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Continuity

Discussion in 'Meditation Chatter Box' started by Deeks, Jul 25, 2010.

  1. Deeks

    Deeks Member

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    I'm having problems with actually carrying out 40mins every night, I've missed the last 4 nights as my schedule has been somewhat erratic as I have been on holiday. I was only a week or two into listening to CD 10, should I start again and move onto CD 9 two months from now?

    Many thanks,

    Derek
     
  2. GilesC

    GilesC Member

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    Hi Derek,

    Do what feels right for you.
    If 40 minutes is a problem, how about 20 minutes? or how about doing 3 lots of 15 minutes spread about whenever you can do them?
    It's probably best to make sure you get your fill of LF10 before moving onto LF9, but there's no rush to progress, so just take your time and move on when you're ready.

    Hugs

    Giles
     
  3. Deeks

    Deeks Member

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    Many thanks Giles, I was having problems being able to get guaranteed 20minutes peace on hols. Now I am home the situation is resolved, I just wondered if I should start my two month period for CD10 again having missed 4 nights on the trot, or just bash on and see what develops.

    Derek.
     
  4. Edwin

    Edwin Member

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    It is never a problem to start with meditation again. It's the stopping that is the problem :p

    With LifeFlow meditation, if you have stopped meditating for a longer period ( I am talking about months here ) it might be wise to start with LF-10 again.
     
  5. Ta-tsu-wa

    Ta-tsu-wa Member

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    Derek, keep in mind that the 30 or 60 days timeframe was only to give people an idea what might be expected. Progress on this or any other entrainment system can't be measured in days or months, it has to be measured by whether or not the program has produced noticeable results. "Bashing on" (I love that phrase and am going to steal it from you!) is the least effective thing you could do.

    Unfortunately, this mindset arises from the marketing drivel of some well known entrainment products whose producers want you "bashing on" through their products on a fixed schedule so that you can purchase their next set of tracks in what has become a nearly endless succession of products. It has to do with marketing and generating a steady income flow for the producer, and nothing at all to do with what is effective for the customer.

    Let me suggest a comparison. Suppose you were just beginning to learn how to do math from scratch so you sign up for classes. The curriculum looks something like this:

    Unit 1 - Recognizing numbers and their names.
    Unit 2 - Counting the numbers in the proper sequential order.
    Unit 3 - Basic addition and subtraction.
    Unit 4 - Basic multiplication and division.
    Unit 5 - Fractions and decimals.

    And so forth, each step building on the previous one and requiring successful completion of the previous step in order to grasp the next one.

    Suppose you began Unit 1 and made little or no progress at all. You can't remember many of the names of the various numbers. You recognize one here or there, but largely they remain a mystery to you.

    Would you "bash on" to Unit 2 if that was the case? What would be the point if you did? How could you learn to count what you can't even recognize?

    Imagine you went on to Unit 2 anyway, despite the fact that you really didn't understand or recognize the basic numbers. Clearly, you wouldn't gain anything from trying to learn the sequence of some squiggles on a piece of paper you couldn't even recognize. How much less sense would it then make for you to keep on in this way and "bash on" to Unit 3, or 4, or beyond?

    Obviously, if you don't even know the names of the numbers and can't count them from 1 to 10 in sequence, you're not going to be able to learn anything about addition and subtraction or any of the higher levels of mathematical function.

    From a practical standpoint, the way you know if you're ready to move on from Unit 1 to Unit 2 is when you're fully conversant with the information contained in Unit 1. If you're presented with a page of numbers you can give the name of each one and tell what it represents. And the way you know you're ready to move to Unit 3 is you can count the numbers in their correct sequence. There are measurable, specific benchmarks that indicate when you've sufficiently grasped the current unit's information and are ready to build upon that by going to the next unit.

    Similarly, using entrainment comes in stages. We're all accustomed to working with our normal, Beta states of waking consciousness. And through experiences like daydreaming, listening to relaxing music, etc., most of us have a pretty fair idea what it feels like to enter those upper levels of Alpha brainwave states. If I say to you, when you daydream that's Alpha, you say, "Oh, ya, I know what a daydream feels like." And if I ask you to relax and let that same kind of feeling of consciousness arise, you could probably do so without too much trouble. You know what it feels like and you can reproduce it and know when you've been successful.

