RE: Interoception, Proprioception, Cortical homunculus, Body distortions

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Dream Walker, modified 7 Years ago.

Interoception, Proprioception, Cortical homunculus, Body distortions

Posts: 1313 Join Date: 1/18/12 Recent Posts
I've been researching some interesting things about the body and mind and wanted to share and discuss the subject.
here is a really interesting web site that explains the subject well and goes into energetics and the nervous system. Interoception at ancestralmovement.com

The picture above shows a picture of the Homunculus representation based off the mapping of the cortex
Cortical_homunculus

Homunculus Thread
Serif Panfried:
Hi all - Hope you are well -
Just wondering if any of you had any ideas on the following phenomena that has occurred a few times now. I had this happen a couple of times in my pre/early teens and at that time was not doing any sort of meditation practice. I have been doing shamatha for about 2 years and this same thing has occurred a few times in the last 8 months or so.
It initially starts subtly at the base/back of the throat as a sensation that sort of inflates/solidifies with the breath and spreads gradually to the front of the face/mouth and down through the hands making my face feel like it belongs to a horse or something and my hands feel like basketballs. There is also a slight rolling sensation of feeling very large to very small simultaneously. It starts, it happens then fades away without any input from me (it seems?) - but it is very different from any normal sensation. Through meditation practice, it is now quite pleasant and sitting with it is easy. When I have had these feelings when much younger back then they were somewhat disconcerting.
Even though the Wow and Why was/is not particularly important there is an interesting correlation I stumbled upon recently describing the homunculus and wondered if there was any connection. I was searching for some images/ideas for artwork and came across this caricature type rendition and the resemblance to what my body felt like at the time was uncanny, specifically the big hands and big mouth/face. I found that the image is a representation of the cortical homunculus and thats about as far as I got as my knowledge of the brain system is limited at best. There is also a concept called the homunculus fallacy which seems interesting as well. It is about the fact "that it tries to account for a phenomenon in terms of the very phenomenon that it is supposed to explain" (the watcher watching the watcher?). When I read this part it seems to relate to the "tumbling down the hole" feeling of being small then big then small...

Daniel M. Ingram:
The homunculus feeling is standard 1st jhana stuff, and, if there is interest, can be developed into a very strong feeling of it just by attending more to it.
It is part of the general category of felt body geometry distortion stuff that can occur in that territory through concentration or insight practice, and it used to show up often for me on my early retreats.
Daniel

Serif Panfried:

Hey Daniel - Yes when the interest is applied it felt like winding up a generator and I could sit for quite a while with little to no effort. If I was to wonder about this though, when it happens, as it happens, before any thoughts or names were given to it, how did it manifest. I literally seemed to fall into it like a hole I didnt know was there. As I said above there is an overall laid back attitude and maybe a distinct lack of wanting, needing or aversion before I sit but this not unusual and mostly results in a tranquil sitting session without the "bells and whistles" so to speak. I have read many descriptions here on jhanas but am still unsure - are they a (by)product of concentration/insight, a tool to use, a stepping stone, or an interesting sight to indulge in.


Marshmallow man Thread
Andrew Young:

Since then I have been working on concentration practices and am very happy with how things are progressing. In the beginning I was totally restless after 15 minutes, now I'm sitting for 45 and being aware of the breath the whole time. Also, feeling disappointed when the alarm goes off! Now I'm working on fine tuning my attention by focussing on the anapanasati spot.

Yesterday that went really well, and I was in a pretty damn good space for a long time. Today it was not so easy - I live by a main road, and people were moving around the house a lot. So instead I opened my field of awareness. Something pretty cool happened. When I was a child, I'd occasionally get a sensation like my tongue was enormous - indeterminate size really. It was fascinating. Today I got that feeling over my whole body. It was pretty sweet! I'd describe it as feeling like the Stay Puft marshmallow man in Ghost Busters, but not angry (another movie reference... interesting). I dunno if it was a type of jhana or what - is there a marshmallow man jhana? Ha ha ha... That's one reason I'd like to find a decent teacher.
emoticon

Dream Walker:
Stay Puft marshmallow man ...lol....very nice description...
I describe it as my hands feel like two balloons....and arms are like big as logs and my body like a big ol tree trunk....I usually do not feel the effect below my belly button it just disappears....as well as my head...
There is usually a really intense energy feeling that goes with it...
This happened the other day and the arms went totally big until they went out to everywhere.....
This has to do with the Selfing process that becomes unstable as you continue to meditate...Proprioception is what it is called...
I also wonder exactly where in the jhanas this is but since it is transitory (as well as many, many other things) I don't worry about it as much (though still fascinated) I try to focus more on the permanent changes and getting to the next one.

