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 Jnana Yoga/Self-Inquiry - Advaita (Non-Duality)
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whippoorwill

USA
446 Posts

Posted - Jul 17 2013 :  8:32:06 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Message
It's like doing a math problem and coming up with an answer that you know is wrong but not being able to find the mistake... Only, in this case, the wrong answer is a feeling in the body. I keep coming back to this one again and again... It's Yogani's mental gymnastics to the max! Anyways, I was wondering if any of you Jnana Yogis have a word to say about it...

******************

If you ask me where my sense of self resides, I'll point at my gut. That's where my "me sense" lives. Where am I? "Right there!" I say, pointing to the diaphragm. There's a contraction there that seems ever-present, except maybe when I sleep.

I understand that "I" am aware of this sense of self and of its location. Therefore "I" cannot be located in the diaphragm. So where am I?

The teachers say that reality is created at the moment of perception. I perceive my body and it becomes real. I perceive my piano and it becomes real. Both are created by perceiving. Is my body the same as the piano?

I look at my piano and its lack of eyeballs, ears, nose, tongue, skin, and brain. It has no way to be aware of things. How can it be the same? If my body, with all of its incoming sense data, is the same as the piano, then the body itself must not be aware.

Either that or the piano is aware, even though it's missing eyes, ears, nose, tongue, skin, and a brain.

I am aware. What am I?

If the body and the piano are both created by perceiving, then the "me sense" I feel must also be created by the same process. It seems I can choose to stop perceiving that "me sense" and giving it reality.

So why is it still there?

Love!!
--Liz

chas

USA
187 Posts

Posted - Jul 18 2013 :  12:18:09 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
Hi Liz

Editing this after realizing my questions were nonsensical. My apologies. They weren't meant to be answered.... I'm very interested in a couple things about your gut feeling, if you wouldn't mind. No worries if not.

Is the contraction a density or holding? Is it energetic? Are you able to relax the contraction or affect it by intention? Is there a difference between the inner space between the exhale and the inhale and the "me sense," or is it the same?

I may have experienced something similar... a constriction in the navel area. In my case it was related to fear of no control..


Edited by - chas on Jul 18 2013 9:34:16 PM
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Zanyan

USA
27 Posts

Posted - Jul 18 2013 :  02:23:59 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
Liz - What would happen to the sensation in your gut if there was no awareness of it?

Would the piano be if there was no awareness of it?



In both of these scenarios, Awareness is primary, yes? Where is Awareness located? That is the $64,000 question.

P.S. Cosmic Samyama is powerful direct experience

Edited by - Zanyan on Jul 18 2013 12:19:30 PM
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mr_anderson

USA
692 Posts

Posted - Jul 18 2013 :  08:15:13 AM  Show Profile  Visit mr_anderson's Homepage  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
A guided self inquiry exercise by Greg Goode, focussed upon the sense of an "I" being located in the body:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZYjI6gh9RxE

It may be helpful to follow through with that.
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mr_anderson

USA
692 Posts

Posted - Jul 18 2013 :  09:04:15 AM  Show Profile  Visit mr_anderson's Homepage  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
Here is a secondary inquiry to help clear up any misconceptions you may have about consciousness/awareness.

http://www.aypsite.org/forum/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=13155
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Bodhi Tree

USA
1190 Posts

Posted - Jul 18 2013 :  10:14:13 AM  Show Profile  Visit Bodhi Tree's Homepage  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
Great video, Mr. Anderson! That was fun. Thank you.

Where am I? Everywhere, nowhere, somewhere. All true. Why this centeredness in the body then? I guess the limitless "I" wants to have an experience of limitation. God got bored and created individuation.

You have to love the body before you can transcend it. Same with the mind. So, if you get really settled in the body-mind, then you can begin to move beyond it. An ongoing process. If you can be still in the body, then you can be still anywhere, because you are that stillness. I think that's the trajectory we're on.

