LifeFlow: A Year Later

Discussion in 'Project Meditation - Success Stories' started by Midnight, Jan 3, 2011.

  1. Midnight

    Midnight Member

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    Hello forumgoers!

    Well tomorrow marks the one year anniversary of me beginning LifeFlow, and the new year just entered, so I was in a bit of a reflective mood and felt inspired to recount the past year's experiences and stages, in the form of a success story I suppose, haha.

    I can sort of remember why I wanted to get into meditation with LifeFlow. I wanted to overcome psychological issues and social anxiety for the most part. Last New Year's Eve, I looked into brainwave entrainment to help me relax and have fun. I found gamma tracks on a strange site which I thought could help me relax, especially after reading about what gamma brainwaves were capable of. I tried it by simply listening to it with my eyes closed lying down. My head began to feel funny, and I felt slightly more relaxed, but nothing huge. I had been let down due to high expectations after my positive experience with the LifeFlow sample track I downloaded a few months earlier.

    Initially, through LifeFlow 10 and LifeFlow 9, I thought all I had to do was listen, relax, and let the track do the work for me. It wasn't helping. I decided to actually start meditating with the tracks, to get the full effect. I didn't restart though, by this time I was on LF8. I began watching my breath and it was a very peaceful experience. A month or two after, I noticed my meditation sessions weren't very structured due to my meditation technique. My mind was wandering around. I kept pressing on till about LifeFlow 6. When I hit LF6, I intuitively knew I wasn't ready. My time up until about May was spent trying to race down the LF series as fast as possible, because I, like many other beginners, had the misconception that deeper = better.

    I noticed that I was more aware of my thoughts, and my mind's patterns, and behaviors. I kept on trying to do a different gamma meditation, and repeatedly failed, without being sure why. I was still mostly anxious, I thought about things a lot, and resisted emotions I perceived to be bad. I believed that meditation was supposed to result in that blissful, silent peace, all the time, and that anything else was failure. Not so, every meditation session is a successful one. Progress is always being made.

    Around summer vacation, I began meditating with a mantra. The same one in the discover meditation course, actually. This added the sort of structure I was lacking in previous sessions, and helped me a ton. I decided to restart the series at this point and progress when it felt right.

    I felt changes in my thought patterns. I would have days of amazing peace, but even more experiences of suffering and discontent. There wasn't any balance between the good experiences and the bad. I spent 80% of the time thinking too much and resisting, 10% feeling slightly content/distracted, 10% blissful and peaceful. On the upside, I didn't feel as attached to thoughts, and my meditation sessions were pretty relaxing more often than not. However, everyone wonderful experience I had always seemed fleeting, and was almost always followed by some intense pain which lead to suffering through resistance.

    That summer, I also had some wonderful experiences of clarity, and the openness and bliss I felt came from one thing. Complete acceptance of everything as it is. The power of now. I experienced this on and off, but I was still disillusioned by thinking that if I didn't feel open immediately through acceptance, it was the wrong way to go. I spent my days over meditating and releasing many emotions without realizing it, which was overwhelming and really affected my thoughts.

    Fast forward to the middle of August, my suffering got worse and made me feel self conscious in ways I hadn't experienced for years. I began to practice a technique for facing fear Ta-Tsu-Wa posted which helped prime me for the coming experience. A [what would once be perceived to be traumatic] experience occurred which increased the pain I felt so much, that I could no longer ignore or resist it any longer. I immersed my self in the feeling and let all the emotions be felt. No more resistance, no more thinking about it, no more questioning Why. The emotion was there, and I was feeling it. Almost miraculously, the emotion disappeared after only a few moments.

    "That was it?" I thought to myself. A few more instances where an emotion from the situation would come up and I let it be felt. To my amazement, I no longer felt terrible about the situation. It didn't bug me to think about the situation. No matter how hard I tried to let it. I just couldn't believe it.

    That's when it all started to click for me. That's when I became aware of all the resistance, the suffering, why I felt so bad all the time, why I seemed to be a slave to these emotional outbursts that would happen so frequently.

    A beautiful experience of deep peace that lasted for four days was how I began the first full week of college. :)

    Over the next few months, my progress seemed to move at light speed. Despite that, there were also a few hardships. After that initial experience passed, intense emotions started to come out from that cleansing experience of peace. That was the first upheaval I experienced where I didn't feel panic or worry. I accepted that there were these painful sensations that arose, but I also let them be felt and I knew they were not me.

