MÉMOIRES DE RECHERCHE DE L'INSTITUT :

EYE MOVEMENT & VISUAL MEDITATION
"Paper for the French Transpersonal Institute"

Par Dinu-Stefan Téodorescu

Explain freely the following questions concerning the research on visual meditation sent earlier:

1. The meaning and the use of the research in Transpersonal
2. The 4 quadrant of Ken Wilber and how to use all his possibilities
3. The place of the research in the 2 sorts of meditation :
   a) Open eyes,Zen, Tibetan and closed eyes Yoga with Bhru-madhya.
   b) Squint eyes on Third Eye, Ajna chakra to avoid eye movements of dreams.

1. The meaning and the use of the research in Transpersonal

- The research was done in the spirit of a science of spirituality (Motoyama, in press) which seeks to build a spiritual science using scientific methods (Wilber, in press) as well as all the appropriate methods such as phenomenology that may explain as accurate as possible the Transpersonal and the technologies for experiencing IT.
- The research has identified physical changes, the eye movement patterns which are associated with changes in the mental states, for achieving Samadhy .
- There seems to be clear cognitive mechanisms in the brain that are direct connected with different states of mind, and for the point of a spiritual science, all such mechanisms must be identified in order to be used consciously in the creation of spiritual technologies.

The research have been motivated by a particular incident which was attracting Dinu’s attention some years ago, when a psychologist who was instructing a meditation group for some years, was asking a tibetan lama at a conference how to visualize correctly. The lama was answering her in general terms, but because of the secrecy of the tradition, the psychologist was obliged finally to attained a half year in retreat in order to be instructed in the visualization techniques. In order to have a science, it must be open and with no secrets and as we have entered a new millennium, there must be a stop to this narrow approaches to spirituality, which was obliged before to be kept secret because of social repression and misunderstandings. The research was done for the purpose to identify the correct visualization techniques used in different secret traditions, and one of the merit is that it has identified a precise style of visualization in order to achieve Samadhy. With this research we can start to build at the foundation of the new spiritual science, an open science which is free for everybody to see and try if there is interest.

- The research proposed that there is a cognitive mechanism the stabilization of image, either in visual perception or in visual imagery that has an effect of habituation of the human cognition and this may be responsible for achieving a quietness of mind which may culminate in Samadhy.
- The research tries to explain the mechanism of a spiritual technology which have been used by centuries, not necessarily understood in terms of brain cognitive function, which have make easy the creation of superstitions, secrecy and the mysterious.
- The Transpersonal domain is immense, but nevertheless we can try to build bridges of understanding at the best of our possibilities.

2. The 4 quadrant of Ken Wilber and how to use all his possibilities

Ken wilber has proposed a model of the Kosmos seen as composed of four holarchies which are the inside and the outside of a holon, in both its individual and collective forms.

In order to analyze fully an individ, there must to be taking into consideration all the aspects which are reflected differently in the four quadrants: the interior and the exterior of the individual, together with the interior and exterior of his/her environment. All the four holarchies contain different information that can give together a better understanding of the individual, as a holistic entity, very much as the Buddhist low of dependent origination, where everything is interconnected. To study a phenomenon in such a holistic manner, must be the norm for the new science of spirituality. In order to understand the mind, it is necessary to study the brain, seen as the apparatus through which the mind manifests itself on the physical plane. Following wilber’s model, the mind of an individual manifested as internal experiences, feelings, thoughts, images, symbols, belongs to the Upper Left Quadrant, while the brain belongs to the Upper Right Quadrant.

The integral research seeks to show that the different quadrants are connected so that the apparition of a phenomenon in one quadrant determine in a necessary way the apparition of a specific phenomenon in the other quadrants. In the present research, the change in the state of mind (Samadhy) in the Upper Left Quadrant was expected to be reflected in a direct way in the Upper Right Quadrant as a specific eye movement pattern. The inference was reversed, inferring from the effect ( the specific eye movement pattern) the cause ( the state of mind- Samadhy ). An integral science must include both the methods of the Upper Left Quadrant, which is phenomenology, joined together with the experimental method, that is the legitimate research method of the Upper Right Quadrant.

But the science of spirituality is only half if it doesn’t include the collective, the interpretation of the state of mind through language, in the Lower Left and Right Quadrants. The language itself is a product of the Lower Right Quadrant and according to Vigotsky, with the onset of education of the child, the language becomes an internalized language, a vehicle for communication in the Lower Left Quadrant.

The states of mind- Samadhy experienced in the Upper Left Quadrant must be interpreted, for one self as well as for others, and the interpretation is an act of cultural collective heritage. In this spiritual- cultural approach the experiment have been conducted, using a Transpersonal orientation, based on the integral psychology ( an integration of personal and transpersonal psychology ) proposed by Ken Wilber.

In order to build a true integral science of spirituality, there is the need to work in all the quadrants to build a new language with its specific interpretation based on hard data experienced in the Upper Left Quadrant and documented through experiments in the Upper Right Quadrant.

3. The place of the experiment in the 2 sorts of meditation

a) Open eyes, Zen , Tibetan and close eyes Yoga with Bhru-madhya

b) Squint eyes on the Third Eye, Ajna Chakra to avoid eye movements of dreams.

There are many different kinds of meditation, each concerning different levels of consciousness. The inference from the experiment was that the physical level must be transcended as well as the next level, the mental level in order to reach the Transpersonal, which was covered by different kinds of manifestations on the different planes.

In order to reach the Transpersonal, in ITS pure Absolute Essence, the intermediary levels of consciousness must be switched off, starting with the physical level up to the mental level. Only when the intermediary levels have been switched off, only then the pure experience of the Transpersonal can take place. The pure experience of the Transpersonal mentioned here is nirvikalpa samadhy, or "absolute samadhy" in the Zen tradition of Sekida (1977).

