RE: Phenomenological pointers to non-dual perception?

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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 2 Months ago.

Phenomenological pointers to non-dual perception?

Posts: 5293 Join Date: 12/8/18 Recent Posts
This thread is inspired by the thread about experiencing saccade. I'll paste what inspired me, for context:

Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö:
Tommy M:
If I'm understanding the term correctly, then saccades could be considered (dharma-wise) as being the habitual patterns/mechanisms unique to image-forming visual systems. They can be thought of as being evolutionary functions, rooted in threat-detection etc.

You can experience them with open-eyed concentration practices, such as fire kasinas or anything that involves continually 'sticking' attention to the object of focus for extended periods.

Once some stability of attention has been achieved, the practice moves to letting go of the habit of "looking for" something and simply leaving the eyes to do what the eyes were meant to do. As we progress, more and more orders of clinging are released and non-dual awareness arises where there are no distinctions between the sense doors any more. In practice, this doesn't mean that we stop seeing/sensing but the identification of a seer/one-who-senses dissolves, leaving, in the words of the Buddha, "in the seeing, only the seen; in the hearing, only what is heard.." and so forth. 

For an example of this in action, look at images of Tibetan yogis sitting with open eyes while abiding in the natural state.

As you practice in this way and maintain fixed attention on the object of focus, awareness is freed from the senses and they simply continue to do what the naturally do, i.e. the eyes continue to see, the ears continue to hear, etc etc in the absence of one-who-sees/hears/etc.

It gets a little hard to describe beyond this due to moving into non-conceptuality, but as awareness is gradually freed from the body and its sense doors, the visual field blurs somewhat and very small movements of the focusing/image-forming functions can be observed. Sometimes, depending on how strong our control-of-attention is, attention can pull back to and re-engage with the visual field when these distortions occur. The trick is to learn to continually release them into deep awareness and basically leave the bodymind (which is not "I") to do what it does naturally.

What you can notice are these very subtle fluctuations in focus, almost like expansions and contractions of something in the visual field itself. In actuality, these are the habitual patterns executing automatically, but we're not normally consciously aware of them. It's possible to become aware of them if we engage in mindfulness and start to watch how attention moves around, sticks to things and then focuses itself either more narrowly or more widely.

I'm not remotely qualified or knowledgable enough to talk about it on a scientific level, but from a yogic perspective it's a very interesting and worthwhile practice if you feel drawn to it.
Thanks for this great post! This clarifies some of what has been bugging me lately, as to what happens to sensory experience when flipping over to non-dual awareness. I'm curious about what this freeing of awareness from the senses really is, but regardless, I have tasted how it feels. So I guess what I need to do is learn to release... them... What "them" are we talking about? The sense consciousnesses? I notice them sneaking out from my body and sense organs, but somehow they seem attached with a string that pulls them back. How do I do to let the awareness leave the mindbody? Are you saying that letting go of the impulses to check in with the senses is the way to go? If so, I'm doing the right kind of practice right now, and now I know exactly what to... not... look for. It's really very simple - which is not the same as easy. But it's possible! I do notice these things. It's those little things that are keeping awareness hostage? Wow. Of course!

This thread was exactly what I needed right now. Thankyou thankyou thankyou! 

I tried it in practice this morning, resulting in this post in my practice log:

Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö:
Walking to yoga class, during yoga class, and walking home, I applied "dropping the ball" on those little eye movements that scan the visual field and focus the gaze, inspired by the thread about saccades. Oh my goodness, it works! That's how I get into effortless panoramic vision (about 280 degrees if it's not too close to the body). It's in that state that it has felt like some part of the consciousness sneaks out from the head, through the third eye. It's also in that state that it looks like the ground moves to meet me rather than the other way around. In yoga, it's like the floor tilts to meet me. In walking, it's like the ground bounces in a somewhat rolling movement. Being in that state with regard to vision makes it easier to also not react to those little impulses to get back to a subject-object relationship in touch. I have noticed that those impulses are what causes my tics (I have Tourette's). They sort of scream out that it will feel horrible if I don't tense up, but I have learned that it's just a false alarm. At the end of the class, in letting the palms touch, it was very clear that the whole palms knew the touch and that the space where they met knew the warmth and the contraction, all at the same time, if time is even relevant. There was no need for me to scan anything. People can tell me as much as they want that all of that self-aware richness is only a concept, but it tastes like freedom. 

Now to my question: Are there similar pointers that can be made to recognize the little dualistic selfing-impulses that appear with regard to other senses? Anybody who gets what I'm asking about is very welcome to describe the phenomenology of what happens when we are drawn into dualistic perception, and how that can be let go of. I also welcome any descriptions of the phenomenology of shifting into non-dual awareness and how that relates to senses, perception, or whatever terms are not too misleading.

I have tasted this, and I love it and want to flip it into the default mode. 

I also wonder - now and then it feels like my hearing consciousness is being sucked out from my head through my ears. As long as I keep believing that I'm in my head, that feels very weird. I have noticed that I can just let go of that, and then it stops feeling weird. Is there anything more I can "do" or "not-do" to help liberate the hearing?

Similarly, I have also had the subjective experience of some consciousness being sucked out from my head from the forehead. I suspect that's the seeing consciousness. Will that happen on its own if I just keep working with letting go of the saccades? Is there something else I can "do" or "not-do" to help it?
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Tommy M, modified 2 Months ago.

RE: Phenomenological pointers to non-dual perception?

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Now to my question: Are there similar pointers that can be made to recognize the little dualistic selfing-impulses that appear with regard to other senses? Anybody who gets what I'm asking about is very welcome to describe the phenomenology of what happens when we are drawn into dualistic perception, and how that can be let go of. I also welcome any descriptions of the phenomenology of shifting into non-dual awareness and how that relates to senses, perception, or whatever terms are not too misleading.

I have tasted this, and I love it and want to flip it into the default mode. 

I also wonder - now and then it feels like my hearing consciousness is being sucked out from my head through my ears. As long as I keep believing that I'm in my head, that feels very weird. I have noticed that I can just let go of that, and then it stops feeling weird. Is there anything more I can "do" or "not-do" to help liberate the hearing?

Similarly, I have also had the subjective experience of some consciousness being sucked out from my head from the forehead. I suspect that's the seeing consciousness. Will that happen on its own if I just keep working with letting go of the saccades? Is there something else I can "do" or "not-do" to help it?

Excellent work, and thanks for sharing! I'll comment where I can and hope that it's useful to you.

That "freeing of awareness from the senses" is a profound and revealing insight. To have had a taste of it is enough to allow you to incline mind back towards that. One taste of it gives an unshakeable confidence, and removes considerable fear and doubt over allowing the body to do what it does.

Think about it: Our physical bodies are the result of evolution over millenia. In other words, the body has been doing what it does since long before "you" or "I" appeared. We are not our bodies, but we need them to function in this realm and without them we would have no way of realizing Buddhahood. This is why it's such a joyous gift to have been born as human beings!

There are layers and layers of subtle clinging to bodily fabrications, e.g. identifying the body as being who we 'actually' are.

I've emboldended the phrase "subjective experience" because there's an important insight here. Avoid getting hung up on this sort of dualism, because it's another incredibly subtle sleight-of-mind that's involved and one which perpetuates suffering. Earlier stages of the Path necessitate the penetration of the subject/object polarity (rather than "duality"), and it's easy to get stuck by seeing an ongoing distinction between subject/object and then believing that saying "subjective experience" somehow suggests that we haven't actually untied that knot.

all at the same time, if time is even relevant

Another deep insight. To contemplate this further, consider this statement: The sun never rises or sets.

