RE: Sleep, Dreams, Out Of Body Travel, And Practice

Ian, modified 1 Month ago.

Sleep, Dreams, Out Of Body Travel, And Practice

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When I was 14 I became very interested in lucid dreaming and astral projection. At that time (pre-google), there was a forum based site (much like dharma overground) which had "courses" which was called something like astralprojection.com, not sure if it is still around. 

I took as many of the courses as I could, which included a lot of meditative practices, concentration on the breath while falling asleep, fire kasina, dream recall while waking up, and noting during the day. I had no idea I was meditating while doing this, I just thought it was a way to achieve astral projection (wake induced lucid dreaming if you prefer), which I was striving for. The goal was to be able to be conscious of one's "astral body" leaving the physical one while falling asleep. 

While I was never able to achieve this, I did get very good at lucid dreaming and remembering tons of dreams every night with increasing clarity, but it took a lot of practice and required remaining hyper-aware during the day. I think the instruction was to not engage in day-dreaming, and remain aware of one's body, which was hard for me being an angsty teen in boring school most of the time. 

Eventually I became more interested in the opposite sex than astral projection and stopped practicing. Although, I continued to have the occasional lucid dream where I would fly around, jump through walls, and generally just have fun. 

A few years later I started getting sleep paralysis. The first time I was terrified, but I seemed to remember an old forum post saying that this was a short cut to leaving one's body, since the body was already asleep. The key was to just relax and focus on whatever seemed to be happening. The next time it occurred it was early in the morning, I had gotten up to use the bathroom and when I went back to sleep I immediately had strong sleep paralysis, I was terrified but remembered the instruction to relax.

I focused on my breath and surrendered to the situation. I started to feel and hear a soft cacophony of noise, almost like a buzzing, almost like a section of horns in an orchestra warming up. I focused on this sound and it grew in volume, as it did there was an associated vibrational energy growing throughout my body. I kept focusing on this sensation and noise and it got more and more intense until it crescendoed and it felt as though I was being pushed up through a mesh screen. After some resistance, I was "through" and I floated to an upright position, opened my eyes, and it was as though I was in a dream version of the room I was sleeping in, and there was a dream version of my body I had just left. It was extremely vivid and clear. I was elated and jumped through the wall and started flying above the forest in the moonlight. 

Ever since then, some variation of this will happen quite often. Usually multiple times a month, without me trying. Sometimes I will get sleep paralysis and leave my body and immediately open my eyes to a hyper real lucid dream version of my bedroom, sometimes upon leaving my body, I will still be paralyzed and be shooting/tumbling through blackness and a dream will slowly form around me. Many times, it's not very clear, my vision is muddled, and the dream is hard to sustain. 

Recently I've started reading MCTB and practicing every day, focused mainly on concentration as that is what needs the most work. But I've noticed that my dream awareness, lucid dreaming, astral projection, whatever you want to call it, is benefited from sustained practice. I've even started practicing while dreaming, when I remember to, which always leads to more bodily and energy stuff. Sometimes I will leave my body again, even though I'm already dreaming, and the process seems to continue. 

I'm curious if anyone can related to these experiences, if there are ways I can harness my dream life to benefit my practice, and if there are any resources for sleep and dream yoga. 
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J W, modified 1 Month ago.

RE: Sleep, Dreams, Out Of Body Travel, And Practice

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This is maybe not exactly the same as what you are talking about... I cannot lucid dream on command or anything like that, though sometimes I have really vivid dreams. 
But last night I "physically" died in my dream, and it was super crazy. Unfortunately I don't remember much of the context, but I was quite aware of what was happening while I was dying.  What does it mean? Anyone else experienced this?

​​​​​​​(sorry I don't mean to hijack your post, just adding on an additional question, lol)

EDIT to try to provide a little more detail: all I remember is that it was extremely epic and cathartic, and after I had died, there was the option to go back into the post-death state, but I chose not to. I wish I could remember with more clarity but that's all I've got.

EDIT #2:
​​​​​​​Regarding your experience Ian, that sounds really cool, I have always wanted to astral project but never fully been able to. 
Regarding your question, there's certainly correlation and connection between the dream world and meditation. The Tibetans say that every night we fall into clear light and experience emptiness directly, we just can't remember it most of the time.  It makes perfect sense that daily meditation practice would lead to increased clarity in the dream state and near-dream state, and I have noticed this as well.  Best of luck to you!
Ian, modified 1 Month ago.

RE: Sleep, Dreams, Out Of Body Travel, And Practice

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Very interesting JW! I have definitely died in my dreams before, sometimes followed by waking up, sometimes falling back into the darkness of sleep. The first time I remember this happening I was very very young and had just lost a knife fight with a ghost, cursing his name as my consciousness faded, then waking up in my bed. 

​​​​​​​It's definitely hard to imagine being conscious while not in REM sleep, but I have heard that this can be a thing. 
George S, modified 1 Month ago.

RE: Sleep, Dreams, Out Of Body Travel, And Practice

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Very interesting experiences and practices Ian. I've not practiced much lucid dreaming but the other night I was able to resolve (partially?) a deep emotional issue in dream. Issue was angry father and I lucidly decided to merge with him and fully experience his anger. Was cathartic and I don't feel it so much as an external threat any more. Seems like one could set intention and do this with other issues. Threat simulation theory of dreams makes sense to me, noticing early dreams are recent stuff and late dreams are deeper stuff. Also dreams do not become lucid if too pleasant, needs an unpleasant hook to become lucid and resolve issue? 
Hector, modified 1 Month ago.

RE: Sleep, Dreams, Out Of Body Travel, And Practice

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I enjoy keeping a dream dairy and writing down stuff to analyze at a later time. Sometimes it helps me think through
complex issues like people and mathematics. My favorite time to experiment is upon first waking in the morning,
​​​​​​​then going back to bed and doing experiments.
Ian, modified 1 Month ago.

RE: Sleep, Dreams, Out Of Body Travel, And Practice

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Do you wake up early for a certain period time and then go back to sleep for "doing experiments"? Would love to know any specifics practices you keep.

I am way more likely to have sleep paralysis, OBEs, and lucid dreams in the morning, probably because REM sleep dominates at that time in the sleep 
Hector, modified 1 Month ago.

RE: Sleep, Dreams, Out Of Body Travel, And Practice

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No, I just stay still and in place when I wake up, it makes it easier to re-enter whatever dream I had or REM.
If I move or think too much I drop out of that nice state and it's harder to re-enter.
(For me I can actually 'see' the state, because my visual field oscillates at around 2-4 Hz left and right when I am in that state)

Specific practices -
  • trying the Loch Kelly change of viewpoint OOB mode, can I see my body from the ceiling, from outside etc
  • writing down the stories and see what my unconscious is thinking (using this Jungian dream interview technique)
  • starting from a base camp and exploring, then writing down the exploration and using the same technique as above to analyze
  • visiting scenes from books or other interesting universes, got this idea from a local drumming circle
  • looking at the murk, fire kasina style
  • asking questions "what is this" and then seeing what kind of imagery plays out
  • mapping out the different kinds of sleep states, light sleep to REM to deep sleep, kinda hard but measurable withan external sleep device, I use a garmin watch I think it tracks motion and heart rate, not gold standard like wet eeg electrodes. This idea came from Andrew Holecek's dream yoga book, but I find it less restful, very efforting for me, especially since morning hypnopompia seems more natural to me than night hypnogogia. Lunchtime hypnogogia is easier if it's a light lunch nap.
  • kinda fun - if people are nearby talking to them from lucid dreaming state, sometimes I ask them to wake me up, then checking if what I heard while sleeping was the same as what they said.
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hae1en, modified 1 Month ago.

RE: Sleep, Dreams, Out Of Body Travel, And Practice

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Yo, Hector!

Nice to see you again! I got to know some pretty weird territorries "out there / in there" since last time we spoke like half a year ago, right? Saw that you also did your digging and found out about thogal? But let's just talk from 1st person perspective leaving out the traditional lingo, ok?

Just so you know after loooong time, experiments and visiting various fractal realms both rotating in empty vacuum and covering the universe up to the horizon of events, finally I got to appreciate your loosely uttered remark that adding Shinzen's feel in to hypno and hypo visions will make them go autonomous :-))))). This along with your feet-feel technique thought me how to keep a stability of the vision. Still don't know however if this is LD when I fall asleep during meditation or a real-deal Fruit of contemplative life described as mind-made body or maybe there is no difference, we would have to pin the brain to fMRI or something. Since we are in this thread - it can be astral projection as well?

