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June 09, 2023


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>>Key concepts include priors, or expectations, which basically is a prediction before new data is available<<


as i wrote:
We marry with our expectations and later we go into the world to find the person that is willing and able to fulfill these expectations also based upon expectations of how such a person should look like.

Obvious that is how the brain works in ALL its activities.

The hunt of an lion in the wild, in all its details and aspects from the start to the end after his food, is all a matter of this ... expectation.

Expectation .. is a tool to survive in nature.
It is also a tool to survive in society, culture etc.
It is also a tool in meditation

That reminds me of having read somewhere that all do things for selfish reasons.
These reasons can be material, physical mental and spiritual as well.
There are very few that do not operate from these expectations and are just curious

Even in school, there is always one kid to be found that is only interested in learning all the others have other additional motives to learn.; motives that are more important than the acquiring of knowledge itself.

Meditation ... is an human activity and there is no reason to think, it is an exception to the rule.

Talking about what is expected and why and the forms things are expected to have, is all side tracking the attention from what realy matters .... the person and his expectations and the lack thereof. ....LOVE etc ... LOVE FOR

It might be available in all, that I do not know, but I do know that very few are able to find their way to access this commodity of LOVE and have found a way to direct that power on something or somebody.

LOVE ... is not a thing that science will lay its hands on ... it never did and it will never do, science will shun that subject as the pest. ...and that is how it should be.

If people are willing to admit that they miss this commodity and accept that it exists and others do have it without feeling miserable in any way, they would be well served and many a lover would not have been tortured and killed.

The eagle is not to be blamed, nor the crow or the nightingale. for who and what they are. the problem starts when they are suggested to be other than they are.

Meditation has nothing to offer to the world not even to the person that is meditating, it is an excercise of strengthening that commodity of LOVE ...

It remains a mystery to me that these things can be seen and understood without having them.

um, in my experience all of the forms of meditation foster love.

Focused attention meditation, such as concentrating on the breath, helps us learn how to pay rapt attention to what we find most important, which often is a loved one or something else that we love. Mindfulness meditation has the same benefit, being similar to focused attention meditation in some ways.

Then there's loving kindness meditation, which has love right in its name. When we wish happiness, safety, health, peace of mind, or other positive things for both ourselves and others, that clearly is an act of love.

And nondual approaches to meditation help us realize that there really is no distance between ourselves and what we experience, since all experience is founded on awareness or consciousness. So our awareness contains everything that we experience, a form of love and unity.

Excellent post, Brian, and I enjoyed the way you deconstructed a complex subject for us.


I too have been reading (listening!) to the same book and like how you correlated to the idea of non-dualism, with that too being a construction even if a much more pleasant one.

@Brian “. . . non-dual awareness, as Zen teaches, is simply the union of subject and object where awareness isn't divided into (1) an experience of something by (2) an experience of that thing. There's just experience.”

J. Krishnamurti also stated something similar: The observer observing the tree does not be-come the tree – God forbid! But when the observer understands the structure and nature of itself, there is observation without division and the observer.”

@Brian. “Meditation, along with psychedelics, is a way of reconstructing ourself after deconstructing ourself. The discussion in blue also supports my contention that the brain always is going to use filters and models. But it's possible to use our knowledge of the brain to reshuffle our assumptions, expectations, predictions, and such about the world.”

L.F-Barrett talks about balancing your ‘body-budget’ toward mastering emotions. This could equally apply to Chandaria’s deconstructing meditation. This all highlights our experience of the world being a construction and, how the brain constructs our experiences according to predictions based on our past experiences and understandings.

The antidote then, is to consciously groom experiences (thoughts and practices) that are more wholesome, beneficial, conducive to our health etc.; those which can provide experiences that go toward questioning long-held assumptions rather than mechanically accepting what we have been taught, or even helping to see and change particular ingrained patterns of belief.

Completely outstanding! I lack words to express my appreciation!

I’d wanted to watch both video-lectures, which you’d linked, before turning to the article, but as it happens I watched just the one. Mainly because it took me almost twice as long as the actual duration of it, to go through the first one (of around an hour and 45 minutes). Needed to watch some portions of it more than once! And worth every second of it. (Haha, this was, like, Nalanda on steroids!!)

