Out from behind the eyes?

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Wet Paint, modified 12 Years ago.

Out from behind the eyes?

Posts: 22924 Join Date: 8/6/09 Recent Posts
Author: IanThreadgill
Forum: Dharma Overground Discussion Forum

Question for everyone: when you direct your attention to somewhere physical, in the body, how easily, if at all, is the apparent location of your awareness transferred entirely out from behind the eyes to the place you're aiming at, such that the latter is where "you" are?

If anyone has any tips for overcoming a stubborn tendency to have awareness originate in the head, regardless of its object, I would be very glad to hear them.
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Wet Paint, modified 12 Years ago.

RE: Out from behind the eyes?

Posts: 22924 Join Date: 8/6/09 Recent Posts
Author: garyrh

The sense of an observer behind the eyes is a thought that follows the physical sensation. My suggestion is to try an observed this thought? Actually; for me just careful noticing of sensations makes this apparent without thinking about it.
Wet Paint, modified 12 Years ago.

RE: Out from behind the eyes?

Posts: 0 Join Date: 8/22/09 Recent Posts
Hi.

The vision sense is an extremely dominant sense. That sense is perceived to be spatially located at the eyes, since that's where it originates. Thoughts are also represented mostly somewhere in a space we perceive to be "around or in the head." All "whys" aside in regard to why those are perceived as they are; this is why, pre or post enlightenment, a "locust of being" or "awareness" is located behind the eyes.

This itself is not a problem and cannot really be shut off. The perception may be altered, in such cases as enlightenment wherein the "separate watcher" is dissolved (but not "head-awareness"), or a hard jhana where most things disappear. But, other than that and some other states, the eye-sense cannot be turned off (only covered), and thoughts also will continue on. Thus, the two primary phenomena that constitute an awareness located at the head (whether perceived dually or non-dually) are persistent and not a problem. It's just how the senses are naturally organized and perceived.

Now, with strong concentration, we can project or manipulate "awareness" to other senses, narrow in on other senses, etc and thus feel as though awareness is actually "there" rather than "the head/eyes." In any case, "awareness" is never anywhere specific, because space itself is only a perception based on an arbitrary center point.

In conclusion: the perception of a "head based awareness" isn't an "insight issue," but if you want to play around with projecting/manipulating that perception, you just need stronger concentration and more practice. Perhaps practice with visualization in the Siddhi sense, or samatha in the sense of strengthening concentration so that you can hone in on the sense or perceived locality that you desire. Vipassana can lead to some things like this too.

Trent
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Wet Paint, modified 12 Years ago.

RE: Out from behind the eyes?

Posts: 658 Join Date: 5/14/09 Recent Posts
try this:

look at stuff around you, not from behind the eyes, but from the surface of them. like put your attention right at the eyes themselves, so that whatever you see is very immediate. this dust on the monitor, this stray hair danging, the frayed cuff of these jeans hanging off the bed, the zipper on this suitcase running along the leathery textured black fabric.. and each movement of the eye felt as well as seen, like a light caress with every focus and refocus. immediacy. so again, attention *at* the surface of your eyeballs looking, rather than from behind your eyes and looking *through* them, maybe go take a walk like this.. and let me know how this works for you.
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Wet Paint, modified 12 Years ago.

RE: Out from behind the eyes?

Posts: 362 Join Date: 8/22/09 Recent Posts
I think this way of perceiving can be altered and manipulated quite a bit with practice. The question reminds me of an experiment I read about years ago, I think it was at MIT in the early days of the Media Lab. They hooked a set of cameras up to a remote control vehicle and put goggles on a guy in a room and had him drive it around for an hour seeing the world from the pov of this little radio controlled toy. Then they have him roll it up to look at him in the chair and he reported that it was very weird as if he was the device and the body in the chair wasn't even his body sort of thing. That got me thinking about this again at that time. I've tried all kinds of shifts of centers of perceptions. There certainly seems to be typical centers of this or that kinds of perceptions but these don't seem permanently stuck in the forms that these may typically take for those who take no interest in how their perception occurs. I really haven't found much of any limits yet to how much perception can change.