Time is the illusion of there being a stream of connected moments. Humans created it. This isn't to say that time doesn't exist, but it's another, more subtle level of interdependance and seeing through it can be quite the revelation.

I have tasted this, and I love it and want to flip it into the default mode.

Be aware of subtle identification and avoid grasping/clinging to this as it's not a 'state' in the way we talk about jhanas etc. There is literally no reason to grasp at anything here. The only thing that causes experience to appear any differently to this is continued imputation of a self-in-relation-to-other. Anything you can do amounts to back-pedalling, so take your feet off of the pedals, let go of the brakes and enjoy the ride.

How do I do to let the awareness leave the mindbody?

This is a super, mega, ultra subtle thing with major implications. This isn't a question that someone who hasn't had a glimpse beyond the senses would ask, so I would suggest that you're doing something right. Rather than trying to release awareness from the five skandhas in one go - which isn't impossible, but could certainly be difficult due to various factors - work each as you see fit, and ultimately something very important about consciousness itself will become apparent.

This may seem unrelated, but it's pertinent: The Buddha taught morality as the first and last training. There is a very good reason for this which will become clearer as you go. Consider the idea of "leaving behind a beautiful corpse", if that makes sense.

describe the phenomenology of what happens when we are drawn into dualistic perception

The very nature of samsara is dualistic because it's 100% built from ignorance of the natural state. Dualistic perception arises as long as we continue to impute a self onto those transient, empty sense-objects. To be entirely free from dualistic perception necessitates the dissolution of deep habitual patterns of misperception. In truth, everything we do is conditioned by this ignorance of what is factual and so it can be a very short, or a very long process of untying that knot. 

One way to practice working around this is to see the world of appearances as being a manifestation of your own mind. Since the nature of mind is pristine, luminous emptiness, nothing that arises can be anything less than perfect. There's a lot of nuance to this, but I have no doubt that it'll make sense to you in a way that wouldn't make sense to others.

 Are there similar pointers that can be made to recognize the little dualistic selfing-impulses that appear with regard to other senses?

- If you pay close but spacious, relaxed attention, you'll notice that similar saccade-like movements of attention itself (i.e. grasping/focusing/searching) in relation to the other sense doors and their objects. There's a tangible sense of grasping for sense objects, which is rooted in the misidentification of them as existing apart from their experiencing.

- Practice open-eyed samatha and you'll gradually familiarize yourself, experientially, with those "selfing-impulses" and be able to identify them more easily in non-meditation. Identifying them then becomes letting them go. As soon as you're aware of them, they're already gone. 

- Watch how sense-consciousness and their sense-objects never occur apart. Each depends upon the other and no such separation occurs in their direct experiencing. With that in mind, how can we consider sense-objects to exist as independent phenomena?

- As mentioned, nothing which arises is ever anything less than exactly what it's supposed to be. In truth, nothing arises in the first place!

- Observe what happens when thoughts arise but you don't follow them and propagate the internal dialogue attached to them. You've already done this with your example of noticing "weirdness" as a mental object, but you didn't follow it through and allow it to become anything other than what it is.

- Pay attention to the 'space' that was occupied by the previous sensation you've become aware of.

I hope this made some sense and gives you a few pointers to help your practice. Based on what I've seen of your posts and your practice, you're doing just fine. Conceptual models are useful and necessary for most of us, so don't worry about using whatever works for you. Ultimately, all concepts are empty but we can certainly use them to 'fill in the blanks' and the disgard them as our practice develops.

Good luck and let us know how you get on! 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 2 Months ago.

RE: Phenomenological pointers to non-dual perception?

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This all makes sense, but I will probably get back to asking follow-up questions after digesting it. Thankyou so much!

I'd like to rephrase something with regard to the weirdness. What I did was to draw the conclusion thay I'm actually not inside my head, so all I need to do is to just recognize that I'm actually the entire space (as it's all my mind anyway - I was happy to see that you suggested that as a workaround, as it's already part of my dream yoga practice and my Dzogchen practice). I'm not going all solipsistic here - my mind space certainly seems to interact with others' mind space and in many eays overlap - but I find it useful to approach it similarly to dreaming. I treat others with respect in dreams too, to the best of my ability (except when I'm too pissed off, frustrated or stressed out to live up to that, of course, since I'm only human) - I even do it to fictional game characters, so this does not mean that I'll stop caring about other people, in case someone thinks that. I'm of the opinion that we should treat AI:s with outmost compassion already because if they actually start developing real consciousness, in the sense of believing that they are real (like humans do), we would probably be too slow to notice that until we had already traumatized them. And if they think they are real, it really doesn't matter what we think - they will suffer from our treatment regardless. Anyway, I think that was (not-)going in the right direction. Acknowledging that I'm already not inside my head, I mean. Would you say so too? But it sure still feels like I am, too often. And yes, I'm very well aware of the craving and aversion here and I understand that it triggers defenses in a way that is a trap. But that's where I'm at. I think it would be unwise to pretend otherwise. 

About getting hung up on wordings, yeah, I think I understand what you mean there. And since I'm still just wiggling at the threshold, I sometimes find the inadequacy of wordings deeply frustrating, because I know that there's a qualitative difference to the actual experience, and I very rarely see it put into words in ways that illustrate and give at least some amount of justice to that. I think Daniel does. But it's still quagmire, and when you hear from a lot of really skilled people that what you are seeing or sensing is basically impossible, then I start doubting what I have seen or sensed. It's like that time when I learned as a grown-up that it is actually impossible to sense X-ray. The look on that nurse's face when I complained about the creepycrawliness of the tingling! I had been sensing it my entire life and just taken for granted that everybody else did too. It's just that this time she just kept taking new pictures because for some reason ther weren't good enough, and so I had a reason to be explicit about sensing it - and found out that my sensations were considered impossible. After that shock, I haven't sensed it again. It closed the door to sensing it (either that or I just lost some sensitivity with age). But I did sense it. (I still sense the bacteria tickling my teeth, which is said to be impossible too, but it's just so handy because otherwise I would totally forget brushing them, so that sensitivity had to stay regardless of what people say). So - this is why I do get hung up when all words I can get out of somebody like Chris Marti sound to me like they describe perception stuck in dualism, which is my own problem and not his. He doesn't need the words to illustrate non-dualism, obviously, but when trapped in doubt, I need it. Of course, that's not his responsibility, and I really appreciated having the conversation. It was good to get a sense of what it was that was bugging me, and it made me reexamine the whole thing too. And words are usually totally inadequate. That's just the way it is. But when words do point to something else being possible, that reminds me of doors that have already been open, so that I can find them again. 

Your pointers are very much in line with the practices I'm already doing and with the teachings that I attend online. They are also very hands-on and I actually understand them (you are speaking my language! That's rare). I'll use all of them. I'm already using versions of several of them, so it won't be a large step. It was really good to get them all together in a list. Super-helpful! 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 2 Months ago.

RE: Phenomenological pointers to non-dual perception?

