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A place for self-hypnosis or guided meditation?

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A place for self-hypnosis or guided meditation?
concentration hypnosis guided meditation
Answer
3/18/10 12:46 PM
I have a bit of experience with self-hypnosis. I've used it to enter states of deep concentration, either by talking myself into it or creating a tape and listening to it. Much of the discussion here focuses on strengthening the concentration through will alone.

My question is whether there is a place for something like talking yourself into concentration. Could it be of benefit to speed up attainment? Could it help you find the state you are looking for so you can find your way back?

RE: A place for self-hypnosis or guided meditation?
Answer
3/19/10 4:00 AM as a reply to Eric Williams Normand.
Isn't that exactly what mantra meditation does? That is a known way of attainment. Although finding your way back seems not to be an option; after all, you are going into the present as it is, even "going back" would be just more of the same.

RE: A place for self-hypnosis or guided meditation?
Answer
3/19/10 8:58 PM as a reply to Eric Williams Normand.
My impression of hypnosis is that there are elements of awareness that are turned off when one is hypnotised. At least that's so when one is hypnotized by someone else. How different would it be when self-hypnosis is involved? Is the process really the same? If it is, then that would be contrary to what we're aiming at.

Susan

RE: A place for self-hypnosis or guided meditation?
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Answer
3/20/10 4:10 PM as a reply to Eric Williams Normand.
Eric Williams Normand:
I have a bit of experience with self-hypnosis. I've used it to enter states of deep concentration, either by talking myself into it or creating a tape and listening to it. Much of the discussion here focuses on strengthening the concentration through will alone.

My question is whether there is a place for something like talking yourself into concentration. Could it be of benefit to speed up attainment? Could it help you find the state you are looking for so you can find your way back?


part of the benefit of strengthening concentration through will is that it strengthens will, but there is something to be said for improving concentration on its own, and much to be said for being willing to cooperate with yourself in an endeavour. on that note, i see nothing wrong with going about it the way you suggest, provided you're able to get to a point, once you're already talked into it, where you can leave the need for it (the self-talk/self-hypnosis) behind and just go with whatever shows up.

tarin

RE: A place for self-hypnosis or guided meditation?
Answer
3/26/10 1:01 PM as a reply to Eric Williams Normand.
Eric Williams Normand:
My question is whether there is a place for something like talking yourself into concentration. Could it be of benefit to speed up attainment? Could it help you find the state you are looking for so you can find your way back?


Years ago I studied to be a master hypnotist. It was about 200 hours of training. At the time I was doing quite a bit of qigong and energy work and in my practice sessions with other students I experimented with ways to point out the 'vibrations/energy' we speak of here on DhO. I found that this was pretty easy to do. So at least with that aspect of the practice the answer seems to be yes - and this is often a difficult point to get to. However, I never followed this up so I have no idea if they were ever able to call it up on their own - I suspect with a few sessions that that would be possible.

Guided meditations often use quite a bit of hypnotic induction language. For this reason I think they should only be used for training wheels at the beginning if at all. The ability for awareness to stabilise without having to cling to one phenomena or another (like the voice of the teacher) is really important and takes lots of practice. Lots of getting lost and coming back. Any time you develop concentration around a fixed object - that is a prop. It can lead to interesting experiences (and be very pleasant) - but not insight into release.

So here is how you might use hypnosis: As I mention above, use it to gain a sense of the energy in the body. Once you can do that then make that energy (as a field in the entire body) your 'object'. Once that is stable then incline the mind to identify with the space in which the energy arises. This allows the mind to slowly let go of supports while remaining clear and alert.

If you want to make your own tape here is one induction method I used with success (expand and morph as seems helpful): "Imagine a stairway that leads down to a very comfortable, safe place. This quiet, safe, place is surrounded by a soothing, cool mist that calmly and deeply penetrates, soothes and sinks into every part of your body - relaxing more and more. With each step you take down, you notice the soothing energy rising up from the tips of your toes, your feet, your ankles, your calves [etc, etc] sinking in and calming as it rises as you take each step down this gentle stairway. ...[as the energy comes up around the head] ... "with each breath now the soothing mist comes in and fills your lungs, spreading out through your entire body. Sinking, soothing, relaxing - you can now rest in this comfortable, safe space of your choice and enjoy this energy as it relaxes throughout your body while you remain clear and alert to its calming, joyful presence."

-something like that.

-Chuck

RE: A place for self-hypnosis or guided meditation?
Answer
3/27/10 12:22 AM as a reply to Chuck Kasmire.
We used to do almost that exact guided meditation in a class I took in 4th grade at a Hippy/Quaker school, and those visualization exercises formed the training basis of what later dumped me into the A&P.

RE: A place for self-hypnosis or guided meditation?
Answer
3/27/10 11:51 AM as a reply to Daniel M. Ingram.
Sounds like you had lots more fun in 4th grade than I did. Very cool.

RE: A place for self-hypnosis or guided meditation?
Answer
4/10/10 12:07 AM as a reply to Chuck Kasmire.
I find guided visualization much easier than concentrating on a single object. Even self-guided talk works well to quiet my mind. Makes me wonder why people concentrate on breath or flame or mantra, etc - as a beginner, I find that hard. Is hard work necessary?

