This forum has been deactivated and is now an archive.

The new forum can be found here.

Please read this post for information.

Author Topic: Wake-up Meditation Techniques  (Read 4248 times)  Share 

Illuminatus

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3697
  • Welcome to the Dawn
    • View Profile
    • The End of Social Anxiety
    • Email
Wake-up Meditation Techniques
« on: September 05, 2013, 11:44:54 AM »
These are two techniques well-tested by me over the last several weeks, and a third I'm still testing. I throw them open here for you to test, to see if they work for others.

The background is that I was never a morning person, and it would take me several hours to fully "wake up", and I would feel stuffed-up and miserable most of that time. That is now completely gone.

Both of these are to be done in bed, immediately upon waking. It is important that you just follow the techniques first without analysing them. Then I have written what happens to me, and some conjecture on how they might work.


FIRST STEP
Upon waking, go and have a piss and a drink so those discomforts aren't an issue, and also to wake the mind up a little bit.


1) NARROW FOCUS -- "SMALL MIND"

- Lie on your back with eyes closed. There is still "stuff" you can see with eyes closed -- swirls of electricity and what not.
- Find the dead central point within this "stuff".
- With your eyes, try and bring it into focus, like it is an out-of-focus picture you are trying to see clearly. Just keep doing this, bring all your concentration to this task and ignore any distracting thoughts.

Effects for Me
- My bowels start moving immediately. I can feel them, and there are lots of gurgling sounds.
- It feels like "drugs" are being injected into my body.
- My nose clears immediately, and the "stuffed-up" feeling is instantly gone.
- Start feeling strangely good, awake, and ready for the day.

Special
1) Occasionally, it will feel like I actually bring something into "focus". This is very difficult to describe. Visually, I will get a "layer" of the "swirls" to hold in focus. It is more a feeling, however, that something has been brought into focus. When this happens, the "drug injection" effect I described above will happen hard, and will feel absolutely awesome.
2) Very very occasionally -- and this is usually during a sitting meditation when I have been doing this focus technique -- a "vision" will come into focus.

Note
I want to make it clear that the effects are not the focus of the technique. Searching for the effects paradoxically makes them less likely to happen.
Just do the exercise. Whatever happens, or does not happen, is fine. This is especially true of the "special" effects above.
The "basic" effects happen much more easily, with a consistency of 100% for me if I just follow the technique.


2) WIDE FOCUS -- "BIG MIND"
I do this after feeling good for a few minutes with the first technique.

- Continue to lie on your back with eyes closed.
- Instead of looking for the centre of the swirly "stuff" in your field of vision, instead, the goal of this exercise is to hold your entire visual field (all the "stuff") in focus simultaneously. So it is a wide focus.
- The more you relax, the more of the visual field you can hold in "focus". I start by adding the "sides" of the visual field in first (the furthest points left and right) then letting the rest of the visual field fall in. When you have got it all in, it should feel like you are gazing at a wide open field. So if you imagine yourself in a huge field, where you can see the entire scene in the distance in front of you, that is the kind of focus we are trying to achieve.

Effects for Me
- Trying to hold the entire visual field in focus consumes my entire mind. At first, this leads to breath-holding, much like how you hold your breath instinctively while focusing on something at first (this effect is well-documented -- you will hold your breath while reading a sentence, for example).
- I ignore this breath-holding entirely -- in fact, my only focus is on trying to hold the entire visual field, all the "stuff", in wide focus, no matter what. I also ignore any input/sensation from my body.
- What typically happens the first few times is that I'll achieve the focus with the breath held, and will require the breath to be held in order to "hold" the scene. What happens now is that the body takes over and makes me breathe. This feels like falling. The entire scene turns bright white (white light meditation). I continue to hold the scene, and my body is now breathing for itself. It feels like I have "decoupled" the thinking mind from the body -- released its stranglehold, so that the body can be itself without the mind interfering.
- All muscle tension will disappear after that, and it becomes easier to hold the scene indefinitely. After a few of these "drops" (the breath-holding thing, which continues to happen a little bit for the next couple of goes after the first "big" one), I am eventually able to hold the scene indefinitely and have the body keep breathing by itself.
- When the white light happens, it is very pleasurable (neurotransmitter dump, probably).