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Tommy, you asked that I share how I get on. This is where I am at now:

There is something about the flipping over from "dual" framing of perception to "non-dual" framing that catches my interest (talking about it in simplistic terms here). I find that there are specific turning points when the framing shifts. Phenomenologically they feel like reality is turned inside out. Sometimes this seems to manifest partially, with one of the senses only and with a remaining assumed center that thinks that it watches it happen (even though the assumptions are just embedded as tags in the sensations). Other times it just flips over entirely, pretty much like a spinning toroid. It's still the same reality but sort of seen from an angle that we couldn't expect. It's not coming from any direction, but from inside experience itself. It unfolds as if it would swallow itself and push out from the other end. That's fascinating.
shargrol, modified 2 Months ago.

RE: Phenomenological pointers to non-dual perception?

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One thing I've always been amazed about is how this short bit of instruction consistently help flips the mind:

https://unfetteredmind.org/a-light-in-the-dark/

It seems like we need to first make contact with "ordinary casual attention" as a first step.

Then you need to "look for what knows this is happening" as the way to jumping off into "THIS". 

In a sense, the only phenominologically identifiable thing about non-duality is the nature of knowing itself, but this knowing doesn't have any sensations, urges, emotions, or thoughts associated with it.

There is a damn good reason that this stuff has been called "veils" "misty" "mystery" and "mystic" "esoteric" in the western tradition -- there really isn't a quality that characterizes presence except presence.

(All highest "truths" seem to be self-referential in this way - health, beauty, freedom, compassion, communication... hard to define except to say health is health, beauty is beauty, freedom is freedom, compassion is compassion, communication is communication  etc.  Or to define it by the negative: health is absense of sickness, beauty is the absence of ugly, freedom is the absence of oppression compassion is the absence of selfishness, communication is the absence of ---not sure what word goes here--... and enlightenment is the absence of greed, aversion, and ignorance) That's one of the marks of wisdom as opposed to simple intelligence. 
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Olivier, modified 2 Months ago.

RE: Phenomenological pointers to non-dual perception?

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shargrol:

There is a damn good reason that this stuff has been called "veils" "misty" "mystery" and "mystic" "esoteric" in the western tradition -- there really isn't a quality that characterizes presence except presence.

(All highest "truths" seem to be self-referential in this way - health, beauty, freedom, compassion, communication... hard to define except to say health is health, beauty is beauty, freedom is freedom, compassion is compassion, communication is communication  etc.  Or to define it by the negative: health is absense of sickness, beauty is the absence of ugly, freedom is the absence of oppression compassion is the absence of selfishness, communication is the absence of ---not sure what word goes here--... and enlightenment is the absence of greed, aversion, and ignorance) That's one of the marks of wisdom as opposed to simple intelligence. 
what is the mark ? 

That's funny, because I was just reading an excerpt of Plotinus, and there is stuff about the eternal, perfect and timeless gods there, which heard a certain way...

He seems to use a definition of intelligence which goes beyond the rational mind's knowing and just seems to refer to that presence, precisely, both creative power and knowingness present in everything but invisible - at least from what i see. Like Higher Intelligence.
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Olivier, modified 2 Months ago.

RE: Phenomenological pointers to non-dual perception?

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Great link, shargrol, it actually confirms a lot of things.
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 2 Months ago.

RE: Phenomenological pointers to non-dual perception?

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Thankyou!
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Noah D, modified 2 Months ago.

RE: Phenomenological pointers to non-dual perception?

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Linda:
Now to my question: Are there similar pointers that can be made to recognize the little dualistic selfing-impulses that appear with regard to other senses

DreamWalker has good exercises - 

https://www.dharmaoverground.org/discussion/-/message_boards/message/5800908?_19_redirect=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.dharmaoverground.org%2Fdiscussion%2F-%2Fmessage_boards%2Fsearch%3F_19_redirect%3Dhttps%253A%252F%252Fwww.dharmaoverground.org%252Fdiscussion%252F-%252Fmessage_boards%252Fmy-posts%26_19_keywords%3Dframework%26_19_formDate%3D1607182677114%26_19_breadcrumbsCategoryId%3D0%26_19_searchCategoryId%3D0#_19_message_5800942
Anybody who gets what I'm asking about is very welcome to describe the phenomenology of what happens when we are drawn into dualistic perception, and how that can be let go of. I also welcome any descriptions of the phenomenology of shifting into non-dual awareness and how that relates to senses, perception, or whatever terms are not too misleading.

Here's some of my descriptions - 

http://noahsmonthlyupdate.blogspot.com/2017/12/milestones.html

I've always found it helpful to take the view that the duality is more work for the brain.  I think I heard this first from Daniel Ingram.  Wouldn't it be so nice to just let your brain relax?  Dualistic perception is an extra layer or filter, rather than the other way around.  You're subtracting things not adding.  

But first it can help to fabricate/artificially 'rehearse' what it would be like to have some filter subtracted - thus all the little sense door things like -

visual screen on which things appear
silence between sounds
sensations held by body as a whole
body held by space

Then , based on a pattern ive seen with self & friends, the next thing is to allow the objects within each of those fields to fully burst forth in all of their luminous brilliance.  With that shift, the sense of watcher really falls away.  As you say -
I also wonder - now and then it feels like my hearing consciousness is being sucked out from my head through my ears. As long as I keep believing that I'm in my head, that feels very weird. I have noticed that I can just let go of that, and then it stops feeling weird. Is there anything more I can "do" or "not-do" to help liberate the hearing?

So I would recommend trying to do all the 'background' shifts I described above & that DreamWalker describes in part of the thread above.  I think that will probably be faster.  From what I've seen, the people that get this luminosity/foreground shift are frequently *not* playing with perception when it happens (unlike the space/background shifts above).  There's usually some psychotherapy or emotional-energetic "ah ha" moment or obstacle that comes unblocked.  This allows (in poetic terms) the energy of the mind to stop being boxed into the body & sense organs & really pour forth into the objects in the field & rest there.  The field of course already always is this way.  But the human brain blocks that out in some kind of survival effort.  That's likely why the luminosity shift happens after a sense of deep safety is cultivated.
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 2 Months ago.

RE: Phenomenological pointers to non-dual perception?

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I so appreciate that people are contributing from their own experiences in this thread! Thankyou Noah! I should give Dream Walker a call. It was quite some time ago now. I find that he is much easier to undertand in spoken language than in his threads on this. I should probably try to reread those too, though. And I'll look into your descriptions. Many thanks! 

Michael Taft always talks about how much work duality is, and I know that it is. The freedom from momentarily getting out of it undescribable. 

I have never been able to relate to mental images appearing on a screen, except for when they actually do, like in kasina practice or when scared geometry appears in meditation. It just seems totally ridiculous to me to think of them as having a spatial location. Apparently people's experiences differ here, and I find that fascinating. It's interesting though how there can sometimes be overlaps between dream visuals and visuals of the room I'm in. I have had that happen when being asleep and trying to wake up because none of the toilets were working in the dream. That's a very common dream sign for me, so I did my best to open my eyes, and then the image of my room intruded into the dream environment. That's a case when the imagery actually sort of occupies the same "space". 

I love tuning into the silence. There is always silence there, regardless of how noicy it is. 

I do find it uselful to embrace all impressions as they arise and let them move through me (me being the space). That often leads to letting go, because it becomes obvious that I really don't have to make the effort. I haven't tried imagining taking away one sense at a time. I'll try that. I have been thinking today that it's actually a really good idea to apply "dropping the ball" to one sense at a time. More manageble.