As an example, I'll picture myself sinking to the bottom of the ocean. On the surface, there's lots of waves crashing around, and the hot sun and seagulls squawking. As you duck under the water, it gets quieter and you can see the fish and hear the muffled breaking of waves, with the sun streaming through the water. Then as you sink deeper the water is slightly cooler and more soothing, the noises quieter and the currents less strong. Sinking deeper and deeper, fewer fish, darker cooler water, the currents stop altogether....then silence and perfect stillness. And only then do I pick an object to concentrate on.

See even when you read this to yourself, it does something in 1 minute. When I concentrate on my breath, 30 minutes later my mind is just as turbulent as when i started. Why do that?!

Sometimes I wonder: do some of the posters here have subconscious beliefs relating to the protestant work ethic: "anything worthwhile requires a lot of hard work and suffering. Jesus suffered, Buddha suffered, so I have to too." Honestly, when I read posts in here, there's this heavy HEAVY vibe. Not the light-heartedness and joy I was expecting. Tolle's work is similarly heavy. Very intelligent, but heavy. Heavy ain't good.

RE: A place for self-hypnosis or guided meditation?
Answer
4/10/10 5:52 AM as a reply to This Good Self.
I guess it depends on what you mean by "heavy".

For instance, when I describe going on retreats and really powering the mindfulness every second from 4am to midnight with strict vipassana technique applied to every single sensation I could, some could think of that as heavy, or some, like me, might go, "Yeah! Right on, Dude!"

Just as I had a friend in medical school whose idea of a good time was running 12-15 6-minute miles before class, just so my idea of a good time is really strong concentration, really powerful mindfulness, really having the time to develop the full and awesome power of a well-trained and fully engaged mind, just as a cheetah must delight in running 60 miles per hour, just as there is something really thrilling about jumping out of a plane at 13,000 feet, in just that way, all this hardcore practice stuff can be a mighty fine and glorious time. There are all sorts of ways to play the thing, lots of nice methods, gentle methods, spacious methods, strange and exotic methods, and why not? To each his or her own. However, there is something to be said for just taking reality straight on and straight up, and that leads to amazing things.

RE: A place for self-hypnosis or guided meditation?
Answer
4/10/10 9:00 AM as a reply to This Good Self.
Cam cam Cam:
I find guided visualization much easier than concentrating on a single object. Even self-guided talk works well to quiet my mind. Makes me wonder why people concentrate on breath or flame or mantra, etc - as a beginner, I find that hard. Is hard work necessary?

As an example, I'll picture myself sinking to the bottom of the ocean. On the surface, there's lots of waves crashing around, and the hot sun and seagulls squawking. As you duck under the water, it gets quieter and you can see the fish and hear the muffled breaking of waves, with the sun streaming through the water. Then as you sink deeper the water is slightly cooler and more soothing, the noises quieter and the currents less strong. Sinking deeper and deeper, fewer fish, darker cooler water, the currents stop altogether....then silence and perfect stillness. And only then do I pick an object to concentrate on.

See even when you read this to yourself, it does something in 1 minute.


well, you could try paying attention to what's happening in your body and mind (particularly your body) in the 1 minute that you're reading that to yourself and imagining yourself sinking to the bottom of the ocean? you may be able to confirm that there are subtle bodily sensations of 'sinking' and 'cooling' going on during that process that quieten your mind and then become even quieter themselves. if so, you will have discovered an even more direct route to the 'silence and perfect stillness' you desire, which is useful because your objects (those sensations) will be very closely related to your goal (the stillness that those sensations open out into), which means you will be able to work with them in a sustained way.

tarin

RE: A place for self-hypnosis or guided meditation?
Answer
4/10/10 11:01 PM as a reply to This Good Self.
I find guided visualization much easier than concentrating on a single object. Even self-guided talk works well to quiet my mind. Makes me wonder why people concentrate on breath or flame or mantra, etc - as a beginner, I find that hard. Is hard work necessary?


Effort and persistence is necessary. Actually, guided visualisation is a form of concentrating on a single object - the voice of the guide. This may seem strange but it's true. It's easy because we spend so much time listening to other people talk (and don't put much effort at staring at little colored disks). Try having someone guide you into a deep state of stillness and then stop speaking and see what happens - dream time for sure! Awareness habitually wants to stabilize around an object - without one it will create something. The practice is to establish an awareness that is able to stand free of any object - an awareness that is not bound or reliant on some support.

When I concentrate on my breath, 30 minutes later my mind is just as turbulent as when i started. Why do that?!


For one thing it gives you direct insight into what Buddha meant by 'suffering'. This is what your mind really is: a turbulent jumble of agitation - you would not be aware of this if you hadn't made the effort. If you just go with what ever comes up in your mind or follow along with some guided meditation then your mind has no independence. Meaning that when something else comes along that may not be all that pleasant you have no alternative but to go with it.

There are different approaches to working with the breath. Don't know what kind of practice you are doing. But working through mental turbulence is part of the process. In my experience, if people can practice every day for at least 20 minutes or so, they can get a sense of things quieting down a bit even after just a few weeks. Skill makes a big difference - also working with others - as they can help point things out to you and give some tips on how to work with your experience.

RE: A place for self-hypnosis or guided meditation?
Answer
4/11/10 2:17 AM as a reply to Chuck Kasmire.
Thanks tarin and chuck. I'll take that all on board.

Daniel, maybe the heaviness is what happens in my body when I look at this huge Everest of a mountain (aka practice) and feel totally overwhelmed at the prospect of it all. Not at all sure I have what it takes.

RE: A place for self-hypnosis or guided meditation?
Answer
4/16/10 2:12 AM as a reply to This Good Self.
We all felt the exact same way. ;)