BEA.ST

in evolution
writings about the process…

2011.01.06 spiritual diary

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I’ve been meditating an hour a day for roughly the last 6 months, I think I haven’t missed a day. It has become more and more important to me, and things have been qualitatively changing, although ironically, there are still plenty of days where my mind is totally scattered and all over for the full hour.

The first hour today was normal – some moments of clarity, some thinking and loss of time. I’ve been thinking a decent amount about upping the time each day, so after the normal hour I lay there for a while meditating, probably another 45 minutes. It’s funny how I still go back and forth thinking that is the best use of my time and a waste of it, as if I should be doing something else…

Anyway, about 10 minutes into the next section something was triggered. I still don’t understand it very well, but it’s similar to some other things that have been happening intermittently, and lasted only about 15 seconds (or so it seemed). I wish I had a brainwave monitor on at the time…

I first saw what seemed to be some of these basic proto-shapes in my visual field; it looked kind of like a triangular kaleidoscope, silver triangle at the end with green side walls; of course my brain was making it into some pattern; but as i let those random fluctuations form into something crisper and crisper, it also became clearer and clearer that I was not them, I was purely witnessing from far away. And as has happened before, basically in some near-instant something snapped, and I felt remarkably far away from my visual field, and all of my tactile sensations started to resonate wildly.

I felt myself growing bigger and bigger while at the same time remaining completely bounded [the way the surface of a sphere can maintain both?] and every skin sensor was off the charts, basically the boundary of my body felt as if it was dissolving. But not like I would have normally predicted — more like, the sensations got stronger and stronger almost like when your foot is asleep and it’s waking up how those prickly feelings tend to feel less spatially exact. So, just like that, as these sensations became more and more strong, the boundary became harder and harder to detect. To remember that all of those sensations really are just electrical signals, that the brain puts together into a spatial representation due to its usefulness, is very difficult, but also seems to explain how some of this might happen, as a mental process of getting to the lower and lower perceptual systems to slowly remap the way they function together.

2010.12.31 The Release into Weightlessness

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Javier took Danielle and I for a flight in a tiny Sesna three-seater. I’ve never been in such a tiny plane; you can really feel every tilt and roll of the plane body as if its an extension of your own. If you had nerves about this sort of thing you’d probably throw up before taking off. It was a serious blast.

He knows his stuff; there was never any sense of real worry. Once we were stabilized (and after I got to actually fly the plane for a while!), he showed us some of the maneuvers he and this plane could handle. One of the most amazing was entering a stall — a sudden and qualitative shift in the wings ability to generate lift. Typically, a sufficient air speed creates a laminar flow of air over the wing, but in certain conditions (like sufficiently reduced speed), the flow becomes turbulent over the wing, and suddenly the wing generates no lift. You certainly feel it immediately.

But it’s the zero-G dives that make this specifically noteworthy. Read the rest of this entry »

Links at the moment. 2010.12.15 10:44pm

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If you’re anything like me you end up with all these unread tabs all the time, and they represent a really interesting cross-section of your life at the moment. Here’s mine right now:

Wikipedia – Thomas Hardy Novels

Wikipedia – A Wrinkle in Time

Wyclef Jean – Gone Till November

Simple Science

Shaheen Sadeghi – The Great Cultural Shift (TED Talk)

Seymour Pappert closing keynote 1994

Inside Teaching

Wikipedia – Language of Thought

“How creativity is blocked by the need for approval”

Fecal Bacteriotherapy — mind blowing!

Brain and Cognitive Science classes list at MIT

Arts for Learning

Netflix – A Touch of Greatness (documentary about teacher Albert Cullum)

Radiolab – Words that Change the World — highly recommended listen.

Robert Sapolsky on The UniqueNess of Humans — totally unbelievable.

Maybe it’s boring? I dunno, I’d be curious to see how other people’s cluster… it would be cool to have a thing in the world that looks for other people who have similar contextual clusters and hooks you up with them, that seems pretty easy to do.. I’d love to randomly meet more people working on cognitive science, perception, consciousness, etc, all the time.

I have been thinking about generally just posting more as my thoughts and experience developed. I’ve been keeping a private journal but I see no reason to keep things to myself; if interested, people will read/write/etc.. if not it’s all good. If I don’t put it out there I can’t get feedback.

Best- Jeff

2010.10.05 Conversacube on display in NYC this weekend

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Hi all – My girlfriend Lauren is showing a piece called Conversacube as part of the Conflux Festival. If you are interested, come by and check it out on saturday! Here’s the blurb:

Don’t know the right thing to say? Stumbling over
words? Do away with uncomfortable conversation.
Conversacube is a conversation aid device that will
prompt you what to say and do and guide everyone
toward smooth, comfortable conversation every time.

Saturday, October 9
3-4pm Union Park
4-6pm Yaffa Cafe, 97 St. Marks Place
(follow @conversacube for location updates!)

Make every conversation a comfortable one!

Make every conversation a comfortable one!

