1. Unfortunately The Project Meditation Community Forum is no longer active. Although registration and the creation of new posts not possible, you can still read and search the forum...

    If you are unable to find what you are looking for within the Project Meditation Community please check out our new Blog and/or our Facebook page.

Meditation Vs. Hypnosis

Discussion in 'Meditation Chatter Box' started by soulvids, Mar 13, 2009.

  1. soulvids

    soulvids Member

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    Messages:
    27
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    1
    Many of the self-help gurus (Jose Silva, Burt Goldman) use hypnosis (but refer to it as meditation) to get to the Alpha state. They imply that this state can be attained rather quickly (their methods have yet to work for me). Positive suggestions are then made to the right hemisphere of the brain for the purpose of improvement. How does this method of reaching Alpha compare to traditional meditation? Are there any pros & cons to speak of?
     
  2. Edwin

    Edwin Member

    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2007
    Messages:
    1,858
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    36
    I have no experience with hypnosis, but I do know that hypnosis and meditation are definately not the same.

    They might even be described as two opposites !

    The key is conciousness.
    With meditation you reach deeper states of brainwaves that usually only occur during sleep, while still being concious.

    Hypnosis is inducing a trance like state that resembles sleep, tricking the person into thinking that he still is concious and to a certain degree he is, however by altering their reality, they actually are unconcious.

    I have no doubt that hypnosis can produce certain brainwave states, and can indeed be very helpfull and benificiary, please understand me correctly, I am just trying to point out the difference between the states of "meditative state" and "hypnosis state".

    The key I think is control.
    A meditator has control over himself and his actions. He is able to "snap out of" his meditative state should something happen that forces him to get up and move, like for instance someone ringing the doorbell.
    You open your eyes, get up, and walk to the door, meditative state ended.
    You can go back to your meditative state reasonably easy, because it is still fresh in your brain's memory, but if you decide to end meditation, you easily forget about it.

    With hypnosis, especially deep ones, it's not that simple. Even tho you can be forced to "wake up" suddenly, the hypnosis and it's effects can stay with you for days after that, like for instance using hypnosis to trick you into believing that you don't smoke.
    Your hypnosis session has ended days ago, but you are still convinced that you don't smoke, even tho you know in the back of your head that this is not true.
     
  3. Ta-tsu-wa

    Ta-tsu-wa Member

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2007
    Messages:
    282
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    16
    Soul

    I think you'll find Alpha is Alpha is Alpha. Lots of different activities invoke higher production of Alpha waves. What differentiates between states of Alpha is just the activity you're engaged in at the time, be it hypnosis, meditation, creative visualization, daydreaming, relaxing, or whatever. If you took a group of people and had each of them engage in one of these activities and then measured them all with an EEG they would all show heightened patterns of Alpha waves even though they were each performing a different activity.

    The difference between the state of hypnosis and the state of meditation is very similar to the difference between concentration and meditation. In fact I think you could make a good argument that hypnosis is really a very specialized form of concentration. Often you'll hear the terms meditation and concentration used synonymously, but they are not the same thing. But concentration may lead to meditation if that's your purpose. I think hypnosis could also be used as a gateway into meditation if used properly.

    The difference between concentration/hypnosis and meditation is really more about expansive versus contractive awareness. Many hypnotic induction techniques encourage the subject to shrink their focus down to just one thing such as the hypnotist's voice or watching a small spot on a wall so that all other points of awareness are temporarily pushed out of awareness. In most hypnosis there is initially an increase in Beta brainwaves as the subject engages their thinking mind to start blocking out things. As they physically relax into the experience of concentration the Alpha waves begin to arise.

    When you enter into hypnosis much of the racing mind gets pushed out of awareness leaving you with far less mental chatter than usual. Superficially, you might think that sounds just like meditation, and in a way it is, and in another way it isn't. In meditation we transcend racing thoughts whereas in rigid concentration or hypnosis we repress them. The result is less thinking, but the mechanisms work on opposite principles.

    Sometimes people who attack the practice of meditation will make an analogy with animals. "Look at a cat," they'll say, "the cat doesn't have racing thoughts. Is THAT what you want to do to yourself? Become like an unthinking cat?"

    It's an unfair comparison. An animal doesn't have racing thoughts because the physical mechanisms of its brain have not developed so as to be capable of having them. Who knows what the more subtle, non-physical essence of the cat is capable of, but at least for as long as that cat is locked inside this particular mortal shell that shell has a very profound regulating effect on the cat's ability to engage in what we would recognize as cognitive functions. The cat doesn't engage in complex thought because the cat's brain can't engage in complex thought.

