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Boredom, Meditation, and Entrainment

Discussion in 'Meditation Chatter Box' started by Ta-tsu-wa, May 9, 2009.

  1. Ta-tsu-wa

    Ta-tsu-wa Member

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    As I read over posts on the forum I find a curious comment reflected again and again. It usually takes form something like this:

    "I get bored listening to Lifeflow level [insert your own number here]. Is anyone else bored with this level?"

    There may be slight variations as to how the remark is phrased but essentially they all carry a similar idea; the notion that a person feels boredom with one of the entrainment tracks, with their meditation practice or, as is most likely the case, with both.

    Probably all of us can relate to this experience and have noted it, at least on occasion. Whenever this situation arises we need to turn our attention away from the track we're listening to or the meditation technique we're using and focus it right back on ourselves because that is always the point of origin for all feelings of boredom.

    Perhaps we need to remind ourselves of a few facts that ought to be plain and obvious to all, but which seem to be forgotten often enough that they merit repeating from time to time.

    First, the LF tracks are tools to enhance the practice of meditation (as well as other, related activities). They are not designed as entertainment. They are not intended to hold our attention by stimulating us with an ever changing variety of new and interesting sounds. They are not meant to distract us from boredom or any other state of mind because they were never meant to be "distractions". If they, or any other entrainment track, delights and entertains or distracts us in a way comparable to ordinary music, then they lose most or all of their value as devices to promote deeper states of meditation. They would become the object of our attention and focus in opposition to our meditation. In short, they would defeat their own purpose.

    Second, a state of boredom is universally an indication we lack Presence. When boredom arises we know immediately we are rejecting what is in this moment in favor of something that would entertain or stir our interest more. The Present is always experienced in a state of contentment and absorption, independent of its content. The activities that may or may not be taking place as the content of the Present are in fact completely irrelevant. The content of the Present will come and go, ebb and flow, shift and change, but if we remain in the Present our sense of peace, well-being, and wonder will remain fresh no matter what the content happens to be. Boredom and Presence are diametric opposites to each other. Boredom cannot arise and persist in a state of Presence.

    Third, Presence, as with Happiness, is a choice we make. It arises from within. Presence relies on no external sources for its appearance, existence, and persistence. Not on an entrainment track. Not on a meditation technique. Should we fall victim to the belief that our feelings of boredom are the result of a dull entrainment track or a monotonous meditation technique, we understand neither entrainment or meditation correctly. If we cling to this false understanding we have little chance of experiencing a state of Presence for more than a fleeting instant...if we experience it at all.

    Should we feel the urge to move to a new LF track on the basis that we're bored with, or sick and tired of hearing the same old track we've been listening to for the last 3 months or so, we can be certain beyond a shadow of any doubt we have yet to progress far enough with the present track in our meditation. Obeying that urge will only reinforce a negative habit of running away from what is in the Present. Make no mistake, running away in this manner is how the unconscious world operates most of the time. No significant progress can be made in our lives so long as we are habituated to fleeing from the Present.

    We should be able to return to any track we have used previously and with it, immerse ourselves in meditation and in the Present. If we have fully digested all it has to offer us it will lead us to feel warm and familiar and very much like a homecoming, even if we have worked with this track a million times in the past.

    It might sound as if this sense of boredom is a negative event. If we are content to let it influence us to move along to the next new and "more interesting" thing, it will be a negative event. It will shut down personal growth and lead to stagnation and frustration. We will be forever chasing something new with the hope of achieving a different, more fulfilling experience. In this vain pursuit we will surely fail.

    Yet, there is a way we can turn this feeling into a tool of tremendous power and growth:

    Any time boredom makes an appearance, whether in meditation or in any area of endeavor, recognize it as the ultimate sign that we have lost our sense of Presence. It is like a fever in the body that points out the presence of infection. Boredom is the fever that points out the infection of Non-Presence. Attributing the appearance of boredom to any outside cause be that an entrainment track, our meditation technique, our environment, or anything else we can point to, is merely a trick of the mind to throw us off the real source of the issue, which is our own inability to become and remain Present. This is truly a case in which we have "met the enemy, and the enemy is us."

    The cure to all boredom lies not in moving on to something more entertaining or stimulating. That would be like swallowing an aspirin while ignoring the root cause of the fever. The cure resides in becoming and then remaining immersed in an awareness of Presence. Such is within the power of each one of us. The persistence of Presence is largely a matter of habit. It becomes more natural to us the more we practice it.

