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I have come to realize that I automatically engage my physical senses within the rundown to a higher extent that possibly most people might. So I’m thinking now that perhaps I should have dwelt on this aspect more in my original post.
The problems you highlight in your sections 1, 2 & 4, I believe have the same cause and therefore the same solution. What I have to say also touches on what Sarah advises in her reply.
In my original postings, I do say for you not to get too carried away with the visualization aspect. All you need to do is create the bare structure. Remember, you are in an environment where thoughts become things, so if you start visualizing to a great extent then this can cause all kinds of unexpected problems. For example, parts of the scenery you create may suddenly begin taking on a life of their own, and that kind of thing. So keeping it all fairly abstract avoids many of the potential problems.
Now, when you create a scenario, you need to engage all your physical senses. And this is the aspect I perhaps should have placed more emphasis on in my original post. Because I realize now that I automatically engage my physical senses to a high degree, and I rather assumed, without really thinking about it, that other people were basically the same. And it appears that they are not.
When you create the structure of your rundown, you only need to create just enough detail to engage your senses. No more and no less. In other words, you need to see your immediate surroundings, smell the flowers, feel the cool breeze on your skin, hear the birds singing, and so forth. But you don’t want to create something too detailed that you get lost in the creation of it!
For example, when I say “hear the birds singing” I don’t mean for you to create a line of trees full of nesting starlings, and all the mummy birds are keeping the eggs warm while all the daddy birds are catching the worms, and so forth. All I mean is, just imagine somewhere in the distance you can hear birds singing and the sound of that is drifting over to you from somewhere. In other words, you hear the sound without creating all the rest of the scenario. So, like I say, just enough to engage the action of your senses within you.
The key aspect is to engage your physical senses, because this aspect is what makes it work. Engaging your physical senses within you, is what tends to have the effect of focusing your attention inwards. So you need enough detail to engage all your senses, no more and no less.
You’ll find, I am sure, that the more you engage your physical senses within the rundown, the more easily you will find it maintaining a first-person perspective. This is what you should be aiming to maintain. I have experimented with all manner of mental rundowns since my beginning with the Wave-1 CD. What I found was the success of any rundown was dependent on the degree to which I could engage the experiencing of my physical senses within the rundown.
As I say, I do believe that the problems you highlight in your sections 1, 2 & 4 are caused by your failing to engage your senses to the requisite degree. It does take practice, I admit. Perhaps what you might want to try doing is going through a rundown where you mainly concentrate on just one sense only.
Once you get the hang of that, then switch to another sense, and then another, and so forth, until you are familiar with bringing each sense into the forefront of your awareness.
You will probably find you are stronger on some senses than others. With me, I am very visual, but my other senses are quite strong as well. Once you have practiced using individual senses, start going through your rundown using pairs of senses and gradually work through to the point where you can handle all five at once. At which point you cannot help but be in a solid first-person perspective.
As regards your problem highlighted in your section 3:
I believe you are taking this too literally in a physical sense. You should be thinking more in terms of entering a mental space within you, not thinking of moving upwards in terms of physical space. Like, imagining anything above your physical head or anything like that. The place where you go is upwards into the expanse of your mind, not up in the sense of physically upwards.
The good news is, regarding your focus 10 experiences, you are absolutely right on track. Focus 10 is exactly like where your attention is focused elsewhere to the extent where you are not thinking of your physical body at all. Of course, the moment you think about it, you instantly become aware of it again. At which point you realize that a moment ago you weren’t feeling it, and then the realization dawns that you just broke the state you worked so hard to get into in the first place.
Problem is, a person cannot actively not-think of the physical. Because the more you try to not-think about it, the more you think about it, and the more you think about it, the more your attention is captured by it. Like, if someone is lying down and they think, “I wonder if my physical is relaxed yet?”
Instantly they are snapped out of whatever mental state they had previously achieved, and the physical body comes to the forefront of their awareness again. The only way around this is to focus away from the physical, and concentrate on something else to the point where it captures your focus of attention. That’s the reason for engaging your physical senses within you, during the rundown, because doing that greatly helps to hold your attention to the degree necessary to capture your attention and hold your focus. The physical grounds us to a high degree. In other words, it commands our attention and holds our focus like a powerful magnet.
If you have two magnets, one powerful and the other weak, and you place a piece of iron at the centre of them. The iron will go in the direction of the stronger pull. Imagine your focus of attention as that piece of iron. At the moment, your physical is that strong magnet. What you need to do is weaken the pull of the physical by allowing it to relax, i.e. shutting down your outer senses. This weakens the attraction of being in the physical. After all, what is there to focus on but the backs of your eyelids.
What you do next is create a more interesting set of circumstances within you, i.e. your mental rundown, which will attract your focus of attention. What you do, in effect, is present your focus of attention with a choice between either 1) staring at the backs of your eyelids or, 2) gravitating towards this engaging scenario “upstairs”.