All forms of perception shift from visual appearances to tactile/emotional phenomena seems to stabilize the visions, so if I have a body I never look at anything inside the landscape directly. I also keep Loch Kelly's advice to establish a panoramic non focused gaze and "feel in" the source of creation. For example "where did this mountain came from" or "what was *before* that fractal formed itself". This prolongs the vision and also make the beings inside the vision less zombie-like, they stop using "word salad" language just producing correct grammar without any content, but become more "real".

Try this out: when the net forms itself from the pixels, zoom in either into the "eye of the net" or into the "contours" and they will morph probably. Let's assume poetically that the net is the protoform of all interdependent realms. I learned that - at least for me - to zoom in and fly inside the net means "feeling" either (1) one of its "eyes" or it's (2) "contours" or (3) "the pearls in the intersections".

So it's not about seeing them, because it implies duality, but "feeling them from within" or even "becoming one with them". Then you can either become one of these landscapes or realms or end up in a dream made body inside one of them. How great is that! :-) Hope it's also helpful for others in this thread.
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Hector, modified 1 Month ago.

RE: Sleep, Dreams, Out Of Body Travel, And Practice

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Whoa great to see you back hae1en! I have been wondering what happened to you since last year!
Yes, been experimenting a lot since then and it's a lot less confusing emoticon, still not that familiar with Tibetan terms so not sure what thogal is
so agree on not using traditional terms, I found them confusing back then and still do. Will try out your suggestions and see what happens!

As to falling asleep during meditation, I asked a TMI teacher what was dullness and he said it was the hypnogogia ('when thoughts become nonsensical'), so I think this territory is what people try to avoid for some kinds of meditation
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hae1en, modified 1 Month ago.

RE: Sleep, Dreams, Out Of Body Travel, And Practice

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 Hector, but as you know, there is an important lesson in dullness. And it's as important as to stop dullness ;-). Like learning to drive in darkness if you are a truck guy, or when going home everyone is on LSD and you are the only one who smoked only dope ;-)).

I already learned what mental faculty recognizes (is clearly aware of) dullness in abidharmic terms. It's just mindfulness (sati) and clear comprehension (sampojanna). In higher absorbtion jhanas, when thinking (vitaka and vicara) disappear, the texts still say: "With the fading of rapture, he remains equanimous, mindful, & alert". But I also asked Thanissaro Bhikku about it and he says that sometimes it's like flickering, vitaka and vicara/thinking goes off and on again to reevaluate absorbtion factors, as if the mind kept them in the periphery, like hand half withdrawn from a glove.

Some onepointed "unconsciouss" jhana teachers like Ajahn Brahm say in general that in real absorbtion you only discern what was in the jhana after reemerging. Only afterwards  super mindfulness sees clearly both what was inside jhana and microseconds just after, when dependent origination, step by step, kicks in again. Do you play sometimes to see if you can capture the DO sequence when going out from a dream? These are great seconds to practice with LDs!

And of course it's different to fall into a full blown lucid dream during meditation than simply doze off. Most people see the dullness after they snap out of it, but seeing it clearly upon entrance and within, these entry seconds are also great to practice.

When you write back, can you tell me a bit more what did you mean last time saying you do noting in LD, why and how, maybe some example? My problem right now is when I get duration, I forget the vision. I think I forget rather the end part of it, not the entry. It's like some processing or long term memory acquisition is impaired when sleeping. Any hints beside journaling?

Lack of duration/stability, memory loss these all can be called aspects of dullness. 
 
Hector, modified 1 Month ago.

RE: Sleep, Dreams, Out Of Body Travel, And Practice

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re: noticing the DO sequence, usually not during the dream, but thinking about it afterwards and
using my regular conscious brain to walk backwards the chain of symbols and what's been going on in my life.
During the dream itself it has this funny consistent logic, sort of an spelling auto-complete feel, that upon
waking seems at first nonsenical but when you work back the chains of causality it makes sense in the larger context.

During the LD I have to ping pong between the different sides of the dullness to make any sense of it.
Sort of like diving under the sea to experience it, then surfacing to process it with my regular conscious brain.
Harder to do from night time LD, but easier to do in meditation or afternoon naps. On the 'air' side I can
make intentions and process imagery, on the 'under water' side it's more just taking notes as to what is going on.
Not really 'noting' Shinzen style but making a memory log 'taking notes' of what is going on for when I surface from the dullness again.
Same skill really, in noting it's observing what comes up, in LD it's also observing what comes up but stashing away
the story for later analysis upon waking, paying attention to what's salient in the scene and the details of what is going on,
​​​​​​​what kind of emotions are appearing etc.
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hae1en, modified 1 Month ago.

RE: Sleep, Dreams, Out Of Body Travel, And Practice

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Hector, I like the way you can use technical jargon and spice it up even with mathematics, but on the other side you are this natural born jungian analyst chasing your shadows as a human being. For me, the more time I spent in this layer of reality, where everything seems to be made up of geometric figures with no emotional, even no semantic glossing, the less I believe this mind is a human. Btw I disappeared because of a divorce and spent a lot of time not-being-anywhere.

I also do noting /one-word memory log the way you do then. Last dream: jelly like spheres - contours - laceration - more spheres with vibrational spirals - the whole field vibrating - creation of sensation of 3 dimensions - relief like bulging protoforms of landscape - a wall in front of my late grandmother's house - no door - walking through wall - dream unstable, gasping - feel the inside of the wall, restabilisation - inside of apartament - hyper real objects like covid masks, dozens of them ;-) - no grandma - remembering game plan! - go see Lama Lena :-)
Hector, modified 1 Month ago.

RE: Sleep, Dreams, Out Of Body Travel, And Practice

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Thanks will check out Lama Lena, I'm not that familiar with Tibetan styles, which one is closest to Holecek's dream yoga?

For me the dream objects usually mean something, e.g. this object with symbols represents my feelings about mystical ways of thinking
and the landscape that is very modern looking is about finding a place for it in my contemporary secular scientific mind lol. The autocomplete function re-interprets the complex aggregate (e.g. 'traditional beliefs')  into a picture, but I can figure out what the picture means by applying analysis.
Hector, modified 1 Month ago.

RE: Sleep, Dreams, Out Of Body Travel, And Practice

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Lol now I am wondering if I saw jelly like spheres independently or because I subliminally remembered you wrote about them. But spheres in spirals is also a repeatable motif. Forgot to reply about techniques I use to have better memory. I just practice going into my memory palace and then always retracing my steps backwards on the way out during meditation. So after a dream I can remember backwards the chain of dream sequences up to maybe 3 dreams back using the same kind of technique as journeying while awake.
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hae1en, modified 1 Month ago.

RE: Sleep, Dreams, Out Of Body Travel, And Practice

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Lol now I am wondering if I saw jelly like spheres independently

While I was trying to deconstruct the notion of awareness as a field or continous stream my mind was really trying to make sense out of it. So I started having dreams literally made out of bathroom tiles, compartmentalized into square puzzles - you know, to express the existence of discrete parts of reality! Priming is a big thing! :-) 

Forgot to reply about techniques I use to have better memory.

You mentioned yesterday you see no amnesia problem in dreaming and I wanted to reply that yes, you do! This is the proof, the fact you need to dive in and resurface to remember, note, use the palace. I love that in Smiling Stone's article it says: We Can Only Remember What We Can Reconstruct. There are mind states possible to recall only after revisiting and shedding skin of your everyday life identity, like: "I know this! Been here before!". Refering to the article, it's like with meeting these enteties, two days later you cannot possibly remember how they communicate their friendliness and nobleness, because something like this doesn't exist in human realm. I think psychology calls it mood-dependent-recall. So this is one form of amnesia. 

Second one I call Brain Damage Problem :-) and it concerns IQ and memory impairment in visions (both in dream and meditation). I will write about it in the other thread. 
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hae1en, modified 1 Month ago.

RE: Sleep, Dreams, Out Of Body Travel, And Practice

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Lol now I am wondering if I saw jelly like spheres independently

While I was trying to deconstruct the notion of awareness as a field or continous stream my mind was really trying to make sense out of it. So I started having dreams literally made out of bathroom tiles, compartmentalized into square puzzles - you know, to express the existence of discrete parts of reality! Priming is a big thing! :-) 

Forgot to reply about techniques I use to have better memory.