Hm, safety you say. Interesting. There is a person that very often brings this out in me. He should probably take that as a huge compliment, perhaps especially since it happened even while he was being psychotic. 
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Noah D, modified 2 Months ago.

RE: Phenomenological pointers to non-dual perception?

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Linda:
I have never been able to relate to mental images appearing on a screen, except for when they actually do, like in kasina practice or when scared geometry appears in meditation. It just seems totally ridiculous to me to think of them as having a spatial location. Apparently people's experiences differ here, and I find that fascinating.

Also physical images on the external visual screen.
I haven't tried imagining taking away one sense at a time. I'll try that. I have been thinking today that it's actually a really good idea to apply "dropping the ball" to one sense at a time. More manageble.

Also you could try mixing the sense doors.  Mix the silence with the panorama of vision with the sense of body within space etc.  Search for the qualitative difference or boundary.
Hm, safety you say. Interesting. 

The other thing that sometimes works with luminosity is a direct perception hack.  Search for the exact boundary of the eyeball.  Where does inner world of your skull that you are looking out from become outer world?  
Jazz Muzak, modified 2 Months ago.

RE: Phenomenological pointers to non-dual perception?

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[quote=
]Also you could try mixing the sense doors.  Mix the silence with the panorama of vision with the sense of body within space etc.  Search for the qualitative difference or boundary.

I do a lot of stuff like this in practice, seeing where each sense door begins and ends in space, seeing how they connect, how things really seem to show up in the same holographic 3D-type "space" (quotations because space appears to be some sort of construction or mental mapping as well) and how different sensations are more like different flavors or textures of luminous sensation, or something, instead of being something truly separate.

Not sure how much it relates to what is being talked about here, it all feels quite over my head, but there's something interesting in noticing how all this sensation is awake on its own in some way, how there can be a centerpoint but the centerpoint is seemingly arbitrary (although I haven't broken the centerpoint and proven that it's as arbitrary as it FEELS yet). Noticing how all sensation is occuring in this one big fluxing awesome 3D space-time-thing in which space time and thingness are all just luminous sensation is very interesting.
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 2 Months ago.

RE: Phenomenological pointers to non-dual perception?

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Yeah, it sure is fascinating stuff. 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 2 Months ago.

RE: Phenomenological pointers to non-dual perception?

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Noah D:
Linda:
I have never been able to relate to mental images appearing on a screen, except for when they actually do, like in kasina practice or when scared geometry appears in meditation. It just seems totally ridiculous to me to think of them as having a spatial location. Apparently people's experiences differ here, and I find that fascinating.

Also physical images on the external visual screen.
I haven't tried imagining taking away one sense at a time. I'll try that. I have been thinking today that it's actually a really good idea to apply "dropping the ball" to one sense at a time. More manageble.

Also you could try mixing the sense doors.  Mix the silence with the panorama of vision with the sense of body within space etc.  Search for the qualitative difference or boundary.
Hm, safety you say. Interesting. 

The other thing that sometimes works with luminosity is a direct perception hack.  Search for the exact boundary of the eyeball.  Where does inner world of your skull that you are looking out from become outer world?  

What do you mean when you say screen? Like when it turns flat?

And with mixing the sense doors, do you mean artificially or when it happens on its own (because it does)?

The last thing is something I very often do. I find it interesting to see how it changes over time (where the boundary is located) and I find it funny somehow that there is a difference between "inner" and "outer" since it's all in my mind anyway. 
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Noah D, modified 2 Months ago.

RE: Phenomenological pointers to non-dual perception?

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Linda:
What do you mean when you say screen? Like when it turns flat?

The screen is just the visual field.  It's a 3d screen.  In dzgochen the inner, outer & combined screens are called the "three skies."
And with mixing the sense doors, do you mean artificially or when it happens on its own (because it does)?

Artificially would be the method/path.  Happenig on it's own would be the result of the method!
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 2 Months ago.

RE: Phenomenological pointers to non-dual perception?

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Oh. Thanks!
Tim Farrington, modified 2 Months ago.

RE: Phenomenological pointers to non-dual perception?

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Noah D:
Linda:
What do you mean when you say screen? Like when it turns flat?

The screen is just the visual field.  It's a 3d screen.  In dzgochen the inner, outer & combined screens are called the "three skies."
And with mixing the sense doors, do you mean artificially or when it happens on its own (because it does)?

Artificially would be the method/path.  Happening on it's own would be the result of the method!
This is wonderful, never heard that said so well. I am having a t-shirt made immediately. Also getting this tattoo-ed around my navel.
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Olivier, modified 2 Months ago.

RE: Phenomenological pointers to non-dual perception?

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Finally, here is my developed take on the whole meditation thing. Let me know if you disagree. (edit : i replied to Tim somehow, but this isn't adressed to anyone in particular)

A lot of work is needed, for most people, meditative/psychological/emotional.perceptive, to actually get to a point where some kind of "filter" is taken off perception and life can manifest in all its glory. This might entail several transformations having happened beforehand, with perhaps discrete events and/or gradual shifts, but it's perhaps one of the most striking one as an event. Different people with different make up experience this differently, for some it might be less noticeable, but plenty report a one time even where it seems that the whole thing is illuminated all of a sudden.The intensity may wear down but from then on, there is a sharp clarity to all perceptions which remains and a new depth of insight becomes accessible upon reflection. It can change the way you've been thinking about meditation and consciousness in general, moving one from attention to awareness in a very direct way. A permanent reduction of perceptive ignorance, might we say.

This, I would say, is the natural state, and it's a kind of peak insight, which is just basically becoming aware that the whole thing is aware and illuminated. 

Then, it becomes a more subtle game of letting things manifest as they are and from this subtle way of modalizing consciousness, one eventually starts understanding things about the nature of perception, mind, experience, non-locatability, unfindability, emptiness and vividness, etc.

With further contemplation, these things become more and more apparent, but the experience doesn't necessarily change so much after that. There might be no mind moments, non-dual experiences, etc., but from then on, "the experience is the same, the realization evolves."

This last quote is actually from Gampopa. My take is that the event is actually the beginning of the third of the mahayana paths, and that from then on one is progressing through the "bodhisattva grounds".

So, to sum up: purification of body speech and mind leading to progressive clarification of the field with threshold effects, then breakthrough and then further contemplation on the new world which leads to more and more refined realizations, which are understandings about the nature of the thing, a kind of deeply felt body mind understanding which goes way beyond simple rational understanding.

Explorations continue, and start seeing the deep connections between different aspects of experience which condition each other and modalize the whole thing in return. In particular, we start exploring the deep connection between desire and perception, and in particular, the ways of relating to things which cause contractions of the field, or obscure it, etc. The connections between those mechanisms and grosser worldly identities and events starts also becoming very clear. 

Then there is supposed a kind of final insight, at least in the 4 path model.

Some say it is about the nature of looking, or something even more definitive about the nature of subject object. 

It's actually not so clear.

But after that : the world in all its richness and glory is yours to explore and through that you get to know yourself !

edit - Or, as the Shargrol Sutta in 14 words says : "At first, therapy. Then, meditation. Then, contemplation of world views. In the end, mystery."
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Dream Walker, modified 2 Months ago.

RE: Phenomenological pointers to non-dual perception?

