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Hertz
Answer
7/16/09 12:57 PM
Forum: Practical Dharma

I often see the concept of Hertz, or cycles per second, referenced as representative of certain stages in the process.

When I see a figure like "60 Hz" referenced - I really have no referent to judge how fast that is, or how it compares to say 90 Hz. Is there a good link, or other resource where I can look at that would help demonstrate the difference? This might help in creating a catalog or lexicon of such vibrational references.

I'd be interested in where Daniel acquired his frames of reference in regards to such terms, and also any (free) associations he has with such vibrational references as I believe that such associations might unconsciously influence both the form and content of mystical experiences.

RE: Hertz
Answer
7/16/09 2:49 PM as a reply to David Charles Greeson.
Hi Haquan,

As you pointed out, Hz means cycles per second. So a clock ticks at one Hz. If you add an extra tick in between the ticks of the clock, i.e. Tick, tick, Tick, tick, Tick, tick, you would have two Hz. If you do what in music is called a "triplet" in time with the clock, i.e., Tick, tick, tick, Tick, tick, tick, Tick, tick, tick, etc., you would have three Hz. I don't mean to bore you with what you already know, but I just wanted to build it from the ground up for those who may not be familiar with the term.

Where it gets tricky, and I think this is what you are asking about, is what does 20 Hz look/feel like? Below is a link to a webpage that demonstrates various frequency of strobing text.

EPILEPSY ALERT! DO NOT VISIT THIS LINK IF YOU HAVE PHOTOSENSITIVE EPILEPSY! CERTAIN FREQUENCIES CAN INDUCE SEIZURES IN SENSITIVE INDIVIDUALS.

http://ncam.wgbh.org/richmedia/media/flicker_demo.html

RE: Hertz
Answer
7/17/09 1:48 AM as a reply to David Charles Greeson.
Hi, Haquan. Good to see you back. How are you?

RE: Hertz
Answer
7/17/09 9:13 AM as a reply to David Charles Greeson.
Thanks for that link - it helps give me an idea (thought right now the "59 Hz" frequency looks comprable to the 7 Hz - it may just be my machine. There may be a way I can jury-rig a strobe to look at these various frequencies since they are so often used as markers.

Another source of confusion is that sometimes the frequencies seem to be referenced visually, at other times aurally.

I'm pretty good Chris, how are you? Been very busy...

RE: Hertz
Answer
7/20/09 8:55 AM as a reply to David Charles Greeson.
I'd also like to build a table of Hertz frequencies and the diagnostic implications regarding stage of development.
This is what I've got so far:
3-10 - Hz - The three characteristics (or in the upper range...)
5 -7 Hz - Dissolution
10 - 18 Hz - Disgust or Desire for Deliverance

2(?)-40 Hz - The Arising and Passing Away

If anyone has corrections or could help me flesh this out a bit, I'd appreciate it. In particular, I'd be interested in how to use this kind of information - is it diagnostic, or only to be used in conjunction with other factors? How sensitive and specific is it as a test of progress?

RE: Hertz
Answer
7/22/09 9:55 PM as a reply to David Charles Greeson.
its a diagnostic, but only helpful if the subject's concentration is strong enough to perceive the vibrations as well as inclined to look at things this way - some are, some arent. from a teacher's perspective, i've found it better to use it in conjunction with other factors.

btw, i would say that the arising of the 5-7 hz kinda thump signals the beginning of fear (arising out of dissolution), rather than dissolution itself. what does it say in mctb?

RE: Hertz
Answer
7/24/09 2:08 AM as a reply to David Charles Greeson.
I'm glad you asked that - that's another source of confusion now that you mention it. I got the correspondences for certain stages posted above from Daniel's handout on his website - "Nanas and Jhanas table".

When I look at MCTB it seems to imply at one point (page 184) that the 5-7 Hz stuff is representative of "early dark night" and the 10-18 Hz range representative of "later dark night" and both are more non-specific. The only thing mentioned about vibrational quality in the "Fear" stage is that the vibrational frequency "no longer changes with the phase of the breath." Hmnnn...

RE: Hertz
Answer
7/24/09 4:51 AM as a reply to David Charles Greeson.
im pretty sure daniel meant 'fear' stage with the 5-7 hz reference there.. thats what tends to set in as the quietude of dissolution is starting to fall apart.

is there any use you have planned for this information? just curious.

RE: Hertz
Answer
7/24/09 11:18 AM as a reply to David Charles Greeson.
Well - I'm trying to imagine the possible uses I could have planned for this information other than referencing my own experience or possibly using it to help others understand where they are on the map... This isn't taboo to ask about, is it?

It's interesting that you have 5-7 Hz referenced to the fear stage independently of Daniel - where does that knowledge come from? Are the sources for this information mostly literature, oral tradition, or experiential?