The problem with self-inquiry is trying to arrive at a final conclusion, rather than letting the answer go. It's a journey of discovery that doesn't end. If you've found the end, you've actually just found another beginning. Therein lies the stillness, in the letting go of the need for a final destination or conclusion.

When it comes to the piano, are you really sure the piano has no sense of self? It seems true that because it's an inanimate object with no organs of action, that it cannot perceive with a sense of separation. But how would you know for sure unless you could fully become the piano and experience that perspective? See what I'm saying?

So, by accepting where you are from a level of body-mind perception, the releasing of self-inquiry becomes more real because you're not making assumptions. You're just releasing attachment to an exact answer. Freedom to move without limitation, beginning with centeredness in the body-mind.
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mr_anderson

USA
692 Posts

Posted - Jul 18 2013 :  12:05:58 PM  Show Profile  Visit mr_anderson's Homepage  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
I'm glad you liked it.

Regarding relational (getting freed up from identification) versus non-relational (getting identified with thoughts & viewpoints) self-inquiry:

"Some there are who endlessly jump and,
sweating shout full-throated refuting or elaborating
doctrines instead of biding in clear silence inquiring into
that which is and in the heart enjoying it."


-Ramana Maharshi

An image which made me chuckle! Let us say no more, and simply bide in clear silence.
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whippoorwill

USA
446 Posts

Posted - Jul 19 2013 :  09:06:19 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
Hi Everyone! Thanks so much for responding to this post! Writing the post actually helped quite a bit. It feels like there is less burden.

I originally likened this experience to solving a math problem, but I think a better analogy for the mind trying to grasp this is of a cat chasing a laser pointer. It's RIGHT THERE, but she can't catch it. Maybe it's time for this cat to stop chasing the little red light.

@Mr_Anderson: I actually saw the video a few months ago and that's what really brought this "me sense" to my attention. (I like Greg Goode. ) It's a case where I "get it" intellectually, but the feeling in the body persists. I don't know why I think this bodily sensation is me, but it's a belief that hasn't yet gone away. It's backed up by the belief that sentience is a pre-requisite for awareness. That's why I keep looking at inanimate objects and wondering if they're aware -- wondering if they're also me.

I have memories that challenge this "me sense" and this belief that sentience is required for awareness. They call everything I thought I knew into question, and my mind doesn't like it. I'm an analyst for crissakes! Gotta figure it out! Like a cat chasing a laser pointer.

Thanks so much for the references! I will do the inquiry and see where it takes me.

@Chas: The feeling is muscular and energetic. I'll be working along and suddenly notice that my breathing is way off -- restricted and shallow -- like the muscles are working against each other. So I deliberately relax and take a deep breath. Then I go back to working, and I'll notice it again and repeat the process. It happens quite a lot during the day. The energetic component is like a swirling expansion in the solar plexus area, which happens when I feel I've made a terrible mistake, or when things seem out of control or on the verge of getting out of control. I think this whole "me sense" is definitely tied up with issues of control. The energy also activates when people don't bag my groceries the way I like. (I hand them an insulated bag, and they put regular stuff in it and put the frozen stuff in the non-insulated bag. Gaah! )

@Zanyan: Haha Yes!!!! That's the question. Or even... Is awareness located? I'll give Cosmic Samyama another try. I do it for a while and then drop it.

@Bodi: That's exactly what I want -- to be the piano for a moment just to see what it's like -- to feel no difference between me and the piano. And I'm frustrated at its perceived impossibility.

Love!!
--Liz
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Bodhi Tree

USA
1190 Posts

Posted - Jul 19 2013 :  10:48:22 AM  Show Profile  Visit Bodhi Tree's Homepage  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
An experience of Oneness and Unity doesn't have to include some nullification of the awareness that your body is separate from other objects. Rather, it is a settling into that subtle sixth sense of stillness that connects all that can be perceived. At least that is my experience. In that way, my physical and energetic bodies are felt as reflections from that infinite source, but the option of distinction still remains.

