Announcements Announcements

DhO Hacked and Upgrade

General

ATTENTION!: It appears that our server has been hacked through this version of Liferay, meaning it is no longer secure, and so expect instability as we deal with this and attempt to upgrade to Liferay 7, which we failed to be able to do last year the last time the team attempted it, but we have no choice at this point, so bear with us as we try again. Save any long posts in a text file before posting them. You can follow me on Twitter at @danielmingram for updates if the site is down. Apologies for any complexity this causes. We will work as fast as we can. We have backups of the database, so hopefully nothing will be lost. Thanks to all helping with this complex process.

 

 

 

Message Boards Message Boards

Toggle
Location of Emptiness
Answer
1/22/10 5:09 PM
I have an interesting theory, and to get some data points, I would like for people who are along the path tell me where the emptiness seems to reside in their awareness. Is there any specific spot that seems to be the source of the various vibratory sensations. Where does it seem to be located? Does it lean towards a specific side?

RE: Location of Emptiness
Answer
1/22/10 10:31 PM as a reply to Lloth _.
"I have an interesting theory, and to get some data points, I would like for people who are along the path tell me where the emptiness seems to reside in their awareness. Is there any specific spot that seems to be the source of the various vibratory sensations. Where does it seem to be located? Does it lean towards a specific side?"

Any question of my location (undisclosed) on the path aside, this is an interesting-- and odd-- question. It seems a little like asking where, in your awareness, does the Milky Way seem to reside...

RE: Location of Emptiness
Answer
1/23/10 3:09 PM as a reply to Lloth _.
Let's nail down some various meanings of the word "emptiness" just to try to clarify what we are talking about.

These uses are in no particular order:

Emptiness can mean that phenonema, all of them, arise on their own, vanish on their own, and, as they occur as just a part of the universe unfolding and doing its thing, rather than some separate self creating them or being them, they are empty of a permanent, separate self, and instead are just a part of natural reality.

Emptiness can mean that as phenomena are aware, which is to say simply manifest, where they are, there is no separate observer of them, and thus are empty of being observed or being an observer.

Emptiness can mean Fruition: that gap that is discovered in stream entry and repeated thereafter. This is sometimes purported to be some mysterious well of potential, like the source of all things, but this is pure speculation. Such a thing is not experienced, being a complete discontinuity of the space-time continuum, a complete vanishing and re-appearing of the entire field of reality, including all of space and anything that seems to be self or other, so nothing can be said of it, and all such statements about it being this well of potential or the source of all things can't be substantiated and are pure untested and untestable theory.

As the first two definitions are simply ways of rephrasing the universal truths of the two of the Three Characteristics, and the second is an unknowable though attainable entity, does that help clarify the debate or your question?

The first two apply to all sensation equally. The second is its own category.

Helpful?

Daniel

RE: Location of Emptiness
Answer
1/24/10 3:20 PM as a reply to Lloth _.
Lloth _:
I have an interesting theory, and to get some data points, I would like for people who are along the path tell me where the emptiness seems to reside in their awareness. Is there any specific spot that seems to be the source of the various vibratory sensations. Where does it seem to be located? Does it lean towards a specific side?


Being that emptiness is not an object that resides anywhere, I think you may need to clarify your question. What I think you're really asking is something like, "where is the vantage point from which emptiness is perceived?" Is that close?

For the majority of one's practice, leading up to arahatship anyway, one's vantage point from which the Three Characteristics are perceived is seemingly located in the head-space. Technically, it is the Third-Eye or Brow center, which is located behind the forehead and is the energetic hub of "Witnessing" or "Presence" or "individual Consciousness." Because this anchor of "I am-ness" is not easily taken as object, it is quite difficult to observe. In light of this, some traditions emphasize surrender/letting go as the way to get beyond this perspective.

So in the relative sense, one may perceive the emptiness of phenomena from the head-space. Eventually, this vantage point must also be let go of in order to realize that it too is empty.

I'm hoping this is relevant to your question. If not, feel free to leave it in the dust.

Practice well,
~Jackson

RE: Location of Emptiness
Answer
1/24/10 5:20 PM as a reply to Lloth _.
Lloth _:
I have an interesting theory, and to get some data points, I would like for people who are along the path tell me where the emptiness seems to reside in their awareness. Is there any specific spot that seems to be the source of the various vibratory sensations. Where does it seem to be located? Does it lean towards a specific side?


hi lloth,

as, from a vipassana perspective, all sensations can be seen directly as being vibratory, then they, the various vibratory sensations, emanate directly 'from' wherever it is they are/they occur; that is to say, they don't emanate from anywhere *else* at all, they just happen where they do.

however, there is another sense in which i'm aware of vibratory sensations, which is the energetic/affective quality of experience, which i also call the somatic charge. i have found the existence of this affective, or feeling-felt, quality of experience to be clearly dependent on the experience of being (the feeling of being), and i find these sensations (of which the charge is composed) to emanate from a few inches below and behind my navel - the same place i locate the feeling of being.

what is your interesting theory?

tarin

RE: Location of Emptiness
Answer
1/24/10 10:25 PM as a reply to tarin greco.
Thanks for all the answers.