    The next time you feel bored in your practice, use that as your personal "red alert" klaxon. Ignore the mind's suggestion that the cause resides in external things and take personal responsibility. Recognize boredom is alerting you to where you need more work. Appreciate and express gratitude for the lesson that boredom has to teach, then set your resolve, turn on that "boring" LF track again, sit yourself down, start working with your chosen meditation technique, and transcend it.

    The universe is designed in such a way as to help us achieve our highest potential. We thwart its efforts when we resist its help and promptings. And anyway, as Star Trek's Borg are wont to say, "Resistance is futile." So stop resisting and start flowing.
     
    Last edited: May 10, 2009
  2. Flavia

    Flavia Member

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    Thank you so much for this message: I think we have here a lot to think of...
     
  3. Edwin

    Edwin Member

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    Excellent post as always Ta-Tsu-Wa !

    Funny I had been thinking along the same lines and have a small list of do's and don'ts, as well as a lot of misconceptions I have read here in this forum, saved in a textfile at work. I was going to post it myself, but if you agree, I could use your post to add my points in the mix ?

    Excellent post anyways :)
     
  4. Grey

    Grey Member

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    i guess this answers the question about what is next once all ten levels of life flow have been completed.
     
  5. Ta-tsu-wa

    Ta-tsu-wa Member

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    Flavia

    We haven't heard much from you in recent weeks. I've been wanting to inquire how you, your family and your niece have been.
     
  6. Ta-tsu-wa

    Ta-tsu-wa Member

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    What comes after LF-1?

    The question about what to do after working through LF-1 is really another variation on the one I cited above and I see it posted on a fairly regular basis as well. It's generally asked in such a way that it implies a belief that the person is "finished" with the LF series.

    Any person asking this question in the belief they've "finished" the LF series, needs to reevaluate their understanding about the purpose and process of meditation, and about the role any entrainment track plays in that process.

    The use of entrainment (at least within the context of this particular web community,) is to facilitate meditation and promote more consistent meditative states. It may be that a person wondering "what's next?" has in mind uses other than purely for meditation, and there is perhaps a case to be made in that context. There are higher states of Alpha as well as Beta that might have benefits outside of meditation and that have not yet been included in the LF system. But in the context of meditation, for anyone who asks this question, I would ask this counter-question:

    "Having worked your way through the various tracks down through LF-1, have you exhausted all the benefits there are to be gained from meditation in the states of Alpha, Theta and Delta?"

    Asking the "what's next?" question suggests you either believe you have nothing left to experience in those states, or else that you do not truly grasp the role entrainment plays in this whole meditative process.

    If you have genuinely drunk the well of meditation benefits dry in those three frequency ranges, then you've progressed far beyond the need for any entrainment track. In fact at that stage of development any entrainment track would probably only slow you down.

    It seems highly improbable, bordering on the near impossible, that using the LF series for so short a time as a year or two will exhaust all the possible benefits of meditation. Mastery comes not in a few months or years, but over consistent practice for a lifetime. Perhaps it is a practice for many lifetimes.

    I've personally been a serious practitioner of meditation for almost 40 years. And though I've made tremendous progress over the decades I am nowhere near the point at which I can claim to have mastered this discipline.

    If you are like me and the other 99.99999% of humankind, you realize that you will almost certainly be able to spend your life from now until its end in earnest practice of meditation and still not reach the end of the journey. If this is the case, it should be self evident the LF tracks will never reach a point at which they become obsolete. There will always be a need to immerse ourselves somewhere in those Alpha, Theta and Delta states, and the LF tracks will consistently help us do just that.

    I suppose when it comes right down to it, working our way through the entire LF series slowly, carefully, and effectively, really serves the purpose of laying a solid foundation for a lifetime's practice of meditation. It is the beginning of the journey, not the end. Having become somewhat proficient at entering into meditation at the various levels, we are now in a position to go back and more fully explore all those levels in detail, again, and again, and again, and the LF tracks will serve as an enhancement to this process.

    If we reach a point at which we are no longer gaining, we have either transcended the need for meditation any more, or else our practice has somewhere gone astray and we should look for and correct the error that has crept in.

    Does this address what you had in mind, Grey?
     
  7. oneflewover

    oneflewover Member

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    Boredom or.......?

    Brilliant two posts Ta-tsu-wa, thank you for the benefit of your wisdom, as Douglas Harding of the Headless Way would have said 'Look back at who at this moment is bored' likewise 'Look back at who at this moment is enthralled.
    _/\_
     
  8. Grey

    Grey Member

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    it does. i had an idea your response might be something like that. it makes sense and it is good that i can look forward to continuing to get my money's worth out of this product for years to come.
     
  9. seatrend8899

    seatrend8899 Member

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    Platinum Thread content...Ta-tsu-wa!

