In bash you can use
to force the shell to not follow symbolic links using shell built-in like cd. It doesn't affect the behaviour of ls, which is an external command, anyway. A workaround might be:
(cd $my_dir/../../../ && ls)
Since it runs in a subshell, it doesn't actually change the working directory of the parent shell. Moreover, if you simply want to retrieve the path of the directory and use it in other commands:
my_path=$(cd $my_dir/../../../ && pwd)
find $my_path -name something
ls -lrt $my_path
echo "The path I'm looking for is $my_path"
Hope this helps.