Special
1) Occasionally, during very deep relaxation holding this "scene", the scene will actually turn into a picture. Again, I do not make this an aim, and if it happens, fine. While sitting it is easier to just watch this scene. While lying in bed, it is too easy to slip into dreaming/sleep.
2) Occasionally, during sitting meditation, the "sides" of this wide focus get further and further outside my body, until my "form" dissolves and I feel like I am one with everything. When I get this state, I will just sit in it for as long as possible.


3) LOVING COMPASSION MEDITATION
I have only tested this a few times and results are very good so far, but I am continuing to test this.

- This is to be done after #2 above, when you have the whole "scene" held in wide focus, are relaxed, and the body is breathing by itself.
- Smile lightly and "soften your gaze". Think about how you look at someone or something (a pet perhaps) you love, or something you just find adorable.
- Keep looking at the whole "scene" (to reiterate, this is just the swirly "stuff" in front of your eyes with eyes closed, which will now be bright white if you did #2 correctly) with this "loving gaze".

Effects for Me
This seems to program my consciousness that anything which appears in that visual field is, on all levels, to be viewed with love.
With this "hack" I believe I've been able to accelerate what the Buddhists who practise loving compassion do, and given it a clear process of execution. I will need to test it further before confirming this, however.


HOW THESE WORK -- SPECULATION
My main speculation for #1 and #2 is that by giving the front of the brain (loosely, the "thinking mind") a meaningless task to focus on, its stranglehold over the body is released and the body can get back into equilibrium.

In particularly, I believe dreaming in the night is often a traumatic, overly-emotional process for the modern human (too many stimuli in the modern day to process at night), which keeps the front of the brain too active and gripping the body with emotional input and stress. I know that, for me, I have lots of dreams at night and often awake with the same stress brought up in the dream, which persists for some time into the waking state. These exercises appear to release the front brain's grip over the body and let the body do its thing.

However, I am also of the suspicion that these techniques are actually doing something directly. Kind of like "hacks". #1 seems to release adrenaline (guts), cortisol (body is supposed to release a cortisol spike upon waking anyway -- I think this might just allow that to happen straightaway) and norepinephrine (nose clearing, "light" feeling).
#2, via the "drop" followed by the "white light", appears to be opioids and GABA.
Of course, this is all just wild speculation, based on what I "know" some of those neurotransmitters to feel like.

For #3, I believe the relaxation brought from #1 and #2 are consistent with the relaxation felt during loving compassion. This then allows this emotional state and worldview to be applied to "all of consciousness" (done by "holding the wide scene" in mind while looking upon it lovingly). You are essentially practising the habit of loving compassion. Whatever now appears in that consciousness space, with eyes open, will continue to be viewed lovingly via habit.


CONCLUSION
#1 and #2 have certainly made me look forward to waking up each morning, which has been a very, very rare thing in my life (except maybe when I was a young kid).
This is certainly a life-changer for me. My good mood will tend to last all day after doing this.
It also makes it far easier to enter meditative states later in the day, for standard sitting practice and so forth (I do between 30 and 90 minutes a day, these days, and it's every day -- the tipping point came when I realized all the benefits and it became more logical to do it than to not).

I will also mention that, after waking up via these techniques, my morning coffee will blow me away. It is like a shot of adrenaline. Before, I used to use caffeine to try and barrel through the initial brain fog, and it wouldn't really work and would just make me a bit hyper. Now, I have no brain fog after these techniques, and a cup of coffee is like injecting some crazy drug. Highly addictive, too. It also suppresses my appetite meaning I can fast till evening dinner if I choose, which I do because I'm trying to lose weight (can't exercise due to broken ankle). Before these techniques, I would literally be hungry all day.

Please post up here your findings with these techniques. Once again, focus on the steps in the techniques, not the effects (predicting effects is the front brain getting involved and strangleholding everything again). I recommend trying it for several days, and making it a habit, before drawing any conclusions. This helps offset and frustration/expectations by focusing you on the process rather than the results.
« Last Edit: September 05, 2013, 11:55:10 AM by Illuminatus »

AJM

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 193
    • View Profile
    • Email
Re: Wake-up Meditation Techniques
« Reply #1 on: September 14, 2013, 09:42:20 AM »
I've tried this for a couple of days. I admit when I first read it it felt like more of that magic bullet stuff, no fence.
I've not really done it for minutes, but more like a minute. First focusing on the central and then the wide angle.

