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Frank's practice log (Otto's muscle)

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Frank's practice log (Otto's muscle)
Answer
1/16/19 8:59 AM
In this practice log I am going to collect my work relating to a certain muscle: Levator labii superioris alaeque nasi, "lifter of both the upper lip and of the wing of the nose", also called "Otto's muscle" (from here on just "the muscle"). I suspect that the tonus of the muscle has an impact on my practice of mindfulness of breathing.

The reason why I put my musings in a practice log is twofold: Firstly, I want to up the ante - - exposing my progress to a public should increase my diligence. I feel it's worth it; I hope it works. Secondly, working with the body is imaginal practice, and by writing about the phenomenology I intend to help me to imagine more skillfully.

The attached image shows the muscle in bright orange. It runs the full length of the nose, from the nasal root down to the upper lip. There are two of the same kind, one on each side of the nose, but it's the right one which tells me I should care more about it. I have removed some other muscles on the right to show where it is situated.

The muscle is attached to a central facial bone structure (the maxilla) which girdles breath passageways and sinuses and which connects to other bone structures which reach far into the centre of the head. The muscle is also in close vicinity of a major artery (red) and the major central facial nerve (yellow).

All kinds of things we do with our central part of the face are mediated by the muscle: flaring the nostrils, dilating them, snarling, but also (and for the purpose of this log) really ephemeral twitches and ticks alongside and deep in the nose, both volitional and spontaneous.

Backstory: On a retreat, a couple of years ago, I noticed that I am able to make a certain internal movement with (what I then thought) my eyes which helped to generate piti. The image I had in mind was that the parts between the eye and the nose pushed or sucked inwards. It's wildly exeggerated, but the second attached picture (vortexed.png) can give you an idea about the energy and the direction of this "vortexing". The vortex somehow obscured my thinking and somehow opened me up towards samadhi. But in the end it felt too muffled and the prolonged holding was too painful to be used as a valid samadhi trigger.

For the last months a big part of my practice was whole-body breathing to get into and stay in samadhi, less so detailing the minute sensations coming along with the breathing. For quite a while now, though, there has been an urge to swing back to a more vipassana way of meditating in order to counter dullness.

Recently I have thus been blowing up the magnification of the sensations of breath in the nasal passageways... and there is a kind of intermittent holding around or in the nose going on, both for the in-breath and the out-breath. It occurs somewhere on the stretch of the two directional parts of the breathing, usually in the first half. It's as if the moving breath slips into a groove which leads to a build-up of energy and subsequent release into a very brief but palpable bracing. This slight moment of constriction is accompanied by a blank-out of the awareness of the breath sensations, a very brief disorienting drop in one-pointedness. 

And this is actually happening all the time, for many if not most of the in- and out-breaths, on and off the cushion. It might have been going on for I don't know how long, barely above the threshold of perception.

From what I have been able to ascertain this contortion does not emenate from any of the eye muscles (as I had originally suspected on the retreat), but rather from the area where the said levator muscle does its work. This might be the reason why I had never been able to really get a handle on what's happening behind the vortex-like samadhi trigger. It sometimes above the horizontal middle axis of the eyes, sometimes below, sometimes with a muscular touch, sometimes felt more in the sinuses... but always having this quality of holding, of bracing myself.

The newfound blank-out has the same felt sense, only happening involuntarily and transient. Knowing that the "vortexing" was efficient but ultimately a strained dead end, I would now like to understand the related micro-movement better - - and defuse it, if necessary.

My plan for practice is to feel my way into the structure of the contortion, to find out what the conditions are for its onset, for its duration and for its passing. I intend to look for ways of sensing and possibly also breathing which reduce the strain, with the hope of making the contact of awareness and breath at the tip of the nose more continuous, without the blank-out.

RE: Frank's practice log (Otto's muscle)
Answer
1/16/19 12:02 PM as a reply to fschuhi.
Interesting. I have had a lot of activity going on in that area. I had no idea how that muscle was connected. Thanks for sharing! I’ll be following your progress.

RE: Frank's practice log (Otto's muscle)
Answer
1/27/19 11:10 AM as a reply to fschuhi.
I have now practiced about two weeks with Otto's muscle and feel reasonably sure about the phenomenology of the twitching to write about the progress.

