier eyes, as them, without a sense of me-ness? That might be pushing the limits, but it does seem curious.
         
        I have tended to notice through astral travel practice, that there is no localized format but vision (some have said sound, I've never had a long enoguh journey to notice). This really doesn't jib well with non-dualist thunking or even dualist thunking either, since there is no real way that one is holding a position or witnessing a definite contrast (light vs dark). It's sort of like a cartoon without the "flatness". My skills at painting (slow to progress) have been somewhat indicative of this effect. I'd be curious as to what, if anything at all, this Lisa Clark has to say, if you have a chance.
         
        Peace and Love

        Nina <murrkis@...> wrote:
        Hello, Greg, Jason, Michael L. and all,

        This weekend, I am taking a workshop with Lisa Clark, who
        teaches Body Mind Centering. I'm enjoying getting her perspective
        on the things we are discussing.

        In yogasana, one learns that one must go down to go up. Lisa
        Clark is particularly adept at explaining how one meets the
        earth, engaging it, by "yielding" (language in quotes is from
        the BMC vocabulary). This is a sattvic state, the balance within
        contact. When one 'befriends' gravity and does not attempt to
        "prop" (rajasic resistance) against gravity or "collapse"
        (tamasic release) into gravity, then there may be felt a
        rebound of energy upwards through the body. Her way of practicing
        is such that she always finds her support first, such as the
        floor or the bolster, and her relation to gravity, and then
        builds the pose upwards along that rebounding energy.

        It was curious, however, to wonder where she might place her
        sense of 'center' (in fact, I might ask this question today).
        Is it at the source of gravity? In this case, she is placing
        it outside of her body. Or, is it within her body, perhaps
        behind the navel, which is something I might guess, knowing
        a bit more about the biomorphic developmental understandings
        of Body Mind Centering. (This reminds me of the starfish -
        a shape that we explored last year at her workshop - many
        asanas resemble this starfish expression - radiance from the
        center.) Quite possibly, there are multiple centers at
        work in the way she practices asana, but I suspect that
        only one is seen to be the 'source' of the asana.

        This illustrates how 'center' is movable, and more a matter
        of 'origin of work' or 'origin of perception'. Greg, it would
        seem that your center moved the moment you attempted to
        understand the perspective of the dustmote. My center, when
        practicing your levitation meditation, was very mobile -
        and depending on the location of it, my movement and perception
        of the world altered.

        This was the main reason it was curious to hear Lisa Clark talk about
        finding the ground/support first and then building the asana:
        while playing with the levitation meditation, I also
        played with finding that ground/support somewhere other than
        'on the floor'...

        'Origin of work' or 'origin of perception' might be ways of
        describing that. It reminds me of what Michael L. posted in
        his website dedicated to Awareness watching awareness. That
        is most definitely the sense one can get from even a mobile
        center within the levitation meditation.

        On to what you wrote about stretching, Greg, yes indeed! Isn't
        that remarkable!

        One of the ways I offer people to get out of their 'I'm stuck
        in a stretch' mentality, is to treat the asana as an organic
        experience. There is this tendency to go directly to one's
        edge in an asana and bump hard against it - by hamstrings that
        are strung, or a psoas muscle that says 'stop!' Sometimes, too,
        fear will say 'stop!'. When I practice, it is as if the asana
        is growing from the ground - there is a push down, the rebound,
        and then instead of coursing it right to its edge, I let it
        play out wave-like, rhythmically through the body. It can be
        a very subtle thing, but I find that I am usually carried beyond
        my 'direct access edge', and that the asana feels spacious even
        in its deepest expression - it keeps open the door of possibility -
        the feeling is that 'yes, there is room beyond where I am' instead
        of the feeling that I am pressing my face against the glass ceiling.

        Roger Cole offers another way of stretching - to go to your edge,
        and then back off into a comfort zone. Then, take a breath, remember
        in your mind the feeling and place of resistance, and release
        that place just prior to re-entering it. He also mentions that
        muscles in a petri dish will stretch to 1.5x their resting length -
        an interesting thing to remember when our hamstrings are strung
        at 1.025x their resting length. Why in the world would this be?
        It is, as you say - all in the mind and the minions of the mind.

        Note: for me, asana is a metaphor for just about everything,
        as it is literaly 'a seat of consciousness'.

        Regarding the dustmote, I think we're on the same page, or
        world globe, as the case may be. :) I was pointing to how it
        may be that sometimes we do not understand ourselves to be
        'not moving' in a 'moving world'... that it may be a matter
        of scale and how we might define or not define ourselves against
        something else depending on 'how big it is'. If we are teeny
        and our world is enormous, it may be that we are more likely
        not to be able to see out of that world and thus assume that
        we are the movers, and that the world is still.