At minimum it gives your eyes a workout which is good as they might be tired after sleeping and wakes them up a little bit.
But it doesn't stop there, when I lock on to the narrow focus I get this jolt in my body and a similar although a bit different sensation happens when I switch to wide angle.

All in all it has some effect. Not sure how much though. Some great things have happened in my life in the past couple of weeks, but I believe that to be a result of long term meditation and life style changes rather than any single technique.

Not really a thorough report, but it is something. :)

[edit] now that I think of it. It probably activates different attentional modes. For narrow focus the one where you're a focused on a single point or task and for the wide angle similar to going on a presence walk in nature where you just take everything in and when you're not focused on any single object.
« Last Edit: September 14, 2013, 10:05:11 AM by AJM »

AJM

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 193
    • View Profile
    • Email
Re: Wake-up Meditation Techniques
« Reply #2 on: September 15, 2013, 10:17:48 AM »
Today I did it a bit longer for both narrow and wide focus. Not much to say about narrow focus except for that jolt again and a change of feeling in body feel space. When I did the wide focus though I got really relaxed the more I could hold in focus the more relaxed I got. Didn't continue more than a few minutes though. I definately feel more awake after than before. :)

Usually I achieve relaxation in my morning medtation by focusing on inner talk and the tension associated with it at the ears and between the ears. When that tension is gone, my body tends to relax and when my body relaxes my thought image space relaxes. Then it's becomes sort of a feedback loop of inner sound -> body feel -> image thought -> inner sound and so on. After that I do some loving kindness + focus on my goals for that day.

Although I have noticed when doing meditation with focus on Rest (focusing on finding and holding relaxed states of all sense gates one by one) both sight and sound rest states also relax feel out (relax physical body sensation).

These deconstructive (relaxation) and constructive nurture positive (loving kindness + behaviours and outcomes) methods seem to balance out nicely. When I was doing only focus on hear in (inner sound) and relaxation I started to feel unfocused and spacey for the rest of the day. Now I feel both relaxed and focused.
« Last Edit: September 15, 2013, 10:35:24 AM by AJM »

Illuminatus

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3697
  • Welcome to the Dawn
    • View Profile
    • The End of Social Anxiety
    • Email
Re: Wake-up Meditation Techniques
« Reply #3 on: September 16, 2013, 12:56:43 PM »
But it doesn't stop there, when I lock on to the narrow focus I get this jolt in my body and a similar although a bit different sensation happens when I switch to wide angle.

Yeah, I'm pretty sure it's cortisol. We're supposed to have a shot of cortisol when waking anyway; perhaps this technique allows that shot to happen, whereas maybe before the thinking mind was gripping the body and blocking the process.

Thanks for testing.

Ciul

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 14
    • View Profile
Re: Wake-up Meditation Techniques
« Reply #4 on: September 19, 2013, 05:23:09 AM »
- Find the dead central point within this "stuff".
How do I find it? Every point of the "stuff" looks the same for me. Is it just the point where your eyes are pointing?

- With your eyes, try and bring it into focus, like it is an out-of-focus picture you are trying to see clearly. Just keep doing this, bring all your concentration to this task and ignore any distracting thoughts.
When I, when eyes closed, try to look at the "stuff" with focus(which is the way you look at things with eyes opened) my eyes tend to open, then I must force them to close using muscles that you normally use when you close just one eye at a time, but I use them to close both eyes(it looks similar to baby crying or trying to look at the sun). It disturbs me. Now I can:
1. Avoid it and try to make focus while maintaining eyes closed the "normal", relaxed way
2. Try to make focus and then it happens, just ignore that, accept it as if it would be appropriate
3. Close the eyes the way I described(baby crying) so I get the focus easier
Which should I choose?
I don't know if it really matters but it's a huge distraction for me.

