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Methods of achieving mystical states & spiritual knowledge Options
 
Hyperspace Fool
#1 Posted : 1/7/2012 8:55:41 AM

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Inspired by my esteemed colleague Rising Spirit, I've decided to open a thread devoted to techniques, modalities, methodologies and practical advice vis a vis spirituality & mysticism.

RS said this:

"It's not just a tug of war we are involved with here, it is a chance to actually bring some point-blank, specific methodological ideas forward and examine them with an acute degree of sufficieny. And with any hope, distinguish which avenues of thought are... and are not, IMO, useful approaches when choosing to go into an immersion within the Godhead."

& it rang true to me. We can spend a ridiculous amount of time arguing and debating the un-debatable and attempting to use logic and philosophy to persuade people to open their minds to possibilities that those of us here who "know better" due to direct experience... are fully aware can be shown and experienced directly.

So aside from (or in addition to) the obvious spice related answer: SMOALK MOAR!

I would be interested to hear Nexians discuss their practical advice to people who want to experience this stuff firsthand. So... open up the sacred vaults and treasure troves, and consider sharing some of your personal pearls of wisdom, bejeweled mystical techniques, hoary esoteric rituals and rarified sacraments with your brethren & sistren.

In order to not make this a referendum on my own favorite techniques, I will refrain from adding them until this thread has already progressed significantly in my estimation.

Be well... Bleessings & all that BS,
HF
"Curiouser and curiouser..." ~ Alice

"Do not believe in anything simply because you have heard it. Do not believe in anything simply because it is spoken and rumored by many. Do not believe in anything simply because it is found written in your religious books. Do not believe in anything merely on the authority of your teachers and elders. Do not believe in traditions because they have been handed down for many generations. But after observation and analysis, when you find that anything agrees with reason and is conducive to the good and benefit of one and all, then accept it and live up to it." ~ Buddha
 

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joedirt
#2 Posted : 1/7/2012 2:07:15 PM

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Great topic.

First and foremost I think the most important thing is to develop mindfulness. Pretty much everything else depends upon it.

The best method I've yet come across to cultivate mindfulness is indeed vipassanna meditation and its variants. I'll get to the technique in a moment. Mindfulness is not just what you do in meditation though. Meditation is simply the training ground, mindfulness becomes a way of life.

Why is mindfulness important? It's important because you need to be able to observe things as they really are. The most important 'things' to observe as they really are, are your thoughts. People who haven't spent a fair amount of time meditating simply don't know what it means to catch thoughts as they arise and to not get caught up in them. To be completely honest it's rather humbling to realize just how little control you have over your thoughts...or how little control you truly exercise over your thoughts.

So meditation is used to train techniques of being mindful, but the real work is done off the cushion in daily living. Catch your mind in a bad mood today? That's greet! Next step is catching your mind in a bad mood and saying that's nice I'll be in a good mood instead.

Vipassanna meditation also teaches you equanimity. Learning to accept things as they are is literally the fastest route to happiness that a person can take. It's not the same as being without emotion. You will have emotions. What it means is not being controled by them.

Without mindfulness one simply can't access the deeper meditation states because it becomes way to simple to get lost in a thought...thoughts can be extremely subtle. Mindfulness goes hand in hand with concentration development. Personally I find Kriya pranayama better for concentration, but vipassana will certainly begin the process of developing iron will concentration. I started with kriya, but in hindsight I think I may have progressed faster if I learned vipassaa first.

If you can't notice every thought that arises for 30-60 minutes you have little chance of accessing the deeper states IMHO.


So mindfulness meditation for beginners.

1) Forget everything you heard about meditation being a relaxation exercise. This style of meditation has one purpose and one purpose only. Increase your awareness of everything. This doesn't come without work.

2) Focus your attention in the area around your top lip and observe your breathing. Initially you might think to yourself "Now I breath in....Now I breath out". Then later just , "In....Out". then you just observe. When your mind wanders...and yes it will wander..Note it and bring it back to the awareness of your breath. Make your notes simple one word notes. thinking. hearing. dreaming. grasping. averting...etc, etc. You will find your own. The goal is to make a fast simple note and then bring your mind back to the task you instructed it to focus on...your breath.

Practicing just up to step 2 will get a person very far down the path, but there is more.

3) Begin to notice every sensation in your entire body. Use quick small mental labels as before. If you feel an itch, mentally say itch but now put your entire attention on the sensation of the itch and analyse it. Is the itch one continuous sensation or is it small discrete sensations that arise and then pass away. Is the itch you? What is this itch? is the itch still there now? Did you have any control over when the itch arose or when it went away?

Likewise if your attention is drawn to the sound of say a siren passing by outside. Mentally note 'hearing' and then observe the sound as it really is. Full immerse yourself in the sound of the siren it's rising and falling.

Do this with every sensation that arises. You should easily be able to get to the point were you notice 10-20 sensations PER second.
This takes REAL work. It's not easy and you will almost certainly not get any were close to this number the first time you sit.

That's vipassana in a nut shell. I practice 30-60 minutes a day, actually I mix vipassana with Kriya pranayama.