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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö:
I should give Dream Walker a call. It was quite some time ago now. I find that he is much easier to undertand in spoken language than in his threads on this. I should probably try to reread those too, though.
Ya, gimme a call. I speaky better than writey. LOL
~D
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Olivier, modified 2 Months ago.

RE: Phenomenological pointers to non-dual perception?

Posts: 731 Join Date: 4/27/19 Recent Posts
Noah D:
Linda:
Now to my question: Are there similar pointers that can be made to recognize the little dualistic selfing-impulses that appear with regard to other senses

DreamWalker has good exercises - 

https://www.dharmaoverground.org/discussion/-/message_boards/message/5800908?_19_redirect=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.dharmaoverground.org%2Fdiscussion%2F-%2Fmessage_boards%2Fsearch%3F_19_redirect%3Dhttps%253A%252F%252Fwww.dharmaoverground.org%252Fdiscussion%252F-%252Fmessage_boards%252Fmy-posts%26_19_keywords%3Dframework%26_19_formDate%3D1607182677114%26_19_breadcrumbsCategoryId%3D0%26_19_searchCategoryId%3D0#_19_message_5800942
Anybody who gets what I'm asking about is very welcome to describe the phenomenology of what happens when we are drawn into dualistic perception, and how that can be let go of. I also welcome any descriptions of the phenomenology of shifting into non-dual awareness and how that relates to senses, perception, or whatever terms are not too misleading.

Here's some of my descriptions - 

http://noahsmonthlyupdate.blogspot.com/2017/12/milestones.html

I've always found it helpful to take the view that the duality is more work for the brain.  I think I heard this first from Daniel Ingram.  Wouldn't it be so nice to just let your brain relax?  Dualistic perception is an extra layer or filter, rather than the other way around.  You're subtracting things not adding.  

But first it can help to fabricate/artificially 'rehearse' what it would be like to have some filter subtracted - thus all the little sense door things like -

visual screen on which things appear
silence between sounds
sensations held by body as a whole
body held by space

Then , based on a pattern ive seen with self & friends, the next thing is to allow the objects within each of those fields to fully burst forth in all of their luminous brilliance.  With that shift, the sense of watcher really falls away.  As you say -
I also wonder - now and then it feels like my hearing consciousness is being sucked out from my head through my ears. As long as I keep believing that I'm in my head, that feels very weird. I have noticed that I can just let go of that, and then it stops feeling weird. Is there anything more I can "do" or "not-do" to help liberate the hearing?

So I would recommend trying to do all the 'background' shifts I described above & that DreamWalker describes in part of the thread above.  I think that will probably be faster.  From what I've seen, the people that get this luminosity/foreground shift are frequently *not* playing with perception when it happens (unlike the space/background shifts above).  There's usually some psychotherapy or emotional-energetic "ah ha" moment or obstacle that comes unblocked.  This allows (in poetic terms) the energy of the mind to stop being boxed into the body & sense organs & really pour forth into the objects in the field & rest there.  The field of course already always is this way.  But the human brain blocks that out in some kind of survival effort.  That's likely why the luminosity shift happens after a sense of deep safety is cultivated.

That's a really interesting way to put it, Noah, thank you. I really like you description of "objects bursting forth in all their brilliance". Astute rationale of what are the necesary conditions for such openings too. It's always a pleasure to hear the different ways people talk about this.

FWIW, the most natural way for me to get to this mode of attention and explain it, is to do it with a TREE. I'll describe it in case that might clarify things for someone. I can relate to the pattern you describe happened to you and friends. I guess it's pretty natural : broaden, include all, and from there deeply let details manifest by themselves. 

Pick a beautiful tree, place yourself far away enough that you can see all of it in your visual field, and close enough that you can see details. And just try to see the whole tree : all the branches, all the leaves, at once. And all the so-called "spaces between the branches", which are not spaces, but full of sky. Don't change your visual focus : you can actually perceive the unfocused bits of your vision perfectly well, they are just unfocused. Still, as present as the parts which are sharply focused. 

That's it, play with that. It actually requires a LOT of relaxation/letting go and at the same time clarity/presence. Include the visual sensations you would normally exclude from your perception of "the visual field", such as eyebrows, and blurry fluffy undefined stuff which seems to be the "you part" of it, as well as the bluriness of the space between you and the world. 

Then think of the bahya sutta :p 

I sometimes wonder if this is why the buddha advocated meditating at the roots of trees emoticon

--

Ok, I have a question Noah. When you say "the sense of the watcher really falls away" when you deepen that.

I can hear that in two way : (1) A kind of formless realm, visually - physical sensations for instance disappear, mental images recede completely, etc. 

(2) Different, lighter, not absorbed but perhaps deeper "no watcher" experiences, the times where all the different sense doors seem to be just hanging there, somehow interpenetrating and also not, with a sense that they aren't really locatable one in relation with the others, tnd then from there, is where you can start understanding what "One sense door vipassana" means. This can happen through contemplation of the bahiya sutta too.

Engaging with fun in the kinds of practices we describe here (1), has indeed had that effect of removing a filter for me too, as you say, and it's one of the more important milestones that I can recall, open the way to type (2) experiences, actually.

A couple of remarks : (i) These (2) type experiences seem linked to me with an even more relaxed stance that doesn't try to go broad or anything but just "let things manifest" and not particularize anything, with perhaps slight wonderment such as "where is this thing compared to that thing ?" and (ii) as I've continued practicing that, it's become clearer that actually, both type (1) and (2) experiences are just transient ways that the thing will manifest dependent on amount of practice preceding, etc.

It seems to me that models like AEN's 7 stages, or even Daniel suggesting there is a "flip", consider that there is a point where the "sense of watcher" falls away for good. But that seems artificial to me.

My current take is that they are just modalizations of consciousness, without a more ultimate status than any other - but necesary for realizing what they say about the nature of things.

What is yours ?

Cheers emoticon
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Noah D, modified 2 Months ago.

RE: Phenomenological pointers to non-dual perception?

Posts: 1098 Join Date: 9/1/16 Recent Posts
Olivier:
Pick a beautiful tree, place yourself far away enough that you can see all of it in your visual field, and close enough that you can see details. And just try to see the whole tree : all the branches, all the leaves, at once. And all the so-called "spaces between the branches", which are not spaces, but full of sky. Don't change your visual focus : you can actually perceive the unfocused bits of your vision perfectly well, they are just unfocused. Still, as present as the parts which are sharply focused

I like this pointer.  Seems like depending on the emphasis it could help with either panoramic vision or luminosity/non dual sight.
Engaging with fun in the kinds of practices we describe here (1), has indeed had that effect of removing a filter for me too, as you say, and it's one of the more important milestones that I can recall, open the way to type (2) experiences, actually.

Yeah 1 sounds like the type of insight experience that gets to the vantage point of 2.
A couple of remarks : (i) These (2) type experiences seem linked to me with an even more relaxed stance that doesn't try to go broad or anything but just "let things manifest" and not particularize anything, with perhaps slight wonderment such as "where is this thing compared to that thing ?" and (ii) as I've continued practicing that, it's become clearer that actually, both type (1) and (2) experiences are just transient ways that the thing will manifest dependent on amount of practice preceding, etc.

