Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Notice Differently

In Wujifa class we talk about "noticing differently". This pair of words never made sense to me. How do I notice differently when I only know how to notice the way I notice? How do I notice? What does it mean to "notice differently"?

In the mid-1990s, I read the book "Way of the Peaceful Warrior" by Dan Millman. Recently I watched the vaguely related movie "Peaceful Warrior" which inspired me to go back and reread the book. As I read, I noticed passages I did not highlight in my first reading. My focus had changed. I was noticing differently.

I asked my school brother one day, "Yeah, it's great that my focus has shifted over the last 10 years but how do I speed up the process? How can I notice differently today, here, now?" He then played a little game with me:
D: Pretend you're wearing colored glasses. What color are you wearing?
Me: Blue.
D: So everything looks kind of blue-ish? And this is how you usually see things?
Me: Yeah.
D: OK. Now pretend there are a pair of glasses with yellow lenses on the table. Take off the blue pair and put on the yellow pair.
Me:(I went through the motions)
D: And?
Me: Everything... Wow! There's a different feeling, perception, feeling, something...
D: It's really that simple. Notice differently.
Here's what I noticed in "The Way of the Peaceful Warrior" this time:
"Then what do you mean when you say, 'My body is sore today'? Who is the 'I' who is separate from the body and speaks of it as a possession?" [pg 81]

"It only burns where you have knots. If you were free of obstructions - if your mind was clear, your heart open, and your body free of tension - you'd experience the energy as an indescribable pleasure..." [pg 103]

"... but your muscles hold too much tension. Tense muscles require more energy to move. So you have to learn how to release the stored tension." [pg 140]

"Oscar meowed loudly. I patted him. "Now squeeze his leg muscles, slowly, to the bone.
"I might hurt him."
I pressed deeper and deeper into the cat's muscle until I felt the bone. The cat watched me with curiosity and kept purring.
"Now squeeze my calf muscle," Soc said.
... I squeezed and was surprised to feel that his muscles felt just like the cat's, yielding like firm jelly.
"Your turn," he said, reaching down and squeezing my calf muscle.
"Ow!" I yelped. "I'd always thought hard muscles were normal," I said, rubbing my calves.
"They are normal, Dan, but you must go far beyond normal...
... I learned things about my muscles, ligaments, and tendons I'd never known before. ... It was amazing that I, an athlete, was so unfamiliar with the inside of my body. [pg 141]

... think less and feel more. [pg 161]
Noticing thinking...

Noticing absence of thinking...

Noticing beneath the skin...

Noticing feeling...

Noticing feeling of sinking, rising, expanding feeling together...

Noticing connecting...

Noticing differently...

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