Posts Tagged ‘meditation’

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By @anarchyroll
11/9/15

I have been meditating for around six years now. The total time spent meditating is much lower than that number would make it seem. I like many caucasian Americans who start meditating, have had long gaps between meditation sessions.

This calendar year of 2015 has by far been my best year practicing meditation thanks to the Calm.com smartphone app. I recommend that app passionately to all novice and intermediate meditation practicioners.

This year, as of this writing, I have logged 44 hours and 44 minutes of meditation using the Calm app to guide my meditation practices. I most often use it when I wake up in the morning, during my lunch break at work, before I go out to a social establishment, and/or before I go to sleep.

On Halloween this year I worked until the early evening, went to a Party City and bought $25 of zombie make up, went home to eat, meditate, and go out for the night. Halloween has turned into an adult holiday in the last decade, it is one of the few days a year where it is better to be single. I was looking forward to going out to play.

I started a standard, guided mediation, with a slightly more than average emphasis on deep breathing. As the meditation was progressing, I quickly felt something quite different.

Adrenaline rushes, endorphin release, oxytocin spikes, are events most people are familiar with. It is why we watch scary movies, skydive, prefer rough sex, do drugs, eat junkfood, drink booze, exercise intensely, etc. That feeling that starts in the head and quickly rushes through the entire body giving us simultaneously the internal and external feelings of what we know deep down is what it REALLY feels like to be alive.

This feeling often comes in short, sporadic bursts. We chase after the feeling in our own individual ways. Those who let the chase interfere with or confuse it with their purpose in life are often designated as addicts.

Before I started what I thought would be a standard pre sarge meditation I took a round of mood support supplements. 5 HTP, Theanine, and Inositol each in capsule form. A combination I had taken dozens if not hundreds of times before in an attempt to balance my neurotransmitters and the moods, emotions, and thoughts tied to them.

I turned off the lights, opened the app, and within three minutes of a five minuted guided session, I was experiencing a full body endorphin and adrenaline rush that I was able to induce and control based upon my breath.

I thought it would end quickly, maybe as soon as the guided session’s gong tolled. But it didn’t, it kept going as if I had a bomb trigger in my hand and taking a deep breath was pressing the button. Attaching positive thoughts, affirmations, and memories to the breath made the rush exponentially more intense and orgasmic.

I kept thinking of how to describe this event. It was not an endorphin rush, it was a flood. It wasn’t stopping.

When I would ask myself through my inner monologue or out loud how I felt I could only come up with the words; euphoria, ecstacy, the term heaven on earth, and of course happiness and gratitude.

I did not experience halluciations, I never felt out of control.

I felt pure love, peace, and joy. As if my inner child came out to play after years of hiding under layers of depression, burnout, and fear.

Goosebumps covered my arms, legs, hands, feet, back and head.

I decided to not go out until the experience subsided. I figured, even if were to go out and get a tremendous alcohol induced buzz followed by great sex with a woman or women I met; I could only equal the feeling I was experiencing in those moments. Plus I figured, how much longer could this endorphin flood last? I could let it run it’s course, put on my zombie make up, head out, and still try to have as much adult fun as the law would allow.

Four hours later, I was exhausted from the euphoria. I’m sure anyone reading this who goes to summer music festivals can relate.

I did not want to experience to end but I was very tired, and if anything, was excited to see if the experience would carry over into my dreams. It didn’t, but the entire next day I would get mini rushes or spikes at the more common length of a few seconds to a minute or so.

What did I experience exactly? Did the supplements play a factor? Did I reach some level of meditation mastery? Did someone slip something into my afternoon protein shake? Was I asleep? Had I slept?

All I know is that I know nothing and that I am happy and grateful for the experience that happened through me as much or more than it happened to me.

A stone cold sober ecstacy trip is not an every day occurence…..yet. Gotta have goals to chase after all.

I was certainly touched deeply by the experience. Since that night my bad moods have been shorter, my good moods longer, my productivity is up, procrastination is down. My sleep has been better and just as important, I have been more aware while awake.

A turning point? A reference point? A tipping point?

Is there a point?

Yeah, meditation is awesome. It has saved my life. It has improved my life. Every time I practice it teaches me more about myself, life, and the universe.

Maybe I was being rewarded for my practice.

Maybe I was given a glimpse of things to come.

Or maybe the chemicals and neurotransmitters in my brain just coincidentally aligned and fired off a once in a lifetime mental fireworks show marathon.

It passed, as everything does.

And I am happy and grateful.