You mentioned yesterday you see no amnesia problem in dreaming and I wanted to reply that yes, you do! This is the proof, the fact you need to dive in and resurface to remember, note, use the palace. I love that in Smiling Stone's article it says: We Can Only Remember What We Can Reconstruct. There are mind states possible to recall only after revisiting and shedding skin of your everyday life identity, like: "I know this! Been here before!". Refering to the article, it's like with meeting these enteties, two days later you cannot possibly remember how they communicate their friendliness and nobleness, because something like this doesn't exist in human realm. I think psychology calls it mood-dependent-recall. So this is one form of amnesia. 

Second one I call Brain Damage Problem :-) and it concerns IQ and memory impairment in visions (both in dream and meditation). I will write about it in the other thread. 
Hector, modified 1 Month ago.

RE: Sleep, Dreams, Out Of Body Travel, And Practice

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Yes you are correct, after reading what you wrote I realize it was a survivorship bias.
The stuff I remember I remember the stuff I forget I forget but I remember the remebered ones better
so I assume that I remember when actually I forgot lol.
I realized this today when I was writing down today's log, I thought I had one dream but I had three
and only remembered the other two while I was writing down the first one and the recall was only partial.

Will look for the Brain Damage Problem thread, thanks for your insights into these things, very interesting and
helps understand more.

Was also going to say I found some other techniques listed in books that are used the memorize lists as well:
- architecture
- sound
- graphs
- physical senses
- acronyms / words
- vision
These are the various techniques that people might do in waking life to memorize grocery lists that are also used in dream state where
one cannot carry a piece of paper and pen into the dream state and when used together reinforce each other.
My version of remembering that above is reinforced as follows:
A Simple Girl Paints The Void
Words/acronyms =  Architecture Sounds Graphs Physical The=Words Void=Vision
Architecture: the layout of the memory palace
Sound: saying it out loud
Graphs: making connections between them
Physicality - I am saying this in a location of my memory palace that has these things
Vision - I have these individual objects in that location of my memory palace

Some come easier like acronyms - very common in tech, SSL = secure sockets layer
the picture method I use to memorize names when I see people
But basically it's a method of reinforcing different mind functions for memory for when there is no hardware for recording

The Trance-portation book lists a couple others like making rhyming poems that might match the theme of the journey more
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hae1en, modified 1 Month ago.

RE: Sleep, Dreams, Out Of Body Travel, And Practice

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Hector
No, I just stay still and in place when I wake up, it makes it easier to re-enter whatever dream I had or REM.
If I move or think too much I drop out of that nice state and it's harder to re-enter.
(For me I can actually 'see' the state, because my visual field oscillates at around 2-4 Hz left and right when I am in that state)
Can you explain what do you mean?
Hector, modified 1 Month ago.

RE: Sleep, Dreams, Out Of Body Travel, And Practice

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I know I am in a particular hypnopompic state when my visual field oscillates as if I was looking from slightly left of my head to slightly
right of my head alternating at 2 cycles per second or maybe same as my heart rate.
I have no idea why it does it, it just started happening a couple months ago
when I automatically started observing what was going on in my visual field when I wake up.
In that state of mind it makes it easy to do experiments like visualization, changing view points, see visions etc, it's like a very
accessible lucid dreaming state. If I get too aroused it vanishes and the murk collapses into a the more
usual monocular vision kind of noise field. It is as if stereo vision was composed of alternating
left and right views at a very low frame rate that speeds up and fuses in normal waking state. Seems to affect mental images too.
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hae1en, modified 1 Month ago.

RE: Sleep, Dreams, Out Of Body Travel, And Practice

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So you mean your vantage point is changing/oscilating like in the Necker's cube, but in relation to subject, not to object?
With waking vision, this is how space is constructed, right?, by overlapping slightly different view coming from left and right eye. So that would be a pointer you are about to enter 3rd (3D?) screen?

It's interesting you are writing about your head refering to vantage point, whereas the head is also a sensory construct and after Loch's excercises you already know we only learn to think this is where the central point of view is for human beings. Are you able to observe after waking up the moments when the notion of having a head/body is just about to be constructed?
Hector, modified 1 Month ago.

RE: Sleep, Dreams, Out Of Body Travel, And Practice

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Yes it feels like the parts of the brain that construct 3D are in some kind of low power mode and about to wake up
to start constructing 3D vision but no quite ready yet so it just runs slowly alternating between left and right eye points of view.
I haven't tried it while waking, still experimenting with 'headless way' (have to google that, after asking questions about it) and
'boundless space' and just shifting the point of view around in 360, from other parts of the room etc. I consider 'head' the ego point
and not the physical head. It's like a camera that can be moved around. The virtual head still has stereo vision it seems because
the mental images also oscillate, so that probably means the same visual circuitry is probably being recycled for physical vs constructed vision.
​​​​​​​How do you experience the steps that make up stereo vision?
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hae1en, modified 1 Month ago.

RE: Sleep, Dreams, Out Of Body Travel, And Practice

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In zen we have this koan: "Where is your back?" and of course "What is your original face?" and "Who is carrying this body around?" "Is it me looking at you or is it you looking at me?" to break the spell of center sitting in your head. It's similar to Loch's glimpses regarding looking from the ceiling just that it has to be more locked in for the student to "pass" the koan and one has to be able to act from this mindset in a specific way to prove themselves instead of just verbally explaining.

So I've been doing this. Actually I don't see much difference between so called "physical" (real?) and constructed (mind-made) vision. Real means intersubjective? As if in Kant's ding-an-sich, how to translate it, noumena, the ungraspable material substrate beings project their mind categories onto?

When awake another fun thing to do with space is separating the sensation of space from dots/colors/textures/objects. The whole screen can become flat then. I only wonder if there are people (currently not during their mushroom trip), who can lock in this flat perspective for longer than few seconds, without switching back and forth. Because for me it's then more like space is switching from background/periphery back to center of attention. I think formless realms like J5 are exactly the opposite thing but locked in - space is in the center of attention and the harder the jhana the sensory content is more pushed back to the periphery. Like tortoise legs hidden, but still latently there (tibetan analogy).
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hae1en, modified 1 Month ago.

RE: Sleep, Dreams, Out Of Body Travel, And Practice

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In lucid dreaming and hipnagogia there is defenitely a phase when space is glossed over everything. For example the net can be flat and b&w, but then a bit of 3D is applied and I call this phase an egg box hahaha, no really, it's more like it's just bulging. Then it expands to cover the whole landscape and warps to encompass everything as spaces out of their nature do :-) Soon enough it's ready to start to resemble something - some semantic glossing is applied and there is BIRTH - isn't it a cute bunny? Then using your concept (yes, indeed!) one can add feel in and guess what happens? It's aaaalive!!!

I noticed someting recurring and I will give en example, in one session reality started to form from the net and through one of it's eyes flew into a kitchen, where everything was still black and white. There was enough lucidy there to form an inention of color, so it became cartoonish and the vision of the plate with dozens of fruit started to rotate in space. Then I remember also lucidly formed intention using a word photorealistic (I remembered that Neko used it ;)). When it became photorealistic, bam, there is my avatar and I have a body again to go venture into the dreamland.

I'm not sure when but my mind still seems to think there is a moment, where bodies are a law of nature! This is how deep the rabbit hole goes and how deep the conditioning is. But there are ways to go around it. Like to make more avatars and be in many bodies at once to break the spell of having one. Etc. But sometimes there is photorealistic landscape but with no avatar - the deliberative speech aspect and commands are impossible there. Maybe the need to control is something that supports the birth of self..
Hector, modified 1 Month ago.

RE: Sleep, Dreams, Out Of Body Travel, And Practice

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Haha was just reading this Michael Taft piece on tips for playing with fire kasina today
https://deconstructingyourself.com/fire-kasina-hints.html
Got excited playing with the triangle network thing just now and woke up to write an
email to my friend about it.

I realize the net / fractally looking glowing thing is like what you said
a kind of in between state just before REM. It is really beautiful on it's own
but I can ping pong between that and REM and it looks like stepping
through a star field of glowing snowflakes and fractal triangles into a black and white scene.