Sometimes another person will be describing their experience of pain, and I feel a lightning-fast strike of empathy beginning from the root chakra upward. But it so quickly dissolves because I think I've learned to let stillness absorb feelings and thoughts without getting lost in them (non-attachment). To me, it's the direct experience of being connected through stillness, and realizing that the inner peace will always trump all other forms. But nevertheless, the choice remains which forms to focus on. It's just that now serenity is experienced as the true foundation of all forms...an incredible comfort. So, actually, it's such an easy an automatic choice because liberation is found in the limitless bedrock of potentiality.

So, when it comes to the piano...maybe just ask the question: How can I experience connectedness with the piano?...instead of trying to "be the piano". I think that's why you're getting snagged. You're trying to nullify your individuality when you just need to become aware of how your individuality extends to all people and things (piano included).
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chas

USA
187 Posts

Posted - Jul 20 2013 :  12:53:28 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
quote:
Originally posted by whippoorwill

@Chas: The feeling is muscular and energetic. I'll be working along and suddenly notice that my breathing is way off -- restricted and shallow -- like the muscles So I deliberately relax and take a deep breath. Then I go back to working, and I'll notice it again and repeat the process. It happens quite a lot during the day. The energetic component is like a swirling expansion in the solar plexus area, which happens when I feel I've made a terrible mistake, or when things seem out of control or on the verge of getting out of control. I think this whole "me sense" is definitely tied up with issues of control. The energy also activates when people don't bag my groceries the way I like. (I hand them an insulated bag, and they put regular stuff in it and put the frozen stuff in the non-insulated bag. Gaah! )



This all sounds very familiar. The phase when I experienced constriction in the navel overlapped energetic phenomena in the solar plexus much like you describe. There was also oscillating between witnessing and identification.

Fear of no control is an interesting one. In my case, the pattern had been operating for a long time. One example related to working as pilot. The first rule in flying is 'fly the plane'... control, don't lose control (unless the pilot in command takes the controls from you- in that case relinquish control). Be aware. 'You know how to fly the plane'... conditioning does most of the work. The priority is present moment awareness. Same with driving and much else. In aviation, after rule 1, it is more detailed. Navigation, communication, complex environments, planes, systems, regulations, procedures, etc... imagine & memorize every possible scenario and how to deal with them. (Many situations have specific procedures but there are more potential situations than procedures to use.) In theory, if someone has dealt with a situation in the mind before the actual event, if and when it or something similar occurs, he or she will be better prepared and perform better.. I have noticed that to be the case often. Often spontaneous things happen which there is no training for and has not been imagined before. Each year I attend simulator training including intense situations. All in all, after fourteen years of training, I appreciate it and many other types of conditioning very much.

Some conditioning is based on inaccurate information, old procedures or habits... some is only in imagination. I had dreams about dramatic flights, often related to fear of no control... But it was not only related to flying but many other areas of life. In relationships, regarding lack of control over 'my' life, fear related to social conditioning, social stratification, the collective conscious/unconscious or popular stories. All kinds of things to see on the subject.

Fear has a purpose concerned with survival, but it has taken a much more prominent and unnecessary role. Allowing fear and at times a genuine curiosity about it was necessary. It was necessary to penetrate it and see where it came from and why. There can be a fear of fear. I found it better to welcome and be with it. What ever might be occuring mentally, emotionally, energetically, I've found it helpful to allow- be in the allowance that is. Sometimes there can be a tendancy to repress. And not buying into the story, just seeing it and being aware. With other emotions like anger, there can be a tendency to hold on, usually with a feeling/story of justification. & just letting it go. If believed it continues. By returning attention and resting in awareness, not attached or averse, not repressing or holding on, the attention and energy the issue had begins to dissipate, the obstruction attenuated from within. Inquiry/samyama is great as well.