    Ever since then, I stopped hiding from the emotions that arose. I let them up to my full attention, but I also notice there was a bit of resistance. Sometimes I wanted to use it as a technique to get rid of emotions, rather than to actually let them be experienced. Once this realization was had though, I was back on track.

    Despite my initial realization leading to that peaceful experience, the next few months were spent learning to overcome secret bouts of resistance. The mind has resisted what didn't feel good for so long that it would still creep up from time to time. Completely learning acceptance is how i've spent the last few months. It is super easy in that it doesn't have to be 100% correct for it to work. It can work (though not as effectively) if you do not hide from emotions. Though that can help in learning complete acceptance, because as you feel the emotions you've resisted for years, the pain body is permanently reduced.

    As of late, I've tried to spend time figuring out what exactly "I" am. I wanted to know why being free from emotions leads to peace, and what exactly that state of being was. I recognize that there is peace, but if I am watching it, it is not me, despite it always being there. Mentally I tried to grasp what exactly is me, but only tonight i've stopped trying to grasp it mentally. It feels right. It is an experience, and one that is not defined or conceptualized with thoughts or words. It is always at the base, even if you are feeling confusion about this within you. Feel the confusion. The emotion and the thoughts that accompany are just messengers trying to help you. Listen!

    In a nutshell, I've realized meditation is not a remedy for psychological issues. It only brings them up to allow you to deal with them. The answers are always simpler than you think, even if you feel confusion about them at the moment. No emotion or sensation or thought or reactive behavior is permanent! Being peaceful is supposed to be easy.

    LifeFlow has definitely sped this process up, and had many physiological benefits as well as psychological. I wondered the first few months if meditation was really worth it, and after a few realizations, it definitely is! Halfway through the series as of right now, but looking forward to moving on. I'm so thankful for LifeFlow, the PM staff, and all the intelligent, wise members of this forum. It's amazing that despite the words we use, we all speak of the same thing on a deeper level. I've felt more free and clear to do live without worry. And when emotions do come up, I am thankful for the opportunity to let them free. There is no more suffering. There is pain, as there inevitably is in life, but there is always peace when you let the moment be as it is.

    If you sat through this, bravo. If not, I don't blame ya. :D
     
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2011
  2. olmate

    olmate Member

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    Gloria in Excelis Deo!

    Olmate
     
  3. M L K

    M L K Member

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    Congratulations, Midnight! And thanks for letting us learn along with you on your journey. May 2011 be splendid for you, and for all of us. m
     
  4. GilesC

    GilesC Member

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    A wondeful post Midnight. I was happy to read it all.

    Couldn't have put it better myself.

    :)

    Hugs

    Giles
     
  5. Midnight

    Midnight Member

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    You guys are awesome. :)
     
  6. Speedy

    Speedy Member

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    Midnight,

    You spoke of a technique that Ta-Tsu-Wa taught you about facing fear. Could you share that with me? Your post was very inspiring!
     
  7. Midnight

    Midnight Member

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    Hi Speedy,

    He didn't teach it to me personally, but I read his post in this thread.

    http://www.project-meditation.org/c.../1558-anxiety-whilst-meditating.html#post7840

    I believe it really helped me realize that my fear of anything was totally mind-made, especially the fear of facing fears. It is pretty powerful though, so once an comes up, be sure to experience the sensation until in dissipates. I didn't do that initially, so while I did experience some clarity, a lot of suppressed emotion was brought up, which I tried to ignore, but that's completely counterproductive as I found out a week or two later. :eek:
     
  8. Speedy

    Speedy Member

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    Great explanation to an easy four step process. Thank you!
     
  9. Midnight

    Midnight Member

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    No problem, let me know how it goes for you :)
     
  10. stefanabovetheview

    stefanabovetheview Member

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    Thats real great! I love reading success stories because they motivate and show how meditation really brings one to a deeper level of understanding himself:D

    By the way midnight, here is my email: [email protected] , since i didnt post it in my thread before.
     
  11. Midnight

    Midnight Member

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    Thanks Stefan.

    Sent you an email.
     
  12. Kauil

    Kauil Member

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    Midnight: But how did you find out what you were afraid of? If there's some trauma that induces delusional fears in my life now, how can I access those fears to feel them? Therapy? I feel I come from a similar background to what you described yours to be (social anxiety mostly) but I'm not sure how this guide to panic attacks directly relates to these issues...?
     
