Conceptualization of Internal Body Movements

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Tom
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Conceptualization of Internal Body Movements

Post by Tom » Mon Jan 04, 2016 12:52 pm

How can one voluntarily move one's body internally without falsely conceptualizing what is going on?

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SDC
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Re: Conceptualization of Internal Body Movements

Post by SDC » Mon Jan 04, 2016 4:41 pm

If we take a look at MN1, it is common for many of us to conceive the body once it has been noticed in the experience:
  • Here, bhikkhus, an untaught ordinary man who has no regard for Noble Ones and is unconversant with their True Idea and undisciplined in it, who has no regard for True Man and is unconversant with their True Idea and undisciplined in it:

    From earth he has a percept of earth; having had from earth a percept of earth, he conceives (that to be) earth, he conceives (that to be) in earth, he conceives (that to be apart) from earth, he conceives earth to be ‘Mine’, he relishes earth. Why is that? He has not fully diagnosed it, I say
    .

A very interesting observation on mindfulness by Ven. Ninoslav Ñāṇamoli:
  • If one is to understand that whether it is the ordinary experience of one’s body in everyday existence, or an unusual one resulting from the new practice of concentration, or even a strange sense of lightness of one’s body on drugs, in phenomenological terms – body is just there. Thus, again, regardless of the particular way one’s body presents itself, it is the phenomenon of body that is present, and that’s what one should be concerned with...

    If one succeeds in leaving [the body] peripheral (i.e. the way it has arisen), one is practicing mindfulness correctly. The tendency towards ‘conceivings’ will slowly fade when the mindfulness reaches the necessary extent. Again, knowledge of what the conceiving is (i.e. not understanding the phenomenon of simultaneously and dependently present and leaving it as such), is an absolute requirement, because without it this whole practice won’t bear fruits of any fundamental importance
    . - Notes On Meditation
Seems what he is saying here, is that if you are able to conceive in regards to the body, it means that the body is already there to be conceived. So no matter what the conceivings are, what is relevant overall is that the 'body is there'.

Tom wrote:How can one voluntarily move one's body internally without falsely conceptualizing what is going on?
The conceiving is likely to continue, but as long as you begin to try and take away something more general from the situation, the conceivings will begin to slow and will no longer be the primary focus. So no matter what the position of the body (sitting, standing, etc.), no matter what conceivings are there, try to focus on 'the body is there'; there is conceiving because the body is there.

From MN10:
  • Or mindfulness is established that ‘There is a body’, to the extent necessary for knowledge and mindfulness. They meditate independent, not grasping at anything in the world. This too is how a monastic meditates by observing an aspect of the body.
So while you may not know anything 'for sure', the most general thing that can be understood: 'body is there'.

Just my take. I hope this helps.

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Re: Conceptualization of Internal Body Movements

Post by Dinsdale » Tue Jan 05, 2016 9:08 am

Tom wrote:How can one voluntarily move one's body internally without falsely conceptualizing what is going on?
What sort of thing do you mean? Like tensing and relaxing muscles for example?
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Re: Conceptualization of Internal Body Movements

Post by mikenz66 » Tue Jan 05, 2016 10:10 am

Hi Tom,

It might help if you could explain what you are trying to achieve. It seems to me that to function normally one needs to make use of concepts. In the suttas we see the Buddha talking about people, pains in the back, and so on.

Under controlled conditions, with some meditation approaches, and the development of a high degree of concentration and mindfulness, it's possible to discern that what we think of as, say, "arm", can "dissolve" into a collection of phenomena. Is that the sort of thing you're aiming at?

:anjali:
Mike

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The Thinker
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Re: Conceptualization of Internal Body Movements

Post by The Thinker » Tue Jan 05, 2016 12:35 pm

Tom wrote:How can one voluntarily move one's body internally without falsely conceptualizing what is going on?