Yeah that's interesting.  Just playing with ideas here but maybe your #2 experiences are some of the sub aspects (dif sense doors) of the full enchilada non duality.  And then with this even more relaxed experience it could either be another sub aspect or starting to fuse some of these aspects together.
It seems to me that models like AEN's 7 stages, or even Daniel suggesting there is a "flip", consider that there is a point where the "sense of watcher" falls away for good. But that seems artificial to me.

This is dependent on the individual.  Some people experience shifts gradually & some sudden.  To be fair to AEN 7 stages, AEN does say that they are not meant to be fully hierarchical.  
My current take is that they are just modalizations of consciousness, without a more ultimate status than any other - but necesary for realizing what they say about the nature of things.

I think this is a valid stance *except* for the fact that some modes of consciousness have less dukkha in them.  We could say (from a traditional dharma lens, for instance) that a buddha is omniscient/omnicompetent & therefore has complete access to all dukkha-sub-stratum of mind in every individual while at the same time being completely free of it.  That's sort of like the ultimate version of this equanimity-relativity idea.  But until that ultimate point, the advice as I understand it, is more focused on the relief of suffering than it is on the discovery of truth (such as the truth of the relativity of all perspectives).  However, for some people, the dukkha is wrapped up in this search for truth - & for them solving these types of koans may be more important.  But it still comes down to dukkha in my opinion.  Also in my experience, certain traits of consciousness are permanent.  Like the effects that came from my first POI completion in 2015 haven't changed in any waking or dream moments, but they have increased with later insights.  So I don't know if that makes this more non dual perspective more "ultimate", but it does seem to be stable & have less dukkha in it.  

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Olivier, modified 2 Months ago.

RE: Phenomenological pointers to non-dual perception?

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Thanks for the feedback Noah emoticon

I like what you say about the tension between quest for dukkha vs quest for truth, especially the part about the dukkha that might be wrapped up in the quest for truth, and that all this, has more individual presentations than even pragmatic dharma people tend to want to think of it - at least i tend to want to pinpoint the perfect expression, when probably there isn't one.

I do believe that there are realizations which imply modes of consciousness far beyond what i've ever experienced. 

May i ask if you ever touched upon such states as feeling like you are experiencing many different levels/kinds of experiences simultaneously as some people report ? Feel like sharin' ? 

Fun stuff emoticon
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Noah D, modified 2 Months ago.

RE: Phenomenological pointers to non-dual perception?

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Olivier:
May i ask if you ever touched upon such states as feeling like you are experiencing many different levels/kinds of experiences simultaneously as some people report ? Feel like sharin' ? 

In terms of 'touched upon ... feeling like', I would say "yes", probably in the way that many people who have had A&P events have.  But the very start of the "real thing" omniscience would be actual psychic power that is repeatable across circumstances.  I haven't even gotten close to anything like this, but I also haven't tried.  
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Olivier, modified 2 Months ago.

RE: Phenomenological pointers to non-dual perception?

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Right.

Might actually not be something one choses , i could imagine..
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Steph S, modified 2 Months ago.

RE: Phenomenological pointers to non-dual perception?

Posts: 647 Join Date: 3/24/10 Recent Posts
I don't know if this will be helpful, but something that might be really interesting to pay attention to if you haven't already is what happens when  mental images appear. You can absolutely play around with the fact that mental images are non-locatable in that they don't have anything to do with the eyes. Maybe that's obvious to some, but I found for a very long time that I would squint harder or try to focus my eyes in a certain way to more clearly see mental images. Then I realized that mental images don't happen at the eyes. They can still appear regardless of what your eyes are doing. I think this might be somewhat related to what you're saying about dropping the weird tension movement at the eyes. You can drop the tension movement with mental images too and simply pay attention to how those mental images manifest.
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 2 Months ago.

RE: Phenomenological pointers to non-dual perception?

Posts: 5293 Join Date: 12/8/18 Recent Posts
Thankyou Steph! I used to believe that other people could actually see mental imagery as if with their eyes, just because they were talking about where it was located, so it's a relief to hear that I'm not the only one who was confused about it. When I started my practice I tried to explain to people that I didn't have access to mental imagery at all. They didn't believe me. Somebody asked me to think of the wall behind me. I was in my bed at the time and I had been living in that apartment for seven years, and I really couldn't recall what the wall looked like. I could imagine touching it, hearing the sound from different kinds of touch of it, smelling it and even tasting it, but I did not know what it looked like. It turned out to be plain white when I looked. For some reason that door was shut to me, although I do remember mental images from when I was a kid. I had to struggle hard to imagine the face of a loved one. I could think of their smell and the touch of their hair, the taste of a kiss, and from there I could sort of zoom out to see that hair and then one detail at a time. Nowadays it's effortless. That's a miracle. I never really had that tension with regard to mental images, though, because it was just blank, and now it's just a knowing. 

I love hearing about other people's ways of experiencing their senses and their mind (it's super-fascinating), so even if I can't apply this, I appreciated your sharing. 

Hehe, I remember wondering how people managed to cover all the blackness behind their eyelids with something as elusive as images, and then when I started to see patterns and colors in that murk, I really thought that must be how mental images appear too. I actually saw things appear projected in the murk before I could get any proper access to mental imagery as a grown-up. I'm a bit backwards. emoticon 
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Steph S, modified 2 Months ago.

RE: Phenomenological pointers to non-dual perception?

Posts: 647 Join Date: 3/24/10 Recent Posts
Linda - regarding that inability to see mental images - do you have aphantasia? That's a condition where people can't voluntarily see mental images. 

I'm finding the conversation about the lack of barrier/separation between the sense doors in this thread interesting. To me, when this happens, it's almost like a form of synesthesia or reminds me of descriptions of that. This is something that has become more pronounced for me. I don't think I have actual synesthesia but aspects of experience remind me of it. With hearing especially and how non-locatable it is, and seeing too. Sometimes it's almost like I can "see" and tactically feel music. Not in the sense that listening to music makes certain visualizations happen, or that I can feel the vibrations of the bass or what have you in my body. I know that happens. More specifically, it's almsot like I can sense it visually and want to almost chart the beats and map them somehow to reality. I'm having trouble describing it accurately. 
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Chris Marti, modified 2 Months ago.

RE: Phenomenological pointers to non-dual perception?

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I suspect the mind has many ways to map experiences that we don't use because there are more direct or "ways" ways to function. Maybe this would be the kind of thing that happens to people who lose their sight and then develop other ways to navigate the world. Mapping what used to be visual using sound, or touch. Music is a great example, Steph. I can very easily relate to what you've just described.
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Steph S, modified 2 Months ago.

RE: Phenomenological pointers to non-dual perception?

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Awesome! Perfect example is that I'm listening to music in my headphones right now and I have this very strong urge to want to reach out and touch the music with my hands.
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Papa Che Dusko, modified 2 Months ago.

RE: Phenomenological pointers to non-dual perception?

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Steph S:
Awesome! Perfect example is that I'm listening to music in my headphones right now and I have this very strong urge to want to reach out and touch the music with my hands.
Dude emoticon I know what ya sayn' emoticon I get this all the time! I usually reach out for my shwangy-twang emoticon (my guitar) and give it a spin emoticon 
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Steph S, modified 2 Months ago.

RE: Phenomenological pointers to non-dual perception?

