Non-Dual Awareness and Focused Attention

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Non-Dual Awareness and Focused Attention

Postby Frater 639 » Thu Feb 28, 2013 5:58 pm

The following article was just published last year. I'd like to get everyone's insight into this article and how they believe it may correlate with the practices taught in yoga and/or ceremonial magic. These are studies based on meditations while being recorded by an fMRI.

There are 3 types mentioned: focused attention (FA), open monitoring (OM), and non-dual awareness (NDA).

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3250078/

The NDA seems to be a meditation that starts to bridge the brain into seeing "no difference" in internal and external stimuli...

Again, I'd love to hear everyone's input who may be interested in the latest in scientific studies -- and perhaps help put together some theories of how they may relate to meditation practices as taught by Crowley.

2=0!

Thanks! :angel:
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Re: Non-Dual Awareness and Focused Attention

Postby Frater 639 » Fri Mar 01, 2013 8:53 am

Awww...man. I was hoping for a few comments.

I guess I should've thrown in some gematria proofs on the Temple of King Solomon... :lol:
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Re: Non-Dual Awareness and Focused Attention

Postby Deus Ex Machina » Fri Mar 01, 2013 10:04 am

Well, I found it very interesting, but 1) figured I'd need to give it a more thorough read and 2) didn't have anything to comment on immediately. I've been very glad to see scientific exploration into meditation and this is certainly equally joy inducing.
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Re: Non-Dual Awareness and Focused Attention

Postby Bereshith » Fri Mar 01, 2013 10:54 am

Frater 639 wrote:There are 3 types mentioned: focused attention (FA), open monitoring (OM), and non-dual awareness (NDA).
. . .
The NDA seems to be a meditation that starts to bridge the brain into seeing "no difference" in internal and external stimuli...


My main thoughts are about how easily the cognitive strategies map over Rajas/Sulpher (FA), Tamas/Salt (OM), and Sattva/Mercury (NDA) when reflecting on these as fundamental states of mind. I don't know how obvious that was to anyone already.

Part of me wants to try to add the internal/external variable in an attempt to correspond each combination to the five elements as well, but it's hard to immediately put into words, so I can't tell how reasonable those associations would actually be.
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Re: Non-Dual Awareness and Focused Attention

Postby Frater 639 » Fri Mar 01, 2013 11:11 am

Thanks for looking it over Deus Ex Machina and Bereshith...

:D

From the link:

Human experiences can be broadly divided into those that are external and related to interaction with the environment, and experiences that are internal and self-related. The cerebral cortex appears to be divided into two corresponding systems: an “extrinsic” system composed of brain areas that respond more to external stimuli and tasks and an “intrinsic” system composed of brain areas that respond less to external stimuli and tasks. These two broad brain systems seem to compete with each other, such that their activity levels over time is usually anti-correlated, even when subjects are “at rest” and not performing any task.

[...]

Intrinsic and extrinsic functions of the brain:

The cortex is hypothesized to be divided into two broad systems. One responds positively to tasks involving external stimuli and includes the sensory and motor systems. The other responds more strongly when not engaged in a task and includes less frequently studied brain areas such as the precuneus, the inferior parietal lobule, and medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC). The first system has been named the extrinsic or task-positive system while the second system has been named the intrinsic, task-negative, or default system (Gusnard and Raichle, 2001; Fox et al., 2005; Fransson, 2006; Fox and Raichle, 2007; Golland et al., 2007, 2008; Tian et al., 2007; Buckner et al., 2008; Boly et al., 2009; Soddu et al., 2009; Wang et al., 2010; Vanhaudenhuyse et al., 2010a). An intriguing finding is that spontaneous activity over time in these broad systems tends to be anti-correlated even during rest and sleep, when no stimulus is being presented and no task is being performed (Fox et al., 2005; Fukunaga et al., 2006). The functional significance of this anti-correlation is not understood, but has been interpreted as evidence for an antagonistic or competitive relationship between these two cortical systems (Gusnard and Raichle, 2001; Fox et al., 2005; Raichle and Snyder, 2007).

