January, 2010

Archive for January, 2010

Pinchbeck on 2012

 

Here are some interesting things from Daniel Pinchbeck, author of 2012: The Return of Quetzalcoatl, along with some distracting visuals:

Why Post-Avatar Depression May Be Justified

 

I haven’t yet seen Avatar and it doesn’t seem like it’s worth watching. From all reports it’s an action-packed distraction-fest like any other Hollywood film, and it’s directed by James “True Lies” Cameron, so any political message it claims to have will undoubtedly be as deep as a pancake.

Still, it’s made over one billion dollars thanks to a massive marketing campaign, the 3d gimmick and surprisingly good word of mouth. In fact, some people like the movie so much, they’ve become depressed when it’s over and they have to go back to their real lives.

The recent news about “post-Avatar depression” is pretty funny, in a sad kind of way. That it has actually become something of a news story must be due to one of three reasons:

–       A couple of teenagers claimed on some fan forums to experience this depression, CNN jumped on the story and made it seem far more important than it actually is. More teenagers jumped on board.

–       People were depressed about there lives before seeing the movie, then the visual beauty and the romantic storyline sent them spiraling into a deeper depression, and fan forums have given them an avenue to try to connect with others.

–       Seeing the beauty of the world of Pandora touches somewhere deep within the viewer. Reminding them of their own connection to the natural world, a world that Western civilization has decimated, along with the indigenous cultures that have inhabited it.

Any one of these is a possible answer, but if the third is real, then depression is a completely justifiable response. More >

What is Lucid Dreaming?

 

 

When we’re in a dream, we usually don’t consider that we aren’t in the waking world. No matter how bizarre the events that happen around us (the dead coming back to life, the ability to fly, being in a foreign country) we accept what is happening as reality. In a lucid dream, however, we realize that we’re currently in the dream world, and that everything around us isn’t real in the usual sense. Once this happens, we can use our conscious mind to guide the direction the dream takes, and the results can be incredible.

Lucid dreaming occurs during REM (Rapid Eye Movement) sleep. REM sleep occurs when the body is most deeply asleep, occurring in patters after five or six hours of sleeping. During this time, the mind is just as conscious as it is when we’re awake, while our body remains fully unconscious, or perhaps in sleep paralysis.

If you’ve seen the film “Waking Life”, you might know a little about lucid dreams already. You can fully enjoy the regular craziness of dreams while totally aware, have sex with whoever you want, however you want, and come to terms with your fears and nightmares.

While we can influence the direction our lucid dreams take, there’s still a fair amount of the dream that is beyond our control. This level of dreaming comes from the deepest part of our subconscious, and lucid dreaming gives us a deeper insight into this realm.

More >

Another Form of Meditation

 

Virtually all religions practice meditation in some form or another, from Christianity to Islam. Even UFO experiencers claim to be advised by visitors on the importance of meditation. What mainstream media and fundamentalist churches religions often fail to mention is that in each case, the goal of meditation is the same. Essentially every type of meditation involves paying attention to a sensation within the physical world, accepting distractions and thoughts as they arise, and letting them pass.

Let’s take a look at another form of meditation. I described the Zen Buddhist style of meditation here, but there are many different ways of meditating. It’s worth investigating as many forms of meditating as you like. But once you decide that you’re going to sit and practice one form of meditation, stick with it until that session is over. Otherwise, you’ll get very little benefit from either technique. Remember also that these are just techniques, and no method is “better” than any other. Whatever your comfortable with, that’s fine. More >

New Section: Books

 

I’ve added a Books page that can be accessed above. More reviews will be forthcoming shortly.

If you’ve got any recommendations of your own, I’d love to hear them.

Learn Meditation

 

The buddha-dharma does not invite us to dabble in abstract notions. Rather, the task it presents us with is to attend to what we actually experience, right in this moment. You don’t have to look “over there.” You don’t have to figure anything out. You don’t have to acquire anything. And you don’t have to run off to Tibet, or Japan, or anywhere else. You wake up right here. In fact, you can only wake up right here.

So you don’t have to do the long search, the frantic chase, the painful quest. You’re already right where you need to be. “

— Steve Hagen, Buddhism Plain and Simple

Understanding how to meditate is incredibly easy. The practical act of constant meditation, however, is incredibly difficult. This seeming contradiction will become clearer after a few weeks of maintaining meditation practice.

There are many differing types of meditation techniques. This is an explanation of zazen or “just sitting”. The form of meditation practiced by Zen Buddhists:

  • Half close your eyes so that you don’t have to blink, but don’t close them fully or you’ll risk falling asleep.
  • Cup both hands, and place the right on top of the left just below your navel.
  • Straighten your back and hold your shoulders upright.
  • Breathe in and out, focusing your whole attention on your breath. Focus only on your breath in this moment. Don’t consciously make yourself breathe, just be aware of the sensations involved in breathing.

Eventually, your mind will start to wander. When you find yourself doing this, acknowledge that it happened and go back to the breath. As this continues to happen again and again, don’t get disheartened. Continue to acknowledge your wandering mind and return yourself to the breath.

More >

How to Lucid Dream – Part 2

 

This is the second in Psychic-Dream.com’s series on having lucid dreams. Following these methods is really not too difficult, and adapting them to your life will greatly improve your odds of having awareness of your dream world.

In this section we’re going to look at a great way to encourage lucid dreams: Starting a dream journal. Just get an empty book (a large one, because you’ll be doing a lot of writing) and keep it with a pen next to your bed. When you wake up during the night or in the morning, write down any dreams that you can remember STRAIGHT AWAY. Try not to move in bed too much (don’t keep your journal somewhere you can’t reach from bed) because you’ll start to forget your dream. Write down absolutely everything you can remember, no matter how insignificant it might appear. Also, try to write without paying too much attention to what you’re writing down. If you start thinking for too long on a certain moment of the dream, you might forget other aspects of it. Just let it flow out. It’s also a good idea to mark the date of each dream you have.

More >

How to Lucid Dream – Part 1

 

This is the first in a series on getting you to have lucid dreams, where you’re able to be completely conscious of your dreams and manipulate the experience to your liking. Lucid dreaming can help you conquer fears, come to terms with loss and increase your spiritual awareness. It can also function as something of a gateway to having out of body experiences.

The requirements for getting yourself to have a lucid dream are simple enough, but it can take a while and you’ll need to stick to it. What’s especially difficult is that you’ll have to alter your habits when you’re at your laziest. That is, when you first wake up after a deep sleep.

The key to having a lucid dream is to gain the ability to realize that you’re dreaming. There are many techniques and tricks to doing this, but we’ll just focus on a few of the popular and simple methods for the time being.

More >