    But if I tell you to bring up a state of deep Theta, you're likely to respond, "Huh? Theta? I have no idea what Theta feels like. I don't know how to go there." And you wouldn't be alone. Most people don't because it isn't a state we experience consciously very often, if at all. It's unknown or at least highly unfamiliar to us. Asking you to evoke a Theta state is like asking you to go to a place you've never been before, and for which you have no map or references. So the Lifeflow series is set up to take you from a place with which you already have a little familiarty, Alpha, and to progressively expose you to the experience of slower and slower brainwave states so that each becomes familiar to you and builds upon your experience with the previous state.

    When using the Lifeflow tracks there are benchmarks you can measure to assess where you are in relation to moving on to the next track. It's not a race to get from the first track to the last. The object is to improve your practice of meditation. The benchmark then, cannot be a specific number of days, weeks or months, since those are measurements of time only, and tell you virtually nothing about your personal progress with meditation.

    Using 30 to 60 days is nothing more than a general guideline that may or may not turn out to be very accurate for any particular person. But in all fairness, if you were to work with a track for 2 days and report that you'd derived all possible benefits from it, your claim would have to be seriously questioned. That's just too short a time to allow for any meaningful progress to have been made or even just to evaluate if any progress had been made or not. Conversely, if you report that you've been working with a particular track for 3 or 4 months and are not noticing any progress whatsoever, then you need to re-evaluate how you are using the track; what technique you are using to enter meditation; and particulars about your practice such as consistency, amount of time spent in practice, environment, and so on. Somewhere in all that there's something or somethings that probably need to be tweaked and adjusted because your progress is a bit on the slow side.

    Now, you could evaluate these things and decide that you're doing everything more or less the way you should be, and progress is just slow in coming. It's possible, but that 30 to 60 day timeframe is there to alert you that you should probably be taking a look at things with an eye towards improving your practice. Or if you were taking only a day or two to move from level to level, that timeframe is there to suggest to you that you're probably blowing on through too quickly to be achieving anything noteworthy and should therefore re-evaluate your methodology.

    Either way, you have to know what the real benchmarks for progress are and you've got to be measuring your actual progress against those, not against any fixed timeframes.

    Again, that whole concept of using one track for an exact number of days or weeks and then automatically moving on to the next track was promoted by producers of entrainment tracks who need you moving on that tight schedule so they can control their own cash flow. If you follow such a philosophy I can guarantee you of three things that will happen.

    1. The tracks you use will very quickly cease to produce any significant benefit to you of any kind.

    2. Your wallet will become progressively thinner.

    3. The track manufacturer will have a stable, steady income flow, courtesy of you and your ever-shrinking pocket book.

    The way to know if it's time to move to the next track in the series is to ask yourself a couple of questions. And note that I said "ask YOURSELF" the questions, because no one other than you will have the correct answers.

    First, have I regularly experienced the altered state of consciousness present in meditation? It's different for different people, but most everyone will be aware in retrospect (if you're consciously aware of it during meditation, you're not really in meditation,) of some sense of quietness and calm. There will be a feeling of well-being, perhaps even of physical relaxation. There should be a notable decrease in the routine chatter of the conscious mind. It may not go away entirely, but there ought to be a definite, unmistakable lessening of the chatter. In short, the feel of consciousness in meditation when it has truly been entered will be qualitatively different than your normal, chattering-mind state of consciousness. You will absolutely know this to be the case. If you have to ask anyone else "is this it?", then rest assured, that wasn't it. It's similar to an athlete whose "in the zone". No one has to tell that athlete. He absolutely knows for him or herself.

    Second, has this meditative state of consciousness been repeated often enough in your practice that it comes to feel familiar to you? In the beginning, when you come out of your practice you may be amazed at the difference between what you were just experiencing, and what your normal state of consciousness feels like. The contrast is so well-defined because that meditative state is so new and unfamiliar. But with repeated exposure to it, the meditative state begins to feel very familiar; like an old friend, or your favorite old pair of shoes. You recognize it immediately when it arises.

    Third, does the meditative state arise increasingly quicker and quicker when you sit to practice? Does it remain during your practice sessions for longer and more consistent periods of time?

