Illusory body , almost like a hologram

wylo ., modified 8 Years ago.

Illusory body , almost like a hologram

Posts: 166 Join Date: 11/18/11 Recent Posts
Hi all,
Ive been continuing my practice of approx 45 mins to 1 hour of concentration and insight practice. Ive sort of dropped the maps , not entirely but just having a look at them as a point of curiosity more than anything. Im not that bothered about "where Im at" anymore, and any cycles seem to be either gone for the past while , or so insignificant or mild that I dont notice, with the exception of a day or 2 here and then.

I also began practice in terms of questioning all experience, and the existence of any object. I used a book called Direct Path by Greg Goode, in my limited knowledge I believe the method is described as “tattvopadesha” in Advaita if that means anything to anyone.
Example:
Id look a table, and ask " in my visual field,outside of the colours, is there evidence of a table?" , "is there evidence of a me looking at the table?", "is there evidence of distance from the table? Keeping in mind the only evidence I have is colours", and then more questions like "is there evidence of seeing the table?, can I actually see 'seeing' going on?", "is there evidence of an actual colour? ie is there actual visual evidence outside of the awareness of the colour that that colour was there waiting to be seen?"

You know , stuff like that
I would do this heavily with all my senses, Id then move onto thought, Id move onto other stuff , like behaviour and assumptions, and ask the same stuff.

But the fast few days , there's been somewhat of a shift, yesterday was probably more obvious and intense than today.
But basically a sense that the body is illusory, thats its just a figment of imagination or awareness or SOMETHING. That its not real at all, like I said , a hologram.
Ive had glimpses of this in the past, but usually its either during a sit, or during something strange like heavy exercise like jogging or cycling. Whereas this time it was throughout the whole day, and also into today.
Theres definitely not the "wow" obvious factor today though, so it has probably subsided a little.
My question is, does this kind of stuff line up anywhere with MCTB 4 path model stuff or is it a case that the teaching and practice is so different that it cant be compared?

Thanks for any help.
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D Z, modified 8 Years ago.

RE: Illusory body , almost like a hologram

Posts: 346 Join Date: 9/18/11 Recent Posts
Pretty sure what you are noticing is an absence of bodily tension. If so, Congratulatiuons!

Like when you put your hand on the keyboard, you know that the hand is logically connected to your body. But that intuitive sense that you had (but didn't realize you had) about the hand being 'yours' is greatly diminished ?

Here is an old post from my journal to see if it sounds similar...

[quote=DZ's Journal]In my purusit of non-dual states, I have been following advice posted on DhO by End In Sight. Started to notice the subtle non-sensory tensions in the body. I can confirm his assertions that these tensions have something to do with the mind's self-generated illusion of a unified body. And appear responsible for quite a bit of desire and suffering.

My method on releasing it as follows:

Lie down on back
Release the tensions in the feet, like releasing a tightly wound elastic band.
Allow the tensions to dissipate, there is no longer a subtle mental image of the feet, but rather only the sensory preception of them
Move up the body to the legs, releasing tensions the way one would release an elastic band (i.e. after letting go, it releases itself)


If you do this correctly, there will be no intuitive sense that your 'foot' (or any other part of the body) exists outside of your sensual preceptions. Although logically you will know that this is your foot, and your motor coordination remains


If my diagnosis is correct, then this is outside the MCTB model.

But the start of great things in terms of a reduction in suffering emoticon.
wylo ., modified 8 Years ago.

RE: Illusory body , almost like a hologram

Posts: 166 Join Date: 11/18/11 Recent Posts
D Z:
Pretty sure what you are noticing is an absence of bodily tension. If so, Congratulatiuons!

Like when you put your hand on the keyboard, you know that the hand is logically connected to your body. But that intuitive sense that you had (but didn't realize you had) about the hand being 'yours' is greatly diminished ?

Here is an old post from my journal to see if it sounds similar...

[quote=DZ's Journal]In my purusit of non-dual states, I have been following advice posted on DhO by End In Sight. Started to notice the subtle non-sensory tensions in the body. I can confirm his assertions that these tensions have something to do with the mind's self-generated illusion of a unified body. And appear responsible for quite a bit of desire and suffering.