Peace

Illuminatus

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3697
  • Welcome to the Dawn
    • View Profile
    • The End of Social Anxiety
    • Email
Re: Wake-up Meditation Techniques
« Reply #5 on: September 19, 2013, 06:48:54 PM »
- Find the dead central point within this "stuff".
How do I find it? Every point of the "stuff" looks the same for me. Is it just the point where your eyes are pointing?

Yes.

Quote
- With your eyes, try and bring it into focus, like it is an out-of-focus picture you are trying to see clearly. Just keep doing this, bring all your concentration to this task and ignore any distracting thoughts.
When I, when eyes closed, try to look at the "stuff" with focus(which is the way you look at things with eyes opened) my eyes tend to open

My eyelids flicker very rapidly while doing this. So ignore your eyelids entirely and just get on with the task.

Bear in mind that this task can never actually be "completed". It's just a kind of distraction so the body response (good feelings, nose unblocking, bowels beginning to move) happens.

BadassBlues

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 11
    • View Profile
Re: Wake-up Meditation Techniques
« Reply #6 on: January 19, 2014, 03:24:50 AM »
But it doesn't stop there, when I lock on to the narrow focus I get this jolt in my body and a similar although a bit different sensation happens when I switch to wide angle.

Yeah, I'm pretty sure it's cortisol. We're supposed to have a shot of cortisol when waking anyway; perhaps this technique allows that shot to happen, whereas maybe before the thinking mind was gripping the body and blocking the process.

Thanks for testing.

Circadian rhythm controls cortisol. High in the A.M. followed by a gradual decline over the day and into the night. Cortisol levels are beginning to rise just before you wake up and light hitting the back of your eyes triggers the largest burst of the day. There are many physical things that can interrupt circadian rhythm. From a mental aspect, the adrenals are affected by chronic stress. Poor sleep is the number one problem most people in today's society suffer from and a definite problem for proper circadian rhythm.

There is some wisdom in your hypothesis regarding the "cortisol shot". Perhaps try getting 5-10 minutes of the brightest sunlight you can find before beginning your meditation.

I have wondered about what would be the best approach to a morning meditation session. As a serious newbie to this, what I have been getting from meditating is a sense of calm, serenity... (or as close to it as my scrambled mind can get at this point). The A.M. should be an invigorating experience as you described.

I am going to give this a try for the next few days.

Thank you.

Awareness

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 10
    • View Profile
Re: Wake-up Meditation Techniques
« Reply #7 on: March 11, 2014, 07:50:21 PM »
1) NARROW FOCUS -- "SMALL MIND"

- Lie on your back with eyes closed. There is still "stuff" you can see with eyes closed -- swirls of electricity and what not.
- Find the dead central point within this "stuff".
- With your eyes, try and bring it into focus, like it is an out-of-focus picture you are trying to see clearly. Just keep doing this, bring all your concentration to this task and ignore any distracting thoughts.

Effects for Me
- My bowels start moving immediately. I can feel them, and there are lots of gurgling sounds.
- It feels like "drugs" are being injected into my body.
- My nose clears immediately, and the "stuffed-up" feeling is instantly gone.
- Start feeling strangely good, awake, and ready for the day.

Special
1) Occasionally, it will feel like I actually bring something into "focus". This is very difficult to describe. Visually, I will get a "layer" of the "swirls" to hold in focus. It is more a feeling, however, that something has been brought into focus. When this happens, the "drug injection" effect I described above will happen hard, and will feel absolutely awesome.
2) Very very occasionally -- and this is usually during a sitting meditation when I have been doing this focus technique -- a "vision" will come into focus.

Note
I want to make it clear that the effects are not the focus of the technique. Searching for the effects paradoxically makes them less likely to happen.
Just do the exercise. Whatever happens, or does not happen, is fine. This is especially true of the "special" effects above.
The "basic" effects happen much more easily, with a consistency of 100% for me if I just follow the technique.

I have tried this in a somewhat different context.

I was going for a run today, and used this technique of focusing narrowly.
My run was kind of effortless, and the "bio-checmical spa" i get in my brain after a good workout lasted the whole day.

What's interesting that the run was a lot easier, i ran way farther than i usually do and i perceived my tiredness to be a lot lower than i usually do.

I appreciate you sharing these golden techniques.


Share me

Digg  Facebook  SlashDot  Delicious  Technorati  Twitter  Google  Yahoo