    Fourth, has the meditative state become so familiar to you that you can enter it at will, with or without the use of the Lifeflow track? When it becomes almost like second nature to you, you'll notice that an entrainment track is no longer necessary to help bring it on. You can enter that state with or without an entrainment aid. This means that in order to make this assessment, you're going to need to have some meditation sessions in which you don't use the Lifeflow track so that you can see whether or not you're able to reach the meditative state consistently on your own.

    Given the nature of these benchmarks you can probably see why it's pointless to ask someone else if they think you're ready to move on. No one else is going to have a clue how you stand in relation to these benchmarks. And if you still feel the need to ask the question, you've almost certainly not met the benchmarks and need to spend more time with the track you're on. If you're well beyond that 30 to 60 day period and you haven't met these benchmarks, that's when you need to start evaluating the various aspects of your practice to see if some changes and tweaking are warranted.

    So in your case, should you stick with LF10 or move to LF9? That depends on where you are in relation to those benchmarks. Only you have the answer to those questions.
     
    Last edited: Jul 27, 2010
  6. Deeks

    Deeks Member

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    Many thanks Edwin & especially to Ta-tsu-wa for such a detailed response. I have "felt" some moments of knowing "this is it" but they are fleeting and soon pass. The first 10-20minutes of each session seem to be best for me at the moment, the last 30-40minutes seem to be mostly "day dreaming" and virtually no momets of feeling "this is it". Wil definiitely take your advice to avoid "bashing on" and move to CD 9 only when I feel I have made some serious progress.

    Thanks again,

    Derek
     
  7. Edwin

    Edwin Member

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    Ta-tsu-wa is one of this forum's most valued members.

    I have yet to find a post by him that seems dull or boring.

    and again, I have to completely agree with what he said :)
     
  8. Panthau

    Panthau Member

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    That makes me wonder if the changes, that LF creates in the brains nervous system, are permanent or last only a few days/weeks/months.

    To me it seems like that the changes through meditation to the personality are permanent, but the feelable inner silence gets again covered with garbage, when theres no regular contact to it.
     
  9. Ta-tsu-wa

    Ta-tsu-wa Member

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    Pan,

    Have you ever seen a well-worn deer trail in a forest? Is the trail permanent, or only temporary? It's permanent for as long as it continues to be used.

    Neurological pathways are even more persistent. Once established they're with you for life. Like the deer trail, they can become less and less prominent if allowed to fall into disuse, but unlike the deer trail, they never go away entirely short of suffering some type of head trauma that causes literal tissue destruction to the brain. This is why, for example, if you've ever overcome a bad habit such as drugs, alcohol, gambling, smoking, etc., you don't indulge yourself with "just a little." Those pathways can be brought back to life and more or less full strength with even "just a little" of whatever it was that created them. It's the same reason we're told we never forget how to ride a bike, or how to swim. No matter how long its been since you swam or rode, you may be a little rusty but you can still perform the activity. And with just a little practice you can bring those skills right back up to full speed.

    Also keep in mind, when you listen to Lifeflow you aren't establishing "Lifeflow neurological pathways," you're establishing neurological pathways, period. Any activity that uses those pathways keeps them fresh. It doesn't need to be the exact same activity that brought them about in the first place.
     
  10. Mitchell1

    Mitchell1 Member

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    Neurological pathways are even more persistent. Once established they're with you for life. Like the deer trail, they can become less and less prominent if allowed to fall into disuse, but unlike the deer trail, they never go away entirely short of suffering some type of head trauma that causes literal tissue destruction to the brain. This is why, for example, if you've ever overcome a bad habit such as drugs, alcohol, gambling, smoking, etc., you don't indulge yourself with "just a little." Those pathways can be brought back to life and more or less full strength with even "just a little" of whatever it was that created them. It's the same reason we're told we never forget how to ride a bike, or how to swim. No matter how long its been since you swam or rode, you may be a little rusty but you can still perform the activity. And with just a little practice you can bring those skills right back up to full speed.

    Also keep in mind, when you listen to Lifeflow you aren't establishing "Lifeflow neurological pathways," you're establishing neurological pathways, period. Any activity that uses those pathways keeps them fresh. It doesn't need to be the exact same activity that brought them about in the first place.[/QUOTE]

    Makes sense to me! :cool:
     
  11. olmate

    olmate Member

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    Hi Ta-tsu-wa,

    What fantastic imagery your comment about deer trails in the forest brings up. That linked to Edwin's comments about "turning" to the meditative state resonates to my core.