[...]

In agreement with previous studies, we found that the anti-correlations between intrinsic and extrinsic systems were larger during FA meditation than during fixation. In contrast, the anti-correlations between the two systems were smaller during NDA meditation. The specificity of these results strongly supports the conclusion that inter-area correlations between the intrinsic and extrinsic systems can be controlled voluntarily.

What are people's ideas regarding this last statement? I think the significance is far reaching.

Fixation - a compulsive thought or action (holding the mind or body fixed) causing a lapse in attention or loss of awareness.

I believe this is where 99% of humanity is right now; at least, most of the time.

(FA) -- focused attention -- I believe this can be loosely defined as dharana in most cases.
(NDA) -- non-dual awareness -- I believe this could be considered dhyana or samadhi in most cases. Although, one could argue that pt. V and VI in Liber O could evolve into a form NDA.

Does anyone with experiences with these types of mediations care to comment? I'd love to hear some opinions and theories of how modern day science could be applied to practical magick and yoga. In fact, I think this is something that would be helpful to do with our research...that is, if we aim to stay organic while Thelema evolves...
Last edited by Frater 639 on Fri Mar 01, 2013 11:14 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Non-Dual Awareness and Focused Attention

Postby Frater 639 » Fri Mar 01, 2013 11:13 am

Bereshith wrote:
Frater 639 wrote:There are 3 types mentioned: focused attention (FA), open monitoring (OM), and non-dual awareness (NDA).
. . .
The NDA seems to be a meditation that starts to bridge the brain into seeing "no difference" in internal and external stimuli...


My main thoughts are about how easily the cognitive strategies map over Rajas/Sulpher (FA), Tamas/Salt (OM), and Sattva/Mercury (NDA) when reflecting on these as fundamental states of mind. I don't know how obvious that was to anyone already.

Part of me wants to try to add the internal/external variable in an attempt to correspond each combination to the five elements as well, but it's hard to immediately put into words, so I can't tell how reasonable those associations would actually be.


Very cool with the alchemical attributions and the three modes of meditation presented...I think you may be on to something there...

I'd love to hear your associations with the 5 elements.
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Re: Non-Dual Awareness and Focused Attention

Postby Bereshith » Fri Mar 01, 2013 11:20 am

Frater 639 wrote:I'd love to hear your associations with the 5 elements.


Umm.... initial thoughts... word-smithing a bit (bending it to fit... lol) ...thoughts welcome.

NDA: Quintessence/Spirit
FA/Internal: Fire - the power of mind to act upon itself.
OM/Internal: Water - the power of mind to observe itself.
FA/External: Air - the power of mind to act upon other.
OM/External: Earth - the power of mind to observe other.
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Re: Non-Dual Awareness and Focused Attention

Postby Bereshith » Fri Mar 01, 2013 11:31 am

Feels stretched to fit. Observations welcome.
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Re: Non-Dual Awareness and Focused Attention

Postby Frater 639 » Fri Mar 01, 2013 11:43 am

Bereshith wrote:Feels stretched to fit. Observations welcome.


Nah -- the elements are stretched to fit the planets and the zodiac anyway...

3 - 7 - 12

I definitely can see how the "passive" observation could be OM. And "active" observation could be FA. It seems to make sense as to how you applied them to the passive and the active elements...

It is interesting how either one of them causes the internal and external to "not get along." It seems to separate the "I" from what is "outside" the identity...

I think NDA being considered "spirit" is very apropos...
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Re: Non-Dual Awareness and Focused Attention

Postby Bereshith » Sat Mar 02, 2013 7:07 am

Well... I guess my lack of satisfaction with it probably has its source in the difference between equation and correspondence.

Eh... I guess it is what is.
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