I’ll get down to watching the second video as well, but I left off for now to read up your article first.

This is …so very dense, and so rich (in more senses than one), that I’ll need to return to both to fully appreciate them --- the video, and your article as well.

This presents a clear framework of how this model building thing actually works; as well as how meditation acts on it. So beautifully explained!


Lots of questions suggest themselves, lots. But I’ll refrain from asking them, until I’ve digested this properly. Probably watch it one time more. And check out the other one as well.

Just, one thing I wanted to note, and also ask about. It seemed to me, that while the first part of the presentation, the part that discusses the cognition model, that is established science; but the latter part, the part which brings in meditation and ties it to the consciousness model, that is …well, more tentative? That latter part seemed to be …not quite conjecture, but more of a work in process. Not quite established science, unlike the first part. At least that is the sense I got, from Chandaria’s words as well as tone, particularly during the Q&A portion. And not to mention the actual content of it as well.

And I could be wrong in how I’m reading this, which is why I’m flagging this here; and wondering if I got that last right. Of all of the questions that rush up, as I think over what I’ve heard (in the video) and read (in your article), this is the one I actually wanted to ask out aloud, for now.


Again, an absolute treat, this video and this article. Thanks so much for posting these, Brian!

Elon Musk's Twitter

"Exactly. State-mandated sterilization of children is utterly contemptible! Shame on those who push it."

Damn any fool who preaches drugs for adults and/or children.

Hi Brian
Still seems to be a lot of jargon to explain how we can get past thinking into quieter/more expansive space. However I have not looked at the you tube link - AR is obviously impressed.
I do have a few points:
- Interesting in the Families of Meditation chart Sound/Nada meditation is not mentioned? (Well maybe I missed it with the small print)…
- Following the post through we still seem to end up in how we deal/come to terms with? this awareness issue.
- I can’t help wondering in light of what he writes about ‘focused attention meditation’ this could easily be just Bhakti, particularly when he talks about Yidam - which involves concentration on a deity?
Soul making - come on what’s he on about here???
NDA remains where its at for me, the quote re the Zen approach as posted by Ron E hits the mark imo
“non-dual awareness, as Zen teaches, is simply the union of subject and object where awareness isn't divided into (1) an experience of something by (2) an experiencer of that thing. There's just experience”
“Is it possible for there to be awareness without any object of awareness? Some people believe in this. Me, I don't, but I could be wrong about this”. 
- from my limited reading of the post I postulate Chandaria is heading in this direction..
“At any rate, non-dual awareness is much more of a spiritual or mystical notion, than a neuroscientific one”.
I got the impression that it was becoming a neuroscientific one, what we need is for them all to back each other up!
Choiceless awareness (Jiddu K), Formless awareness (Rodney Smith), Kashmir Shaivism: ‘Awareness, free and independent, is the cause of the performance of everything’ (Recognition Sutras p. 42) ‘Awareness/stillness (GSD! Q&A 111)’ And a cool quote from Nisargadatta:
‘Between awareness reflected in consciousness as the witness and pure awareness there is a gap, which the mind cannot cross’ (I am That p. 418).

“For those about to Rock - we salute you” (AC/DC)


Appreciative Reader, yes, Chandaria's talk gets more personal and subjective as he moves from predictive processing to metaphysics. But the whole talk was enjoyable and informative for me.

...I have not looked at the you tube link - AR is obviously impressed...

Haha, yes indeed, Tim, I'm actually VERY impressed with this thing. Not only does this article (and in more detail the video) capture the mechanism of perception and cognition, but it neatly slots in the mechanism of how meditation works, as well. (Although, like I've said, I'm not sure whether that last is science proper, or merely extrapolation from the former.)

Either way, you'll probably enjoy both vids. They're long, well over an hour, and closer to two in fact, but I can't see how anyone interested in this sort of thing can fail to be blown away by them --- unless they're already fully aware of all of this, of course. (Me, I've only watched the first so far. Haven't had time to dip into the second yet.)

"Appreciative Reader, yes, Chandaria's talk gets more personal and subjective as he moves from predictive processing to metaphysics. But the whole talk was enjoyable and informative for me."