    Very, very much appreciated.


    shine on

    jim
     
  10. pollyanna

    pollyanna Moderator

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    I couldn't agree more and am truly thankful that meditating with LifeFlow has become simply a habit (albeit a very nice one) I am thankful and happy to just trust in it.

    You explain things so well Ta-tsu-wa :)

    One of the greatest benefits I experience, aside from sleeping better, more energy and all the other good things is that life has not changed - my perspective has and this is priceless.

    Confusion seems to have been replaced with calmness - whatever I do right now creates what will be tomorrow - all I need ever deal with is now and so life is very simple.

    I wish you all an abundance of peace and joy :) :) :)
     
  11. Montana Keith

    Montana Keith Member

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    Thank you

    Ta-tsu-wa,
    Thank you for starting this thread and for taking time to share your wisdom. I appreciate the thought and time you put into your posts. Reading the words you write and feeling of the spirit in which you express yourself blesses me. I wish you well this day. --Keith :)
     
  12. Edwin

    Edwin Member

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    Ta-Tsu-Wa started this thread about LifeFlow and meditation, and I have been busy collecting recurring questions last couple of weeks, and answering them right away.

    Here they are:

    Misconceptions about meditation:

    * I have started meditation about 2 weeks ago and I am almost able to completely stop all my thoughts allready.
    - Congratulations ! However, that is not meditation. It may be the ultimate goal of meditation, but this can never be forced by pure willpower. Meditation should be effortless. Thoughts will always come, the trick is to not get involved in them. Think of them as people passing by your window. If you don't give them attention, they will simply walk by unnoticed.


    Do's and don'ts of meditation

    * I try to keep my chosen posture ( Seiza/ Lotus/ half Lotus ) but after a while it hurts too much
    - There will always be little pains. You can use them as a focus point in your meditation. Usually they will go away after a while. However, it should not be disturbingto a point where it interfere's with your meditation. Try to find a more comfortable posture if this is the case.

    * After a while during meditation I get this really annoying ( itch, cough, yawn, spasm, sudden bodyheat increase ). What can I do to avoid this ?
    - Don't avoid it. Let it happen as it comes, treat it the same way you would treat a thought. Allow it to happen, try and stay as motionless as possible ( so with an itch, don't scratch ) and gently return to your ( breath/ mantra, prayer, etc. ). A lot of experienced meditators claim that these physical occurances happen just before you move into a deeper level of meditation, if you allow it to just happen. Resisting it might put you back to the brainstate you were in at the start of your meditation, starting all over again.

    * I have been meditating for a while now, and it seems as if something is holding me back. I even have feelings that I have to stop halfway through my meditation, because of ( feelings of anxiety, restlesness, physical restlesness, traumatic? memories popping up ).
    - In a lot of cases, this has to do with supressed ( emotions/thoughts/memories ). Meditation has been proven ( on EEG among others ) to activate other parts of your brain than during your every day waking state.
    The cerebrum is divided into two hemispheres, commonly known as the left brain and right brain. These are connected to each other through a network of fibres. Meditation will help you make new connections between both hemispheres, through what is known as Neural Pathways.
    When these pathways are being made, they pass through area's that have stored information, yet have not been accessed for quite some time in some cases. When being accessed, a memory may pop up that you have not remembered for as long as 30 or 40 years. Try not to wonder about it, just allow it to come and go as you would with every thought or emotion, keeping your focus on your ( breath/ mantra/ prayer, etc. ) and it may be gone for the rest of your life. Cling on to it, and it will come back to haunt you until you are ready to release it.

    What am I doing wrong ?

    * Thoughts keep racing through my mind, and I can't get them to stop.
    - You are meditating correctly, or else you would not notice these racing thoughts. Try to focus on your ( breath/ mantra/ prayer/ etc. ) as soon as you notice you are daydreaming. This should be done effortlessly, and without feelings of ( anger/annoyance/irritation ) over the fact that you were daydreaming again. Try to feel happy that you noticed you were daydreaming, and just go back to your ( breath/ mantra/ prayer, etc ) happily knowing that you are doing it right.

    * I started meditating recently, and instead of becoming calmer, I have been experiencing sudden outbursts of anger, and have less patience with people instead of more.
    - This happens. Especially when you are just starting, or when you have paused your meditations for a longer period. Even tho you feel the same, there are some very interesting things going on in your head because of your meditation. Think of it as a temporary side-effect. Once it is gone, you will feel way more relaxed than before you started meditating.