Over time your mind will learn to quite down naturally. First your attention will be less drawn to outside things. Then spaces between thoughts will grow longer and longer. Pretty soon you will find that you sat for your allotted time, but feel like staying longer. It's at this point that meditation actually becomes relaxing...but in the beginning..forget it. Meditation is real work, but the reward is very much worth it in both material living and in spiritual living.

I honestly believe that meditation is the strongest skill to learn. I wish we actually spent the first two years of childrens education working with them on how to train their minds...it would make the rest of their education much easier and more efficient.

Peace
If your religion, faith, devotion, or self proclaimed spirituality is not directly leading to an increase in kindness, empathy, compassion and tolerance for others then you have been misled.
 
tele
#3 Posted : 1/7/2012 2:16:42 PM
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Twisted Evil Smoke moreTwisted Evil

++++CAAPI++++
 
clearlyone
#4 Posted : 1/7/2012 10:37:00 PM

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This is not founded in any formal type of practice; its just what, from this perspective, apparently may occasion a remembrance of the eternal infinite void of everything. Never tried to explain this before but here goes.

It feels like a 'fanning out' of attention. Sort of opposite of focusing on one sensation. Its like ALL AT ONCE feeling the vibration in the steering wheel, the sun crackling through the clouds, random brake lights hoping from point to point, the itch of dry skin, breath passing through the nose, radio static feels warm, image of a sleeping daughter in the rear view mirror, all the colors alive, a bitter taste in the mouth. Taking all these in at once - attention IS ALL of them. Then somehow all these merge as ONE. Body, mind, world and witnessing presence.

It's like mind is caught in rapture by the completeness of listening and the overwhelming isness of ALL of This. Then spontaneously the mind is gone, its just This, happening without cause, indescribable, no one here, no one to know anything, no one to not know anything. Mind usually notes this whole occasion (although its clear now there's no such thing as occasions) and a joyful grin accompanies a knowing, eternal peace.

"Blinded by their own sight, hearing, feeling, and knowing, they don't perceive the radiance of the source. If they could eliminate all conceptual thinking, this source would appear, like the sun rising through the empty sky and illuminating the whole universe." - Huang Po
 
joedirt
#5 Posted : 1/7/2012 11:00:58 PM

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clearlyone wrote:
It feels like a 'fanning out' of attention. Sort of opposite to focusing on one sensation. Its like ALL AT ONCE feeling the vibration in the steering wheel, the sun crackling through the clouds, random brake lights hoping from point to point, itch of dry skin, breath passing through the nose, radio static feels warm, image of sleeping daughter in rear view, all the colors, a bitter taste in the mouth. Taking all these in at once - attention is ALL of them. Somehow all these merge as ONE. Body, mind, world and witnessing presence.


^^This is what true vipassanna ends up being. This is really the final goal. total awareness.

Keep practicing until you can maintain this state for hours without your mind wandering or wavering... No I can't last that long myself!

peace.
If your religion, faith, devotion, or self proclaimed spirituality is not directly leading to an increase in kindness, empathy, compassion and tolerance for others then you have been misled.
 
clearlyone
#6 Posted : 1/7/2012 11:31:15 PM

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joedirt wrote:

^^This is what true vipassanna ends up being. This is really the final goal. total awareness.

Keep practicing until you can maintain this state for hours without your mind wandering or wavering... No I can't last that long myself!

peace.


It's funny though. Isn't it the case that it never really is obtained or maintained. Though this mind now agrees it appears it is not revealed at this moment. Wink

But over time this ... game of hide and seek ... doesn't cause so much drama. I used to try to get it back, hold on, maintain it. But 'loosing it' can be beautiful too. Even when it's suffered. Apparently makes realizing you never left Home that much sweeter. Smile

All is well. Peace.
"Blinded by their own sight, hearing, feeling, and knowing, they don't perceive the radiance of the source. If they could eliminate all conceptual thinking, this source would appear, like the sun rising through the empty sky and illuminating the whole universe." - Huang Po
 
joedirt
#7 Posted : 1/8/2012 12:12:42 AM

Not I

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clearlyone wrote:
joedirt wrote:

^^This is what true vipassanna ends up being. This is really the final goal. total awareness.

Keep practicing until you can maintain this state for hours without your mind wandering or wavering... No I can't last that long myself!

peace.


It's funny though. Isn't it the case that it never really is obtained or maintained. Though this mind now agrees it appears it is not revealed at this moment. Wink

But over time this ... game of hide and seek ... doesn't cause so much drama. I used to try to get it back, hold on, maintain it. But 'loosing it' can be beautiful too. Even when it's suffered. Apparently makes realizing you never left Home that much sweeter. Smile

All is well. Peace.



Ah, but what is maintained is the awareness of the impermanence of it all! Smile

One can reach the state where he observes his thoughts from far enough away that the thoughts don't dissolve.... entheogens make this relatively easy! Wink
If your religion, faith, devotion, or self proclaimed spirituality is not directly leading to an increase in kindness, empathy, compassion and tolerance for others then you have been misled.
 
clearlyone
#8 Posted : 1/8/2012 12:27:58 AM

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joedirt wrote:

Ah, but what is maintained is the awareness of the impermanence of it all! Smile


Where does the knot go when it is untied?