Last year the other thing you called Indra's net in that post was something else, I think
possibly a different kind of REM that is high resolution, 3D and super sharp and definitely
has a feel of infinite depth in Z. This pre-REM triangles for me is similar to what you said,
2D looking, more like a Mandelbrot set rendering but with snowflakes and triangles that
are XY space filling and interconnected spirally flows. It looks more like the light from doing fire kasina than the light from doing breath meditation which is lower frequency and slow waves.  These 2D triangle flows are also more
reliably reproducable during meditation and sleep than the super sharp 3D triangles in space.
Tim Farrington, modified 1 Month ago.

RE: Sleep, Dreams, Out Of Body Travel, And Practice

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I just wanted to say that being a fly on the wall of this thread is one of the sweetest joys on DhO right now. Thank you for this beautiful, fascinating, inspiring, and educational ongoing conversation. (Now ignore me and get on with it, lol.)
Hector, modified 1 Month ago.

RE: Sleep, Dreams, Out Of Body Travel, And Practice

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You gotta post random stuff emoticon, the last time you did it my brain grabbed on to all the random ideasand made a really fun and exciting construct out of it and I learnt a bunch of mind tools from it.
Tim Farrington, modified 1 Month ago.

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lol, that was not random stuff, amigo, that was cutting edge bardo topology, and state of the linguistic performance art attempts to formulate glimmers of vast, epistemologically undocumented, ontologically ambiguous Deep Shit! 

On this thread, though, I am just the truck guy learning to drive in darkness, as hae1en put it, sitting here while everyone is on LSD and I'm the only one who smoked only dope. It's good dope though.

Seriously, I'm happily verklempt, talk among yourselves. Thanks for this thread Ian, you set off a lovely landslide.
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hae1en, modified 1 Month ago.

RE: Sleep, Dreams, Out Of Body Travel, And Practice

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Yeah, Tim thanks for throwing in your 5 cents, sometimes when posting I felt like looking for Hector in a giant palace-theatre with ten towers and I could swear that before coming in I heared there was a party with all those cool people talking about secrets of OOBE (where are you, Ian?), but when I arrived... all these empty floors and terraces feel a bit awkward and if there is a party, it must be elswhere and I'm not invited :-).

​​​​​​​
Ian, modified 1 Month ago.

RE: Sleep, Dreams, Out Of Body Travel, And Practice

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Oh I'm definitely still here, just feel a bit overwhelmed by the amount of technical detail you guys have documented in your practice. Most of my experiences are quite murky and my memories of them are only reliable for a few days. I definitely haven't been able to measure ocsillations, or say exactly what stage of sleep I am in. 

I have noticed that when I get sleep paralysis and am able to control the feeling of physically leaving my body and entering a lucid dream or into some kind of deep abyss type thing, it almost feels like i'm flexing a muscle that is somewhere between my lower spine going into my brain. I have had hints of this 'hidden muscle' while doing concentration practices, especially when cultivating joy. 

​​​​​​​Anyways, I got a little lost along the way but am glad this thread has been of use. 
Hector, modified 1 Month ago.

RE: Sleep, Dreams, Out Of Body Travel, And Practice

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Interestingly I learnt how to generate pleasure from my lower belly to my head while dreaming first and then only figured out how to do it
in meditation a couple months later by remembering the sensation.
Ian, modified 1 Month ago.

RE: Sleep, Dreams, Out Of Body Travel, And Practice

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This was something I was wondering about just hadn't put it into words yet. Basically using dream yoga to catch glimpses of more advanced meditative practices to be applied while awake. Thanks for articulating. 
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hae1en, modified 1 Month ago.

RE: Sleep, Dreams, Out Of Body Travel, And Practice

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Ian
i'm flexing a muscle that is somewhere between my lower spine going into my brain. I have had hints of this 'hidden muscle' while doing concentration practices, especially when cultivating joy. 

That's how I feel when flying :-). Can I ask you why do you think many of people doing astral projection wake up in a "copy of their room", have you ever thought about it? 
Ian, modified 1 Month ago.

RE: Sleep, Dreams, Out Of Body Travel, And Practice

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I think I feel this way with flying as well, and of course whenever I get too mental about it I start to fall. 

In terms of the "copy of the room", I don't know what to think about it. I've projected into countless copies of my room, seen myself sleeping, but there is usually something different about it, like a different time of day/night, or different layout. I tend to not dwell too much because I get a little freaked out by my sleeping doppleganger. 
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hae1en, modified 1 Month ago.

RE: Sleep, Dreams, Out Of Body Travel, And Practice

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Have you heared about this phenomena bofore you started to AP yourself so it's possible that it's primed or did you start up showing up in your room without any prior reading? I have lucid dreams starting in my room, but with no sleeping doppelganger. I get what you say about different time of the day. Sometimes when I'm meditating while sittin I seem to kind of see my room through the close eye lids, always with different light, and it's not a form of imagination, but something more colorful and 3D, like hallucination. Is it possible for you to make any reality changes when you consider the display astral plan? Some say it's not so easy like in LD.
Ian, modified 1 Month ago.

RE: Sleep, Dreams, Out Of Body Travel, And Practice

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I was certainly heavily primed with all sorts of AP rhetoric before every experience anything like it myself. 

I find no dinstinction between an AP and lucid dream, usually the difference in clarity comes from my degree of lucidity, whether I can fully open my eyes, or how solid the dream state is. 

Just last night I had a dream which was not lucid until my teeth started falling out, at which point I felt the body vibrations and sense of control over leaving my body (even though I was already asleep and dreaming?) and basically shot out of my (dream?) body and entered another dream environment, at which point I lost lucidity. So this kind of mish mash of states all jumbled up seems to be the norm. Especially in the last, say, 8 years. Perhaps it has something to do with the prevelence of technology and time spent in front of a screen, necessary right now for work. 

But after starting this thread I feel a renewed sense of determination to practice this dream yoga stuff and can hopefully get a little more lucidity and clarity while in these states. 
Hector, modified 1 Month ago.

RE: Sleep, Dreams, Out Of Body Travel, And Practice

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Hi Ian, re: "hidden muscle", I figured out how to generate tingles, pleasure and contentment in a dream too, before
figuring out how to do it in meditation. For me it comes from my belly somewhere or perhaps lower spine too. Maybe it's "Hui Yin".
Can't remember the sequence but I think someone posted here about a Taoist source text Secret of the Golden Flower,
read up on the microcosmic orbit, imagined it a view times and did it in lucid dreaming state and then
remembered the movement to do it upon waking, then tada, tingles on demand.
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Smiling Stone, modified 1 Month ago.

RE: Sleep, Dreams, Out Of Body Travel, And Practice

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Microcosmic Orbit - 3 dantiens method

you can check other posts by Dan cooney, he's the guy when it comes to orbits ! (I mean, qi jong advanced breathing tech)
Hector, modified 1 Month ago.

RE: Sleep, Dreams, Out Of Body Travel, And Practice

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Thanks for these links and your description of body scans. I don't quite know what to make of Dan's
techniques with the middle and upper energy centers but I did enjoy the connection to the I-ching hexagrams which
​​​​​​​I am interested on reading up on.
Tim Farrington, modified 1 Month ago.

RE: Sleep, Dreams, Out Of Body Travel, And Practice

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hae1en, this IS the party. And it's a great fucking party. Party on.
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hae1en, modified 1 Month ago.

RE: Sleep, Dreams, Out Of Body Travel, And Practice

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Hector, I've never done fire kasina - have you with same success like with hipnagogia? I just borrow the language sometimes, because it's a similar phenomena, just in dream/vision formation you don't bootstrap of anything other than the mind.

However, however! I noticed that when the vision appears in meditative absorbtion (sitting up), the net can appear just because some random sensory input presented itself, like when the tree shadow behind the window moves away from your eyes. 

I wonder how you can tell the light textures of fire kasina from breath nimitta? Can you show some examples from giphy.com? My breath nimitta is simply panoramic or nebulous, sometimes but very rarely with clear cut edges, when it changes to perfect circle.

And now I think you make a distinction between XY space geometry (triangles) and hyperrealistic XYZ. Why don't you think it's just a function of maturity of the vision that it becomes more 3D if mind is still enough not to disturb the Pleiades bathing and they don't escape? :-)



BTW in dzogchen they believe the geometry you see will either reflect the current elemental state you are in (triangles are fire), the lacking one or the excess one (I don't know exacly). I don't see triangles. I see a lot of round shapes, sometimes with jelly and water textures. 
Hector, modified 1 Month ago.