  13. Midnight

    Midnight Member

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    Generally I was afraid of emotions that would come up. Tension, anxiety, worry. I was afraid of all those things. I was just honest with myself about what I was fearful of. Whatever brings up these feelings is usually a good sign that you've stumbled across a fear that you've kept hidden away.

    I don't believe you have to go directly to the root of these fears right away. They will come up to the surface on their own. Feel whatever is there right now, no need to hunt down or force out anything, because that is just another form of resistance.

    I didn't use the entire technique, but the most notable step was to call out your fears and tell them to do their worst to you. After a few days of doing that, I was able to see that fear in general is unnecessary. It's kind of funny when you can see through it.:p
     
  14. JoRich

    JoRich Member

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    Great post Midnight and thank you for sharing your experience and other techinques you learned. A fantastic lifter-uper for anyone struggling initially with attaining the great benefits of meditation if they persevered.

    Cheers

    Jo
     
  15. era1213

    era1213 Guest

    Thanks for the valuable information

    I truly agree with the power of meditation. Although some claims that meditation does not work for them.,I say "why does mediation not work?" is simple! Meditation doesn't work for most of us because they haven't spent many, many years learning how to do it and practicing it! If you have ever tried to meditate then you know just how difficult it can be. Just relaxing your body can prove to be a challenge. You get itchy, want to move about and feel restless. Even if you succeed at getting your body into the required relaxed posture you are then required to still the mind through meditation practices that are new and strange to you. It is almost impossible.

    But if your heart and mind is willing to let go of any anxiety or any stress you are having you will surely work your way to learn appropriate meditation. :D
     
  16. GilesC

    GilesC Member

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    Although, it's not so much about the fact that we get itches, or restless during a meditation practice, that's the problem, but that we often believe we are not meditating properly if this happens and get attached to the idea that we are "failing" at meditation.

    The meditation is working. It is just that practice makes it easier and the state of meditation last for longer periods, as we more easily let go of those moments of "distraction". ;)

    Hugs

    Giles
     
  17. Midnight

    Midnight Member

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    I've found mental relaxation comes from the power of complete acceptance. Which is why I think LF is speeds up peoples' progress, because it can develop the mind to a point where it realizes resistance is pointless for something that already is.

    Tbh, the first 8 or 9 months after I started meditation were filled with doubt and anxiety the majority of the time. I didn't understand why things just seemed to be so hard. Finding the truth i've posted about over and over about emotions, and how to heal yourself from your past hurts was like the answer to every question I had ever asked myself.

    Just remember that you are consciousness, and not any of the things that consciousness brings with it. That does not at all mean the benefits it brings will go away, but that you don't get caught up in things that aren't you. :)
     
  18. writingupastorm

    writingupastorm Member

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    Thanks for this post. It has gotten me very excited to learn!
     
  19. jiabe

    jiabe Member

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    I love your post!

    Your post is one of the reasons I tried Lifeflow, is there any new updates?

    Love J.:)
     
  20. Midnight

    Midnight Member

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    I happened to be browsing these forums just for nostalgia. Lots of wisdom that still holds true, from other friends around here or reading my old posts. It's funny, it feels like reading a little kid's posts when I go back and read some of my other posts. It's interesting to see where my head was at and where I kind of am now.

    I don't use Lifeflow or practice meditation strictly much anymore. I feel like a lot of life is in itself a form of meditation. You can sit down and purposely attempt to enter the meditation state, for sure, and lifeflow is great with that...but I don't really practice that so much anymore. Sometimes, I listen to lifeflow and relax, but that is once in a while.

    Much of the time, I'm very relaxed and just enjoying myself. I get stressed at times, like most people do, but there's nothing you can do about that :D

    Glad my post helped. I remember being really helpful around here, haha! Hope you're enjoying LifeFlow.

    UPDATE 3/27/13

    I think on the day of this original post, I once again began meditating with LifeFlow. What I do now is meditate with attention placed on my sense of presence/being/existence...and just kind of love and enjoy that...or sometimes be neutral, it's really just got a life of its own.

    A big thing for me is just meditating and putting down all the spiritual books, talks, satsangs, writings, readings, discussions, and excessive thoughts about it. Sometimes you just gotta shut up and let yourself figure it all out. Trust in yourself.

    It allows you to discover your own truth. It's about Knowing, not acquiring knowledge from some outside source.

    These days, I have a greater sense of peace and I think a big part of that is just dropping all the different concepts about life from all your different gurus or whatever authority figure and just feel it all in silence.

    That's what resonates with me in a nutshell :)
     
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2013

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