Reply To: The Salience Network

  • Don Salmon

    July 1, 2023 at 4:58 pm

    Hi Whit:

    Perhaps I”m not understanding you. I’ve answered yes, it’s very easy to navigate all kinds of ways with greater LH emphasis, greater RH, and everything in between and all around.

    Your mention of a “transcendent” stance is exactly what Dr. Les Fehmi meant by Open Focus (not simply “open monitoring” – but a stance in which one is aware of how one is attending and rather than a typically egoic LH “choice,” there is a kind. of surfing, such that the appropriate balance of different ways of attending occurs and shifts spontaneously.

    I say I don’t know if I’m understanding you because I keep writing that this is exactly what Fehmi taught, 10s of thousands of people over more than 50 years, and then you post again wondering if it can be done.

    So am I missing something? Do you think there’s something that Fehmi is missing? If you want to see a video I made on this, scroll down to the 2nd video on this page: http://www.RememberToBe.Life. The whole essence of everything we’re teaching is how to make that shift to what we refer to as “experiential” mode.

    As you know, I don’t like to identify these things with particular hemispheres, as it’s impossible not to have both hemispheres active at all times, and in fact, “experiential” mode – which you might theorize as having a RH emphasize, requires not just both hemispheres, but awareness of the gut brain, heart brain, subcortical functioning and much else.

    So is it that I’m misunderstanding you? Otherwise, the simple answer is yes, it’s been taught not only by Fehmi but Gendlin, Perls, and really, all good meditation teachers do it as well (Thich Nhat Hanh developed language almost indistinguishable from Fehmi’s, and Culadasa taught thousands of students how to reach very advanced states in a matter of months – and just to make the connection, I wrote to Culadasa about McGilchrist’s work. As a neuroscience professor, he had some quibbles with what he thought were McGilchrist’s rigid separation of the hemispheres, but otherwise he thought they were both working along very similar lines. Culadasa’s book “The Mind Illuminated” has over 50 pages on how to recognize selective attention (somewhat LH) and peripheral awareness (somewhat RH) in the process of meditation – whether seated following the breath or in the midst of active life.

    I would say Culadasa and Alan Wallace (and Sri Aurobindo, but he’s VERY hard to understand) give the best presentation on the practice of shifting attention I’ve ever seen anywhere.

    Is this close to what you’re asking about? If it is, once again, the short answer is, “yes.”