How about a lap when one stands up?

Same place it ALL goes when it stops being imagined. There is nothing to be impermanent. There is no one to maintain anything - and nothing to be maintained. There is a saying something like: every thing is mind, and there is no mind.

As long as there appears a 'trying to maintain' there appears the dream of someone trying and something (even awareness of impermanence) to be maintained. There just isn't any thing but This and its Nothing but void. I apparently had to let go of this chase too.

Peace friend.

Words sure do go round and round don't they. Can they really lead anywhere? I think I'll stand up now. he he.
"Blinded by their own sight, hearing, feeling, and knowing, they don't perceive the radiance of the source. If they could eliminate all conceptual thinking, this source would appear, like the sun rising through the empty sky and illuminating the whole universe." - Huang Po
 
joedirt
#9 Posted : 1/8/2012 12:57:25 AM

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clearlyone wrote:
joedirt wrote:

Ah, but what is maintained is the awareness of the impermanence of it all! Smile


Where does the knot go when it is untied?

How about a lap when one stands up?

Same place it ALL goes when it stops being imagined. It's not impermanent, it never is. There is no one to maintain anything - and nothing to be maintained. There is a saying something like: every thing is mind, and there is no mind.

As long as there appears a 'trying to maintain' there appears the dream of someone trying and something (even awareness of impermanence) to be maintained. There just isn't any thing but This and its Nothing but void. I apparently had to let go of this chase too.

Peace friend.

Words sure do go round and round don't they. Can they really lead anywhere? I think I'll stand up now. he he.


indeed! But to some one new to the path this is 'real' and the way to get to the end of suffering (lack of self realization) is real is to realize it's impermanent and thus not self.

The paradox of it all is that it must be experienced. Entheogens for me, when using mediation before, and during the trip has led to some amazing samdhi like experiences, but I don't think they are achievable by just eating a bunch of shrooms or smoking a bunch of DMT. IMHO.

At the end of the day though I hang my hat on science. Science has pretty much proven as a matter-of-fact that everything in the material world is indeed impermanent. By the time you read this word after the previous word the entire state of your body has changed and is no longer the same body that you previously identified with. Yet you are strangely still here identifying with it all...pretty much means one thing if you get to the heart of it.

You are not you material body. You couldn't possible be or you would be destroyed and created every fraction of a second. One can learn to maintain a continuous awareness which means the self is something different. Remember the Buddha never said there was no soul or a God...he just denied the permanence of them. What ever that truly means my simply intellect has certainly not grasped in it'es entirety! Smile

At the end of the day I am spiritual because of science not in spite of it...and I find it utterly amazing that so much of what the Buddha taught is actually proven by moden science. Of course not everything stacks up, but even buddha said to take everything he said with a grain of salt until you had convinced your own self of it's validity.

Peace
If your religion, faith, devotion, or self proclaimed spirituality is not directly leading to an increase in kindness, empathy, compassion and tolerance for others then you have been misled.
 
universecannon
#10 Posted : 1/9/2012 2:50:09 AM



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good thread, and nice post joedirt

i often do pranayama. but another thing that really interests me a lot, which sometimes i engage in after a bit of pranayama, is what Jung called the process of active imagination. I started doing it before i knew much about jung or that he talked about it, but it was essentially very similar. There are many ways to go about it but the idea is to not exert much influence and let the images in your mind unfold naturally without bending much to the desires and will of the conscious mind. Visualizing things is a good way to start

So just observe and observe and let your mind express what it does.. After the initial gentil push, it can take off with a firey life of its own..eventually with you ending up in a sort of trance that is not unlike the imaginatrix encountered via the harmalas. Sort of a hypnagogic state..i find it best to stay as conscious as you can though and engaged in/with it. You can actually go into dream sequences while awake that seem to be visual/sensual (sometimes synesthesic) messages of some sort that can have profound meaning and syncronicity with your life. Just remember- don't fall asleep! Although i admit it is a very blissfully bizarre sleep Smile

Jung saw this sort of thing as a bridge between the conscious and unconscious mind, and believed it allowed unconscious thought-forms to be acted out so to communicate messages to the conscious mind. It can be literally like engaging in a dialogue with the unconscious parts of your mind. He saw it as a dance with not only the personal dynamics of the psyche that lay under the surface of awareness, but also the collective unconscious. Who knows.. if the imagination really does turn out to have non-local aspects, then this would be a seriously ground-breaking exercise :] I actually don't understand Jung's methods for it that deeply so maybe someone else can chime in here

Sometimes it is fun to exert influence and try and guide the thing along some sort of creode and see where you end up.. simply sitting down and doing the "what you would i do if i could do anything" meditation for an hour can get you into some very interesting territory..but even here the thing seems to quickly detach from my conscious will and do what its going to do.