..........Well yes, the metaphysical part, sure, Brian, the substrates and so forth, that he clearly does spell out is merely conjecture at this stage. But I meant much of the second portion of the presentation, where it bears on the mechanism of how meditation works. I was wondering how much of that is merely extrapolation from the general mechanism of perception and cognition that is established science, on to how it MIGHT be in case of meditation --- rather than a description of what the mechanism actually is in the case of meditation.

(Chandaria doesn't outright say that, unlike with the substrate-metaphysics-thing, but I got that sense from his overall tone about that part of it, particularly when fielding questions. And also from the content of it. I mean, that bit about fully deconstructing the self, and then reconstructing it deliberately, I know that to be kind of central to Vajrayana, absolutely. But to say that it is actually established in science, is to fully validate all of that esoterica. I mean, it would be super cool if that were so, but ...I don't know, I'm guessing ---- merely guessing, I don't actually know ---- that that may not actually be the case.)

That's why I was wondering if the latter part of his presentation was more of extrapolation, and ongoing work-in-process research, rather than a description of what actually is already established.


and that's super cool, actually. even if that latter is 'merely' ongoing w.i.p. research.

That's exactly what one would want to see, how exactly science bears on these questions.

Like I said, I'm completely blown away by your article and the video. Later when I've time, I think I'll check up a bit more on this guy and the kind of work he's doing, what kind of research he's working on, all that. All of that sounds completely fascinating to me.

Tim, I can think of a couple of reasons why sound/light meditation wasn't mentioned in his non-duality schema. First, this sort of meditation isn't well-known, so it might have escaped Chandaria's notice. Also, surat shabd yoga, as it is called by some, is thoroughly dualistic, since the idea is that the soul has to detach from physical reality that's keeping it bound to the illusion of the material world.

So there's a big emphasis on detaching from the world and placing one's attention solely "within" (whatever that means, since all experience is within one's consciousness, obviously). Clearly this is at odds with erasing or markedly reducing the sense of subject/object distinction between us and the world.

The only nondual traditions according a book that deals with this in great detail ("Nonduality" by Loy, I believe the author is) are Buddhism, Taoism, and Advaita. Surat shabd yoga has a lot of resemblance to Hinduism, which is a dualistic religion.

"I can think of a couple of reasons why sound/light meditation wasn't mentioned in his non-duality schema. First, this sort of meditation isn't well-known, so it might have escaped Chandaria's notice. Also, surat shabd yoga, as it is called by some, is thoroughly dualistic, since the idea is that the soul has to detach from physical reality that's keeping it bound to the illusion of the material world."

Posted by: Brian Hines | June 12, 2023 at 12:57 PM

Good subject Duality.

Briefly back to your screenshots namely #6. Blue box, when it says Buddha-Nature. This Chandaria has jumbled all these together because he has the foggiest about it.

Why? Because just like your old teacher Maharaj Charan Ji taught. Sach Khand is the Goal, Buddha-Nature can be experienced by any and ALL human beings. Just one problem, and Maharaj Charan Ji repeatedly taught.. It must be EARNED. The Buddha wasn't always the Buddha, he too earned it.

You were given Maharaj Ji's instructions on how to objectively prove and earn it yourself. But this as always. The main issue with it is.. will you do the work? Will you conduct the exact experiment? Will you follow your respected Guru who lived up untill 1990? Will you do it (Just Do it -like Baba Ji repeats) or will you slack & make more excuses?

All this talk about duality. But what did Hazur Maharaj Ji Charan Singh mean?

Anyone? Yes, what does DUALITY mean concerning the SPIRIT? Yin/Yang two opposites? WRONG!

Read Maharaj Ji's books again.. All of them, if need be. Don't kid yourselves on true mindfulness ..why not really use your mind and read it right?

More will come with this mindfulness crap. All mindfulness can do is prepare you for the greater work. Read Pali Canon more. In the words of the Great Maharaj Ji Himself: "Our Way is to Ascend," or "Die to Live."

Hi Brian
You wrote
"So there's a big emphasis on detaching from the world and placing one's attention solely "within" (whatever that means, since all experience is within one's consciousness, obviously). Clearly this is at odds with erasing or markedly reducing the sense of subject/object distinction between us and the world."