    * I keep falling asleep during meditation
    - This happens. Some people are more prone to fall asleep than others, and this can pose a problem. Usually it means that you just don't get enough sleep. Some need only 5 hours, others need 8 - 10 hours a night. Try to go to bed one hour earlyer for a week, and see if that helps.
    Also posture can be of assistance. Try to find a slightly less comfortable posture, one that helps you to stay awake. At least keep your spine straight, lift your head slightly upward, and try to not use support for your back. If all fails, keep your eyes half open and focus on a single object like a candleflame or a crystal ball. These help keep your stare slightly less focused, which will benefit your meditation.

    * I keep collecting large amounts of saliva in my mouth, and it disturbs my meditation to have to swallow every time.
    - The traditional way to handle this is to push the tip of your tongue to the roof of your mouth slightly behind your front teeth, and place the rest of your tongue against the roof of your mouth behind that. This will greatly reduce the production of saliva.

    What do you guys think, maybe we can add some to the list ? Do you know any recurring questions from this forum ?
     
  13. seatrend8899

    seatrend8899 Member

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    Double Play...Platinum!

    I gotta think hard to come up with something you and Ta-tsu-wa have not covered.

    Edwin, my friend, you have "double played this" to indeed make this a Platinum Thread!


    shine on :)

    jim
     
  14. pollyanna

    pollyanna Moderator

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    I just heard Project Meditation staff are in the process of creating a "Golden threads" section because there are some extremely helpful threads that will probably become buried and hard to find.

    I think they want to keep to the top 10 or 20 so that they can be found easily.

    Great work on this one Ta-Tsu-Wa and Edwin (and of course the other invaluable threads within the community). Maybe we can carefully choose the ones which really explain things clearly and put our suggestions forward.

    And maybe we should suggest Michael calls them Platinum threads Jim instead of Golden. Peace and joy to you all :) :) :)
     
  15. GilesC

    GilesC Member

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    I notice this is a vBulletin based forum, so it would be easily possible for the moderators or admin to create a Sticky thread (locked and only editable by mods/admin) at the top of each of the sub-forums which could provide links to the "platinum" threads. This may be preferable to lumping threads from different areas all into one area perhaps?

    ;)
     
  16. Montana Keith

    Montana Keith Member

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    Questions for Your List

    Hi Edwin,
    Thanks for gathering and responding to those common questions on the meditation process. Excellent answers! On another thread, I posted some questions. I appreciate the responses I got on that thread. Perhaps you and other "experienced" meditators can write some responses to how you are choosing to use the various LifeFlow tracks now that you have gone through all ten levels. Thanks. --Keith :)

    Here are my questions:

    I have recently completed all 10 levels of LifeFlow. I'm familiar with Michael Mackenzie's forum article on "Brainwave States & Meditation."

    My questions are directed to the other meditators on this forum who have completed all ten levels of LifeFlow.

    1) Do you "most of the time" listen to a LifeFlow track when meditating?

    2) What criteria do you use to determine which LifeFlow track to use for a particular meditation session?

    For example:

    Do you listen to LifeFlow 3, 2, or 1 prior to going to sleep to enhance your memory of your dreams?

    Do you listen to LifeFlow 10, 9, or 8 if you wish to learn some new material?

    Do you listen to LifeFlow 7, 6, 5, or 4 when you are in the process of healing either an internal or external hurt?


    Based upon what Michael wrote in his articlethe article "Brainwave States & Meditation," I think I "kind of" have an idea of how the various LifeFlow levels might be used on an ongoing basis. However, I'd also like to hear how some of the rest of you are using the tracks now that you've completed all ten levels. Thanks. --Keith
     
  17. Ta-tsu-wa

    Ta-tsu-wa Member

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  18. Edwin

    Edwin Member

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    Great article, there should be more research on meditation I think. It just affirms my experiences :)

    It's like the scientist who isolated the hormones that cause "being in love".
    when they asked him if this changed his view on love ( did he think less of it now that he understood it's just a matter of chemicals ) he answered:
    "It's great to know how it works, but I still feel it when I am in love."

    Knowing it changes the brain is wonderfull to know, but feeling that emotional stability is a whole different ballgame.
    It does have a lesson for all of us: All of those long time meditators meditated every day for a number of years ! You have to put in the hours to get the results ! the brain can't change itself like this with the occasional meditation. I just wish that Michael was able to fund research to see if LifeFlow shows noticable increase in grey matter compared to "regular" meditators. Having scientific proof would certainly do wonders for his product !

    Thanks for the link Ta-Tsu-Wa :)
     
  19. Edwin

    Edwin Member

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  20. Edwin

    Edwin Member

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    Michael, I would like to nominate this thread for a "Golden thread" !!!
     

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