The Pineal Gland (Nuerotransmitters, DMT, etc)

Conner Patrick Joyce, modified 7 Years ago at 2/26/15 7:18 AM
Created 7 Years ago at 2/26/15 7:18 AM

The Pineal Gland (Nuerotransmitters, DMT, etc)

Posts: 12 Join Date: 11/24/14 Recent Posts
Hey Everyone!   
    I've been trying to find some research on meditation and the Pineal Gland however a lot of the stuff on the net seems a bit insubstantial, anyone have any good sources on that?

Does anyone have any opinion in regards to the Jhanas and the Pineal Gland?  Aren't there certain chemicals released as you progress up the Jhanic arc?  

Also, its always been my opinion that hallucinogenics and drugs would hinder your practice in the sense that it could create experience without control (meaning you don't need to learn how to induce, and therefore, harness and control the effects).  Any thoughts on this or the possible relationships between the Jhanic states and the states produced by hallucinogenics?
Alexander Rice, modified 7 Years ago at 2/26/15 8:51 AM
Created 7 Years ago at 2/26/15 8:47 AM

RE: The Pineal Gland (Nuerotransmitters, DMT, etc)

Posts: 36 Join Date: 2/20/15 Recent Posts
I've explored most of the major 'hallucinogens' and meditation (indeed, while meditating) so I feel qualified to comment. I would say that there is a large overlap between the experiences attainable through altered states of conciousnes induced by meditation and those produced by the classic psychedelics. I'd also assert that the cognitive skills required to navigate in these altered states are basically the same, as are the insights produced. With the right drug in the right setting at the right dose and the right mental skills (that practiced while sober-ish) you can do amazing things.

Firstly, it's important to understand that there are a wide variety of very different drugs that could be called 'hallucinogens' and that they are not very related to each other either in mechnism of action or effect. The first major distinction to draw is between 'dissociative' drugs and 'psychedelic' a.k.a 'entheogenic', drugs.

Common dissociatives are ketamine, nitrous oxide, alcohol (in high doses), PCP, salvia, DXM. They induce a state where conciousness is 'dissociated' from external reality and bodily sensations. They do produce 'hallucinations' but are indeed quite hard to control and their potential to provide useful insight is quite limited as a result. The experience of being self aware but completely disconnected from everything... of being pure conciousness is quite interesting as it has a certain 'feel' that you can learn to recognise and incline your mind towards. What you expereince is pretty random and can be amazing or awful or both with the sense of self, memories etc. all scrambled together in an often non-sensical fashion at the peak and then you get to watch your sense of self gradually re-assemble itself as the effects wear off which is quite interesting. Of these I've found nitrous to be safe and interesting enough do do a few dozen times. I don't see them as having all of that much in common with meditation except in that they produce stable altered states of conciousness and they can dis-assemble the sense of self.

By far the most important class of drugs from the point of view of exploring conciousness act primarily on the brain's serotonin system. This class includes all the classic psychedelics: LSD, DMT, Psilocybin (4-PO-DMT), mescaline as well as more modern innovations such as 2C-B and MDMA. The first thing to understand is that from an experiential point of view all of these drugs are all quite similar to each other, but very different to anything outside their class. Hallucinations are defined as experiences that are not real, but which seem to be -- this class of drugs do NOT generally produce true hallucinations, it's more like you see reality through a different lens and you're aware that your experience has been altered by the drug.

Of these drugs I'd say that DMT and Psilocybin produce states that are most similar to Jhana, indeed I'd go as far to say that this pretty much exactly what they do. I can use concentration techniques to produce strong effects from small doses, and vice versa I can much more easily attain deeply absorbed states with a bit of pharmacological assistance -- that's how I've managed at least one path in spite of lousy concentration skills. I'd say that a 'normal' dose of psilocybin puts you in the 3rd or 4th jhana. It's very telling that psychonauts identify discrete 'levels' of trip that depend on how much you take in much the same way that we here identify discrete 'levels' of concentration absorption. DMT is commonly dosed by inhalation and has a short duration of action (about 10m) which means it's OK to take bigger doses that boost you with incredible rapidity into 4th Jhana and above which creates some truly extroadinary spiritual experiences that are hard to describe. I attained first path on a combination of DMT and 2C-B.

I would say that MDMA would be similar to a very deep metta-type practice. It dissolves physical and emotional tension related to dark night stuff, and after a trip I find that a lot of the tension and discomfort in my chest has disappeared and that breathing feels very smooth in much the same way as if I'd spent many hours on the cushion addressing my 'stuff'.

The particular magic of LSD is that it makes 'emptiness' immediately obvious in a way that the others don't. Mentally 'label' something and you create it in your mind -- e.g. look at your face in the mirror and think about 'ugliness' voila! you look awful, but the natural tendancy is to stop labelling and experince life with incredible directness.
A Dietrich Ringle, modified 7 Years ago at 2/26/15 10:32 PM
Created 7 Years ago at 2/26/15 10:32 PM

RE: The Pineal Gland (Nuerotransmitters, DMT, etc)

Posts: 882 Join Date: 12/4/11 Recent Posts
I consider the beginning of my meditation and the end of the "old rules" to have occurred in summer 2011 after I huge dose of DMT which nearly (or even literally from a crown chakra perspective) ripped me apart. This simultaneously gave me past life remembrances and perspective shifts which jump started mental illness.

A few years later I meditated myself up to the point of death again and now can only access concentration through the mediation of psychiatric meds.

I have no knowledge of how the pineal works.
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b man, modified 7 Years ago at 3/5/15 2:27 PM
Created 7 Years ago at 3/5/15 2:27 PM

RE: The Pineal Gland (Nuerotransmitters, DMT, etc)

Posts: 199 Join Date: 11/25/11 Recent Posts
Sleeping Buddha Syndrome:
I consider the beginning of my meditation and the end of the "old rules" to have occurred in summer 2011 after I huge dose of DMT which nearly (or even literally from a crown chakra perspective) ripped me apart. This simultaneously gave me past life remembrances and perspective shifts which jump started mental illness.

A few years later I meditated myself up to the point of death again and now can only access concentration through the mediation of psychiatric meds.

I have no knowledge of how the pineal works.

wow. thats pretty full on. 

I have met quite a few people who have explained to me about DMT and who have said that your "soul leaves your body" - is this the experience of you guys also?

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