Relative to the discussion, a few of the yoga sutras came to mind... in case it might be of interest to anyone, they are included below. (The whole of the Yoga Sutras is wonderful, highly recommended).


quote:

http://www.swamij.com/yoga-sutras-10104.htm#1.2

1.2
Yoga is the control (nirodhah, regulation, channeling, mastery, integration, coordination, stilling, quieting, setting aside) of the modifications (gross and subtle thought patterns) of the mind field.
(yogash chitta vritti nirodhah)

quote:

http://swamij.com/yoga-sutras-21225.htm#2.17

2.12
Latent impressions that are colored (karmashaya) result from other actions (karmas) that were brought about by colorings (kleshas), and become active and experienced in a current life or a future life.
(klesha-mula karma-ashaya drishta adrishta janma vedaniyah)

2.13
As long as those colorings (kleshas) remains at the root, three consequences are produced: 1) birth, 2) span of life, and 3) experiences in that life.
(sati mule tat vipakah jati ayus bhogah)


2.17
The uniting of the seer (the subject, or experiencer) with the seen (the object, or that which is experienced) is the cause or connection to be avoided.
(drashtri drishyayoh samyogah heya hetuh)


2.22
Although knowable objects cease to exist in relation to one who has experienced their fundamental, formless true nature, the appearance of the knowable objects is not destroyed, for their existence continues to be shared by others who are still observing them in their grosser forms.
(krita-artham prati nashtam api anashtam tat anya sadharanatvat)



quote:

http://www.swamij.com/yoga-sutras-20109.htm

2.5
Ignorance (avidya) is of four types: 1) regarding that which is transient as eternal, 2) mistaking the impure for pure, 3) thinking that which brings misery to bring happiness, and 4) taking that which is not-self to be self.
(antiya ashuchi duhkha anatmasu nitya shuchi sukha atman khyatih avidya)


quote:

http://swamij.com/yoga-sutras-41821.htm

4.18
The activities of the mind are always known by the pure consciousness, because that pure consciousness is superior to, support of, and master over the mind.
(sada jnatah chitta vrittayah tat prabhu purusasya aparinamitvat)

4.19
That mind is not self-illuminating, as it is the object of knowledge and perception by the pure consciousness.
(na tat svabhasam drishyatvat)

4.20
Nor can both the mind and the illuminating process be cognized simultaneously.
(eka-samaye cha ubhaye anavadharanam)



[quote]
http://www.swamij.com/yoga-sutras-12329.htm

1.23
From a special process of devotion and letting go into the creative source from which we emerged (ishvara pranidhana), the coming of samadhi is imminent.
(ishvara pranidhana va)

Edited by - chas on Jul 20 2013 1:37:45 PM
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whippoorwill

USA
446 Posts

Posted - Jul 29 2013 :  2:46:15 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
Thank you both so much for responding! You've given me a lot to contemplate.

I was out of the country and without Internet last week, but I downloaded Robert Wolfe's "Living Non-Duality" while I was waiting for the plane to finish boarding. Then I read it all last week.

I also had the privilege of watching my little 18-month-old niece acquire a huge amount of language, acquire a sense of control and, at the same time, acquire a sense of separation, loss, and fear. Fascinating!

At the moment, I'm feeling like I've been punched in the forehead -- dizzy.

With regard to the piano...

I understand now.

Not Liz. Not the piano.

Not two.

Not even one.

Zero.

Infinity.

And I know I sound like a crazy person. Not sure how else to say it, though.

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whippoorwill

USA
446 Posts

Posted - Jul 30 2013 :  10:07:01 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
LOL One day back on the job, and the mind is racing again.

Examine. Break it down. Compare. Plan. Document. Test. Code. Test. Communicate. Argue viewpoint. Demonstrate.

Duality galore!

I can totally see why people run off to a cave.

Have you noticed how putting something into words makes it feel much more real? No words! Silence.

The contemplations are very useful. Thank you!
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whippoorwill

USA
446 Posts

Posted - Jul 30 2013 :  10:55:26 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
Silence.

Acceptance.

Gratitude.

Love.

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