I will update this site…

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… one day! I came back recently from a 10-day Vipassana retreat http://dhamma.org which was an amazing experience, but one that has kept me generally speaking less and trying to be more. I received a nice letter from someone with a Nisargadatta site, so figured I’d send the link to anyone interested: http://nisargadatta.co.cc/

Hope all are well. To leave you with my favorite Nisargadatta quote: “When I see I am nothing, that is wisdom. When I see I am everything, that is love. Between these two, my life flows.”

2010.02.16 spiritual diary

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Just had a great weekend with Lauren in town. Wanted to get a few things out that have been happening.

I’m seeing presence more ubiquitously through my experiences. I notice many times a day now where I notice that I’m noticing, where I become aware. It usually lasts for half a second before a thought takes over and fills that void, but it’s a major shift nonetheless. It has made external factors have much less of an ability to affect me in ways I don’t want them to.

I’m noticing my dreams have become more vivid and more memorable upon waking. For the last three days I have awoken with almost complete memory of the dream. I only remember the one from this morning now though, of course:

- This morning I read a tiny bit of ‘I Am That’ by Nisargadatta Maharaj, after dropping Lauren at the airport, and then went back to bed for two hours. I had a vivid dream of going into a small town in India, living there, searching for Nisargadatta, not finding him but staying in a very small town in India and finding peace there. For some reason I remember fixing the sink in the apartment in which I was staying, and seeing a bunch of fruit stands with tons of bananas.

Lastly, I keep noticing that when I get into a higher state of clarity during meditation, this small white or black spot seems to appear in my vision. It doesn’t resolve itself into anything, and if I actively try to think about it it disappears readily, but if I just allow my field of vision to be present with the breath, it seems to evolve.

Brad Mehldau in Boston Sanders Theatre

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Just got back from seeing Brad Mehldau in Sanders Theatre in Boston.

I am looking outside a cave, waiting for the next predator to come about, feeling the anxiety of a kill 10,000 years ago from our ancestors; only to realize that he’s covering a neil young song.

I am listening to variations on a theme by Brahms, only to wake up to the fact that the themes are on Nirvana.

This man knows how to enter the moment.

spiritual diary 2o1o.o1.27

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been meditating every day for 40 minutes for basically the last 50 days. it’s been pretty great. some ups and downs. haven’t written but many subtle shifts have been happening, and i see it resulting in changes in the rest of my life. what i see when i look in the mirror. what it feels like to take a walk.

tonight i did an evening short meditation, and couldn’t stop from laughing when this thought reached me: you cannot meditate so that something will happen! you have to meditate -just to enjoy the meditation-. by definition if you are training your mind to put all of its awareness on the present moment, you can’t contextualize the entire act by thinking about a future moment! all true progress happens only through relinquishing the need for it to happen.

i see that cropping up in many contexts as well. a great line from nisargadatta maharaj:

“When I realize I am nothing, that is wisdom. When I realize I am everything, that is love. Between the two, my life flows.”

New Gloobic Music Video! Here the Nothing

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We just finished a timelapse dance/music video
called Here the Nothing.

What does that mean, you ask?
http://vimeo.com/8074779

It is the first in a series of studies
in sound and movement.

Eric & Jeff
AKA gloobic

spiritual diary 2009.12.09

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hour a day, weekdays; 30 minutes, weekends for last week

I had one of the most challenging sessions yesterday, after not being able to get into proper position before the ‘oommmmm’s started – I have some knee and back problems and if things aren’t just right, an hour wreaks havoc on my body, and I am unable to concentrate. I noticed myself unable to reach a comfortable position quickly, and did not want to bother others’ concentration, so kept the uncomfortable posture. After a few minutes it became clear that I would not be able to focus at all, off balance and uncomfortable. The funny part was my reaction of resentment towards the situation for ‘putting me in this mess’, not letting me get ready in time.

I have noticed mindfulness creeping into these situations slowly, and so the focus of the hour swerved, from breathing attentiveness to an awareness of this resentment which had grown inside of me. I think a few years ago it would have just stagnated as resentment; i didn’t deserve this, how could they do this, etc. But now my reaction was completely different – noticing my body react to something that was not done with any sense of malice, just an unconsciousness of my current state. Nothing to blame! I put myself through a hell with these uncontrolled thought patterns, and only after focusing all my attention on them and on my body’s reaction to them, was I later able to laugh at myself for taking the whole process that seriously. It’s amazing how fast these events turn into what feel like uncontrollable emotions. And, it’s equally amazing, if not moreso, what the attentive lens does to those patterns. Laughing at ones’ self seems to be a great medicine. We’re all going to die anyway! Lately that has been my internal rallying cry – what might seem nihilistic or pessimistic becomes a freeing device.

Today, maybe in reaction to that, maybe unrelatedly, I had one of the clearest, most joyful meditation sessions I’ve ever had. No real coarse excitations over the hour. Intense focus, more details coming out of the rims of my nostrils. Just. This. Just. This.

 

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