I think it's fair to ask why I'm interested so I'll try to answer - though I think it's mostly curiosity. I would like to understand the system as a whole (and by the whole system I mean the Nana Jhanas or map of progress of insight) - because I like to do that - and because my approach to this kind of material has always been to test it - pretty much what the Buddha advised actually. Now when I look through threads where people are describing their experiences and asking what stage they are at, one of the more common things I see Daniel ask about is the vibrational quality of the experience in hertz. Indeed, he asked me those questions (in detail) about various stages of the experience I described to him - and I had NO IDEA how to respond because I just didn't have any frame of reference until Kenneth posted that link. I just wouldn't have been able to tell 5 Hz from 20 if my life depended on it - I just didn't know what it looked like- and I figure if I couldn't other people didn't have a frame of reference either. The more I started thinking about it, the more I wondered where it came from, because I'm guessing hertz is not a unit used in traditional Buddhist literature.

RE: Hertz
Answer
9/3/09 4:32 AM as a reply to David Charles Greeson.
not taboo (that im aware of), no..

my 5-7 hz experience of the 'fear' stage comes from experience. it primarily shows up in my gut, solar plexus, and chest cavity, then radiates outward toward my back and sometimes forward toward my face and becomes faster and fuzzy as the next stages (misery, disgust) arise.

RE: Hertz
Answer
9/3/09 10:19 AM as a reply to David Charles Greeson.
Ok - so you put it together from a variety of other contextual elements that occurred together on multiple occasions which corresponded to a place on the maps in a general sense. In other words, you knew you were in the "Fear" stage from a variety of clues, and noticed the 5-7 Hertz vibrations in the areas you described (not necessarily in that order). Do I understand that accurately?

Presumably there could be some idiosyncratic variation in this experience? If so, I'm beginning to understand how the maps might be helpful.

RE: Hertz
Answer
9/3/09 12:55 PM as a reply to David Charles Greeson.
yes. having just been in arising and passing territory, followed by dissolution, are the primary other contextual elements that preceded the 5-7 hz vibrations. the contextual elements that sometimes accompany those vibrations are a sense of unease and slight thrill.

RE: Hertz
Answer
9/23/09 3:16 PM as a reply to tarin greco.
Question about vibrations: optically speaking at what point does a flashing/strobing object become indistinguishable from a solid object? I had heard previously that the threshold was 60Htz for the average human. Interestingly, the wesite link mentions that photosensitive epilepsy only occurs up to 59Htz, so that makes sense I guess.

..

After locking down what I've got I will be really excited to explore this vibrational aspect of meditation; I have read and listened to a great number of teachers but I have never heard vibrations specifically mentioned in other circles such as Zen or Yogachara; it could be mushroomed I guess.

This is yet another reason that I am finding insight meditation so refreshing. It seems to address many of the questions that have naturally arisen during years of instinctual practice. Even though I hadn't heard this topic discussed formally, by instinct I had sort of suspected that vibrations were playing a role in my own experience, and thus I had considered it quite a bit on my own time. But I wasn't sure how to explore it.

Anyhoo, can anyone here remember any threads or articles from the old forums that have covered the topic of vibrations extensively? I haven't had much luck finding anything with the forum's search feature.

RE: Hertz
Answer
9/23/09 9:26 PM as a reply to Kenneth Folk.
Wow! Thanks, Kenneth -- I just gauged the vibrations that I note when I focus on my feet at @20Hz. Feels like the proverbial champagne bubbles some folks talk about.

Very helpful!

RE: Hertz
Answer
9/23/09 9:31 PM as a reply to John Finley.
I've noted some vibrations (Shinzen describes them as being like a lava lamp or an amoeba) that I perceive at maybe 1 or 2 Hz max. Anybody else had experience with vibes this slow?

RE: Hertz
Answer
9/24/09 5:42 PM as a reply to John Finley.
Yes, I get that when very very tranquil and doing vipassana. It seems that when energized focus is applied to watching the vibrations, they're faster (more like 4-7 Hz). When tranquilized focus lazily watches the vibrations with equanimity as to whether or not they even exist, they're a bit slower. This is a small correlation though, and I could be imagining it.

On the note of the threshold of visibility for vibrations, you can actually verify that it's around 60 Hz for yourself. In your display settings, change your monitor's refresh rate to 60 Hz. You can probably see, very very faintly, that there's a flicker. It would be way stronger if you were in fluorescent lighting which often flickers at 60 Hz and accentuates the flickering of the monitor. If you then set it to something higher like 70, 75, or 80, you'll see the image on your screen become smooth. If your resoultion was already at 60, set it higher and note how the flickering, which you had never noticed was there, suddenly is gone. You may not quite realize what the flickering had looked like until you go back and forth between 60 and 70/75 a few times.

I don't think it's possible to actually see each vibration, at least not for anyone I know. It's almost more of a vague knowledge that it's flickering rather than watching a light flash 60 times a second.

RE: Hertz
Answer
9/25/09 6:20 PM as a reply to J Adam G.
Early Fear 5-7 Hz.

About as fast as you can go is 40-something, as 50-60 is really ripping it, maybe possible for very brief periods, like less than a second, in the middle of the breath at the absolute peak of the A&P for those who are really good at this. Doesn't matter, really, for progress, as plenty don't get that fast and getting that fast doesn't give you anything more than just crossing the A&P on somewhat slower frequencies does.

Point is: A&P is linear, variable, less complex, Dark Night irritatingly rapid, but not as fast as the fastest of the A&P, and more complex, more chaotic, more noisy, more diffuse, more out of phase, Equanimity: most people are dealing with things like space-waves and the like more than vibrations per say.

D