My practice in the first week was anapanasati with focus on the upper lip, while at the same time trying to feel the fluttering of the right levator muscle, as it happened while breathing in and breathing out.

The first days it was actually quite difficult to experience those contortions clearly. Even with slow or shallow breathing there is movement happening in the nasal passages. The sinuses excert a minimal counterforce on the in-breath; the movement of the breath changes the temperatures in the inside of the nose; the in-breath thouching the palate and the back of the throat conjure a feeling of depth. The complex of facial sensations masked at first the contraction of the levator muscle.

Because I had to look closely there was the positive side effect of an increase in alertness. This helped me to decipher what was happening on a micro-level and develop a feeling for the "signature" of the particular contraction: how it builds up, how it releases and how it feels from within. This in turn helped me to carry the practice into the daily life. With the increased resolution on the fluttering of the muscle it became evident how (very) often this muscle contracts.

Originally I had planned to correlate the contortions with what I call "stances" - - certain coming-togethers of mind and living body, felt from within (e.g. extensions and orientations of awareness, changes of perspectival vantage points, gradations of being in the body). The problem was, though, that the levator muscle basically always twitched, even in deeper samadhi. I followed a number of hunches with regard to stances but the tick was stronger. It is so habitually ingrained in the breathing process that it seems to have a life of its own, a kind of parasitic energy. Attending to the muscle (or even just intending to do so) increases the propensity of the muscle to tick. Or put differently: At the end of the first week I had the feeling that by attenting to the phenomenon I am actually feeding it.

So instead of experimenting with different stances with the hope of letting conditions materialise by themselves which would lead to less twiching, I decided to try to simply suppress the twitching actively with brute force. At the end of the first week I therefore switched the meditation object, from upper lip to the tonus of the levator muscle, with the explicit intent to thwart the contortions.

RE: Frank's practice log (Otto's muscle)
Answer
1/27/19 11:20 AM as a reply to fschuhi.
What's your ultimate objective?

RE: Frank's practice log (Otto's muscle)
Answer
1/27/19 11:45 AM as a reply to fschuhi.
Why do you feel the need to stop the muscle from contracting?

RE: Frank's practice log (Otto's muscle)
Answer
1/27/19 3:18 PM as a reply to Chris Marti.
Chris Marti:
What's your ultimate objective?

Please help me how to to understand "ultimate".

For now let me assume the goal is not behind some fog of war but attainable in a couple of weeks. 

Over the last years I have made good progress with imaginal practice - - it is possible to shape experiencing, by feeling the body from within (as it would be called by Thanissaro Bhikkhu) or the energy body (Rob Burbea's terminology). It feels very natural for me to do experiments in this domain. Not all of those experiments pan out, but some do, and I am patient. Over the course of the experimenting the bodymind has become more sensitive to its resonances.

Now there is some very minor but still perceptible (attentional?) energy which rocks the bodymind. I am not able to skillfully work with this energy yet. It seems to modulate the attention. I have to admit that I do not know why I know that this is important for me, but I have faith in this knowing.

So the goal of the experiment (if we settled on this as "ultimate objective") is to find out what this energy can teach me.

RE: Frank's practice log (Otto's muscle)
Answer
1/27/19 3:40 PM as a reply to fschuhi.
That's an interesting short term goal. But what I was referring to is the long-term expectation you have for engaging in meditation practice.

RE: Frank's practice log (Otto's muscle)
Answer
1/27/19 3:48 PM as a reply to Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö.
Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö:
Why do you feel the need to stop the muscle from contracting?

There is movement, contraction and expansion happening all the time, roughly where my body is, co-located with what I would call "bodymind", or "felt body", or "lived experience". Emotions, feelings, but also habitual thoughts are reflected in the breath, in muscle tonus, in posture etc. It goes both ways: how I hold myself, how the breath is - - that's grounding my emotions and it colours my thoughts.

This levator muscle movement is elusive, but it nevertheless stands out like a small beacon. What does it reflect? I don't know, but I feel I could emoticon

RE: Frank's practice log (Otto's muscle)
Answer
1/27/19 4:20 PM as a reply to Chris Marti.
Chris Marti:
That's an interesting short term goal. But what I was referring to is the long-term expectation you have for engaging in meditation practice.

Is "to become ever more skillful" a valid answer? Or is that approach not skillful enough? I asking those questions with genuine interest in your answers.