Doing this after ayahuasca, or even just caapi and cannabis, can be very amazing and lead to states of mind where insights can just pour in. Eventually you'll just be seeing whatever it is your imagining, like literally sculpting visual objects in your mind- but it can be pretty beyond your control. A lot of times i'll be in a trance and barely be aware i'm seeing anything at all until i snap out of it, and watch with eyes open as the thing slowly fades like a phosphorescent afterimage

it can seem really silly at first..actually, its very nature is probably inherently silly Razz ..but dagnabbit! why not spark up your neotany.. and exercise one of the most mysterious abilities of your mind, which we know almost nothing about, that is unique to humans(afaik), and is at the root of our global culture and everything created by humanity: The human imagination
The Nexian


<Ringworm>hehehe, it's all fun and games till someone loses an "I"
 
Hyperspace Fool
#11 Posted : 1/9/2012 11:49:46 AM

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Liking this so far.

Thx Joedirt, clearlyone & universecannon. We've got mindfulness, vipassana, pranayama, active imagination... focused attention, comprehensive holistic attention... train of thought and directed visualization.... a good start indeed.

Moar please!
"Curiouser and curiouser..." ~ Alice

"Do not believe in anything simply because you have heard it. Do not believe in anything simply because it is spoken and rumored by many. Do not believe in anything simply because it is found written in your religious books. Do not believe in anything merely on the authority of your teachers and elders. Do not believe in traditions because they have been handed down for many generations. But after observation and analysis, when you find that anything agrees with reason and is conducive to the good and benefit of one and all, then accept it and live up to it." ~ Buddha
 
rjb
#12 Posted : 1/9/2012 2:08:18 PM

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I don't mean to be disrespectful, I totally agree to the consensus, but visualizing things IMHO is detrimental to the point of meditation - being mindful, as joe very well put it - instead of observing, you'd be creating images and assign labels. Just my point of view.

Now, the way I see it, there's a fine line between creating imagery (or daydreaming) and observing a thought in the form of an image, and I believe that you were referring to the latter rather than the former? I just want to get my stuff straight, maybe my logic isn't the best at times, so please correct me if my train of thought is flawed.
The truth...lies within.
 
Hyperspace Fool
#13 Posted : 1/9/2012 2:39:54 PM

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@rjb I think we are discussing 3 or 4 very different practices. Meditation, contemplation, mindfulness, active visualization etc.

Even these divisions can be broken down into a myriad of subcategories. I personally know at least a few dozen different meditation techniques.

My sifu used to say that meditation is not the practice that we call meditating. Meditation is the goal of this practice. Thus, the different meditation techniques are rather means to the end of getting you to relax into a period of no-thought. This can be accomplished by one pointed awareness dropping off into the void of no thought, by increasing awareness to saturation, by tiring the critical mind out, by giving it a toy to play with while you observe it from the outside etc. etc.

Of course, this worthy goal of meditation is not the only kind of spiritual or mystical experience that people seek when they engage in these practices, either.
"Curiouser and curiouser..." ~ Alice

"Do not believe in anything simply because you have heard it. Do not believe in anything simply because it is spoken and rumored by many. Do not believe in anything simply because it is found written in your religious books. Do not believe in anything merely on the authority of your teachers and elders. Do not believe in traditions because they have been handed down for many generations. But after observation and analysis, when you find that anything agrees with reason and is conducive to the good and benefit of one and all, then accept it and live up to it." ~ Buddha
 
SpartanII
#14 Posted : 1/9/2012 2:57:47 PM

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Not-Doings

This is a technique I discovered reading Carlos Castaneda. It increases mindfulness, spiritual energy, makes reality more "dream-like" and fun, promotes lucid dreams, softens the Ego/reduces Self-Importance, and more (effects are listed below).

Basically you write down or journal a list of "doings" or your routines/habits, the things you do the same way everyday that contribute to "sleepwalking" through life and draining you of the spiritual/emotional energy that you need to increase your awareness and connection to your Spirit/Higher Self. Then simply start doing the opposite of everything on that list for a set amount of time, then go back to your original routine for a while, or switch to different Not-Doings every so often because if you let the Not-doings become "Doings" they can become routine and lose their effectiveness. It's a good idea to journal your experiences with them so you can better integrate them.

Here's an article that explains it better:

http://www.netplaces.com...power-of-not-doings.htm

The Power of Not-Doings by Allan Hardman

Because of the strategies, masks, and exiled parts that humans have to deal with, they have adopted ways of being in their lives that are rigid and not very spontaneous. Perhaps you have noticed this in yourself, friends, or family; behaviors and emotional reactions are predicable, habits are unconscious, and wardrobe choices are limited. These are the signs of someone domesticated into a sleepwalking dream.

There are two essential reasons for the new Toltec warrior to use what are called “not-doings” as a tool of transformation: The first is to awaken from the domesticated sleep by changing routines and habits, and forcing himself to awaken and be present. The second reason is to challenge his rigid habits and test new ways of being in the world.