RE: Sleep, Dreams, Out Of Body Travel, And Practice

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Also, speaking about Zen how do you figure what is Makyo and what is not?
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hae1en, modified 1 Month ago.

RE: Sleep, Dreams, Out Of Body Travel, And Practice

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Hector
Also, speaking about Zen how do you figure what is Makyo and what is not?
I know it can't be satisfactory, but in a sense everything is makyo (illusion?) since it's all transient phenomena, both hard science and our visions. But in another sense these exact phenomena are manifesting themselves just like this, so they are not makyo.

If we want to know what our triangles are I would say that the triangles are just |> 

But it can sound too philosophical :-)

---

I guess apart from teacher being there to tell you to keep looking for a deeper answers to koans and your own maturity which at some point will also show you that confirmation and disconfirmation are also just phenomena, so you can let it go... I think for my own sake that pragmatically makyo can just mean something that is causing craving, separation from the world and suffering.

If science, wars and world hunger, which seem very real, do it to us, then it means there is some illusion involved. However, it's also possible to channel the pain into something useful and help the world, and then sense of separation disappears, so mayko disapears. 

Same with the nimittas, imagery and visions in practice - depends how we use them, right? Some of the images you describe supposedly are marks of success in letting go of certain self-aspects. Like the string of pearls I think was considered sign of success in one of the brahmaviharas in esoteric Theravada. So not makyo? But then the next seconds come after waking up from the visions and they are so cool and better than reality, so now they are a sign of makyo :-).

---

Maybe your question comes from the longing for the objective truth and real reliable solid world somewhere, so we can discard the illusions, focus on reality and then we are not lost in - how Chris puts it sometimes - mystery?

The second post I need to digest.

 
Hector, modified 1 Month ago.

RE: Sleep, Dreams, Out Of Body Travel, And Practice

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Oh my Makyo question was more about confusion as to what to do with imagery, just seems very conflicting and
was curious how a zen practioner like yourself deals with hypnogogia and mental imagery.

From my Mahamudra friend - "ignore the lights of Vegas"
From the Vishudimagga - "look until you see a stable crystal fan in space"
From what I guess is Makyo - "ignore the lights of Vegas"
From that Michael Taft post - "See In" but don't do anything or "See in" and modify dots if going the siddhi route, but not before stream entry
From western esoterica / Jungian - do lots of mental imagery and decode
From the pragmatic dharma class I attend - "dullness is bad when doing TMI"
From what I can guess from the Holecek Dream Yoga book - it's bardo, is bardo bad or some kind of intermediate illusion
From the Tibetan Space / Time book : visualize giant people in the sky

So I am rather confused due to my ignorance about the various practices as to the best practices with mental imagery. I guess it depends on the kind of practice once is doing. I like the kasina ones so will probably continue with that route.

Also not sure about the string of pearls, I don't think I mentioned it anywhere? The green glowing photoreceptor balls are more like
a hexagonal grid of optimal 2D sphere packing and not a string of pearls.
That link you posted goes to a book, will get a copy of it, but no description of what it is.
I'm definitely not (deliberately) doing any letting go of self so definitely not any attainment of any kind emoticon

Thanks for taking the time to explain all this stuff, hae1en!
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hae1en, modified 1 Month ago.

RE: Sleep, Dreams, Out Of Body Travel, And Practice

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Hector
From the Tibetan Space / Time book : visualize giant people in the sky

ROTLF!  I think I might happen to know what you are referring to and it's hilarious this insanely distorted way you present it :-). Except that esoteric Theravada, boran kammathana they call it and the author writes they still teach somewhere, dzogchen is the place, where they specifically teach how to work step by step with these visions. But look it up yourself, if you are serious about it. 

To simplyfy, the book talks about working with energy and visions in Theravada. They use similar list of 40 meditation objects like Visudhimagga but couple them with specific success marks, namely various nimittas - string of pearl, cobwebs, peacock feather etc. Actually all of them are mentioned in Visudhimagga as well in nimitta chapter, but they are not clearly assigned to any particular meditation theme, there is just a list. This esoteric branch however is either telling students to visualize the marks until they appear clearly like in kasina practice, or to actively search for the marks or in some other groups they don't tell you what to look for, but when you bring it to the teacher, he says: ok, this part is done. Then they transport these nimittas or certain aspects of them to the womb of the mind to create a new mind-made body, like a jidam to be reborn in later or to transform into.

Thanks for taking the time to explain all this stuff, hae1en!

My feeling is you explain it to me :-). I also like neuroscience and the neural network models. BTW many zen traditions teach directly about the appearance of infinite light and treat it as a sign of mastery in certain concentration practices. All of them however after climbing up this ladder will teach that carrying up this ladder on your back later on will make you fall down, so you have to leave it. Like this death poem from zen master Gyeongheo:

“Light from the moon of clear mind
Drinks up everything in the world
When the mind and the light both disappear,
What is this?”
Hector, modified 1 Month ago.

RE: Sleep, Dreams, Out Of Body Travel, And Practice

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TBH I am perfectly happy playing snakes and ladders, the description of any of the end states doesn't sound very appealing to me at the moment. Been curious about Tibetan practices, but are there any that can be done without getting into gurus?
My preference is online or book descriptions, I am not keen on any transmission. A friend sent me a dzogchen course
https://www.olmoling.org/events/a_khrid_dzogchen_teaching_and_transmission_cycle_part but the transmission part scared me off.
Hector, modified 1 Month ago.

RE: Sleep, Dreams, Out Of Body Travel, And Practice

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I think I probably have the same success rate with fire kasina and hypnogogia mostly because I learnt how to do it with drums first.

(Edit: Also not sure what you mean by success - in generating light, in seeing repeatable phenomena, in entering REM? Also I learnt the adding
emotions idea from drum journeying, so the idea wasn't orignally mine, lots of books on the topic google shaman and drums or that trance-portation book above recommended to Ian. I think by your definition I switched to hypnogogia and hypnopompia, since I use mental generated images rather than an external kasina, with higher success at afternoon naps hyponogia or morning hypnopompia, the latter maybe 80% of the time if I remember to have an intention to do something rather than just watching the lights and noting phenomena)

With drums the light is generated probably from leakage from the temporal lobe. I think the breath light is similar,
low frequency light from leakage of the temporal lobe. Vipassana and fire kasina look the same, just smaller and more compact and higher frequency.
Both seem to be drawn from the Gabor family of distributions of oriented filters. The breath one is just the lowest frequency mode with
phase shifting over time and the fire one is small, compact and like the frequency response to random input (in that wikipedia page
they have the yellow and blue low frequency Gabor and a higher frequency one for the Chinese Characters).

Breath or shamatha or shikentaza light or after the pleasure feeling has cooled down to contentment.



Fire kasina  like the top left which are all Gabor like but just small and round, like a little hexagonal snowflake with rays out from it a pulsing star.
I don't use an LED or candle anymore, I just hunt for the light somewhere between my eyebrows
when I start my meditation instead of looking at lights or an object.
Sort of defocusing the eyes like when looking at a random dot stereogram.
I think it's a different part of the visual cortex being activated. The breath light is like the top left two, just huge and bright and slow waves. The triangles look like higher frequency things like the top right of the left image.

Drum journeying images are also composed of this kind of high frequency stuff, just synchronized with the music.




I just remembered from last night there is another one, a field of green dots.
I think from the appearance and layout of the dots they might be an after image of the medium wavelength photoreceptors of the cones
of the eye, just not in straight lines like image C (and not rods, those are sensitive to more blue light), definitely very spherical and more like a circle packing layout https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Circle_packing this is also repeatable so probably some kind of stimulus rather than a dream.




Sorry if I use math, science and bio terms, it's just the belief framework that resonantes most for me when trying to make
sense out of all these things.
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hae1en, modified 1 Month ago.