Because of fear of non-being.

not sure this answers your intention?
"Watch your heart, observe. Be the observer, be the knower, not the condition" Ajahn Sumedho volume5 - The Wheel Of Truth

pulga
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Re: Conceptualization of Internal Body Movements

Post by pulga » Tue Jan 05, 2016 1:06 pm

Ven. Ninoslav Ñāṇamoli wrote:
If one succeeds in leaving [the body] peripheral (i.e. the way it has arisen), one is practicing mindfulness correctly. The tendency towards ‘conceivings’ will slowly fade when the mindfulness reaches the necessary extent. Again, knowledge of what the conceiving is (i.e. not understanding the phenomenon of simultaneously and dependently present and leaving it as such), is an absolute requirement, because without it this whole practice won’t bear fruits of any fundamental importance. emphasis added - Notes On Meditation
‘tasmātiha, bhikkhave, se āyatane veditabbe yattha cakkhu ca nirujjhati, rūpasaññā ca nirujjhati, se āyatane veditabbe … pe … yattha jivhā ca nirujjhati, rasasaññā ca nirujjhati, se āyatane veditabbe … pe … yattha mano ca nirujjhati, dhammasaññā ca nirujjhati, se āyatane veditabbe’ti.

“Therefore, bhikkhus, that base should be understood, where the eye ceases and perception of forms ceases. That base should be understood, where the ear ceases and perception of sounds ceases.… That base should be understood, where the mind ceases and perception of mental phenomena ceases. That base should be understood.” SN 35.117
Ven. Ñanavira took note of this sutta in his marginalia to the P.T.S. edition of the Samyutta Nikaya, though he doesn't seem to have noticed the Burmese reading above which reads "nirujjhati" for 'virajjati' in regards to each of the external bases which appears in the footnotes of variant readings.
Last edited by pulga on Thu Jan 07, 2016 11:06 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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kirk5a
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Re: Conceptualization of Internal Body Movements

Post by kirk5a » Wed Jan 06, 2016 4:10 pm

Tom wrote:How can one voluntarily move one's body internally without falsely conceptualizing what is going on?
By being wakeful and aware throughout the body, not "of" the body. Not getting bogged down in imagining, conceptualizing or "watching yourself."
6. Spread your awareness — your sense of conscious feeling — throughout the entire body.
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/thai ... ml#method2
"When one thing is practiced & pursued, ignorance is abandoned, clear knowing arises, the conceit 'I am' is abandoned, latent tendencies are uprooted, fetters are abandoned. Which one thing? Mindfulness immersed in the body." -AN 1.230

Tom
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Re: Conceptualization of Internal Body Movements

Post by Tom » Wed Jan 06, 2016 8:02 pm

kirk5a wrote:
Tom wrote:How can one voluntarily move one's body internally without falsely conceptualizing what is going on?
By being wakeful and aware throughout the body, not "of" the body. Not getting bogged down in imagining, conceptualizing or "watching yourself."
6. Spread your awareness — your sense of conscious feeling — throughout the entire body.
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/thai ... ml#method2
What's the difference between being aware throughout the body and being aware of the body?

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kirk5a
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Re: Conceptualization of Internal Body Movements

Post by kirk5a » Wed Jan 06, 2016 10:37 pm

Tom wrote: What's the difference between being aware throughout the body and being aware of the body?
What I was getting at with "of" is objectifying the body through mental imagery.

For example, being aware "in and with" your feet means you are aware right there, with your feet. Your own awareness extends all the way down throughout the whole body and down throughout your feet. Your awareness is not just stuck in your head.

Being aware "of" your feet is like having an image of your feet, that you look at from the standpoint of your head. Like you are staring at your feet visually, instead of feeling with your feet, right at and with the feet.

That might sound odd, but once you feel out the principle, it is quite natural and clear. Straightening out the posture, whether sitting or standing, helps this along.
"When one thing is practiced & pursued, ignorance is abandoned, clear knowing arises, the conceit 'I am' is abandoned, latent tendencies are uprooted, fetters are abandoned. Which one thing? Mindfulness immersed in the body." -AN 1.230

Tom
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Re: Conceptualization of Internal Body Movements

Post by Tom » Thu Jan 07, 2016 11:19 am

Thank you all, so far :anjali:
kirk5a wrote:
Tom wrote: What's the difference between being aware throughout the body and being aware of the body?
What I was getting at with "of" is objectifying the body through mental imagery.

For example, being aware "in and with" your feet means you are aware right there, with your feet. Your own awareness extends all the way down throughout the whole body and down throughout your feet. Your awareness is not just stuck in your head.

