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

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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 1 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 2 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 3 of 21 , Feb 1 4:42 AM
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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 4 of 21 , Feb 1 5:01 AM
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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 5 of 21 , Feb 1 5:15 AM
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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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