My method on releasing it as follows:

Lie down on back
Release the tensions in the feet, like releasing a tightly wound elastic band.
Allow the tensions to dissipate, there is no longer a subtle mental image of the feet, but rather only the sensory preception of them
Move up the body to the legs, releasing tensions the way one would release an elastic band (i.e. after letting go, it releases itself)


If you do this correctly, there will be no intuitive sense that your 'foot' (or any other part of the body) exists outside of your sensual preceptions. Although logically you will know that this is your foot, and your motor coordination remains



If my diagnosis is correct, then this is outside the MCTB model.

But the start of great things in terms of a reduction in suffering emoticon.

Thanks DZ , that method you describe is very useful too.
But yea, its what you describe, the feeling that the hand is part of this body is pretty much gone, its incredibly liberating, its 'intensity' seems to vary put every day feels like im breaking new ground at the moment. Although , it has to be said, if I was really breaking the amount of ground that it felt like it was , id be the most enlightened being on Earth by now, hehe. My point being, its very easy forget yesterday!! emoticon


But overall, its really great to see good progress being made. Ill keep practicing, and keep pushing. I feel like fairly lucky that I ran into this place, even though various people have slightly different takes everyone has the same target in mind. I dont think I would have come across EISs stuff about tension anywhere else really.
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Pål S., modified 8 Years ago.

RE: Illusory body , almost like a hologram

Posts: 196 Join Date: 8/16/10 Recent Posts
Regarding paths, there's a difference between a shift cause by a path-moment and other kinds of baseline shifts. For every path (beat) there a plenty of off-beat non-path insights, as they are much more common.

A path-insight often feels to my like the straw that broke the camel's back. Like the brain is saying: "Ok, enough, I can't hold onto this belief/view any longer [cut scene]". It's like being deep in your own mind-system and flipping over that final lever. (think a railroad switch). When this happens there's often the sensation of a silent 'blip' sound, and if you're fast you can actually go back and revisit where that 'blip' occurred, but it will no longer have any effect since the damage is already done.

After the path-insight/moment it's often hard to tell what's different from before (as opposed to other shifts that have a more direct "holy shit!" quality), but there is this certainty of "something is forever changed". Often there's a big relief with an accompanied expansion then follows a contraction, as if the brain and body is hurting from the mass-rearrangement.

I often made the mistake of judging a shift to be path or not by its 'bigness', and then again judging its importance by it's path-ness. Just note that there a realizations, insights and experiences (a PCE for example) that makes a bigger impact than some of the smaller paths (2nd for example).

Ok, this is getting messy, but for what it's worth... [this is what happens when we start squeezing into maps]


PS: "End in Sight" actually had one of the best summations of the 4 MCTB paths I have ever read. Tried searching for it but couldn't find it, maybe it's been deleted?
wylo ., modified 8 Years ago.

RE: Illusory body , almost like a hologram

Posts: 166 Join Date: 11/18/11 Recent Posts
Pål S.:
Regarding paths, there's a difference between a shift cause by a path-moment and other kinds of baseline shifts. For every path (beat) there a plenty of off-beat non-path insights, as they are much more common.

A path-insight often feels to my like the straw that broke the camel's back. Like the brain is saying: "Ok, enough, I can't hold onto this belief/view any longer [cut scene]". It's like being deep in your own mind-system and flipping over that final lever. (think a railroad switch). When this happens there's often the sensation of a silent 'blip' sound, and if you're fast you can actually go back and revisit where that 'blip' occurred, but it will no longer have any effect since the damage is already done.

After the path-insight/moment it's often hard to tell what's different from before (as opposed to other shifts that have a more direct "holy shit!" quality), but there is this certainty of "something is forever changed". Often there's a big relief with an accompanied expansion then follows a contraction, as if the brain and body is hurting from the mass-rearrangement.

I often made the mistake of judging a shift to be path or not by its 'bigness', and then again judging its importance by it's path-ness. Just note that there a realizations, insights and experiences (a PCE for example) that makes a bigger impact than some of the smaller paths (2nd for example).

Ok, this is getting messy, but for what it's worth... [this is what happens when we start squeezing into maps]


PS: "End in Sight" actually had one of the best summations of the 4 MCTB paths I have ever read. Tried searching for it but couldn't find it, maybe it's been deleted?


Interesting, I do the exact same (well until reading this), ie judging a shift and whether its a path moment or not by its bigness. But yea theres so many different shifts, some of which are temporary experiences, others permanently abiding etc, that I can see how you could pass through realizations /path moments without noticing, more a case of "Holy crap the past 2 weeks have been entirely different to before that".
So thanks for the tip. Although that said, ive sort of dropped the MCTB map to an extent, it doesn't seem as relevant as it did for me at one stage. I found that I was attempting to place my own experiences/path into it, and more often than not it was a bit of a lost cause.