    Thank you for a wonderful insight. I intend to start out by walking one of those trails in my practice tonight.

    Olmate
     
  12. oneflewover

    oneflewover Member

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    Yes but......

    Fascinating thread but a question Ta-tsu-wa. If the benefits of brain entrainment are progressive, having practised with all Lifeflow levels, why is it suggested that benefits can be gained from say going back to alpha levels. Arent the delta levels thought to be far more beneficial than the so called shallower alpha or theta levels. Bearing in mind (thats an interesting figure of speech :) that 'neurones that fire together wire together', having completed the Lifeflow series and established the wiring what possible benefits could there be to sitting with level 10 say ? Would appreciate your thoughts.

    Graham
     
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2010
  13. Edwin

    Edwin Member

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    So that would mean....

    that what LifeFlow does is (kind of) create highways in a region that has only cartwheel trails.

    So if there used to be a connection between point A and point B, the brain will by itself figure out it will be faster to take the I-10 ( or is that LifeFlow 10 ) trail than to use the old cartwheel trail or even create a new cartwheel trail as is the case with new connections ( like a new skill to be learned for instance )

    So you will be able to learn new skills faster, and improve known skills.
    Actually that does seem true looking back at how my life is unfolding now in comparison to a few years back...

    Cool ! :cool:
     
  14. Panthau

    Panthau Member

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    Thanks for your wonderful explanation, Ta-tsu-wa - its as always a pleasure to read your comments. Same goes for Edwin and the rest of the ratpack, of course :)

    I stopped LF a few weeks ago, since i commited myself to AYP, which is in its strength at least as strong as LF (for me its even stronger), and i experienced both together as overwhelming. Maybe one day i get back to it, and therefore wondered if i just could start where i stopped. Thanks for clearing that up :)
     
  15. Ta-tsu-wa

    Ta-tsu-wa Member

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    Flower, in the context of what I wrote earlier, the entrainment tracks are progressive in the sense that you need familiarty with one level so that you can gradually transition to another level which is at least a little bit similar. An Alpha frequency of 12hz is somewhat similar to one of 10hz. They're enough alike in the way they "feel" that if you're familiar with the 12, the 10 won't be a totally unfamiliar experience. That allows people to make that transition with a high degree of success. Is it possible to do [make a huge jump from the higher states to the lower ones without working your way down through them]? Sure, there are people who have. It's just not easy, and for many it won't be possible. Besides, you've already shelled out the cash for the LF system. It would seem to be a rather frivilous purchase if your intention was to ignore the instructions and skip down through the tracks. I doubt a person would gain much by doing that. They certainly would not experience its effects as they were designed to produce them.

    If your experience is limited to the upper or mid levels of Alpha, and you all of the sudden try to jump down the scale deep into Theta or even Delta, they're not similar enough to what you've already experienced to allow you to recognize them. Let me make up an exaggerated example to illustrate this.

    A light state of daydreaming is a high to mid Alpha brainwave function. Let's say that this is your level of personal experience. I come along and tell you to lower your state of awareness down to deep Delta. Can you do it? If that Alpha is the extent of your experience, how would you have any clue what it feels like to be consciously awake and alert during a Delta state? How much less chance would you have of actually inducing that Delta state if you cannot even relate to what it feels like?

    By progressing down through the various levels in graduated stages, the bridge between any two levels is always just a little bit familiar to you. It provides a modest common frame of reference in which to operate.

    Does that maybe clarify what I meant a little?
     
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2010
  16. oneflewover

    oneflewover Member

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    Thank you Edwin and Ta-tsu-wa.

    Not sure if your ' flower' is an endearment or a suggestion T-tsu-wa but i'll take it as both :) I appreciate the progressive nature of the Lifeflow series but my question, which on re-reading I did't make very clear, is that I have worked through the levels to level one but what are the benefits of then going back and meditating at 12 Hertz when I have been meditating at 1 Hertz ? Is it not more beneficial to continue meditating in delta ? Having done all the levels including the gamma cds what are the advantages of then starting again ? I must say that having worked through the series, just sitting in total silence with the breath is so easy and so profound.....
     