My practice framework is Thai Forest inspired, thus a bit more ambitious answer to your question:

Life contains both dukkha and the end of dukkha. I practice to increase the clarity of awareness and expand its range, in order to understand dukkha and let go of what drives it.

RE: Frank's practice log (Otto's muscle)
Answer
1/27/19 4:29 PM as a reply to fschuhi.
So after a couple of days warm-up I am know engaged with the twiching of the right levator muscle. What follows is the summary of my private notes of this week.

It turns out that it is quite difficult to suppress the twiching actively. Furthermore, all that efforting to keep in mind to relax the leads to a confused experience: Sometimes it is not possible to disguish between the muscle being sore, relaxed or tense.

I am therefore working with an even tighter focus than just on the muscle itself: I now try to intercept and freeze the moment where I tick. The protocol starts with a light samadhi w/o piti, just to gather focal resolution. I then begin with the in-breath, pause it, relax the levator muscle, then continue with the next stretch of the in-breath, pause, relax and so on, until the in-breath transitions into the out-breath. After a couple of minutes have passed I can try to reduce the number of pauses per in-breath. For now I ignore what’s happening on the out-breath, because I experience the pausing on the out-breath to be more forced than on the in-breath.

My first idea to stop the twiching was to tense both the right and the left levator muscles and hold them in balance. It works, but it obviously defeats the purpose: I want to relax any holding, not duplicate it. Furthermore, this technique does not always succeed in tricking the tick into pacification, by no means. The rate of success seems to depend on how symmetric the holding sensation in both levators is. The slightest imbalance is enough to let the contortion on the right side express itself forcefully.

Even if I succeed for an in-breath I can feel the twitching beneath the surface. Eventually the muscle ticks and disturbes the attention. For a very slight moment it feels as if I was oriented somewhere else, a moment ago. Before and after that moment I am in close contact with the meditation object, but suddenly the right levator ticks and there is some time-out happening. I do not experience the interruption, but I know it happened because the mind feels for a moment as if it lost its step.

What is striking is that the levator muscle often ticks at the same points in the breathing cycle, i.e. energises and releases after the same fraction of time has passed since the onset of the in-breath. This helps me to time the pauses correctly, i.e. immediately before the contortion of the muscle. This feels like a promising approach because the pause is an opportunity to check my „stance“ – – how I feel from within, mind and lived body. The whole practice presents as an invitation to train certain stances, not yet targeted directly at the tick but on the stance with which I greet the moment of the twitch.

I have made progress with a stance which feels from the inside as if I was fully behind the breath, symmetrically. I find it easier to do so when I hold some breath energy in the belly and replenish it on the in-breath. This acts as a counterbalance and lightens the load on the holding in the nose. As a result, the muscular action in the levator has softened. It is still impacting the attention but the jolts are less disorienting. I don’t trust this development yet, though.

The twiching of the levator muscle continues to be captured by the intention to attend to it. As a result the practice is more like a dialogue between the attending to the muscle tonus and the sensing of the stance, not a coming together of both attentional qualities at the same moment. There is nevertheless a quiet promise of a wholesome resonance which helps me to stick with the practice. Samadhi is strong and has been getting brighter the last days.

I need to be careful that the twitching does not relocate from the levator muscle to some other place in the bodymind. There is a knowing that the energetic phenomenon is able to sign up other muscles to help it to hold onto something. Intention: strong and relaxed shoulders, psoas, pelvic floor.

RE: Frank's practice log (Otto's muscle)
Answer
1/27/19 7:43 PM as a reply to fschuhi.
Life contains both dukkha and the end of dukkha. I practice to increase the clarity of awareness and expand its range, in order to understand dukkha and let go of what drives it.

Yes, that's what I was asking.

RE: Frank's practice log (Otto's muscle)
Answer
1/29/19 12:08 PM as a reply to fschuhi.
TL;DR: Contractions cease when I stop trying to visualise the muscle and rather feel it from within, while at the same time holding one or more meditation objects in awareness.

Longer report:

(Meditative experiments invigorate my practice. New relations crop up, with fresh meanings. The zest and fun and sense of accomplishment which comes from experimenting has a flip side, though. I run the risk of either seeing too much or too little progress from the experiment. Put differently: If there are no discernable effects after a short while of practicing, I tend to get disenchanted and drop it. On the other hand, and that's what's happening with the current experiment, if there is a positive effect I tend to exaggerate its degree => Intention: I need to discount and continue to investigate ...)