Awakening and Staying Awake

It is the intention of the Toltec warrior to wake up and stay awake in the dream. He uses the not-doings to support that goal. The inventive warrior will find many ways to wake himself up and be alive in the present moment. Anything he can do to break habits, change routines, react in new ways, or simply remember to be present in his body in the moment will be a not-doing.

The warrior uses not-doings to go beyond simply waking up in the moment. His goal is to challenge all of the habits, strategies, and domesticated routines that unconsciously run his life. He knows that he has been practicing the old routines for many years, and it will take effort and intention to change them. He wants to be fully alive!

Challenging the Doings of the Old Dream

Not-doings can be used to challenge the rigid strategies and masks from the old dream, by consciously “doing the opposite.” If you are always late, start being early. If you always have to arrive early, then choose to be late sometimes. If you are always serious, learn some jokes. If you are normally boisterous, try being quiet and mellow. If you are generally messy, try being neat. Neat? Be messy.

Choose some not-doings that make you uncomfortable, and try them out. If they are too scary, check with the child within and don't push too hard. Here are some examples of doing the opposite that expand on the wake-up tools described in Chapter 11:

Drive to school, work, or the store by a different route every day.

Trade wardrobes with a friend; change hairstyles.

If you love to talk, try silence for an hour or day.

Eat or write with the unaccustomed hand.

If you usually stay home, go out. If you usually go out, stay home.

Change bathing and grooming routines every day.

Skip morning coffee or other daily habits.

Wear makeup or a tie if you normally don't. Don't wear them if you always do.

Sleep on a different side of the bed.

These suggestions, and many more like them, are not-doings the warrior can use to break the sleepwalking routines of his or her life and wake up to be in the present moment. In the awareness of the moment, the warrior is empowered to make choices about his or her life with self-acceptance and love.

The child within who learned and has maintained the old strategies and routines will be afraid of changes. If you were punished for being messy as a child, and learned you were safe and accepted when you were neat, allowing yourself some disorder as an adult will alarm the child within. Doing the opposite shows the child that nothing bad will happen. After many years of being afraid you will be judged for being late or messy, perhaps you will learn that no one even notices now! Or you may find that people love your jokes, or your new mellow self.

The child's excitement will be boundless when he learns that the past with his judging parents is over, and there are new opportunities to express the truth of who he is. He will want to try even more ways of expanding his personality and choices. With the warrior standing by to protect and encourage the victim child, love replaces the fear that has held the personality in bondage, and new possibilities for expansion and expression of wholeness become unlimited.

The not-doings are an effective way to take action to change your dream, and to open yourself to new possibilities. With patience and love, you can try out ways of doing the opposite, and see what emotions arise. If you become anxious, you are probably in the right place, challenging an old strategy. Be gentle, and keep going!


Effects (based off my experience):

- Promotes Mindfulness
- Exercises perception
- Increases Spiritual/emotional energy
- Makes reality more dream-like
- Promotes Lucid Dreams, synchronicity, psychic perception
- Eliminates fear
- Softens Ego




 
Tek
#15 Posted : 1/9/2012 3:50:08 PM

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Oh thank you for starting this thread we've been needing one like this for awhile!


I feel like I'm sounding more and more like a broken record these days, but other than chemicals the only thing I've found that gets me into an altered state is listening and practicing the Hemi-Sync tapes developed by Robert Monroe at the Monroe institute.

Forgive me if you've all read my rant on these tapes before, but they've been so successful for me I keep wanting to recommend them. For those that aren't aware, Robert Monroe was an astral projection pioneer. He first started having uncontrolled out-of-body experiences in the 1950's and continued to have them until his death close to the turn of the century. During his explorations he developed a way to induce the out-of-body state by utilizing brain wave syncronization sounds and developed a whole research institute dedicated to researching altered states.

Having used a variety of the meditations and visualization techniques others have already mentioned, the Hemi-Sync tapes are the only thing I've used that actually produces a noticeable result in my awareness within roughly 30min of doing the exercises. Granted, I haven't tried ALL avenues of conciousness expansion, but why kick what works right? I'd highly recommend them.
All posts are from the fictional perspective of The Legendary Tek: the formless, hyperspace exploring apprentice to the mushroom god Teo. Tek, the lord of Eureeka's Castle, is the chosen one who has surfed the rainbow wave and who resides underneath the matter dome. All posts are fictitious in nature and are meant for entertainment purposes only.
 
SpartanII
#16 Posted : 1/9/2012 3:59:23 PM

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Tek wrote:

I feel like I'm sounding more and more like a broken record these days, but other than chemicals the only thing I've found that gets me into an altered state is listening and practicing the Hemi-Sync tapes developed by Robert Monroe at the Monroe institute.

Forgive me if you've all read my rant on these tapes before, but they've been so successful for me I keep wanting to recommend them. For those that aren't aware, Robert Monroe was an astral projection pioneer. He first started having uncontrolled out-of-body experiences in the 1950's and continued to have them until his death close to the turn of the century. During his explorations he developed a way to induce the out-of-body state by utilizing brain wave syncronization sounds and developed a whole research institute dedicated to researching altered states.