Withdrawing from the outer senses for a little while each day and going within resets our perspective so we see things from a larger view beyond our small life and its addictions: We are all one. Everything and everyone is connected, and coordinated. Nothing is random. Going within is a powerful way to integrate that subjective experience, that oneness, with our daily lives, and thus eliminate all duality. Going within gives us the strength to be inclusive, to forgive, and to accept.

It is an excellent means to erase the ideas and notions that separate us. In this way duality ends.

Many paths, one destination.

Spence Tepper, once again you've deflected from the main point I made in my comment. The meditation approach of surat shabd yoga, which you appear to embrace, has the goal of completely detaching one's attention from the physical world. That's a thoroughly dualistic approach.

And the gurus who teach this system of meditation stress the importance of not being attached to objects and people in this world, though obviously they don't practice what they preach, since the current RSSB guru, Gurinder Singh Dhillon, is deeply immersed in acquiring money through seemingly fraudulent means.

So it simply isn't true that a meditation path aimed at detaching from physical reality is going to lead to a sense of unity with the objects and people in the world. That isn't the goal of this type of meditation. Different paths lead to different destinations. That's true in hiking. It also is true of meditation.

When I was preparing meat for a high ranking Tibetan Rinpoche, high because he was one of few that was allow to transmit certain initiations relating to the opening of skull at the top, I used that opportunity do discuss with him the differences between what he did and Sant Mat.

He answered that he could not as he didn't know anything about sant mat and that what I told him was not enough to give him the right understanding of what Sant Mat as a Path was all about.

It is my understanding that all those, in any field of human endeavor, that have mastered their knowledge and or practice relating to that particular field of interest, did so to the complete exclusion of everything else.

They are so preoccupied with what they are doing that not much is left to give to other fields of knowlege.

So .. to compare the activities in a given field, is left to those that have not masterd a particular field themselves, the professional [bread] writers of books, columns etc.

In order to judge a path and to compare it, one should have mastered all the path that are compared ... if not what remains is just a subjective appreciation, that has nothing to do with a path but everything with the motives of the one that judges and compares

Some days ago I read something about a mazatek "women of knowledge" a curandero that use "the flesh of God" to have people going through and psychic cure. The visiting crew was made to understand that if the interviewer would not partake in the ritual himself, she would not give an interview as nobody would understand what she was talking about.

To understand and discuss, let alone compare, spiritual experiences when shoulds have had them oneselve .. if not about WHAT is the discussion? .. coffee

Chandaria's lecture gets very disconnected when he reviews non-dual awareness and the Jhanas, states of consciousness without sensory input. Up to this point he has described some basic physiology of perception and reality testing that helps the brain develop functional models for perception. He goes on to describe the Deep Mind models developed for AI in pattern recognition. But when he attempts to link these to spiritual experience, states of awareness reported in spiritual literature, that have nothing whatsoever to do with sensory perception or cognition, the two don't connect at all (this starts around 56 minutes into his talk). He is left with simply saying that whatever that is, it's all part of the same system of perception. There is zero evidence for this claim. It's overreach with no research basis in scientific results.

He hasn't mapped anything beyond sensory pattern recognition and is left empty handed except to describe spiritual experience from spiritual and philosophic writings about NDA and the Jhanas. He attempts to explain consciousness without any sensory input at all from these wirings. He tries to describe it as the substrate and then claims this is all the same system of awareness. He has just spent an hour describing research and technology based models of how we process sensory input, which says that sensory processing IS awareness, but is left empty handed to explain how awareness exists without sensory input. He just claims it is.

Then he goes back to how we perceive a tree and our meta awareness but he mistakes proprioception for NDA. He has nothing to connect the prior hour's solid review of perception processing with these references to writings of spiritual experience beyond sensory perception. Fatally flawed effort to throw this all together. He then claims "awareness itself is also empty" even though he just reviewed NDA as an aware state, in fact several states. He tries to claim NDA and even Samadhi as the same as predictive processing or defabrication of the world, with no research behind his remarks at this point. Watch it for yourself.

There is no connection between predictive modeling, (which is how we process sensory awareness and meta awareness of that process) and states of awareness that have no sensory input.

