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Thread: 30 Day Meditation Challange Announcement!

  1. #1

    Default 30 Day Meditation Challange Announcement!

    The good folks here at MindPlace have asked me to host a 30 day Meditation Challenge, which will begin next week, April 24th. To make the announcement, I published this article:

    Meditate Or I'll Kill Ya!

    Why is it so hard to convince people to meditate? We all agree how beneficial it is, and there are no known negative side effects. We know how relatively easy it is compared to other healthy activities such as exercising. Why can I convince somebody to spend $1000 on a gym membership and take hours out of their day to sweat and strain but I can't convince them to set 10 minutes aside to give your mind a break? There are people who are just plain stubborn and won't take any advice whatever the cost. You can sneak a medication into somebody's food, or in very extreme circumstances strap them down and force-feed them for their own good. It is just impossible though to put a gun to somebody's head and order them to meditate! In this historic time of world health, the circumstances are doing just that. We are now have time alone to reflect on what is really important in our lives. It is also a time of great anxiety where people have lost fortunes and livelihoods. Many people are grieving the loss of a loved one, or are recovering from the virus. Today's stress levels rival, or may even surpass that of the Great Depression era. At this point we have no way of knowing how far it's going to go. It is a well-known fact that stress and anxiety weakens the immune system. Is this nature's way of force-feeding us into a healthier lifestyle? If we don't include a daily practice that soothes and strengthens our mind as well as our body, it will allow microbes to enter our weakened immune system with tragic results. In sense, Meditate, or I'll Kill Ya!

    The first objection is the word "meditate". When we say meditate, it brings an image of a robed monk sitting in the lotus position burning incense with his eyes half closed. Words like Vipassana, Transcendental Meditation and Chakra come to mind. For all practical purposes when I say "meditate" it means simply to take a moment and reflect internally. You do not have to twist your body like a pretzel, construct a shrine, or even sit down. You can "meditate" right here and now simply by calling your attention to what is actually happening at this very moment instead of thinking of the past, or worrying about the future. There are thousands of traditions and methods that may work for you. Prayer is meditation. Zoning out is meditation. Driving your car to work is meditation.

    Who's Got Time for That?
    And that brings up the second objection, taking a moment for yourself. Most people just don't want to do it. Maybe because as children, "taking a time out" was a form of punishment. Taking a midday nap is viewed as laziness. People just feel rather silly to set aside a period of time to be quiet by themselves. Probably the number one excuse people use is because they "don't have the time". But they have hours to spend planting a potato in front of the TV or catching up on the latest nonsense on social media!

    Yea, I'm Different
    People closest to me know that I am an advocate of Brainwave Entrainment (BWE) and Audiovisual Entrainment (AVE). This is a proven technology that uses modulated sound and or flickering light tuned to known brainwave frequencies. This influences the mind into a particular state like meditation. At its very least it provides a relaxing break from distraction, and a means for tracking time while you relax. The best BWE sessions either speed up brainwaves when we want to focus, or slow down brain activity when we want to relax or sleep. While there are decades of millions safely using this technology as well as mounds of research, it is not embraced by Western medicine, or even mainstream society.

    Far Out Man!
    The brainwave entrainment movement was in its heyday during the late 70s and early 80s. Publications such as MegaBrain Report, and AVS Journal were somewhat mainstream. Robert Monroe (Hemisync) pioneered the use of binaural beats and modulated sound to alter consciousness. Anna Wise and Maxwell Cade were developing their Awakening Mind protocol using EEG and AVE. Simple binaural beat programs such as Holosync were netting hundreds of thousands of dollars. People were looking into AVE with a curiosity toward themselves. Internal adventure if you will.

    Science or Snake Oil
    The 90s brought clinical research such as Dr. Thomas Budzinski's "Clinical Guide of Sound and Light as well as Dr. Gerald Oster's "Auditory Beats of the Brain". Numerous other studies conducted by Dr.'s Joyce, Siever, Olmsted and Patrick were turning BWE and AVE into a tool rather than a novelty. I fear that this was the beginning of the end for the hippie brainwave entrainment movement that is, if there ever was one. Its use became clinical, sterile, and rather boring. People were using entrainment as a means to an end rather than an adventure. The internet exploded with all kinds of BWE garbage touting mythical claims of superhuman powers. It became easy for the public to write off BWE as New Age Snake Oil.

    Thank you! But No Thank You
    Not too long ago, I loaned a young person one of my light and sound machines and provided her with some brainwave entrainment sessions that were proven to relieve, or even stop her migraine headaches. After a few weeks, she reported that indeed they did help her headaches, and was able to take less medication to control her pain. Even when I insisted that she could use the machine as long as she needed, her reply was "no, that's okay" and returned the device. This scenario played out hundreds of times before when I offered a BWE or hypnosis session, free of charge, to my friends and family when they were experiencing difficulty. Almost all refused, or when I checked back, I found they haven't even downloaded the sound track. It saddens me that I gave up offering. Not a single health professional I have ever been to was familiar with BWE, or even knew what it was for that matter.