Having used a variety of the meditations and visualization techniques others have already mentioned, the Hemi-Sync tapes are the only thing I've used that actually produces a noticeable result in my awareness within roughly 30min of doing the exercises. Granted, I haven't tried ALL avenues of conciousness expansion, but why kick what works right? I'd highly recommend them.


What's a tape? Laughing

I've had good experiences with them also. I have the Dreamcatcher, Deep Time Dreaming, and Between Worlds CD's. AMAZING stuff. I just worry that I'll start relying on them for my meditation if I use them too much so I use them sparingly. They also are a great sleep inducer.Cool
 
Tek
#17 Posted : 1/9/2012 4:06:50 PM

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SpartanII wrote:
Tek wrote:

I feel like I'm sounding more and more like a broken record these days, but other than chemicals the only thing I've found that gets me into an altered state is listening and practicing the Hemi-Sync tapes developed by Robert Monroe at the Monroe institute.

Forgive me if you've all read my rant on these tapes before, but they've been so successful for me I keep wanting to recommend them. For those that aren't aware, Robert Monroe was an astral projection pioneer. He first started having uncontrolled out-of-body experiences in the 1950's and continued to have them until his death close to the turn of the century. During his explorations he developed a way to induce the out-of-body state by utilizing brain wave syncronization sounds and developed a whole research institute dedicated to researching altered states.

Having used a variety of the meditations and visualization techniques others have already mentioned, the Hemi-Sync tapes are the only thing I've used that actually produces a noticeable result in my awareness within roughly 30min of doing the exercises. Granted, I haven't tried ALL avenues of conciousness expansion, but why kick what works right? I'd highly recommend them.


What's a tape? Laughing

I've had good experiences with them also. I have the Dreamcatcher, Deep Time Dreaming, and Between Worlds CD's. AMAZING stuff. I just worry that I'll start relying on them for my meditation if I use them too much so I use them sparingly. They also are a great sleep inducer.Cool



Haha! You know I've been doing that, calling them tapes! I think it's because monroe himself says tape a lot and I just got in the habit of it Smile
All posts are from the fictional perspective of The Legendary Tek: the formless, hyperspace exploring apprentice to the mushroom god Teo. Tek, the lord of Eureeka's Castle, is the chosen one who has surfed the rainbow wave and who resides underneath the matter dome. All posts are fictitious in nature and are meant for entertainment purposes only.
 
Rising Spirit
#18 Posted : 1/9/2012 5:00:11 PM

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Rising Spirit wrote:
It's not just a tug of war we are involved with here, it is a chance to actually bring some point-blank, specific methodological ideas forward and examine them with an acute degree of sufficiency. And with any hope, distinguish which avenues of thought are... and are not, IMO, useful approaches when choosing to go into an immersion within the Godhead.


Thanx to brother Hyperspace Fool, one of my typically verbose rants, has birthed this intriguing thread. I'm lovin' the direction this discussion is heading. joedirt raises some very fundamental ideas, as to the mental framework which so preoccupies our thought-processes. And so, eloquently prescribes Vipassana as a clear methodology towards mindfulness and development of a innate capacity to find the root-cause of all of these circulating thoughts, dispassionately examine them and release them into the emptiness from whence the were initiated, with our active participation. By examining ourselves, looking into the mirror of our souls, we peer into just one of the masks worn by the Divine.

Theravada Vipassana is the closest thing we have to the original doctrine of the historic Gautama Buddha. I've enjoyed training within it's mindful parameters. Personally, my path has drawn me more in the direction of the Mahayana Buddhist traditions, for whatever reason. I've been a devotee of Ch'an/Seon/Zen Buddhism for some time now.

For those Nexians less familiar with the complexity and myriad aspects of the Buddhist faith and it's many schools of thought, suffice it to say that ALL of them turn the observation and conceptual formatting of the individual witness to the process of sentient life, back towards oneself. We are within the center and fulcrum of this cyclone and we are both, the source and the initiators of our own dreamscapes.

I think we might gleam some very insightful methods towards the aim of a more spiritual perception of existence. I have used many, many methods over the decades and as Hyperspace Fool states, there are quite a number of them. Each can be most useful to (as the Zen folks say), "stop the mind". By such the conscious suspension of our interior mental dialog, we come closer to our truest nature, No Mind.

We are all born in this open state of perception, so why not become REBORN into this sublime state of receptivity? Obviously, the mind is never truly "stopped"... rather, within the continual cycling of our direct intention, it is brought back to the empty center. Zero. IMO, by bringing our focus to this single point of expansive clarity, said MIND better serves the brain which hosts it. :idea:

I think it is fair to say, that all paths lead to the summit of human awareness. There are significant differences between the form (or even the formlessness) of the varied approaches, but of course. Still, one of the primary points I was trying to get across on the other thread, is that by bringing these meditative methods and awareness-expansion technologies, to the very forefront of the discussion of Spirit, we might clearly and sufficiently, see the core principles at play.

They each have so much in common (despite their uniquely fascinating characteristics), within humanity's deep brain functions, that there may well be enough data to cohesively examine and codify this knowledge, into a holistic system... or even, a "SCIENCE" of the spiritual realms of existence. A Sacred Science, if you will?