        Have a great day!
        Nina


        --- In meditationsocietyofamerica@yahoogroups.com, Jason Fishman
        <munkiman4u@y...> wrote:
        > As usual Greg, this is one of the clearest writtings of dissolving
        centers I have seen. Yet this still envolves a point of perception,
        even if that perception is floating out there somewhere, no?

        > Gregory Goode <goode@d...> wrote:
        > At 02:32 PM 1/30/2004 +0000, Nina wrote:
        >
        > >The first is that a sense of 'center' emerges. It is this
        > >center that is the origin of movement, which radiates
        > >outwards (through the limbs, for instance), and interacts
        > >with the environs.
        >
        > This sense *does* emerge.  But when these kinds of exercises are
        used to loosen one's notion of being a truly separate place, things
        can be different.  It can be seen that this sense of center is itself
        a floating thing.  All appearances float freely, even the appearance
        of being centered or stuck.  So in this way, the sense of center is
        similar to the sense of motion in the visual field. 
        >
        > >The second is that a sense of 'bodies in space' emerges -
        > >a sense of 'body standing on the floor' diminishes,
        > >and a sense of 'body touching/pushing floor' comes forth.
        >
        >
        > ===Yes, this can emerge too, and it can melt as well.  Let's take
        two sticky examples that often happen in these yoga and meditation. 
        Also, I do stretching for weightlifting and cycling.  Since I saw the
        world this way, my flexibility has increased amazingly and markedly. 
        Francis Lucille has experienced the same thing in his yoga:
        >
        > 1.  You're in meditation, trying to sit in half-lotus.  Your
        cushion is too thin, and your ankle starts to hurt from pressing into
        the floor.  This discomfort might really seem to disprove the "all
        experiences float" meditation.  It seems to indicate a center, a
        rootedness.  It's because we are visualizing in the mind's eye an
        ankle-bone contacting the floor.  This image is more or less of a
        fixed thing.  But it is actually akin to imagination.  It can be
        broken down.  Sensory evidence is that there is a feeling and a
        discomfort.  Belief chips in to say "this feeling is inevitable when
        bone contacts floor."  But when it is seen that the floor and the
        ankle aren't any more than sensations, then the rootedness
        dissolves.  Sensations do not have spatial location.  Rather, spatial
        location is imputed to external physical objects.  Without this
        imputation, centeredness melts.
        >
        > 2.  You're doing a very gentle neck stretch.  (You can do this one
        now, in your chair!).  Your back is straight, your head is erect like
        in Zen meditation.  Very slowly, gently, and steadily, you rotate
        your head to the right.  After a few seconds, you reach your "limit"
        where any further motion would be forced.  Part of the limit is due
        to a visual image, the mind's eye imagining a picture.  You might be
        imagining a cable stretching, or a tendon in the neck about to pop
        and become damaged.  Material things like necks and ligaments are
        said to have weight and mass and density and stopping power.  This
        causes fear and tiny muscular contractions throughout the neck, chest
        and shoulders, and of course can further inhibit motion.  But this
        visual image and belief system can be relaxed.  We can "stick to the
        evidence" and allow the neck and the head to be seen as nothing more
        than sensations.  There's really no evidence that they are anything
        more than sensations.  The amazing thing is
        >  that those superfluous visual images of limited physical objects
        are not needed to operate, to do yoga, to live life.  Sensations are
        weightless, positionless.
        >
        > Not having those images in mind, has made practitioners more
        flexible.  It's not about acquiring a new belief system that the body
        really *is* sensations (it's really so much *less* than that).  But
        rather letting go of a visualized spatio-mechanical working model of
        the body which is very limiting. 
        >
        > Nina:
        > >When one spins a world globe by walking the fore and middle-
        > >fingers across the surface, one perceives that one is remaining
        > >stationary, and the globe is 'being moved'. However, if one
        > >reduces oneself to the scale of a dustmote and then walks across
        > >the surface of the globe, one is more likely to perceive that
        > >one is moving and that the globe is remaining still.
        >
        >
        > I think the dust mote can see that it's not moving either!  I'm
        trying to imagine what the dust mote sees.  Let's try to be the dust
        mote on a walkabout.  Let's look out of the microscopic eye.  The
        entire visual field we'll say consists of (what a human would call)
        the ground or dirt.  Colors and patterns in this visual field are
        brown and green and seem to be moving from top to bottom.  Nothing in
        the visual field indicates a "me" or that "I" am moving.  The visual
        field itself is stationary, but things inside it are moving.  Dude,
        I'm not moving!  Cool!
        >
        > Nina and Bob, much fun talking to you about this!
        >
        > --Greg
        >
        >
        > Yahoo! Groups SponsorADVERTISEMENT
        >
        >
        > ---------------------------------
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        >
        >    To visit your group on the web, go to:
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        >  
        >    To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:
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        >  
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        >
        >
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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 3 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 4 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 5 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 6 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 7 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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