    I need to take a Trip!
    Maybe not so ironically, I loaned a machine to a fellow chef I know. He is taking advantage of our State's recent liberation of recreational marijuana, but also uses it medicinally. He was awestruck! I almost didn't get my machine back! Even though he did report that he was sleeping better after using the machine, his main interest was the "trip" these sessions took him on. MindPlace, which manufactures the leading AVE device available today, surveyed their users onto which type of sessions they would like to have on their machines. More than half were esoteric interests such as lucid dreaming, out of body experience, and total mind integration (third eye opening). The second most requested sessions were for sleep.

    I Can't Sleep Because I'm Worried About The Competition Tomorrow
    Everything is a competition these days. It seems as if there is no competition for it, it's not worth doing. Fishing is a competition, cooking is a competition, hurling a pumpkin with a catapult is a competition. Anything from cockroach racing to wearing bees is a competition! There is even a rock, paper, scissors league, and corn hole may soon be an Olympic sport! Competitions became so relevant and stressful, most schools have resorted to making everyone a "winner" in some way because of the negative effects it has on children. If meditation had a rock star, a super athlete, someone to idolize and put larger-than-life, then meditation will become mainstream! I doubt I will see the Dali Llama on a bubblegum card soon.

    Tripping One Out For The Team
    Believe it or not, there is a scoring system for meditation! Because meditation is such a subjective experience it could never be used for "competition" against each other. It is a useful tool to track progress in our own inner space endeavors, and to keep track of what works , and what doesn't. The Sunnen Trance Scale for Hypnosis, Self Hypnosis, and Meditation was developed in 2001 by Dr. Gerard Sunnen to help determine the "depth" of a hypnotic trance, level of relaxation, or meditation. It consists of 20 questions or "substrates" each graded from 0 to 5. While 100 would be the highest possible score, this would be by no means an indication of a "perfect game". For a shorter version, answer 10 questions and multiply by two, or five questions and multiply by four.

    I Can Zone Out More (And Deeper) Than You!
    I have been graciously approached by the good folks at MindPlace to conduct a 30 day Meditation Challenge on their Facebook web page. I plan to get the community involved in constructing a custom brainwave entrainment session that they could use with their AVE Mind Machines. I will also be releasing a number of meditation sessions that are only 10 min, so everyone will have the time. All of these meditation sessions have a sound base that can be played on any player or device. You can participate even if you don't have a Mind Machine! They are encoded with the Spectrastrobe technology that adds photic entrainment (a light show!) as well, but the sound will still be modulated with entrainment techniques such as binaural beats isochronic tones and 3D sound effects. Anyone can join in, even if you do not have a current AVE device. Audiostrobe, (what we used to use in the old days ) technology tracks will also be available, so dig up and dust off those older machines. At the end of the 30 days, we will pick a time and day to have as many participants as possible experience the community made session all in the same moment! I don't know if this has ever been attempted before. We may be making history here! If Michael Jackson can do it, so can we!

    Starting next week Friday, April 24, drop by MindPlace's Group Facebook page and try a short meditation using brainwave entrainment technology. It just might save your life!

    Share this to everyone you care about, and maybe some of those you don't care about. Call it Karma Care Insurance Policy.

  2. #2

    Default Re: 30 Day Meditation Challange Announcement!

    The challenge officially starts this Friday, April 24. Make note of any meditation type activities you engage in. It is not just restricted to brainwave entrainment or audiovisual stimulation. Anything where you formally take time out and reflect internally counts. It might be a yoga or a tai chi class, a religious activity where you are deep in prayer, or even if you just take a few minutes and practice some deep breathing exercises. The next day, visit the Mind Place Facebook page, and make a short post of what you did, and how long your session was. The idea is that your activity may in some way inspire someone to do the same, or at least put it on their list for something they would like to try. Include as much detail as you feel comfortable with, or something as simple as "sat down and chilled out for 10 minutes" is fine.

    We are all here because we have an interest in BWE and AVS. Anything that may be helpful to others is encouraged. During the month, I would like to get the community involved in creating a BWE session. If someone has an idea or a suggestion I want to hear it! If you have a musical talent and would like to include a sound file of your very own, by all means! I will try to include as much community produced material as possible. At the end of the 30 days, we will pick a time and day where we can all experience the session together, at the same time!

    We will continue to release new sessions you can download for free. I will also be creating new sessions addressing people's feelings and thoughts. If there's something you like, or don't like, let it be known. Others may have the same feeling. I will be keeping track of the total minutes of meditation time. If we can influence the community at large to meditate at least a few minutes every day, or to rekindle the use of their mind machine, we will be doing the world a great service. It might not seem like much, but a single pebble makes its waves felt in the entire pond.

  3. Default Re: 30 Day Meditation Challange Announcement!

    I didn't really find it. I've heard of 30 day challenges, but I took the idea and molded it to suit myself. I just think of challenges as I go. This is still a work in progress, and when I have a good idea, I write it down. Side note: I'm taking elderberry for the next 30 days (bought them recently from here; ) I don't know if it would help but it didn’t hurt. I remember enjoying the taste.

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