It still really helped with motivation though.
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Pål S., modified 8 Years ago.

RE: Illusory body , almost like a hologram

Posts: 196 Join Date: 8/16/10 Recent Posts
I prefer just to use a simple scale/range model, say from A to Z where A is where you start off and Z is the end point. The idea is simply to have a point of reference when checking for progression. See BG 224 and BG 225
End in Sight, modified 8 Years ago.

RE: Illusory body , almost like a hologram

Posts: 1251 Join Date: 7/6/11 Recent Posts
Pål S.:
PS: "End in Sight" actually had one of the best summations of the 4 MCTB paths I have ever read. Tried searching for it but couldn't find it, maybe it's been deleted?


Maybe it's on KFD?
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Pål S., modified 8 Years ago.

RE: Illusory body , almost like a hologram

Posts: 196 Join Date: 8/16/10 Recent Posts
Found it. Ironically it was in reply to wylo in a similar thread:

End in Sight:
The ultimate test for MCTB 1st path is whether you can get a fruition (either spontaneously or by meditation), so if you really want to know where you stand in MCTB, you'll have to check that out. If you can't get one, chances are you don't have MCTB 1st path. (You might have attained something like MCTB 1st path, but MCTB wouldn't have any info about it, and honestly, I doubt we at the DhO would either.)

In case it helps, here's a super-abridged version of how I understood the paths in relation to my experience:

1st: Wow, there's no self in my experience anywhere!
2nd: Deeper than 1st, but hard to distinguish.
3rd: A sense that all experiences happen independently of 'me', are not perceived by 'me', are just the universe doing its thing, etc. Sort of mystical in a dry way. Lingering ideas that "no self" is a particular way of looking at things that I need to sustain, a particular feeling, a particular perspective, a particular lack of a 'self' experience, or something like that. (3rd was very long, this does not capture all of it.)
4th: No-self is true no matter what experience I'm having or not having, experiences of 'self' are equally no-self compared to experiences of no-self; no-self isn't an experience at all, but just the way the world is; in this sense, no-self can't be deepened, as anything I could experience would equally be marked by it.

4th was like a natural end-point concerning inquiry into no self, was psychologically freeing, gave me a healthier perspective on things.

As a separate issue, let me point out that trying to figure out where you are on the map isn't as useful as you may think (especially if you're past MCTB 1st path, but in some ways even if you're not). The most useful thing in my opinion is to become familiar with the cycles of the progress of insight as it plays out in your own experience, which will help you understand why you suddenly feel a certain way for no (other) obvious reason, as well as help you understand how you might alter your meditation (based on where you're at at any particular moment) for maximal effectiveness.

http://www.dharmaoverground.org/web/guest/discussion/-/message_boards/message/2823336
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Cedric in Miami, FL., modified 8 Years ago.

RE: Illusory body , almost like a hologram

Posts: 91 Join Date: 12/25/12 Recent Posts
Just did this exercise. Very useful. Yeah, I have had this growing sense that parts of my body aren't always seen as mine. Very interesting.
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Richard Zen, modified 8 Years ago.

RE: Illusory body , almost like a hologram

Posts: 1624 Join Date: 5/18/10 Recent Posts
wylo .:
But the fast few days , there's been somewhat of a shift, yesterday was probably more obvious and intense than today.
But basically a sense that the body is illusory, thats its just a figment of imagination or awareness or SOMETHING. That its not real at all, like I said , a hologram.
Ive had glimpses of this in the past, but usually its either during a sit, or during something strange like heavy exercise like jogging or cycling. Whereas this time it was throughout the whole day, and also into today.
Theres definitely not the "wow" obvious factor today though, so it has probably subsided a little.
My question is, does this kind of stuff line up anywhere with MCTB 4 path model stuff or is it a case that the teaching and practice is so different that it cant be compared?

Thanks for any help.


This is common with lots of concentration and mindfulness. I've had it with mind and body when noting and walking in a park. Everything seemed fake in a realistic kind of way. I've had times where limbs don't feel like a "me" while driving. Other people are seeming more animalistic. A lot of this happens with investigating the five aggregates and seeing the three characteristics in them. This can happen especially when thoughts and consciousness is seen through. If thoughts are known by consciousness then they aren't a self and if consciousness requires objects to know then it is dependent on the world. The outside world is impermanent so consciousness depends on what is impermanent so it must be impermanent as well.

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