The experiment proposed that the intermediary levels of consciousness manifested in the physical level and mental level must be switched off by specific meditational techniques in order to experience the pure nature of consciousness manifested in the experience of nirvikalpa samadhy or " absolute samadhy".

This cognitive principle, is closely related to Patanjali’s Yoga fourth step, namely the Pratiarhara, translated as the withdrawing of the senses from their sense objects. The experiment have been inspired by the tantric tradition which make use of many visualization techniques and is very close to a scientific inquiry.

Concerning Zen, in this traditional practice the eyes are kept open in order to wipe off the sleep and the wandering thoughts, but they are not necessary related to achieving Kensho or Satori (Hirai, 1989).

The tibetan practices are very vast, but one of the most well known meditations with the eyes open which can be related to the experiment is known as the "sky-gazing" meditation ( Surya Das,1997).The unfocused group in the experiment can be compared with the "sky-gazing" meditation from the Tibetan tradition which describes the effect of this meditation :

"In this sky-gazing meditation , we dissolve into the infinite by becoming one with the open sky" ( Surya Das, 1997, p.417)

If we compare the two, we can interpret the "sky- gaze" meditation as a stabilization of image condition, where the physical visual consciousness is turned off by the phenomenon. Giving way to higher levels of consciousness to become evident. The unfocused technique achieves the same result as the focused technique. This technique of visualization is a valuable meditation which is evidently connected with the stabilization of image and Samadhy.

Before going to describe the Yoga visualization techniques with closed eyes, it is interesting to investigate the Tibetan techniques with close eyes. As mentioned before, meditation techniques have been used before for different purposes, and using different levels of being in order to achieve specific results.

The most spread visualization technique in the Tibetan Tradition, either Buddhist or Bon, it is the Deity Yoga. Deity Yoga is done in two stages, the first stage is the generation stage and the second is the stage of completion. In the first stage, the adept generates a vivid image of one’s transformation into a deity which is completed in the second stage by actually transforming into the deity ( Cozort, 1986; Sangpo, 1996; Hungtington, 1995).This kind of meditation seems to be done for the energetical level of the being, so that the energetical body of the adept is virtually transformed during the meditation in the body of the Deity:

"...the main effect is for cultivating your chi and mai; as the image becomes clear and stable, you’re actually cultivating the areas of chi in your own body that match to the parts you are visualizing in your image." ( Bodri & Shu-Mei, 1998, p.113).

The experiment is done at the lowest level, the physical and it can’t give an answer to the energetical level.

Returning to yoga, here we must distinguish between hindu yoga ( Danielou, 1991; Feurstein, 1990) and buddhist yoga (Eliade, 1969; Cleary, 1995). In the case of hindu yoga with close eyes with bhru-madhya, the main purpose is to unite the mind of the adept with the principle of light ( jyotir- maya brahma) and then to merge into the supreme shape, Vishnu the Principal Pervarder. The adept is instructed to close the eyes and without any strain to look forward with the bhru-madhya until the inner light, jyotir naturally appears (Rajinder Singh, 1996; Kirpal Singh, 1985). The manipulation of the eyes are not of concern in this meditation technique and the experiment has little to offer for this practice.

Before considering the Ajna chakra concentration, we shall want to mention one of the goals in visualization goals in yoga, namely the awakening of Kundalini, which once risen to the Sahasrara, can bring the highest Samadhy. Visual concentration on a certain area or in a specific region has the effect to rise the Kundalini to that area. One classical example of visualization of a lotus in the place of the crown chakra had the effect to awaken Kundalini and rise It to theSahasrara bringing the experience of Cosmic Consciousness (Krishna, 1997).

One traditional practice of third eye concentration is the practice of Yoga Nidra, which has the effect to awaken deeper levels of the human being while allowing the physical body to relax and to be recharged with energy coming from the higher dimensions of being (Satyananda ,1993; Mishra,1987).

Again, the experiment has little to offer to this techniques, but in the end it is not that its value is too little, but that there are so many cognitive, energetical, spiritual mechanisms that must be discovered in order to establish a complete spiritual science.

REFERENCES

. Bodri,W. & Shu-Mei,L.(1998). Twenty five doors to meditation. York Beech: Samuel Weiser.
. Cleary,T.(1995). Buddhist Yoga. Boston&London:Shambhala.
. Cozort,D.(1986). Highest yoga tantra. Ithaca: Snow Lion.
. Danielou,A.(1991). Yoga. Rochester: Inner Traditions.
. Eliade,M.(1969). Yoga-Imortality and Freedom. Princeton,N.J.: Princeton University Press.
. Feurstein,G.(1990). Yoga-The technology of ecstasy. Wellingborough:Crucible.
. Hirai,T.(1989). Zen meditation and psychotherapy. Tokyo: Japan Publications.
. Huntington,J.C.(1995). The little monk meditates. New York: Weatherhill.
. Kirpal Singh (1985). The teachings of Kirpal Singh. Delhi: Sawan Kirpal Publications.
. Krishna,G.(1997). Kundalini: the evolutionary energy in man. Boston & London: Shambhala.
. Rajinder Singh(1996). Inner and outer peace through meditation Rockport: Element.
. Sangpo,K.(1996). Tantric practice in Nying-ma.Ithaca: Snow Lion
. Sekida,K.(1996). Zen training. New York: Weatherhill.
. Surya, Lama D.(1997). Awakening the Buddha within. London: Bantam Books.

"Eye movement & visual meditation" par Dinu-Stephan T»odorescu

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