... the preliminary results from tapering off the twitching of the muscle:
  • Breath movements in the nasal passages are less turbulent, more laminar.
  • The levator muscle does not buck off the attention anymore.
  • Awareness is more extensively "soaked into" the focal points.
  • Less holding around the center of the face and the middle of the head.
There are two different modes of imagination: visualising with the mind's eye, and connecting to the feeling from within. The former is often the default mode I fall into, and that's what's happened last week. Feeling from within, on the other hand, is more a slipping into a particular groove, with a holding of a somewhat more indirect stance in relation to the imaginal focus.

I experience visualisation as highly perspectival. If I focus my mind's eye onto an area of the body, I often feel the eye making a saccade towards that body part, even when the eyes are closed. It's as if visualisation uses the physical eyes to enforce the perspective of me being at the one point and whatever I visualise being at the other end of attention.

Feeling the levator muscle from within also has attentional quality, but with much less (sometimes even without any) beam-like perspectiveness. Observation: With less perspective-making comes less twitching. There is a feeling of spatial proximity of the levator muscle and the awareness in which it appears - - the muscle can be "soaked in awareness". The stronger this co-occurance of the awareness and the knowing of the muscle is, the less the latter wants to tick.

I had had the right hunch how it works (see OP), but I got the causality wrong. The twitch does not cause any quiver in awareness, as I had originally thought. It's more like that there is pespective-making co-occuring when the levator twitches. It's as if visualising the muscle conjures a distance between what's looking and what I am looking at. Any panoramic awareness I might have felt before the perspectival attention is happening is then nudged off-center, for a microscopic moment.

At this point of the practice regimen the "blip" of the contraction of the muscle registers even if I am not attending to it. If I check my stance immediately after being reminded by the ticking muscle, I can see that perspective-making has been going on. The muscle is obviously a very sensitive device to indicate the presence of perspective-making. I am really well versed in feeling the body from within (i.e. skillful letting go of perspective-making), but the twitching tells me that there is more to learn. That's something to be grateful for!

I have thus dropped seeing the contraction as a parasite. I believe a more skillful way of understanding is that I am probably habitually leaning slightly towards holding a perspectival stance, emenating from in here and landing on the attentional focus out there. I suspect that this stance is the default one, even if I am explicitely holding a stance of all-around awareness in mind. There is thus always some subliminal perspective-making ready to act out. Any lapse of mindfulness, particularly while walking, is then co-opted by that perspectival stance.

I am thus far from a stable self-correcting equilibrium. But that's hardly news to me. Resting squarely in the body, felt from within, that's a challenging perception attainment, especially if I try to carry it from the cushion into the daily life. On the other hand - after the connection between the twitching muscle, perspective making and awareness has become more obvious - I can now merge the experimenting with the levator muscle into standard awareness practice.

That's the reason why I currently work with the intention of "holding one or more meditation objects in awareness" (see the TL;DR at the beginning of this post). Multi-focal awareness works as an antidote to uni-focal perspective-making, that's a tool I regularly work with. There is this visceral feeling which accompanies the "gelling" of the awareness in the focal points. With the "twitch indicator" I should now be able to recognise perspective-making faster and find ways to prevent it from arising, thus paving the ground for all-around awareness.

In the coming days I am going to test the different ways which give rise of multi-focal awareness. I will put those techniques in another post, together with some terminology (currently not yet worked out).

RE: Frank's practice log (Otto's muscle)
Answer
2/5/19 3:13 AM as a reply to fschuhi.
As mentioned in the previous posts, the practice is not not about visualising but rather about imagining. Because the visual sense is so strong, I hold an explicit intention to connect to lived experience in a certain volume of the body. Imagining such a space rather than the body surface helps to keep the mind's eye at bay: Firstly, because visual attention needs a surface to fixate on. Secondly, lived experience of the felt body just works the other way around - - it cannot know surfaces, only volumes. Consequently, the intention works in both direction: it attenuate visual attention and it strengthens interoception.

Keeping e.g. the breath in mind in a certain part of the felt body is not really effective, though, if I just have one sole part I pay attention to. Even with the intention to only connect by feeling, not by seeing, I usually feel the levator muscle get into action after a couple of seconds. It feels like I do not really sink into the felt body but rather still connect superficially, thus the fallback into perspective-making.

