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Re: Localization as Focalization - what is a center?

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  • 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 1 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 2 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 3 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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