Figure-Ground

 

I went to a Sat Nam Rasayan practice group tonight, and found it very rewarding. The approach is very similar to the way I have done healing since my teens, and also quite similar to Big Mind and Breema.

I went into Big Mind quite easily, supported by the atmosphere there. And experienced again the clear figure-ground shifts that occur.

Opaque, transparent, and popping

First, there is an identification with something finite. In my case, a habitual identification with things that appear to occur in my head/throat area – sensations, emotions, thoughts, attention to these, and the awareness it all occurs within. At the same time, there is a transparency to all of this. If I look, I find that none of these have any “I” inherent in it. And there is also a sense of no separation to anything else. Even here, it is all transparent to the ground.

Then, there is a shift to this ground within and as which everything arises – the sounds of the cars going by, the room, the people in the room, the voice of the instructor, the sensations, emotions, thoughts, focus, and the awareness it all unfolds within. It is all revealed as a seamless field, with no “I” inherent in any of it. It all just happens.

Figure-ground

So it is a figure-ground shift in a quite literal sense. First, there is a vague sense of self habitually places on certain phenomena arising in the present. And all this occurs against the ground of space and everything else happening. Then, this ground pops out into the foreground and all the figures are revealed as just occurrences within, from and as this ground.

Continuum

It is also interesting to note the continuum here. There may be an opaque identification with something finite, not questioned at all. Then, there may be a glimpse of selflessness, and still a vague habitual sense of self placed on something finite, but transparent to the ground – especially when attention is brought to it. And finally, the ground may pop into the foreground and all the finite forms are revealed as the temporary forms within this ground, as emptiness dancing.

Fluctuation

In the shift from one to the next, there seems to usually be an extended period of fluctuation between the two, often starting with brief glimpses of the next one, then longer periods shifted into it, and then shifting the center of gravity into it in a more stable way.

This allows for an easing into it and gradual familiarity with the new way of experiencing the self – from opaque and unquestioned, through transparent and not really real, to not existing other than as a label of temporary, limited and practical use only.

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