Valerian Tea, Binaural Beats, Taboo, and Jhana Guide Update
First things first: the jhana guide won’t be ready this month. My primary obsession of the last five years has been understanding the myofascial system and how it works to create postural distortions, and thereby creating techs to release and unwind those distortions. This has fully devoured my attention for the last couple of months. I am sorry about that. I only have so many hours in the day and my attention goes compulsively towards whichever obsession prioritizes itself.
I am now pleased to say, however, that this project has born fruit. I now have the most complete model of myofascia I have ever had, and have developed a fairly simple method for correcting it — an exercise which is simply repeated thousands of times in different poses. This exercise uses what I call “elements of the yawn” — the physical actions taken directly from yawning — the reason being that the true purpose of a yawn is myofascial release, a fact that no one else on this whole planet seems to have realized except me. I will write up the model as a thesis over the next few weeks. I will also attempt to write up the method at the end but, while simple in principle, I feel it may still require private workshops to fully get across.
Tomorrow or the next day, I will write up a couple of new jhana techs I have been working on with Mayath. I have essentially been writing the jhana guide for the last several months anyway, releasing it as a series of posts in this way, and I will continue like this. Receiving feedback in the comments section has been essential in refining my methods and how I teach them. It is actually a good thing that I didn’t just put together a guide and throw it out there, like I did the first time around. This has been a much more insightful process. If you are desperate for a jhana guide, then The Mind Illuminated by Culadasa (John Yates, PhD) is the book currently in vogue. Rather than being a complete jhana guide in that vein, when I do write up my system it will be more a series of personalized techs I have developed over the last few years, with the goal being to get beginners to jhana in the quickest time possible.
For now, here are some other unrelated bits and pieces I’ve come across in the last few weeks.
Now that I’m living alone I have begun to fall into the habit of drinking a couple of beers each night after work. This is not a habit I want to encourage, as alcohol seems particularly rough on the body, to me. Last week I experimented by switching to valerian tea at night.
I have been really impressed with this herb. Valerian most likely acts on the GABA-A receptor, which is also alcohol’s primary receptor, but without the “carpet bombing” effect on the other receptors that alcohol has. The result is a far more selective sedation, without the “buzz” of alcohol. I would compare valerian most closely to a low dose of valium.
I use Dr. Stuart’s brand valerian tea. I put two bags in a large mug and pour on boiling water, then sip it, usually while watching something. When it’s done, I refill it with boiling water again, as I find you can get quite a few cups of tea out of these bags.
Within ten minutes there is noticeable warming, anxiolytic, sedative effect — the kind of “smoothing of reality” you get with other sedatives such as benzos and low-dose alcohol. This effects reminds me of an audio engineer adding reverb to a track to sweeten and soften it.
I now actually prefer valerian tea to alcohol for nighttime unwinding. The only downside is that the bags smell like a nightclub carpet (cheese and vomit). However, that smell goes away once the boiling water is on them.
Valerian is not a “drug drug”. It will not get you “high”. It is very subtle — the perfect nighttime drink.
I had an early night last week and decided to play around binaural beats played through headphones while sleeping. This was the first tone I chose:
The YouTubers in the comments section report some glowing experiences regarding energy events in the third eye region, but I assumed most of them were experiencing “scripted events”, which is where your mind will give you exactly the experience you expect it to (the placebo effect falling into this category). That’s not a bad thing — scripted events can be some of the most memorable and stunning, and learning to script events is in fact a totally valid way to experience things such as jhana, lucid dreaming, and other mind-trips. However, I was more interested in whether these tones could create reliable experiences as an external trigger, so I lay there with some awareness on my third eye chakra, waiting to see if the tones activated anything there. Not much happened, so I let myself fall asleep.
I went straight into a dream. I was in a room with some annoying music playing (which was of course the tone from my headphones), and I began running around looking for the source of it. Devices such as computers and iPhones appeared as my brain attempted to rationalize the omnipresent sound, and I began fiddling with the devices to try to deactivate the music. I looked to my side and noticed a blonde German prostitute locked in her own struggle, also trying to turn the sound off on a computer. We exchanged a look of knowing solidarity, and I was about to go back to what I was doing when I thought instead that I should probably turn to her and ask, “Shall we have sex?” I was totally shy and sheepish, just like in real life.
“Yes,” she said, to my delight, and I barebacked her right there on the rug. I didn’t even have to pay. Despite this being a non-lucid dream, it had given me everything I wanted, and I woke up with a big smile on my face. I felt fantastic for such a short sleep.
The next night I decided to try a dedicated lucid dreaming track:
Again, this led me into a bizarre dream, but it was still non-lucid. However, this dream featured lots of magick including flying and various energy powers. This was a completely fun dream and again I felt very refreshed.
My verdict is that these tones can be fun, but rely largely on your own expectations and “scripting” for the experience. I believe the tones could probably be used as carrier waves to take you into lucid dreams as, with practice, their presence in the dream could become your clue that you are in fact asleep.
If you haven’t already, you need to start watching the BBC series Taboo, which stars Tom Hardy as a black magician. The show features fire meditation, divination, evocation, ritual killings, incest, and other fun stuff. While the show is good in itself, if you are already familiar with the black and arcane arts (perhaps by having read books such as Liber Null & Psychonaut) then your enjoyment will be enhanced as you nod along knowingly with his misdeeds.