Honestly, when I gaze up at the Milky Way above, I see the handiwork of the Divine. This doesn't mean I don't also want to know something of the rational science of it's pragmatic attempts at measurement, mapping and study. This points the way to a balanced stance of inquiry and therefore, cries out for an Omni-Science. We a very curious monkeys, after all. Wink

There, I said it and lightning didn't strike me dead! Frankly, I have always felt that it was the greatest irony, the needless struggle between the illusory concept of spirituality -VS- science. That being, these regions of study caught in some kind of juxtaposition to one another. All of these methods were and still are, part of very ancient and definitive sciences. Before the Age of Reason, these were some of the primary sciences, along with linguistics, astrology, philosophy and medicine.

I guess what I am driving at is this, the collective of these methods lead towards a concise cluster of aspects and characteristics. Each has the potential to catapult our awareness into new territory and redefine the known territories we have been rationally conditioned to be cognizant of as reality. In short, they all bring us right here, in the NOW. This moment is all that exists... and we come to find that it has multiple levels and appearances. But all is still existent within the Present, the eternal and the quintessence of what we humanoids name with words as, God/the Sacred/ the Tao/the Spirit.

To borrow a quote from a most wise and brilliant human being, Alan Watts, "This is it." BTW, this was also one of the titles to an excellent book of his. Alan rocks!!! Cool




There is no self to which I cling, for I am one with everything.
 
vardlokkur
#19 Posted : 1/9/2012 7:30:33 PM

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Hyperspace Fool asked me to post about this spiritual practice of Soma-fera which is described in vast vast detail on this website
Somafera - The Body Wild

This turned out alot longer than I thought, so for specific techniques, scrolls towards the 2nd to last paragraph area.

I'll give a rough description, and how I came upon discovering it. It'll be a bit length, since the last ten years of my life (I'm only 24) have been for the most part of spiritual pursuit. The majority of it has been simple research and contemplation, though in the last year I've begun to unite it with my lifelong passion for martial arts, and am working towards integrating my spiritual disciplines into my life (I've always been a bit of a closet occultist, since most of my social circle growing up has been highly nihilistic).

I practice a very personal spiritual practice, which has been a combination of various occult philosophies (most notably Austin Osman Spare and Peter Carrol, also Aleister Crowley, though I feel his system of Thelema has become it's own dogma through misguidance). I try to avoid customs or ritual for the sake of tradition, and try to mostly work through intention, by analyzing my own desires and trying to dissemble their psychological source. I began in late highschool by practicing a number of divination methods; tarot, and the norse runes. I've sort of fallen out of favor with using them regularly, though they comprise an integral part of my personal conceptualization methods, and I often find myself categorizing personal events or people in my life into these symbols (though I remind myself that things are much more complex than any dualistic perspective is able to attribute). I dabbled with meditation then, but didn't have the patience at the time. I like to keep my spirituality casual, yet ingrained with everyday life, a sort of modern animism.

About a year ago I stumbled upon the practice of somafera, which is a modern rediscovering of the ancient practices of the norse berserks. Ancient Scandinavian culture has always resonated with my soul in a profound way, since my heritage has always being of significance to me and I use it's mythological symbolism and the etymological prowess of the culture to help me in drawing correlations between many ideas that sometimes avoid easy interpretation. The berserks have always been of great interest to me, and always stood out when reading the sagas. An especially favorite character of mine is the Icelander Egil Skallagrimsson. Many of these sagas are autobiographical. One of the major qualities of the berserks is the personal conflict of an animal nature and the "noble" human mind. Berserks had a difficult role in society, because they were sought after for their physical prowess and were often skilled pets in their time. But due to their reckless, and unpredictable nature they were not kept around long after the battles were fought, either being payed and sent off, forced to live outside of the established society; or were killed.

The modern take on somafera is based off the assumption that we as humans can trigger certain physiological responses, like the release of adrenaline and serotonin. To me, it is simple intuition that some individuals are more prone towards these abilities, and that it would have a direct relationship towards hormone levels. The ancient reports of berserks and greek maenads seem to resemble what happens to a human when they release high levels of adrenaline; the face swells and turns a reddish purple, the skin becomes taut and hair stands on end, and strength and speed become prodigious. If the body is not used to high levels of adrenaline, one may get the shakes and the muscles will be so flooded with neural signals that movement becomes almost impossible. I personally have experienced this as a child, when becoming extremely angered or afraid.

Normally our adrenaline is only released in such a way under fight or flight stimuli. I became particularly interested in these responses after an incident I had on a large quantity of lsd, where I THOUGHT I was in mortal danger. My mind had completely forgotten that I was in fact tripping, and I took off running from imaginary pursuants only to grab the interest of REAL cops in the port authority bus terminal of New York City. My memory is not completely intact, but I do remember it taking four police officers who significantly outweighed me to restrain me (I only weigh 140lbs). The most profound part of this experience was that I was in a sense AWARE of what I was doing, but I was not in control. It was like my body was moving automatically, yet perfectly, as I was completely outmaneuvering these cops attempts to restrain my ankles and wrists. Luckily it was New Years Eve and I imagine the NYPD had bigger worries that night, as I only spent a night in Roosevelt Hospital's Crisis Center and was able to check myself out the next morning, but only after having another adrenaline surge at the hospital when a nurse came towards me with a needle of thorazine. Luckily I was completely strapped down because I thought for some reason she was trying to kill me.