RE: Sleep, Dreams, Out Of Body Travel, And Practice

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Ok, after being a bit overwhelmed, I will just clarify - so the fire kasina visuals are higer frequency, meaning smaller and more packed and breath is slower frequency and bigger? That's interesting.&nbsp;<br /><br />To explain how the visions started to show up in my other rather samatha-like sittings, I can say that my mind spent many years resting in it's own minimum-energy state, as substrate consciousness like Lama Alan Wallace would put it or in it's own silent illumination how we call it in zen. For a long time I couldn't distinguish results of concentration from insight practices, actually still find it hard often to see that the insight-base discernment is off, especially in more aloof, empty formless realms. The illumination brought by this practice was pervasive, all encompassing, panoramic and homogenous. Then couple of good teachers managed to convince me that this is not the nature of mind, but yet another massive subtle formed phenomena. So I started to do more vipassana and watch for three characteristic in the light and noticed it's made of pixels and flows and distinguishable energy currents and totally constructed. And this is when the visions started to form.<br /><br />I am writing this because it corresponds to breath meditation formed into more wave-light and panoramic and vipassana visuals to being more particle-like.
Tim Farrington, modified 1 Month ago.

RE: Sleep, Dreams, Out Of Body Travel, And Practice

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To explain how the visions started to show up in my other rather samatha-like sittings, I can say that my mind spent many years resting in it's own minimum-energy state, as substrate consciousness like Lama Alan Wallace would put it or in it's own silent illumination how we call it in zen. For a long time I couldn't distinguish results of concentration from insight practices, actually still find it hard often to see that the insight-base discernment is off, especially in more aloof, empty formless realms. The illumination brought by this practice was pervasive, all encompassing, panoramic and homogenous. Then couple of good teachers managed to convince me that this is not the nature of mind, but yet another massive subtle formed phenomena. So I started to do more vipassana and watch for three characteristic in the light . . .

Thank you for this great background nugget, it actually helps me a lot to construct an illusion of conceptual-linguistic traction, lol, especially the explicit reference to the "more aloof, empty formless realms." To speak of "jhanas" so often has a weird way of ending up in deep mud, but your post sent me back to Daniel's discussion of the shamatha jhanas, the whole of part III in MCBT2. What you're describing above, if I may risk a tentative translation into those terms, is initially resting in, say, sixth jhana, "Boundless Consciousness," intrinsic luminosity, and then at your teachers' prompting beginning to invesigate that, yes? Bringing the three characteristics to bear on silent illumination?
Hector, modified 1 Month ago.

RE: Sleep, Dreams, Out Of Body Travel, And Practice

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Yes noting / kasina / actively looking = small spatially compact, high frequency disks, dots and particles and triangles
Tranquil, calm = large slow waves of light

I've independently asked a couple other people and they say similar things, but I only have a small sample size including myself to go by.
For other people pleasure arise and go away when they watch the lights, so lights cause feelings.
For me pleasure seems to correlate with the lights but definitely not causal, might be the other way for me
like generating pleasure and then noticing that the lights are high frequency, and when it decays to contentment
the lights are low frequecy. It's two separate practices for me, looking at lights and generating feelings.
I haven't quite figured out the connection between the See In and Feel In for these things yet,
for me they are two separate mental movements that might be correlated somehow. Add Hear In and I have no idea
how it's related to the others yet, hearing / mantra I think for me generates feeling which in turns generates light but
I haven't figured out how to point the arrows in other ways yet.
hearing/singing hymns -> exaltation feeling -> lights, yes this is familiar from years of Christian singing
lights -> feeling, no not quite, probably because my concentration is weak sauce
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Smiling Stone, modified 1 Month ago.

RE: Sleep, Dreams, Out Of Body Travel, And Practice

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Hello here,
I have not been active on the forum lately (waiting for something interesting to say, I guess) but, as I enjoy these interactions a lot (way above my pay grade, tbh), I feel compelled to share this article which I found quite fascinating:
https://qualiacomputing.com/2016/12/12/the-hyperbolic-geometry-of-dmt-experiences/
as it seems tangentially relev
ant to your interest in forms. I had some rare manifestations of what I would call "fractal volumes", mainly in the night, at the apex of retreats, but I do feel some connections with some aspects of psychedelic experiences people share.
To
Hector, Daniel & Dhammarato talk quite a bit about transcending and letting go of all experience vs cultivating the powers (in the guruviking discussion). I believe it addresses your concerns about "makyo".

Wish you
both success in your explorations... and further disengagement!
with metta

smiling stone
Hector, modified 1 Month ago.

RE: Sleep, Dreams, Out Of Body Travel, And Practice

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Thanks Smiling Stone, super cool! I work with geometry and embeddings every day, so this resonates with me.
Not sure about the pay grade stuff, I'm really new to all this (never been on a retreat!) and you probably have a lot more experience than me and would love your insights into things.
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Smiling Stone, modified 1 Month ago.

RE: Sleep, Dreams, Out Of Body Travel, And Practice

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Hey Hector,
Thanks for your interest, I appreciate your take on concentration and nightlife (hypnagogia). I had a couple of threads in the past years where you can get a good overview of my practice :
-smiling stone's home retreat log
from last year and, before that
- some views on the technique in the Goenka tradition
I'll be happy to go into details if you are interested.

I find the geometry of closed eyes mysterious since I pushed on my eyelids as a kid, but my upbringing isto not pay importance to experience aha! (I'm kind of rebelling these days...). I follow your explorations (and Hae1ien, and Fabrice Tom's, where is that one ?) ... with interest -and awe, sometimes-... keep on the good work!

with renewed metta
smiling stone
Tim Farrington, modified 1 Month ago.

RE: Sleep, Dreams, Out Of Body Travel, And Practice

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hey, you smiling stoner! So glad that ian, hector, and hae1en's conversation drew you down from your lovely cave!

You're right that Frabrice Tom would be fun on this thread. I have been trying to find his old threads, but so far the new format is frustrating me on that. He had a hard time on DhO, as his vocabulary tended to set off resistance in various ways, and he was prickly enough himself that I think he just decided we were a bunch of hidebound orthodox something-somethings (i tried to tell him how ironic that was, but he was right in certain ways of course) and that it wasn't worth the aggravation. He and I corresponded for a brief period; he was trying to achieve a lucid dream state straight from meditation at that time, and we were talking about different ways of coordinating. He had read just enough of MCBT2 to ruffle feathers here, and was also referencing TMI. A very cool guy, with a vast experience and a great sense of humor. He was working then on something called The Elijah Project, I recall.
see      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t5_NAU-vbiU      and 
https://kzclip.com/video/ncBs8xeEJRQ/how-to-achieve-the-best-results-by-direct-method-success-story-by-fabrice-broquerie.html
for a taste of the guy's angle and substance.

This thread is way beyond my pay grade too, lol, and like you I am well-trained to ignore anything like this shit on principle. Fortunately, I am not entirely well-trained, I guess, and certainly not well-trained enough to not appreciate the conversation here with interest and awe.
Hector, modified 1 Month ago.

RE: Sleep, Dreams, Out Of Body Travel, And Practice

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Don't most people on this website try fire kasina at least once? I got here via the fire kasina book and podcasts.
It can't be *that* exotic a practice if Daniel talks about it on like half the podcast episodes.
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hae1en, modified 1 Month ago.

RE: Sleep, Dreams, Out Of Body Travel, And Practice

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~some glitch?
I am well-trained to ignore anything like this shit on principle...

...my upbringing isto not pay importance to experience aha! 

 
 
Just want to stirr the minds a little more :-). Of course I am trained in the same manner, but (refering to your other post, Tim) did fall into luminosity trap and still fall into siddhi/visions trap. 
 
But if you read this thread carefully dream yoga and meditative visions are a great tool to directly observe great tool to directly observe dependent origination before and just at the moment of contact and preconsciouss stages of information processing in the brain, which create the illusion of self - existing, inhabiting the body and space - creating the distance between the subject and object.
 
Body and space formation is possible to see directly there step by step. The awareness is there all the time, in the smooth, oily (that's the speed usually) transition between not having a body in space and then having a conscious body in space full of objects.
 
Shinzen talks about something similar here.
---
 
But now something from a compeletely different barrell... We are trained not to fall for makyo, but guess where all the Mahayana sutras came from if not from Samboghakaya directly, where Buddha Sakjamuni and other Buddhas continued their teaching? What do we think? (I don't know.) How did they end up having Samboghakaya visions? I personally know two teachers who claim they receive teachings in such visions and one of them is possible to meet there (according to her own words, but I did meet her - or was it her image?). I read on Ken Folk's website he is only taking new students in Samboghakaya :-). So while all students should wear clean uniforms and are discouraged from paying attention to special experiences, Nagarjuna, Asanga and many Tibetan masters all seem to smoke cigarettes in the toilet and not to care that much...
 