Perhaps someone will be able to explain this better....
Anyone?

Andrew Young:
Stay puft marshmallow man visited again today. Then he morphed into The Thing from the fantastic four (more movie metaphors). This lasted about 15 minutes, until my alarm went off. I felt my whole body as if it was made of rock, or glass. Something completely hard with a brittle flavor/texture. The texture was like really jagged rocks, or glass shards... more like dark jagged rocks though. That sensation could be quite frightening if met with the wrong state of mind. It got to the point where it felt like breathing might not be possible, but I knew that wasn't going to happen. Like stay puft, it is a sensation I recall from when I was a child.

There's a visual aspect to that I got a little of - used to get more of then I was a child. A pure white space transforms into a gritty, jagged, space - kind of reminds me of a seismograph readout.

Fun times! emoticon

Dream Walker:

I have experienced the marshmallow man three or four times and mostly they were at times of stress where I felt the ego was being attacked. I currently think that the selfing process that is entangled with proprioception creates the sense of Center Point, Soul, Agent and duality of self and other. When the marshmallow man feeling swelled out and "popped" into everything I momentarily lost the duality experience and shifted to non-dual for a few minutes. I stroked the couch to feel what it felt like while nondual....of course it was the same. It's merely a perspective change. I think this is a preview of what 3rd path will be like and this is a test to see if it freaks you totally out....like WHOA EGO DEATH...or just cool...looky at non-dual...nice.
The energy that comes along with the marshmallow man feeling tends to encourage this. Super intense and not comfortable which if taken the wrong way could again freak you out. I too recognize the overloaded feeling from when I was young...too much energy that was not comfortable. I try to cultivate this non-dual focus throughout the day in hopes that it will help me move to 3rd path.
I have not gotten the feeling of the swelling as anything but expansion....check and see if you're not mixing the energy feeling with the impression of marshmallow man feeling. I could explain the energy as jagged kinda but they are two things to me.
Good luck
~D

Anyone have some body distortions stories that could shed more light on this subject?
Thoughts on Interoception, Proprioception or body distortions in general? Has anyone applied the 3 characteristics to the Homunculus and experienced any non dual effects?
~D
Change A., modified 7 Years ago.

RE: Interoception, Proprioception, Cortical homunculus, Body distortions

Posts: 793 Join Date: 5/24/10 Recent Posts
Have you done a Goenka Vipassana course? If yes, have you had a flow happen where you could scan all your body from top to bottom in a second? If yes, did you experience any distortion at that time?
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Dream Walker, modified 7 Years ago.

RE: Interoception, Proprioception, Cortical homunculus, Body distortions

Posts: 1313 Join Date: 1/18/12 Recent Posts
Change A.:
Have you done a Goenka Vipassana course? If yes, have you had a flow happen where you could scan all your body from top to bottom in a second? If yes, did you experience any distortion at that time?

I have done one 10 day Goenka course. That was while I was in stuck in review post 1st path but couldn't get 2nd path started. I did not get a flow as you describe. Barely could do the sensations on the body as instructed and the natural inclination was to the sensations of my chakras. It was a very slow process of noticing my awareness move up and down the chakras unless I forced awareness back to breath or a particular part of the body. I did not experience any distortion.
You are describing what sounds like a particular experience you had....care to elaborate?
Thanks,
~D
Change A., modified 7 Years ago.

RE: Interoception, Proprioception, Cortical homunculus, Body distortions

Posts: 793 Join Date: 5/24/10 Recent Posts
I experienced distortion on my first Goenka course in the beginning but all of that went away after the flow started. That's how I know that distortions are a blockage at some point.
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katy steger, modified 7 Years ago.

RE: Interoception, Proprioception, Cortical homunculus, Body distortions

Posts: 1741 Join Date: 10/1/11 Recent Posts
Anyone have some body distortions stories that could shed more light on this subject?
Thoughts on Interoception, Proprioception or body distortions in general? Has anyone applied the 3 characteristics to the Homunculus and experienced any non dual effects?


Yep. This is a very common, natural reaction in meditation: the intellect people tend to associate with consciousness is getting a taste of the sense consciousnesses, which can deliver as wide a range of experience as mental consciousness.

One could try to capture this experience into an intellectual querying (like mapping...) or just keep practicing, because when intellectualization subsides, the samantha jhanas can happen to the person, the insights --- wordless understandings -- can happen.

Good luck, D. I'm enjoying your other thread, too. I loved your comment on mapping killing emoticon

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