What helped (see TL;DR in my previous post) and continue to help is to let the mechanism of covert attention help me soak the awareness more strongly into the felt body. If I manage to hold multiple targets in mind simultaneously (i.e. multiple volumes in or immediately around the felt body) then perspective-making is significantly reduced. The experience is a bit like how I feel when covertly attending in the visual field - - having the primary attentional focus land somewhere and at the same time relax into peripheral awareness. I know that the Abhidharma says it's impossible to focus on mutliple objects in a truly simultaneous fashion. This might be true for the so called overt attention (what we usually call "focus"), but for me it is entirely possible to hold even a couple of visibiel points in covert attention simultaneously.

I got good results (as measured as reduced levator twitching) with e.g. feeling the breath in three places at the same time: in the abdomen, at the nose and between the shoulder blades. Even then there is some visual perspective-making wanting to happen, but I relax the eyes into covert attention then there is less perspective-making going on. As a result, the awareness can sink into the feeling of breath. The three volumes are thoroughly soaked with awareness. Mental chatter falls away.

I welcome any feedback on this phenomenon, on what happens when there is a sharp drop of perspective-making when tuning into (multi-focal) covert attention.

There are other practitioners who seem to use this effect. Here a quote from an interview with Bodhipaksa:
"I realised that it was when I was paying attention to a lot of different things that my mind was at its quietest. So I began to start my meditation by paying attention to what was going on outside of me – to the sense of space and sound and the light through my eyelids, for example, and then I also included in my attention the body and the breathing. Simultaneously paying attention to two separate sensations in this way creates a stretch. Because your mind is moving in two directions at the same time, it makes it much harder to be distracted."

A while ago there was a thread on this forum about Russians who do a practice called "deconcentration of attention". According to Russian practioners, that kind of multi-focal covert attention can not only be used to modulate awareness but work on the body directly, e.g. regulating heartbeat and other physical parameters which are important in the context of deep diving.

I can corroborate that sudden quieting of the mind Bodhipaksa talks about, as well as this very particular feeling the Russions talk about, of suddenly dropping into the body. There is a visceral collectedness which even allows for thoughts, although they take on a much more wispy quality. 

Bodhipaksa calls this "bandwith flooding", but I experience it more as shifting of the bandwith, to a more panoramic mode. The less there is perspective-making happening, the more multiple impressions across a certain mode (e.g. lived experience of the felt body) and even simultaneous impressions across different modes are possible. It's like seeing, feeling, hearing, even smelling with the whole body. It's actually quite beautiful.

... Looks like the experiment with the levator is coming to an end, though. On the cushion there is basically no twitching anymore when covert attention is happening. Consequently the muscle lost a bit of its appeal as a "biofeedback device". On the other hand, it really did its job. My main attentional focus on the meditation object (i.e. focus of my overt attention) is rock solid now. On a good stretch of the practice there is no displacement of the attention happening anymore. The staying can get very continuous. Very easy access to Jhana, literally in seconds. 

The levator wakes up when I do walking meditation, so there is still some work left and some value in continuing with the experiment.

RE: Frank's practice log (Otto's muscle)
Answer
2/5/19 3:30 AM as a reply to fschuhi.
Is your covert attention similar to cultivating peripheral awareness or is it something different?

RE: Frank's practice log (Otto's muscle)
Answer
2/5/19 7:16 AM as a reply to Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö.
Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö:
Is your covert attention similar to cultivating peripheral awareness or is it something different?

If you look straight at something and your gaze lands on that object, neuroscience / psychophysics would call this attention "overt". If you hold the gaze steady and then direct your attention to a different object in the visual field, without moving the eyes, this type of attention would be called "covert".

Both "attention" and "awareness" are words with shifting definitions and connotations, so in a sense there is always some familiarity between those words, even if plucked from different traditions. As an example, we might want to take Culadasa as a reference point. What he calls "attention" could be also called "overt attention". It's a narrow focus on the object with this specific feeling of directedness.

Opposed to attention, (by his definition always peripheral) awareness in Culadasa's system is broad and basically undirected. For vision, you are peripherally aware of field surrounding the point where you focus your attention. Covert seeing, on the other hand, still has the quality of being focused, just not in the foveal center of the field. Therefore there is attending to the object happening, not just passivly receiving it, or being with it. Like overt attention, covert attention is the foreground, albeit seen in the corner of the eye. Maybe that's what Culadasa calls "a broader scope of attention", but I wouldn't know for sure, I am not truly familiar with his teachings.