I don't know if I believe in this, because memory impairment in my visions make it virtually impossible to bring any words-based teaching back (Brain Damage Issue), but would risk saying the vision of Indra's net from Avatamsaka Sutra is the vision of hiperbolic space Smiling Stone brought up. Through any of it's pearls which can be found in the intersections of the net one can fly into various universes.
Tim Farrington, modified 1 Month ago.

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I'm answering this is place because i'm so far behind the curve and it just feels like it would be a sore thumb at the bottom of the thread. so i'll risk it disappearing entirely into the archives, i guess, lol.

~some glitch?
TF: I am well-trained to ignore anything like this shit on principle...
SS: ...my upbringing is to not pay importance to experience aha! 
  
Just want to stirr the minds a little more :-). Of course I am trained in the same manner, but (refering to your other post, Tim) did fall into luminosity trap and still fall into siddhi/visions trap. 

But if you read this thread carefully dream yoga and meditative visions are a great tool to directly observe great tool to directly observe dependent origination before and just at the moment of contact and preconsciouss stages of information processing in the brain, which create the illusion of self - existing, inhabiting the body and space - creating the distance between the subject and object.
 
Body and space formation is possible to see directly there step by step. The awareness is there all the time, in the smooth, oily (that's the speed usually) transition between not having a body in space and then having a conscious body in space full of objects.​​​​​​​

I think both Stone and I were joking on ourselves there, on what amounts to self-imposed blinders, and on the limits of any "training."  And with that self-deprecating humor, to point to what you are saying here, how dream yoga and meditative visions are indeed great tools to directly observe the construction of reality and of an observer. I think what both of us were saying, too, is that you and hector are really fucking good at it, lol.

I love the "oily" speed of the transition out of bodilessness, as you put it. I find that most easily kinesthetically, in the emerging "contours", to try your vocab here. And if the oil slows down, I begin to see/sense what hector is calling the "autocomplete" process, generating the known body, and a little slower and there is the anticipation of what autocompete will do, and there is a non-doing possible at that point, where the anticipated sensation is not autocompeted, which gives way to a blip of bafflement, disorientation. Like in luge, a lot of early attempts at steering have bumping into the sides of the run as their feedback mechanism, and then you're catching things before you bump the side of the run, a quantum jump in subtlety of sensation. And then you're recognizing your steering in conscious muscular adjustments. And at some point your body has just got it, and knows better than any possible conscious process could, what to do. That is where autocomplete craps out; the internal model of "how to steer the sled", as monitored by the conscious self, is just not up to the task, and to the extent that the conscious self does try to steer by its model, it's fucking up the actual steering, and probably hitting the walls again, lol. At that point, it's down to sledding well or having a controlling self, lol. You can be aware of what the body is doing, but it's a constant surprise. That's when my awareness tends to shift to visuals, which by then seems like giving a shiny object to a two-year-old to distract him and keep him from pulling the dog's ears or something, and maybe that's why I feel like such a lunk in the company of you gifted lucid folk. By the time I'm seeing anything, the main work is already done and the ongoing work is essentially not to let the self fuck up the main work. 

Also, if I'm reading you right, your true preferred mode is actually to BECOME THE SLED AND THE SLED RUN. And you get burned out trying to put that into words, even as you want to play well with others, linguistically. Like Odo on Deep Space Nine, he can keep up his human form with effort, but at night he has to melt down and just be in his bucket as a shapeless luminosity.

But now something from a compeletely different barrel... We are trained not to fall for makyo, but guess where all the Mahayana sutras came from if not from Samboghakaya directly, where Buddha Sakjamuni and other Buddhas continued their teaching? What do we think? (I don't know.) How did they end up having Samboghakaya visions? I personally know two teachers who claim they receive teachings in such visions and one of them is possible to meet there (according to her own words, but I did meet her - or was it her image?). I read on Ken Folk's website he is only taking new students in Samboghakaya :-). So while all students should wear clean uniforms and are discouraged from paying attention to special experiences, Nagarjuna, Asanga and many Tibetan masters all seem to smoke cigarettes in the toilet and not to care that much...
 
I don't know if I believe in this, because memory impairment in my visions make it virtually impossible to bring any words-based teaching back (Brain Damage Issue), but would risk saying the vision of Indra's net from Avatamsaka Sutra is the vision of hiperbolic space Smiling Stone brought up. Through any of it's pearls which can be found in the intersections of the net one can fly into various universes.


lol, yes! I'm in a filthy uniform out there with the smokers here myself. Would you mind telling me more about the Brain Damage Issue?
 
 
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hae1en, modified 1 Month ago.

RE: Sleep, Dreams, Out Of Body Travel, And Practice

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Dear Smiling Stone,

Thanks so much for adding this perspective! Last year we spoke a bit about neurological processes in DMT visions being similar to the visions we discuss, but geometry is yet another monster. Honestly, when I was walking through this material I could feel the pain of my linear left brain mind to digest it step by step. It was even more painful than watching the visuals of hyperbolic space separated from it on Youtube. The only solution for me to get some relief from the mystery and suggested infinity of these dimensions is to become one with them. I felt such an urge and discomfort to let go when watching this and reading like not for a long time. It is indeed an amazing transhuman reality!
Hector, modified 1 Month ago.

RE: Sleep, Dreams, Out Of Body Travel, And Practice

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Interesting you say you had trouble because I did too. I had assumed this was all familiar material for you.

My mathematical left brain mind was happy with the graphs and geometry and felt at home,
but my emotional body (right brain?) hadn't caught up with the metaphysical weirdness yet and I avoided
this forum for a while, it felt like the planet Jupiter, a tarry pit, a gravitational attractor, where people dissolved and reformed and I had to flee to
more spacious space for a while.
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hae1en, modified 1 Month ago.

RE: Sleep, Dreams, Out Of Body Travel, And Practice

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This is truly amazing, I actually decided to withdraw from this thread as well to let go of the pain of separation. It's not that I haven't read about DMT before or see the visuals. But having had to read it and watch again caused a lot of longing, despair and helplessness, because there is infinity suggested in these dimensions, so it's unexhaustable and yet causes a certain allure of misterium tremendum and fascinans :-), awe and terror difficult to let go.

So I wanted to withdraw to let go of the pain, but actually you, Chris, helped me with all your remarks here and there about tolerating the unknowing and allowing mystery. And at the moment of wanting to withdraw I felt this shift inside which took away the pain, because I remembered that being inside the fractal is being the fractal itself, so there is no separation. No mystery to solve, because we are the mystery.

And suddenly some memories resurfaced, which even two days ago were clouded by the amnesia, especially about the One Bright Pearl.

So I will slow down for a moment, but wish to return with more questions. In the meantime - I especially like like the fractal sculptor named Julius Horsthius. For those of you who wish to see how the geometry in visions unfolds in one of it's most complex forms with some meanings possible to decode by humans overlayed, this video contains it all - organic, mineral, fluid and industrial realms.

I think in my case they last up to couple of minutes before returning to formless realm or changing into a narrative dream (?), but first they were only impossible to provoke second-long flashes a bit like what you, Chris describe, which I just learned to stabilize riding their magnetic pull, because they used to happen in certain drifts of attention or slides.
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Chris Marti, modified 1 Month ago.

RE: Sleep, Dreams, Out Of Body Travel, And Practice

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Is this a related thing:

I can see the formation of thoughts (proto-thoughts?) occur if I get quiet and slow down. These are always non-verbal things, images of geometric shapes that usually form a relationship to each other and have some causal connection to the eventual, but emerging, verbal or non-verbal thought (words, phrases, images, colors, flashes of light). The process takes place in the blink of an eye, of course, but it is always engaging, fascinating to observe.

Related? Not related?
Hector, modified 1 Month ago.

RE: Sleep, Dreams, Out Of Body Travel, And Practice

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I think quite well related, it's what I do when I mine the post murk imagery for information.
But I have to do it after the fact usualy, I'll just remember it while going through the imagery,
then write it down and then after the fact I'll look at the causal chain back to what it was about.
During the imagery phase it has a sort of self consistent auto-complete feel that seems nonsensical
at first with regular thought but after some thinking makes a lot of sense.

Mine are also non verbal, usually images, movement and metaphor. Like a visual storyteller that mimes.
Do you think they come from more older parts of the brain evolved pre-language? That's my running hypothesis.
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Chris Marti, modified 1 Month ago.