Being aware "of" your feet is like having an image of your feet, that you look at from the standpoint of your head. Like you are staring at your feet visually, instead of feeling with your feet, right at and with the feet.

That might sound odd, but once you feel out the principle, it is quite natural and clear. Straightening out the posture, whether sitting or standing, helps this along.
Not sure, I understand you 100% but I think I understand it somewhat. Perhaps, if I were to work with doing this I'll get more of the gist of what you're saying.
Spiny Norman wrote:
Tom wrote:How can one voluntarily move one's body internally without falsely conceptualizing what is going on?
What sort of thing do you mean? Like tensing and relaxing muscles for example?
If all voluntary internal movement is due to muscles, then muscle movement is what I'm referring to
mikenz66 wrote:Hi Tom,

It might help if you could explain what you are trying to achieve. It seems to me that to function normally one needs to make use of concepts. In the suttas we see the Buddha talking about people, pains in the back, and so on.

Under controlled conditions, with some meditation approaches, and the development of a high degree of concentration and mindfulness, it's possible to discern that what we think of as, say, "arm", can "dissolve" into a collection of phenomena. Is that the sort of thing you're aiming at?

:anjali:
Mike
I'm not afraid of concepts, just false concepts. Like one might conceptualize air moving through ones body and create a "de-tensing" sensation, but if this isn't actually happening, this would be a delusion. I'm been feeling rather stuck and tense lately physically because I feel a bit lost on how to conceptualize voluntary internal movements. Ultimately what I'm seeking is a Buddhist perspective on how to always maintain the best ease in the body possible in whatever activities one is doing
Last edited by Tom on Thu Jan 07, 2016 12:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Pinetree
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Re: Conceptualization of Internal Body Movements

Post by Pinetree » Thu Jan 07, 2016 2:30 pm

There seems to be some confusion about what you are trying to achieve.

What exactly are you practicing, and from what source have you learned it from ?
Your own awareness extends all the way down throughout the whole body and down throughout your feet. Your awareness is not just stuck in your head.
Maybe I got it wrong, but you seem to objectify your awareness into an object that arises in your head and travels all the way to your feet. This sounds similar to visualizing body energies, and I doubt we practice this here. That is done in martial arts and other teachings.

The way I was thought is - keep it simple: if you're aware of your feet, be mindful of that, if your awareness is stuck in your head, be mindful of that.

And if you find yourself wondering where your awareness is and in what direction your awareness should travel, and how that traveling movement should feel, be mindful that you are thinking, wondering, mentally fabricating :)
Ultimately what I'm seeking is a Buddhist perspective on how to always maintain the best ease in the body possible in whatever activities one is doing
To my understanding, Buddhism is about the mind, not the body. The body only exist as it is experienced in the mind. A short answer to your question may be: If your body is at best ease, be mindful of that, if there is unease in your body, be mindful of that.

But compartmentalizing Buddhism is not helpful, we should often refer back to the Noble Eightfold Path.

Also, practicing towards a practical goal (such as wishing to achieve something in the body) can be an obstacle to practice.

Something I found helpful and maybe a more integrated and practical approach to your question:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mUMEd3b ... 006C0D3D4A" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Probably the first 10 minutes or so from the video should be relevant to your question.

----

Also, it may be helpful to make a difference between relaxing your body and allowing it to relax. I think Ajahn Brahm approach is that you should not interfere with the body's ability to relax. In which case, it will relax to the it's current ability, sometimes more, sometimes less. And we are not trying to force anything beyond that.

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kirk5a
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Re: Conceptualization of Internal Body Movements

Post by kirk5a » Thu Jan 07, 2016 6:29 pm

Tom wrote: Not sure, I understand you 100% but I think I understand it somewhat. Perhaps, if I were to work with doing this I'll get more of the gist of what you're saying.
I'm sure you will. The main point to develop is just like Ajahn Lee said:
6. Spread your awareness — your sense of conscious feeling — throughout the entire body.
Once you get the hang of this I assure you there no delusion involved. It's not an imaginary thing. It is a matter of wakefulness itself, by which delusion dissolves.
"When one thing is practiced & pursued, ignorance is abandoned, clear knowing arises, the conceit 'I am' is abandoned, latent tendencies are uprooted, fetters are abandoned. Which one thing? Mindfulness immersed in the body." -AN 1.230

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