The reason I bring this up is that in my own practice, there seems to be a nexus of phenomenon that seem to be transient, which is located around the head, on the left side, under the eye. When I'm in equanimity, the bliss seems it extends towards the throat. This is the term I'm using for emptiness, not a fruition.

Now, at times, this can move to the stomache as well, and occasionally the heart. But for the most part the vibrations seem to "come from" the head.

Now. The interesting thing happens when I close one eye or another eye. It seems that at certain times in the path, closing one eye seems to change how reality is experienced. This seems to be very apparent during reobservation.

I've created a pair of glasses which covers one eye, and that seems to be somewhat effective in changing what happens. I've been doing a bit of experimentation, and it seems that if I cover my left eye, reality seems to become much more solid, and my internal auditory voice picks up.

Whereas if I cover my right eye, the vibrations seem to pick up more, and I feel less solid.

What's also interesting is that I can with a bit of effort step from one way of looking to the other.

Recently, I was reading, "My Stroke of Insight", which has a lot to do with the right/left hemisphere split, and this sparked a minor insight. It seems she recovered from what appears to be a very "enlightened" state, stuff we associate much with the path.

My current hypothesis is that my left hemisphere uses my right eye, and vice versa, and by covering the eyes it seems to directly effect my experiential reality. This seems to be somewhat confirmed with this:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZMLzP1VCANo

My interest in the matter is because staying in the flow is nice, but there are times when this is not the best way of living, and being able to modulate this seems to be useful.

RE: Location of Emptiness
Answer
1/25/10 11:27 PM as a reply to Lloth _.
Actually, the left hemisphere of the brain receives visual input from the right SIDE of each eye, instead of all the input from the right eye. If you want to selectively stimulate one hemisphere of the brain, e.g. the left, you would need to cover the left half of each eye, and perhaps put an earplug in the left ear. That way, you would have input from the right side of each eye and from the right ear.


Note that this probably won't produce any noticeable effect for the average person because the corpus callosum in the brain serves as a link between the two hemispheres. A very high-speed, effective link that causes you to have a single brain operating as a unit, rather than two brains doing different tasks. A neuropsychologist could find differences in hemisphere activity in normal people using computers to sensitively and accurately test something like, say, reaction time. But getting any effect that you yourself would perceive in meditation is unlikely. The only significant hemispheric difference is that the left hemisphere does most semantic language tasks like understanding and producing words, whereas the right hemisphere does the social language tasks like interpreting tone of voice and prosody. For non-language stuff, the hemispheres work pretty similarly.


Jill Bolte Taylor isn't really very knowledgeable about neuroscience from an academic perspective anyway, because the memory loss due to her stroke caused her to forget so much of her research and what she learned about the brain in undergraduate and grad school. In the book, she talks about being worried that her Ph.D. will get taken away because she doesn't know neuroscience anymore. They didn't actually take it away, but she doesn't do neuroscience anymore. Certainly she gained a LOT of useful knowledge about how her own mind worked in the process -- and she got happiness, which is what we all wanted, right? But as for real neuroscience, her talks and the content of her book are very off.


Just one minor point, and it's kind of a nit-pick, but it might be helpful. When you look at where the sensations of vibrations "come from," what is the nature of the sensations that tell you where they come from? Do those sensations, themselves, vibrate? And are they from a particular place? If you get an answer to those questions, what is the nature of the answers? If not, then what is the nature of the sensations that comprised "not knowing?" All of this is useful to the practice.

RE: Location of Emptiness
Answer
1/26/10 3:14 PM as a reply to J Adam G.
Actually, the left hemisphere of the brain receives visual input from the right SIDE of each eye


Of each eye? I haven't heard that before. Perhaps the case where the corpus callosum is cut then the left eye merely goes to the right hemisphere and vice versa.

If you have any more research for me to read regarding this, I'd be most grateful.

However, from my experimentation, it seems that if I keep my right eye uncovered then I get the effect of being more solid, although not completely, there does seem to be some vibratory leak through, and the solidness itself is not completely solid per se, it's just not vibrating*), then presumably my left hemisphere (if my theory is correct) is used. Not sure if that was clear with what I said, since that's what I meant.

It's possible that I'm merely dreaming up these associations.

As for the book, I didn't particularly mean to use that as serious neuroscience. Her explanations seemed very fuzzy in that regard. I'm just saying it largely sparked this idea.

I'll get back to you on the last answer. I could give a tentative answer right now. But I don't want to give something inaccurate, so I'll see what happens and get back to you on that.

* - It seems to follow a more, "If I'm aware of it, it's there" kind of solidness. With a small gap between the awareness of these sensations and the sensation itself.