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Tripping Out
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9/18/10 11:25 AM
So I thought I would share this story. I didn't attain anything just would like to share, get some feedback. No drugs involved.

Several years ago I read a study about buddhist monks and their brainwaves during metta meditation. It was found their brainwaves shot up into the gamma band around 42Hz. The amplitudes, duration and hemispheric synchrony the monks displayed in the gamma band had never before been seen. Gamma is linked to consciousness itself as it disappears under anesthesia.

So I thought I would use a program called bwgen to make a custom 42Hz binarual beat brainwave entrainment CD, listen to it during meditation for a while, and see what happened. Yeah great idea.

I meditated using it for several weeks before I started getting full body vibrations before bed, lots of weird stuff going on. I at this point in my life was still a hard core atheist with no belief in the "supernatural" or such.

I'd ask family members to get the phone as I heard it ring, only to have them look at me funny as it rang moments later, getting precog hallucinations, and all sorts of odd things.

When I went to sleep I wasn't actually sleeping, my mind stayed awake and I entered some sort of lucid dream reality which I could barely tell apart from real reality. All senses functioned, eating, watching tv, showering, etc. It was a reality I could not tell apart from the one I left when I went to sleep.

Things progressively got weirder, and there seemed to be more layers of reality or dream reality stacked upon one another, and I moved my consciousness in and out of them. I could see my body was like an onion and I had bodies on each layer of reality and my awareness sometimes was stuck in multiple layers, arms in one reality, legs in another one eye on one etc... it was almost like being a many armed Buddha or many armed Hindu diety, except the arms weren't all in the same plane of existence. It was hard to move into and out of realities to preform basic tasks like eating or going to the bathroom.

I still have no idea what to make of all of it, I remember calling my girlfriend at the time on a cell phone and telling her about it. She actually remembers the call and the contents of the conversation, but the incoming/outgoing call logs on both cell phones showed nothing later on.

It took many months of not meditating and chilling out to get things back to normal. I've reached a point where I can't call my self an atheist, as I have absolutely no idea what is going on with this reality.

RE: Tripping Out
Answer
9/19/10 3:39 AM as a reply to Matthew Wight.
Sounds wild.

I had some similar but not quite as intense experiences in my first A&P, it lasted for months if I remember correctly. The only way through (rather than out) is to do insight, disregard (let it do its own thing without much personal fascination, fear, clinging, or aversion) the wildness and pay attention to reality moment-to-moment. Once the A&P is crossed this stuff subsides (but be warned, if your A&P was this intense then Dark Night can be a real problem).

All of this presupposes that what you experienced were the symptoms of an A&P, which I have no real way of knowing for sure (I am guessing based on my own experience, which was similar yet quite different from what you describe) - I could be seriously wrong. Reading the section on A&P in MCTB could help to figure out whether this was it. Also, if this was A&P, even after you stopped practicing, some Dark Night vibes should have come in as the A&P does not require practice in order to move on to the next stage, as it naturally leads into the Dark Night.

All the best, Matthew. I hope that this venture has not freaked you out too much :-)

RE: Tripping Out
Answer
9/20/10 2:21 AM as a reply to Pavel _.
Pardon my ignorance but what is A&P in MCTB I'm not down with the lingo :C

Can you send me a link?

RE: Tripping Out
Answer
9/20/10 1:53 PM as a reply to Matthew Wight.
A&P stands for "the arising and passing away;" it is a phase that meditators usually go through that marks a sort of "point of no return."

MCTB stands for "Mastering the core teachings of the Buddha," which is an unusually hardcore dharma book, written by Daniel Ingram (the dude who put this website up in the first place). It is available online for free at the link:

www.interactivebuddha.com/mctb.shtml

It's easily the best book I've ever read about the subject of enlightenment.

RE: Tripping Out
Answer
9/20/10 11:40 PM as a reply to Bruno Loff.
aha! thanks

I own the book but haven't completed it yet, it is on the top of my reading list though.

RE: Tripping Out
Answer
9/21/10 10:57 PM as a reply to Matthew Wight.
I experiment with brain wave entrainment, myself. I would appreciate any details you could provide about your experiment, such as: what carrier frequency did you use, did you ramp up or down to/from the target entrainment frequency, did you use photic stimulation (ie. audiostrobe), what type of audio entrainment (binaural, monaural, isochronic, harmonic box, other), length and frequency of sessions, type of meditation and was there an object of focus. Some people have found brain wave entrainment has been helpful in their meditation practice, and I think there may be a way to create regimens that may induce jhana as well as nana in those who are properly receptive. I and many others have found that the nanas, for instance, have signature vibrational frequencies that may be induced so that along with the proper attitude toward the phenomena arising within awareness may significantly speed progress through the cycle of insight.

RE: Tripping Out
Answer
9/22/10 8:02 AM as a reply to Keith Alan Johnson.
Keith,

I used the brainwave generator software www.bwgen.com and created a custom preset for 42hz, it sounded too high pitched so i lowered the pitch to make it tolerable. I didn't really have an object of meditation just listened and zoned out.

However I really wouldn't recommend it, if you were to achieve the same effect it would be ugly, I lost my job as a result and I guess it could have been worse. I would not recommend it, so don't hold it against me karmically if you try it and it ends badly.

RE: Tripping Out
Answer
9/22/10 3:01 PM as a reply to Matthew Wight.
I realize I am experimenting at my own risk. I take personal responsibility for my own experiments.

If you could answer any of these questions, I would appreciate it:
Do you know the specific, or even approximate, pitch that you used?
Was the entrainment frequency of the entire session 42Hz or did you ramp up/down?
What was the length of the sessions that you used?
How often did you use it?

RE: Tripping Out
Answer
9/22/10 10:52 PM as a reply to Keith Alan Johnson.
Keith,

I am not sure about the pitch, I lowered it enough to where it sounded low enough to tolerate.

I ramped up from 8hz to 42hz over the course of 30 minutes and continued for an hour at 42hz thereafter.

Sessions were about 1.5 hours I think.

I meditated each night for several weeks, before I started having sleep disturbances.

some more info on the study
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A43006-2005Jan2.html

RE: Tripping Out
Answer
10/12/10 2:17 PM as a reply to Matthew Wight.
FWIW 42 Hz was the top end of the range they pegged as Gamma, their work found significance with the range 25-42 Hz.

You can get the full text here:
http://www.pnas.org/content/101/46/16369.full