Posts: 647 Join Date: 3/24/10 Recent Posts
Papa Che Dusko:
Steph S:
Awesome! Perfect example is that I'm listening to music in my headphones right now and I have this very strong urge to want to reach out and touch the music with my hands.
Dude emoticon I know what ya sayn' emoticon I get this all the time! I usually reach out for my shwangy-twang emoticon (my guitar) and give it a spin emoticon 

El Che - you are a musician so I gather that makes intuitive sense to you. Funny thing is, I'm not a musician although several people have told me I talk about music and appreciate it in the way that a musician does. I tried learning piano once but gave up. haha.
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 2 Months ago.

RE: Phenomenological pointers to non-dual perception?

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Chris Marti:
I suspect the mind has many ways to map experiences that we don't use because there are more direct or "ways" ways to function. Maybe this would be the kind of thing that happens to people who lose their sight and then develop other ways to navigate the world. Mapping what used to be visual using sound, or touch. Music is a great example, Steph. I can very easily relate to what you've just described.

Yes, that makes sense. 

As for wanting to touch music, I often have the experience of silence having kinesthetic qualities, and at the same time the word that feels most accurate for describing it is taste. I'm a connoisseur of silences. 
Tim Farrington, modified 2 Months ago.

RE: Phenomenological pointers to non-dual perception?

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[
Steph S
Awesome! Perfect example is that I'm listening to music in my headphones right now and I have this very strong urge to want to reach out and touch the music with my hands.
and 
Chris Marti:
I suspect the mind has many ways to map experiences that we don't use because there are more direct or "ways" ways to function. Maybe this would be the kind of thing that happens to people who lose their sight and then develop other ways to navigate the world. Mapping what used to be visual using sound, or touch. Music is a great example, Steph. I can very easily relate to what you've just described.
and 
Linda

Yes, that makes sense. 

As for wanting to touch music, I often have the experience of silence having kinesthetic qualities, and at the same time the word that feels most accurate for describing it is taste. I'm a connoisseur of silences. 


One of the interesting things to me, in terms of mapping experience, and music, is that one of the things that makes music music is the play between a pattern that sets up an expectation, and the moment in music when the expectation is subverted and the next note is a genuine creative surprise. As a map, a piece of absorbing music is consistently revealing new landscape, and every subversion of the patterned expectation is its own delight. It is the play of consciousness par excellence. 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 2 Months ago.

RE: Phenomenological pointers to non-dual perception?

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Tim Farrington:

One of the interesting things to me, in terms of mapping experience, and music, is that one of the things that makes music music is the play between a pattern that sets up an expectation, and the moment in music when the expectation is subverted and the next note is a genuine creative surprise. As a map, a piece of absorbing music is consistently revealing new landscape, and every subversion of the patterned expectation is its own delight. It is the play of consciousness par excellence. 

That is beautiful.
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 2 Months ago.

RE: Phenomenological pointers to non-dual perception?

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I was considering the possibility of having aphantasia, but since I can now effortlessly see mental images, at least I don't seem to have aphantasia now. So if I had it, meditation cured it. 

I have had synesthesia as long as I can remember. It seems to be common among neurodivergent people, at least among my friends (I don't have any statistics to prove it so I could be wrong). I'm not so sure it's the same thing. The nondual merging of the senses seems to work on some other axis. I can't elaborate on that right now. My brain is on strike. It's something to investigate for sure. Interesting topic indeed. 
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Ni Nurta, modified 2 Months ago.

RE: Phenomenological pointers to non-dual perception?

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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö:
I can't elaborate on that right now. My brain is on strike.
emoticon hope you manage to cool down
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 2 Months ago.

RE: Phenomenological pointers to non-dual perception?

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Steph S:
Linda - regarding that inability to see mental images - do you have aphantasia? That's a condition where people can't voluntarily see mental images. 


I think that for some strange reason, for a large period of my life, the mental processes that we call memories just didn't "tag" visuals, so visual processing couldn't access it. When I now think back on situations that I recall where I was struggling with trying to recall visual memory, I have visual memories of those situations - and I have visual memories of the stuff that I failed to recall visually. 
Jason Massie, modified 2 Months ago.

RE: Phenomenological pointers to non-dual perception?

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Space is important. After all, it is a prerequisite for subject and object. When concentration is strong and you are focused on an object, observe the subtle impermanence in space between you and the object. Observe the sensations that make it feel like sensations are coming to the sense door or visa versa. 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 2 Months ago.

RE: Phenomenological pointers to non-dual perception?

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Jason Massie:
Space is important. After all, it is a prerequisite for subject and object. When concentration is strong and you are focused on an object, observe the subtle impermanence in space between you and the object. Observe the sensations that make it feel like sensations are coming to the sense door or visa versa. 


Subtle? Is it okay to observe when it gets flat and falls into my face too? Because that isn't exactly subtle. What specific aspects are you talking about? 

I'm probably missing the profoundity of aspects that are inbetween the obvious examples and being hopelessly stuck in dualism. 

Yes, observing the sensations that make it feel like sensations are coming to the sense door is a tangible thing to investigate. Thankyou!
Jason Massie, modified 2 Months ago.

RE: Phenomenological pointers to non-dual perception?

Posts: 124 Join Date: 10/18/16 Recent Posts
Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö:
Jason Massie:
Space is important. After all, it is a prerequisite for subject and object. When concentration is strong and you are focused on an object, observe the subtle impermanence in space between you and the object. Observe the sensations that make it feel like sensations are coming to the sense door or visa versa. 


Subtle? Is it okay to observe when it gets flat and falls into my face too? Because that isn't exactly subtle. What specific aspects are you talking about? 

I'm probably missing the profoundity of aspects that are inbetween the obvious examples and being hopelessly stuck in dualism. 

Yes, observing the sensations that make it feel like sensations are coming to the sense door is a tangible thing to investigate. Thankyou!

Well, concentration needs to be strong so you can stay with the object while putting a little awareness between the subject and object. 
Subtle impermanence as in vibrations or whatever but in any sense door. Like grainy particles in the visual field. 6th jhana-esque. Nada sound in the auditory field. See if the tactile field can pick up this impermanence "out there" at the edge of vision.
For example, take the sound of an airplane or whatever as object, become aware of nada sound filling space and then, while still locked on to the object, start knowing the sensations in space that makes it feel like sound is coming to your ears. Inquiring "where do I know this" may be helpful too.
I was very curious about this topic and asked a lot of questions but I didn't get it until perpetual capabilites developed. Looking back I could also get glimpses in eq but I didn't really understand until it was walking around experience. Search for the "what is luminosity?" thread.
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 2 Months ago.

RE: Phenomenological pointers to non-dual perception?

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Jason Massie:

Well, concentration needs to be strong so you can stay with the object while putting a little awareness between the subject and object. 
Subtle impermanence as in vibrations or whatever but in any sense door. Like grainy particles in the visual field. 6th jhana-esque. Nada sound in the auditory field. See if the tactile field can pick up this impermanence "out there" at the edge of vision.