Anyways, covertly attending to multiple objects in the sensate fields helps me to find the groove into an all-around awareness. If I allow it then the awareness quickly suffuses my experience, from within. Does this resonate with what you would call "peripheral awareness"?

RE: Frank's practice log (Otto's muscle)
Answer
2/5/19 7:56 AM as a reply to fschuhi.
Apart from sinking into the breath felt at 2 or more locations, I have found a couple of other ways to help the appearing of a multi-focal, all-around, still but still precise awareneness.

A very fast way to engage this mode is to feel into the vertigo of a merry-go-round or rollercoaster-like. I covertly attend to the movement in various parts of the body from within, without directing the mind's eye directly on those parts. I need to hold the clear intention of not moving the body in any way, in order to create a feeling of the change in gravity which is completely mental. After a bit training I can now do this also with eyes open. It's also a nice tool to combat socially difficult situations, or to counter the bubbling up of fear.

I believe there is a connection to what Stephen LaBerge calls "spinning" as way to prolong lucid dreams

What also helps is to put more weight on 3D (or no-dimensional) modes of perception:
  • Sound à la Kenneth Folk's "Mahamudra and the Ships in the Harbor". I understand this particular open but focused receptivity as a kind of covert attention in the sense explained above.
  • Also effective is to hear hear a mantra from within, vibrating with the word, feeling the energy emenating from it, from the inside, in an all around way.
  • Smell: Pull the air into the top part (frontal sinuses) and the part behind of the upper nose, towards the inside of the head (ethmoid sinuses), to experience and all-around feeling. It needs to be really meant to smell something barely perceptible but still out there somewhere with unknown direction, so that we get an all-around body feeling. 

Unobstrusive covert attention can be practised while walking in the woods. What I learned is that I can complement the normal way of focused seeing first by softening into a more unfocused peripheral seeing, then consciously attending covertly to the parallax of the barren trunks of the trees. The trees are gliding past, gliding past, gliding past. Quietness ensues.

Another way of taking the perspective out of the visual perspective-making is to imagine that I drag the whole world with me while a walk, a bit like an all-around cape which wraps around me. It resembles a bit to practicising with the energy body. This is often enough to make awareness drop inside, which is accompanied by a kind of opening into the outside. Very resting; difficult to explain; loss of words; needs more research.

If anyone feels my descriptions resonating with their experience, please tell me about your practice. I am always looking for new ways to arrive at this feeling of being extensively aware of the body from within.

RE: Frank's practice log (Otto's muscle)
Answer
2/5/19 2:06 PM as a reply to fschuhi.
fschuhi:
Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö:
Is your covert attention similar to cultivating peripheral awareness or is it something different?

If you look straight at something and your gaze lands on that object, neuroscience / psychophysics would call this attention "overt". If you hold the gaze steady and then direct your attention to a different object in the visual field, without moving the eyes, this type of attention would be called "covert".

Both "attention" and "awareness" are words with shifting definitions and connotations, so in a sense there is always some familiarity between those words, even if plucked from different traditions. As an example, we might want to take Culadasa as a reference point. What he calls "attention" could be also called "overt attention". It's a narrow focus on the object with this specific feeling of directedness.

Opposed to attention, (by his definition always peripheral) awareness in Culadasa's system is broad and basically undirected. For vision, you are peripherally aware of field surrounding the point where you focus your attention. Covert seeing, on the other hand, still has the quality of being focused, just not in the foveal center of the field. Therefore there is attending to the object happening, not just passivly receiving it, or being with it. Like overt attention, covert attention is the foreground, albeit seen in the corner of the eye. Maybe that's what Culadasa calls "a broader scope of attention", but I wouldn't know for sure, I am not truly familiar with his teachings.

Anyways, covertly attending to multiple objects in the sensate fields helps me to find the groove into an all-around awareness. If I allow it then the awareness quickly suffuses my experience, from within. Does this resonate with what you would call "peripheral awareness"?


Interesting! Thankyou! I’m still struggling with recognizing where peripheral awareness turns into attention, so I’m not quite sure, but you helped me to understand the mechanisms better.