  17. Ta-tsu-wa

    Ta-tsu-wa Member

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    "Flower" was "Flewover", written past my bedtime and without the good sense to double-check it before hitting the "Submit Reply" button. My apologies for a dumb typo.

    Your question is one of the most common and is based on the premise that "deeper = better" which, as it turns out, is an incorrect premise. Rather than reinventing the wheel here, let me give you some links and quote from some other posts that speak to this misconception.

    This first one I wrote and I want to point it out because I used some common language that is misleading. My words should have been chosen more carefully because they give almost the opposite impression of what I wrote just a few posts later. Using the common jargon can create meanings very different than what we intended. I fell into that trap on this one:

    http://www.project-meditation.org/c...ox/1437-experiences-lf-9-lf-1-a.html#post7084

    http://www.project-meditation.org/c...ox/1437-experiences-lf-9-lf-1-a.html#post7093

    Same thread, just one post later I wrote:

    Do you see how using the common way of phrasing it leads to an interpretation that almost contradicts what came after? In reality, if you read carefully, there is no contradiction. The apparent contradiction arises from an inherent assumption almost all of us make about meditation, namely, that the deeper we go, the more advanced (read here, "better") our practice is. This is a perceptual filter few take the time to consider and discard for the error that it is. Using this filter, we intuitively accept a thought like "more profound" as being synonymous with "better" or "more desirable". If you read further into this thread or into other posts I've made on different threads it becomes clear those terms were never intended to be interpreted as synonyms. However, I should have been more selective in my word choices or at least made certain they were defined beyond any reasonable misinterpretation.

    So, with that caveat in mind, here are a few more quotes that speak to your question:

    http://www.project-meditation.org/c.../1437-experiences-lf-9-lf-1-a-2.html#post7113

    http://www.project-meditation.org/c...-boredom-meditation-entrainment.html#post8733

    There are lots of threads that discuss using the tracks after one has been through the entire series. You just have to play around a bit with the advanced search features to find them.

    But the short answer is, "deeper" does not mean "better". There is treasure at all levels of meditation and you would not confine yourself to just Delta or just Theta simply because it's lower and you are able to get there. If you do that you're missing out on the greater part of the benefits meditation has to convey.
     
  18. oneflewover

    oneflewover Member

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    Thank you

    Just to acknowledge your prompt response Ta-tsu-wa. Will reply more fully in a day or two.

    Graham _/\_
     
  19. Itlandm

    Itlandm Member

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    There are a number of meditative practices that do not use brainwave entrainment. Long-time practitioners tend to, over a period of many years, increasingly meditate in lower frequencies (though as far as I know not lower than mid theta). This happens around the same point in time when substantial gains have been made in personality change and frequently health benefits, sometimes also seemingly supernatural abilities. From this, it is easy to jump to the conclusion that if you could entrain your brain to lower frequencies, you could realize the benefits from those years of practice in a matter of seconds or, at worst, months.

    It does not work quite like that.

    Some benefits probably do hail from spending time in lower frequencies, notably some of the reduced need for sleep. After all, we spend most of our sleeping time in theta, and it seems unlikely that this just happens without having some function. But most of the changes come from the regular, long-standing practice.

    The difference between cause and effect is fairly clear in things we have experience with. For instance, it is a safe bet that giving someone a gold medal will not magically increase their running speed to world-class level! Rather, it is the other way around. But in matters of the depths of the mind, the ordinary citizen is hardly more experienced than a visitor from another planet, and so the chain of cause and effect may not seem obvious. It will however definitely be obvious with practice.
     
  20. olmate

    olmate Member

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    I can't help but think that as meditation is woven into the fabric of my life, that I tend to settle at a depth that is most relevant to what is going on in my life at any given time.

    So in that sense, I agree that it is not a race to the depths. Perhaps it may be better described as having a broad spectrum available so I can settle wherever the energy takes me?

    Perhaps the other context using the deer trail anology is having lots of trails to walk. Sometimes a walk in the mountains is the energy I need. Sometimes a walk at the waters edge is the energy I am drawn to. But the wonder of it all is having a broad spectrum which I can access.

    Just a thought... Nothing but the best.

    Olmate
     

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