Chandaria tries then to connect meditation with affecting our.priors, our conditioning. But this is entirely disconnected with what happens to the brain through the meditation experience itself. He is trying to claim that the internal experiences beyond sensory perception have something to do with that processing. He then claims it is flattening the prior: A free energy landscape, a place where we can reformulate our view. This is very weak and highly conjectural.

He has completely failed to understand the meditative state from the actual available neuroscience, and tries to connect spiritual writings with perceptual physiology and processing. But deep meditation is awareness outside those systems built for the body's functioning and movement.

He then goes back to Kant and Schopenhauer and acknowldges meditation " may be a subterranean pathway, an alternative pathway to seeing" with greater ",degrees of freedom." That would be my claim too.

But nothing he presents about perceptual processing has any research based connection to the meditation / spiritual experience documentation.

It's OK to be ambitious, but not to claim research in perception can be applied to experiences beyond sensory perception. But I do agree that this experience absolutely reduces "fabrication" to use Chandaria's claim. But he has not mapped with any science awareness and experience beyond perception as he attempts to do. Instead he tries to link sensory and proprioception research to awareness beyond them, as reported in spiritual writings.

Hi Brian
You wrote
"So it simply isn't true that a meditation path aimed at detaching from physical reality is going to lead to a sense of unity with the objects and people in the world. That isn't the goal of this type of meditation. Different paths lead to different destinations. That's true in hiking. It also is true of meditation."

You misunderstand.

1. Withdrawing from sensation and withdrawing from thinking about discreet things, as a practice, automatically changes our perspective about how we perceive, just as viewing today what we thought and did yesterday brings a new perspective. So the whole world looks different. We see ourselves s part of a system of cause and effect, not as an individual imposed upon and seduced by evil forces, nor completing individual heroic acts of impossible greatness. ;).

When you take a cold look at your actions yesterday, you are using a different configuration of your brain, seeing from a different level of awareness than when you acted and reacted yesterday.

2.A variety of meditation techniques, really any method of prolonged mental focus, will accomplish this. It has nothing to do with the object of focus. It has to do with what happens in the brain as a result of prolonged focus. So you can use any method to achieve this, including athletic activity such as running, or fencing, or ping pong. Any form of mental focus on some ideal objective or bloved object will put you in the zone. Prolonged focus will change how your brain works permanently.

3. Shabd meditation has a few unique features, but as far as understanding the oneness of all things, any form of prolonged prayer and submission will bring about a similar Satori experience of heightened awareness and interconnectedness.

4. Your idea that what you focus on determines what happens, that your choice of what to think about is crucial, ignores all the neuroscience evidence comparing different forms of deep meditation, mindfulness and prayer. Their effects on gaining a sense of wholeness with oneself and the world around us, and our place in it happen without our conscious direction. Think of these as physiological results that alter our thinking, so we are more aware of who we are and those around us, because we are tapping into similar physiological mechanisms, not some philosophical truth. In short, believing in God in any form, believing in no God, believing in emptiness, or believing in a loving heart: just the practice of focused belief, will all accomplish the same experiential and physiological result, the same perceptual result from pure prolonged practice. Getting in the zone athletically and professionally will accomplish the same thing. The object of focus only needs to be something you believe in. Results are physiological, and very healthy.

And this is why it is easy to think non-dualistically, because the chosen beloved object of our thoughts is entirely culture bound. But the effect on our devoted thinking about that isn't. That's physiological.

All roads lead to Rome.

Further to what I said just now in this comment (link: https://hinessight.blogs.com/church_of_the_churchless/2023/06/for-those-following-the-comment-game-spence-tepper-lost.html?cid=6a00d83451c0aa69e202c1a6cc2cb0200b#comment-6a00d83451c0aa69e202c1a6cc2cb0200b) :

It's interesting, how Chandaria seems to explain how psychedelics might affect perception. What they apparently do is simply change our priors.

Now this is just an off-the-cuff remark of his, as far as I could make out, and not really in any way central to his actual thesis. And I guess this is something that must have been extensively studied already, I mean the mechanism of how psychedelics affect us. But what Chandaria says here, about their ending up changing the priors within our brain/mind, that I suppose would offer a neat explanation for the longer-term effects of (some) psychedelics.

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