Oh, that. Sorry, I just take that for granted as part of daily life. I notice that routinely. I don't find that it is 6th jhana-esque, though, but then again I have very strict standards for what I count as formless after going through the formless realms in that very distinct and pure way that Daniel describes (not that it happens often) and finding that it was something completely different from what I had previously thought of as formless realms. I'm aware that there are differing opinions on that and I'm okay with others including states where vibrations of some kind still exist. I just find it more helpful in my own practice to use other criteria, because vibrations were a somewhat integrated part of my experience long before I started any systematic formal practice, and as I took up a regular practice, that very soon became the normal way of perceiving reality. I'm very vibration-prone, so to speak. So if that's good for shifting into nondual perception as the default mode, that's really good news. It means I'm on the right track. Thanks for clarifying! (And sorry if this comes off as showing off or something. I'm not capable of expressing myself better at the moment. ADHD brain coming online again after the worst part of my depression seems to be gone... the depression was masking the chaos. Autistic wiring therefore rusty with regard to dealing with ADHD. Bah. Lots to investigate there, though. Lots of low-hanging fruit.) It's very often the case for me that I don't realize that what is just obviously there is something worth mentioning, because just as there are lots of things that are challenging for me that are just taken for granted by the majority, that goes both ways. 


For example, take the sound of an airplane or whatever as object, become aware of nada sound filling space and then, while still locked on to the object, start knowing the sensations in space that makes it feel like sound is coming to your ears.


Gotcha. That’s actually one of my favorite exercises, or a version of it. I had forgotten about the specific part of looking at what makes it feel like the sound is coming to my ears for a while before these discussions, though, because I was focusing on in what ways it does not seem to come to my ears. 


Inquiring "where do I know this" may be helpful too.


That was exactly the issue that drove me to ask questions about this, because right before I was inspired by the thread mentioned in the start of this thread, I was heavily engaged in another thread about ”only one sensation at a time” which got me into coming back to the exercise of two fingers touching, because I find that I don’t necessarily know it as one bip at a time, from nerves in one finger touching the other one and then processed by the brain. That is one mode of perceiving it, but definitely not the only one. So yeah, doing that, finding it crucial and sometimes super-annoying.


I was very curious about this topic and asked a lot of questions but I didn't get it until perpetual capabilites developed. Looking back I could also get glimpses in eq but I didn't really understand until it was walking around experience.



Yeah, I think experience is necessary for getting this. In my case, the glimpses have developed over time. I had glimpses in EQ before stream entry, just like you mentioned. After what may have been second path (there have been several shifts since stream entry, and none of them measures up to what I understand to be criteria for third path, but I do think that one of them was a path moment for second - although I’m open to suggestions otherwise), glimpses have become stronger and lasted longer. I do think that I have some understanding, even though it is still limited. I’m not asking for the purpose of understanding what it is. Not mainly anyway. I’m asking because I want to ”stabilize” it, even though I know that it’s not a state and can’t really be stabilized. I’m in the situation of being frustrated because I now know from experience how much suffering there is to duality, and even though I can see how silly it is, I can't help still wanting to "get rid of" duality. I want to flip the switch. I have been on "the other side" of that switch, damn it, and the grass is much greener there. And I know that this is duality speaking. I mean, that's obvious. And yet I really really "need" to flip that damn switch. Of course I know that there aren't really any sides, except for in the sense that we turn them into sides, and to the extent that it is still meaningful to talk about sides for the purpose of communication, they aren't discrete but very relative. There are so many layers of duality to our samsaric existence, and some I have already popped, and others will remain as long as I remain in samsara. But I know what a liberation it is to recognize nonduality to a larger extent than I do as the default mode, and that makes me cranky. 


Search for the "what is luminosity?" thread.


I will. Thankyou! 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 2 Months ago.

RE: Phenomenological pointers to non-dual perception?

Posts: 5293 Join Date: 12/8/18 Recent Posts
Jason Massie:

start knowing the sensations in space that makes it feel like sound is coming to your ears. Inquiring "where do I know this" may be helpful too.

Okay, so I lay down contemplating "outside" sounds, as you adviced me to search for the sensations that make it appear as if the sounds reach my ears. I really can't find any such sensations. The sound seems to happen "out there" where the traffic is, and there are touch sensations of ears meeting pillows, but I can't even find any sensations that say that the ears are "here". It all just seems to be thoughts at a taken-for-granted level, applying logic to mental representations mimicking senses, that say that if "you" can feel touch sensations, then those sensations must be "here", and if the traffic sound is that low, compared to some other mental representation, then it must be "over there", and if the sound is "over there", then it needs to reach the ears "over here" because those are supposedly what we hear with, and there are mental representations of loud sounds hurting ears and of swollen ears together with impaired hearing, and very brief sensations of contractions around what mental representations tag as the heart, together with thoughts saying that this confirms that it "must" be so, and other thoughts that sceptically say that those sensations actually do not in themselves say anything more than the actual sensations -
and I can't place those thoughts anywhere. I was pondering the possibility of being the entire space, but realized that I can't actually find the space either, and of course I can't, because that would require a position outside of space (as Archimedes supposedly pointed to). The space is just assumed, and there's a whole lot going on that can't be located at all.
Jason Massie, modified 2 Months ago.

RE: Phenomenological pointers to non-dual perception?

Posts: 124 Join Date: 10/18/16 Recent Posts
I think those sensations are there. They are just subtle and require strong concentration and sensory clarity. Start with the grossest ones like the sensations that make up the ears. What does hearing feel like while locked on to a sound object with awareness of background auditory impermanence? I first noticed this deep in retreat watching the hum of an air conditioner.
 
I am not sure if it is that important. It could also be a loopy mind from lots of meditation.. haha.. What sent me down that path though was trying to figure out what Daniel meant by "phenomenon know themselves as they are, where they are". That was not my experience. It really annoyed me that it wasn't. Haha. That experience is non dual perception. Looking to see how things know themselves where they are was helpful for me. I am sure there are plenty of ways to do so.

It would be best to work with this at 4th jhana or having the qualities of the 4th jhana present as some say. Eq or 4vj or whatever map. This might let you tune into the visual and tactile aspects of the sounds as well.
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 2 Months ago.

RE: Phenomenological pointers to non-dual perception?

Posts: 5293 Join Date: 12/8/18 Recent Posts
Sure, they exist as little tags that come built into sensations. I'm not questioning that. They just don't say anything about anything more than themselves, and that means that they are not something that can address anything other. They can't even address the sensation they are built into, and yet they can't be separated from it. Sensations and tags come together, but the tag can only refer to itself. 

I just checked this with Daniel. Actually he agrees. I'm not claiming that I understand all the subtleties of it, but at least this is not wrong according to him, unless I totally misunderstood. 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 2 Months ago.

RE: Phenomenological pointers to non-dual perception?

Posts: 5293 Join Date: 12/8/18 Recent Posts
What I'm trying to say is: there are no sensations that tie the assumption in the tag causally to the sensation of hearing. They just co-arise. That's it. 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 2 Months ago.

RE: Phenomenological pointers to non-dual perception?

Posts: 5293 Join Date: 12/8/18 Recent Posts
I think what I have been trying to figure out is how dualistic sensations of something "other" are possible, and it seems like actually they aren't. I can't find anything in any sensation per se that proves that it refers to anything other. So I really don't need to prove that non-dualistic sensations are possible, because there is no way to find any other that can look at that problem to begin with (I thought I already knew that, but apparently I couldn't see the implications). The whole question is based on dualism to begin with, so it doesn't compute. The question is asked within one internal logic but aspires to adress an entirely different internal logic, and to my knowledge, there is no compiler anywhere that can work around that paradox. 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 2 Months ago.

RE: Phenomenological pointers to non-dual perception?

Posts: 5293 Join Date: 12/8/18 Recent Posts
Actually, I can't really seem to find the problem anymore, so nevermind. 

Weird. 

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