    That is a very different circumstance than a human who is not physically limited down to minimal thought, but who, instead, has full capability yet transcends the habit of excessive and unnecessary thought. It's a matter of lack of capability versus transcendence. Both result in less mental chatter, but they are very different things.

    There is similarity between this and the difference between the suppression of thought produced by deep concentration/hypnosis and the transcendence of thought that arises in meditation. Both will produce Alpha waves. Both will result in less mental chatter. But of the two, only meditation opens us outwards and leads towards expanded awareness.

    Personally, I think there are some people who could benefit from using hypnosis as a bridge into meditation, particularly those who have great difficulty experiencing any silence at all in meditation. Once they get into that concentrative state where thought has been largely pushed aside by the object of the concentration, then they might be better able to let go of that rigid concentration and allow themselves to relax into the silence that is there.

    This is actually how most common mantra meditation techniques work. Often the instructions given when learning a mantra technique make it clear that the goal is to avoid having thoughts by constantly bringing the focus back to the mantra itself. That's using a mantra in exactly the same way a hypnotist uses an object of concentration. What is often not explained very clearly is that when using a mantra for meditation at some point that mantra will have stilled the mind at which time you stop repeating the mantra and just allow yourself to rest in that silence.

    All too often we get so focused on repeating the mantra that even when silence arises we doggedly keep repeating the mantra because we think those repetitions ARE meditation. They're not. They're just the tool that gets us to the silence of meditation. Like any other tool, once it's done its job you drop it. You wouldn't keep pounding with a hammer on the head of a nail that was already driven fully into the wood. Just so, the goal of meditation is to reach a quiet, still point of expanded awareness. Once you're there you let the mantra go unless/until you find you're disturbed from the quiet. Only then would you pick the mantra back up and begin repeating it once more.

    One of the great things about the particular mantra technique Michael teaches is that it employs relaxed mantra repetition, not the rigid kind. The mantra comes and goes, ebbs and flows. This is the same basic technique as that taught by the TM group, and many studies have demonstrated this relaxed mantra actually produces more Alpha brainwaves than its more rigid cousins.

    But I think you could use hypnosis as almost a kind of mantra meditation technique if you understand that at some point you have to divest yourself of the object of concentration and relax into the stillness.

    Sorry this got so long and winding but I think a lot of people sometimes wonder about what the difference is between hypnosis and meditation and between concentration and meditation. This is my take.
     
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2009
  4. soulvids

    soulvids Member

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    Messages:
    27
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    1
    wow! thanks.
     
  5. Edwin

    Edwin Member

    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2007
    Messages:
    1,858
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    36
    Wow indeed !

    Increadible post :) you broke my record hahaha
     
  6. seatrend8899

    seatrend8899 Member

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2009
    Messages:
    276
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    16
    Wow.......

    Hi Ta-tsu-wa,
    When I saw your name on the post I did a quick scroll down to see "how long it was" then in anticipation I left the PC gotta cup of tea and got back on...

    Wow wow and double wow! That is a "winding one" that we here on the forum love!

    gotta re-read a few times ;););) thanks big time for the post!


    take care

    jim
     
  7. AntonHansen

    AntonHansen Member

    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2008
    Messages:
    49
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    6
    Wauw excellent post :)
    This is so fun how the universe provide me with exactly this kind of post; I was actually looking for something like this.

    In the past week we have in Psychology learned about Alternate States of Awareness such as hypnosis and meditation, and to conclude our project there was a hypnotist at our high school this Tuesday, his name was Dr. Wand or something like that. Anyway, I wanted to try to get hypnotized by him, which was an incredible experience that I think that everyone should try. What was so cool about it was first of all it was so relaxing, but what I found even more interesting was that I was in fully control all the time, there was no time of the hypnosis that he could make me do anything I didn't want to. I only did weird and embarrassing stuff (like river dancing and giving birth) because i wanted to, I felt it was the right thing to do, even though hundreds of people where starring at me, I got a feeling of letting go of all my worries and concerns about what my embarrassing actions might later led to.

    A lot of the people I was hypnotized with didn't remember anything afterwards, but I almost clearly remember the whole day, and the nice thing is that I don't feel embarrassed about my actions, I just feel it as having a lot of fun.

    So if you guys ever get the chance or want to experience with hypnosis my advice would be to Buy the ticket, take the ride
     
  8. soulvids

    soulvids Member

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    Messages:
    27
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    1
    Thanks for this account. I always wondered what it's like from this perspective. I still wonder how the other subjects don't remember anything, unless they are going along with the gag. Did the hypnotist use all of his volunteers, or were there any "bad" subjects. Also, did the hypnosis take place in a private quiet room, or out in front of everyone. Finally, was the Alpha state of hypnosis comparable to your own meditations?
     

Share This Page