Sunday, April 29, 2012

Catalyst! Meditation & Lucid Dreaming

I try to keep my spiritual and social life divided mostly, but somehow the possibility of lucid dreams became a topic at work among my buddies and how am I not gonna say there's a way to fly, ride hoverboards and do so many other wonderful things? I love being a catalyst for others.

So I shared a beginner mantra meditation to help the process and some basic pointers to start Lucid Dreaming and the first of the guys texted me yesterday that he found the meditation was really soothing and on top of that he had a lucid dream of flying. I was of course very pleased to hear this and so am sharing the meditation and information here again, I hope some of the blog readers can have their life enriched by both meditation and lucid dreaming if they haven't already.

Meditation
Why a meditation? To help the mind to break free from the automatic pilot and become a more conscious individual. To reduce stress by processing some of the day before you go to sleep already. To dedroidify and wake up, even while dreaming.
First already slow down and relax a bit before starting. Don't have any caffeine, sugar or food just before. Slow down your breathing already.

Posture
Sit on a chair or pillow, or lie down, back should be straight. Sitting down legs crossed is recommended, it can strain the legs but you might as well get used to it right away for best effects in the short and long run. Place your hands on knees palms up, you can press the thumb and index finger together if you want. Tilt head down slightly and let the tip of your tongue touch the roof of your mouth. Close your eyes and 'look' ahead.

Breathing
4 seconds breathing in, expand the belly first and then chest slightly.
4 seconds retaining, hold the belly & chest out still but very relaxed, nothing should be forced.
8 seconds exhalation while pulling the belly and then chest back in.

Mantra
To help with the rythm you can count 1 2 3 4 - 1 2 3 4 - 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8. Though there are more pleasant ways to keep track of it. My favorite mantra is I am. So that would be: I am, I am. - I am, I am. - I am, I am, I am, I am. Another mantra you can use if you can memorize it is the Gayatri Mantra (You may know it from the Battlestar Galactica theme song.)
Oṃ bhūr bhuvaḥ svaḥ -
tát savitúr váreṇ(i)yaṃ -
bhárgo devásya dhīmahi - dhíyo yó naḥ prachodáyāt

Focus
You will be distracted by all sorts of sounds you may not have payed attention to before in your house. Noise from outside the house. But mostly noise from inside your head. The robot will throw all sorts of random thoughts at you.
This is a very interesting process cause it shows how much we operate on automatic pilot and also shows the way to a more conscious way of living free from this automatic pilot.
Now whatever pops up, observe it, and let it pass, focus back on the mantra and your breathing. Consider the noise or thoughts like a cloud passing by in a blue sky, or a drop that falls into a still lake and forms a ripple only to disappear in the lake. You are the sky and the lake, the mantra and the breathing.

Time keeping
Keep up this rythm for at least 20 minutes. You can play meditation music softly which helps beginners deal with outside distractions, or you can set an alarm with a soothing noise on your cellphone or something, and put the phone under a pillow so you are not startled when it goes off. When the time is up, stay still for a few moments, and first remember where you are again, feel and see the room, and then slowly open your eyes. Get up slowly using the hands to get up and breathe in as you stand up.

Lucid Dreaming
Write a symbol on your hand everyday and whenever you see this symbol, ask yourself "am I dreaming?" Whenever you flick a lightswitch ask yourself "am I dreaming?" Whenever you step through a door ask yourself "am I dreaming?" 
This will create a habit and in a dream when you ask this you may find yourself anwsering "yes I am." and that's when the fun starts. 

Before you go to sleep, look at your hands and say "am I dreaming?" Tell yourself your intention: "I will remember my dreams upon waking. In the dream, I will realize that I am dreaming and become conscious in the dream." 
Have a notepad and pen ready next to the bed. When you wake up, lie completely still and remember your dreams, this will go better with practice and always has its ups and downs. When you remember enough shards and can't remember anymore quickly write down the keywords on the paper, and try to see if that doesn't help you remember more. Keep this dream diary, you can indicate important or fun dreams in the column at the side, but the most important function of it will just be to help you remember dreams every morning and become more conscious of this other aspect of experience in your life, integrating dreams more with the waking world. You can learn a lot from the symbolism of dreams, though it takes a while to learn the symbolic language, and also realize that some dreams are just random as they can be so don't be too hung up in finding meaning in everything.

There are several levels of lucid dreaming. There is the state where you go with the flow as usual but are conscious of it. There is the state where you are able to intervene slightly. And there is the dream where you can change everything and do what thou wilt. Be careful to not get too excited when you realize you are achieving lucidity cause it can wake you up and that's a bit of a (hilarious) bummer, for instance: "I'M FLYING! I'M FLYING! ... I'm awake..." 

So give it a shot, it may take a few weeks before the Lucid Dreaming kicks in but meanwhile you are becoming more conscious, remembering more dreams and learning from them, and so much more. Enjoy!

Avengers & Chronicle

Saw two really great movies with friends yesterday. Chronicle at home and Avengers at the movies.



"ENOUGH! I AM A GO..." Loki




"We should go to Tibet."




You and me, we're in this together now!