On another earlier occasion I had gotten myself into trouble drunk driving (.26 BAL), where I had to be tased three times before I would comply. (I had thought I was being car-jacked)

Besides from these experiences being totally embarrassing in retrospect, because I had considered myself a cool customer before-hand, it really forced me to put my evasively reckless nature under scrutiny. So after some searching I came upon the somafera forums and began to find descriptions of what had actually happened to me. Better yet, it presented ways of recognizing signs of it happening. Though the practitioners of somafera do not claim that you can truly control this state, but through spiritual practice you can in essence EXERCISE (or exorcise?) the demon under safer circumstances. So for someone with impulse control issues such as myself, this spiritual and highly physical practice resonates perfectly. I seem to have found it at the right time because I can't really afford any more run ins with the law haha.

Instead of denying, or even fearing the primal nature within, somafera accepts it as an integral part of our nature. It's not quite for everyone, it seems to attract people with impulsive personalities. It is parallel with other spiritual practices that seek to unite one's inner darkness and light, and it seems to force it's presence onto those that seek to deny either's existence in oneself or others.

The most interesting concept expressed by more experienced somaferans is the experience of having the sympathetic (fight or flight response) system being simultaneously active with the parasympathetic nervous system (usually more active in extreme states of relaxation). They claim that this allows for near automatic response towards outward stimulus. It also allows for immediate transition between physiological states of extreme exertion and calmness; being strained to the limit with muscles completely tensed to the point of immobility, followed by a laxness that allows for fluidity. This is again, something I've only experienced while on psychedelics, it reminding me of a long hiking trip I did while on psylocibin.

Sorry if this turned into a sort of rant, I tend to lose focus and jump around. My personal experience with some of the methods in this practice have been highly beneficial however. They are slow-going, but major breakthroughs come quite randomly. Some of the major techniques behind somafera are found in many practices, but mainly they include physical exhaustion through the activation of large muscle groups (this helps to build adrenaline and serotonin levels, and makes relaxation easier following), meditation and mental calmness(this is also described to help raise one's own tolerance to adrenaline, preventing unwanted symptoms like the shivers and loss of motor control prevalent with high levels of adrenaline); also fasting is recommended when one is trying to attempt a major breakthrough (since your trying to activate to bodies sympathetic nervous system, you have to trick the body into thinking that it is in danger), another technique for raising adrenaline are back bends; basically standing on your tippy toes and arching with back, while whipping the head back (this tricks the brain into releasing adrenaline also as the spine comes under stress). Pain is also a good trigger, though the methods can be somewhat dangerous, as some somaferans actually practice burning themselves, or piercing themselves with surgical needles (either to push through into the fight or flight response, or to facilitate an event in which they must summon their para-sympathetic nervous system to stop blood-flow and increase healing to a specific area). For the previous, it's recommended that the practitioner knows something about anatomy. Also, hyperventilation is a useful technique; if you're familiar with tummo, it can be employed with a majority of dynamic exercises to enter an altered state. I also like to use cold resistance as a way to exercise mental focus and breathing techniques, for me sink or swim methods simply bring out abilities that I probably wouldn't use in the comfort of my home. The "Ice-Man" Wim Hof is a real inspiration in regards to surpassing recognized human limits and I suggest googling him if you aren't aware of him.

The link at the start of the post has loads more information, so I recommend anyone with continued interest to visit it, the author is extremely knowledge-able and able to express it in highly practical and easy to understand ways. To me somafera is a bit dangerous; both physically and spiritually, so be smart and keep your intentions clean and clear.


The only hell for a warrior is peace.

The warm fuzzy side of the cold hard truth.
 
SpartanII
#20 Posted : 1/10/2012 10:52:42 AM

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^ Interesting stuff.

Quote:
The most interesting concept expressed by more experienced somaferans is the experience of having the sympathetic (fight or flight response) system being simultaneously active with the parasympathetic nervous system (usually more active in extreme states of relaxation).


I don't know if there's a connection or not, but this reminds me of the technique I use to "amp up" the pre-out-of-body vibrations when I'm in sleep paralysis.

What I do, is focus on the feeling of getting scared, or really cold- that surge of energy that comes from the pit of your stomach you get when you experience fight or flight, or the shiver you get when you're really cold (it's hard to describe). Anyway, when I do this, I feel that surge of energy spread through my body and when it does it increases the intensity of the vibrations, and possibly the speed. I do this a few times, and each subsequent energy surge builds off the previous one, amping up the intensity until the vibrations are surging and buzzing through my body. At a certain threshold I'll feel a "pop" and everything will be quiet and I'll be floating above my physical body.
 
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