Namaste

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by @anarchyroll
10/7/2014

Meditation has been a gift to my life that I am forever grateful for. If my body raced as fast and as consistently as my mind did, then Usain Bolt would be my lackey.

I have varied my meditations by;

  • length (2, 5, 10, 15, 30 minutes)
  • time of day (morning, afternoon, evening, late night)
  • focus level (breath only, visualizations, purposeful wandering)

One of the best modifications to meditation I have found is the incorporation of binaural beats.

I didn’t realize I was using binaural beats until I was on a date and the woman I was with was describing this app I had downloaded the previous year with a variety of sounds to stimulate the mind for a variety of reasons. The app is called is call Brainwave Tuner. I downloaded it shortly after hitting rock bottom in the autumn of 2012 (death in family, loss of job, dropout of college) as a small way to help turn my life around. When I downloaded it, I wasn’t exactly sure how it could help me, but my inner voice was telling me that it would help me in the future, and it has.

What I like about the app as opposed to singular binaural beats that people listen to and watch on YouTube is that the app has around twenty different beats, each with its own specific purpose. It certainly is no miracle drug or magic pill, but it is not snake oil either. It helps me achieve deeper levels of meditation, relieves tension headaches, and helps me concentrate on doing work. This article as well as my last 20 in a row, and a decent amount of the previous 170 have been written while listening to binaural beats.

Specifically in regards to pairing binaural beats with meditation, which is the primary use; I find it is good to alternate between using them and going without any additional sound/audio guidance. BUT if one lives in a loud, crowded, urban environment I recommend using either binaural beats, new age music, or audio based guidance for a vast majority of meditation sessions to aid in elimination of external distraction(s).Binaural beats can be purchased, which I do recommend doing, but one should certainly utilize YouTube to dip their toes in the water and get a sample of the effect(s) the beats can have on them.

The more people who meditate, the better. The more variety of meditations, the better. If binaural beats are used to get people to meditate who wouldn’t, or help people experience deeper meditations then they are a gift on par with meditation itself. The certainly have helped me to meditate longer and deeper with more focus. For that I am grateful and recommend them to all.

 

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by @anarchyroll
3/27/2014

Yoga was a slippery slope to meditation. The breathing, the focus on breathing, the slowed down mind, the relaxation, the stress relief, the clarity, the endorphins rush, the visualizations, the calmness, the acceptance, the awareness, the present.

I am forever happy and grateful for the practice of meditation coming into my life. I hadn’t heard much about meditation, and apparently that is common. Davos hosted a conference on meditation just this year. Meditation has been around for thousands of years.

When it comes to slowing down my thoughts, calming myself down, reducing anxiety, and positive visualizations; I can use all the help I can get. I have struggled with depression since I was 13. Yoga I started strictly for the physical health benefits. Meditation is exercise for the mind, heart, and spirit.

Like yoga there are many ways to meditate. If you are just beginning the main things to remember are;

  1. Sit or lay down
  2. Press your index finger and thumb together on each hand
  3. Close your eyes
  4. Breath from your stomach/diaphram/solar plexes
  5. Concentrate your thoughts/inner dialogue on tracking the movement of the breath from inhale through exhale

That is the 101, basically everything beyond that is intermediate to advanced level. Those five steps will take you longer to master than you think. Especially in the smartphone centered, rat race world we have been born into. If you are a senior citizen, it’ll be easier, just take yourself back to before the world got into a big hurry.

Stimulus Space Response in the name of this blog. That name comes from the teachings of George Herbert Mead and Stephen Covey. Both talk about the space between stimulus and response where humans execute free will to interpret an interaction. This space is unique to humans, not animals possess this ability. Here I try to write about concepts and things that can be plugged into that space in order to make our response to any stimulus one that is integrated with the best version of our self.

Meditation to me is the tool to cultivate the space between stimulus and response. Like the jack one uses to move a car up off the ground to replace a flat tire.

I have included links throughout this article for help in getting started with meditation. I would suggest doing at least a brief yoga routine before going into a meditation session. Be patient with yourself and with the progress of learning something new, as in the rest of life. I still have unproductive meditation sessions because my mind is habitualized to be preoccupied with thoughts of scarcity, victimism, and mental movies of worst case scenarios. Meditation is not a magic pill, but it does help. I am happy and grateful for what it has done and continues to do for me, and I will be sure to write about it more in the future.

Yoga not only led me to meditation but also led me to try herbal teas. In times of crisis I often need herbal tea more than meditation as the tea has the ability to physically alter my state upon consumption. More on that to come…