RE: Sleep, Dreams, Out Of Body Travel, And Practice

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Do you think they come from more older parts of the brain evolved pre-language?

I don't know about old vs new in regard to the brain - I just know I can observe this process happening.  I've given up creating theories of what's going on anatomically, neurologically, chemically, electrically, etc, I'm either less curious than I used to be or more tolerant of not knowing.

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Chris Marti, modified 1 Month ago.

RE: Sleep, Dreams, Out Of Body Travel, And Practice

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Don't most people on this website try fire kasina at least once? I got here via the fire kasina book and podcasts.
It can't be *that* exotic a practice if Daniel talks about it on like half the podcast episodes.

​​​​​​​Hector, I had always thought that fire kasina practice was esoteric and I never bought into it. Then I read the Fire Kasina book by Shanon Stein and Daniel Ingram and realized I had "sort of" been doing fire kasina practice almost all along. I had been paying close attention to the murk behind my closed eyes for a long, long time. Every jhana I fell into had a unique pattern and specific colors (except the 8th jhana, which remains inexplicable and crazy-weird).
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Chris Marti, modified 1 Month ago.

RE: Sleep, Dreams, Out Of Body Travel, And Practice

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hae1en --I appreciate your reply!

I realized some time ago that the mind has literally infinite capabilities. Its ability to connect, analyze, compare, describe, calculate, and do pretty much any kind of ideation and manipulation is amazing. Wondrous. Astounding. I've watched my mind do things that are unfathomable. Is it any wonder that we struggle to harness that kind of power? Can we ever even do that? If we want to retain our basic sanity as we study the mind we're forced at some point to face both uncertainty and chaos, because those are fundamental attributes of the mind and of the universe. I prefer to call uncertainty and chaos mystery and poetry. As I've learned to accept those things as inherent parts of life, ease has grown. It's the Tao. 

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Smiling Stone, modified 1 Month ago.

RE: Sleep, Dreams, Out Of Body Travel, And Practice

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Ok, so I will answer to everybody here, at the end of the thread, as the new Liferay makes it not so practical to go and search in the middle of the thread for new posts. And I believe life would be easier if everybody did the same? Thoughts?

Hae1en: If I was not soooo detached, I would say "please don't go", your participation here is precious! You are welcome, I also found it quite fascinating. This guy (Andrés Gomez Emilsson aka algekalipso) seems quite bright. He attracted the attention of serious mathematicians, it seems, and now tries to raise funds with the Qualia Research Institute. I saw he contacted Daniel at some point as he seems to be into meditation as well. Really sorry that this had you dive into dark territory, but here are a few more references anyway:
- https://qualiacomputing.com/2016/06/20/algorithmic-reduction-of-psychedelic-states/ (it is an earlier article from him which complements quite well with the one above)
- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=loCBvaj4eSg (a conference he made on that very subject on youtube, very interesting as well (same title but different). I especially like his graphs from 42 mn in with information increasing on the X axis and symmetry growing on the Y axis, it applies really well to meditation states!
- https://psychonautwiki.org/wiki/Visual_effects (kind of anything we ever wanted to know about no bullshit psychedelic states -with cool gifs to illustrate-)
I would not get sad about other people's experiences (on whatever). There is so much out there, better be at peace with it... that makyo again, I guess...

Hector: I guess Daniel got a lot of us by surprise with the kasina practice. For me MCTB was already a big blow... so it's not because you hear about something really really efficient that you start practicing it right away, especially in retreat conditions where it will give all its juice.About your question about mapping meditation experience to the dmt stages (which I cannot find right now going upthread), I would say it is way less intense, so we would stay in the lower left quadrant of the graph (at 43mn in the video), going little bit up on retreat, little bit to the right with noting? That would be the waiting room, maybe ? Not to say that breakthrough is impossible, but it might be different from what is advertised in the paper. The symmetry angle looks most promising to me as it seems very connected to how we make sense of the murk while in concentrated states (I second Chris, I've been playing a lot with the luminosity in my closed eyes... ).
About Dan Cooney, it is really his breathing tech anapanasati wise that I find I can relate to...

Ian: sorry for derailing more, good luck with your explorations, good discussion you initiated!

Chris : Sir Yoda ! Where is Ni Nurta? "I realized some time ago that the mind has literally infinite capabilities. Its ability to connect, analyze, compare, describe, calculate, and do pretty much any kind of ideation and manipulation is amazing. Wondrous. Astounding. I've watched my mind do things that are unfathomable." Always nice to read you, sir...

Tim: dear friend, I have contemplated visiting your bardo several times, but waited for me to become active again. soon... Nice that you found rare footage of the Fabrice beast, I will give it a go soon.
Well, I guess I forgot about half of the points I wanted to address...
metta to everyone
smiling stone

(edited for links)
Hector, modified 1 Month ago.

RE: Sleep, Dreams, Out Of Body Travel, And Practice

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Sure replying at the end sounds good.
Sorry I deleted the meditation to DMT map, when I am unsure about something I usually delete it.
re: the symmetry I think it's the phenomena I have been calling 'autocomplete' as if the brain interpolates discrete
phenomena and makes pointy stuff look continuous. In the cases I have above

- jittery 2D images are smoothed over to give the appearance of 3D vision
- point sampled light sensors like rods and cones are interpolated to give the appearance of a continuous image
- incomplete information is auto  completed to be self consistent
- trying to make sense of noise and nonsenical concepts itself is a function of the autocomplete
- this whole discussion is a result of the same autocomplete on trying to make sense of nonsensical or contradictory or lack of information
- when I try it on stuff like 'what is this' I see a different thing everytime because the autocomplete just cloaks whatever is there with a new interpolation

In mathematics it might be called something like "low rank manifold assumption" (which is identical to the embeddings idea from the link you provided, embeddings are another way of saying low rank manifold) , there's simply not enough
capacity to make sense of raw data so something has to be compressed somewhere for the data to be passed on efficiently,
and it seems that perception has a bunch of interpolators to autocomplete stuff all the way up and down the stack. At the concept level it might be "jumping to conclusions" emoticon at the vision level it is fusing all the tiny nerve signals from each rod and cone into a coherent image. In between
it would be fusing images between left and right eyes into a stable image. At least that is the story I am making up to make sense
of the alternating left and right 2hz visions with my autocomplete, but this is based on working with artificial vision systems and embeddings.

It would be interesting if the symmetry effect is being able to observe the brain trying to make something invariant. Rotation
symmetry groups and other kinds of symmetry groups can be used to compress information. Routinely for image processing
people make use of translation (moving an apple left or right doesn't change the fact that it looks like an apple),
rotational symmetry (rotating a donut at it's center doesn't change it). There's even a nice math result I haven't quite grokked yet
that links symmetry to conservation laws https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Noether%27s_theorem

Edit: Re: the video with the loops 42 minutes in,
yes this is exactly what I did with fire kasina 9 months ago, use it to explore high complexity high dimensional
mathematical objects. At that time I was working on a problem called blind source separation
(what are the individual signals that could make up this complex one),
I did the kasina loop out (totally unprepared and unintentionally), merged a bunch of ideas and then 
'cooled down' back to normal thinking, which took me a couple weeks unfortunately and involved some unskillful dissolving effects, but useful experience.
Tim, Linda, Chris and hae1en threw a bunch of arcane bardo images/concepts during that phase that my brain picked up and tried to make sense of an made this collection of Frankenstein concepts to decode later on, but some parts were useful for understanding geometry and topology.

Hae1en: Haven't found your description of the Brain Damage effect, but if it's what I think it is for me it involves several stages of translating
non-conceptual thinking to conceptual thinking, usually asking 'what is this' the next day and usually it 'cools down' one step and is 20% less non-conceptual and 20% more conceptual. I had written some story about the monkey king and army of monkeys, that described this refinement process in that old thread. But could totally be a made up primed experience, I wouldn't know. I usually have an extra real world step
of testing the idea in practice to see if it is useful or not.
(Edit: my method for 'cooling' down one of these objects is to become familiar with metaphor, I read lots of stories that use metaphors
because those are usually visual elements that gets translated to language. I am learning sign language and abacus as other ways
to train visual and kinesthetic pathways to language).

Ian: also sorry this thread got hijacked, if it continues we could start a new thread.

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