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Vipassana and LifeFlow

Discussion in 'Meditation Chatter Box' started by jazzyswami, Jun 1, 2008.

  1. jazzyswami

    jazzyswami Member

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    Hi all, this is my first post.

    I sit 2h a day (1h morning, 1h evening) using the vipassana technique as taught by S.N. Goenka. (I've attended 3 of his amazing 10 day courses - Vipassana Meditation Website)
    I have been listening to LifeFlow for 20 minutes before each sit for what I consider best results.
    I don't find listening to LF and practicing vipassana concurrently to be compatible practices.
    This is obviously my personal view and I am willing to experiment. Nevertheless, my understanding is that vipassana deals with objective observation of reality as it is, not as we would like it to be, and therefore contains no form of visualization,
    mantra repetition, imagination, self-suggestion, etc, which are created realities. I notice LF changes the entire energy flow around my body in an
    artificial manner, which has tremendous value on its own, but interferes with the vipassana technique as I know it if practiced concurrently.

    Used in this way, I would like to ask if it is better to use minutes 1-20 twice a day, or else minutes 1-20 in the morning, then minutes 21-40
    in the evening. Does it make a difference at all?

    I am rather new to the LifeFlow program, still on LF-10.

    Thank you all and best wishes,

    jazzyswami
     
  2. jazzyswami

    jazzyswami Member

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    Some initial experimentation

    After some experimentation, it feels the same to listen to minutes 1-20 or 21-40 right before my 1h traditional vipassana sits. I must say that LifeFlow is really powerful. It dramatically aids my concentration and clearly helps to induce samadhi. My initial skepticism is gradually fading with each subsequent use of the technology. This has been my experience during the first 3 /4 days of LifeFlow-10.

    Best wishes to all,

    jazzyswami
     
  3. Michael Mackenzie

    Michael Mackenzie Owner

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    Vipassana & LifeFlow

    There are some people who have reported using LifeFlow before meditation rather than during their practice as a way to help slow down the mind and clear it of unwanted distractions. They find using LifeFlow in this way improves the quality of their technique and helps them develop the ability to become quiet inside rapidly in preparation for their meditation practice.

    Over time this ability to produce that internal quietude quickly becomes a real asset, especially when you find yourself in circumstances in which you cannot listen to LifeFlow but would still like to slip in a few minutes of meditation.

    Through the use of LifeFlow, falling rapidly into that state of silence has become a kind of habit and from there it is easier and quicker to reach a state of meditation by whatever technique you normally use. So I encourage you to utilize LifeFlow in this way if you find it to be beneficial, as it sounds like you've naturally come upon this method on your own.

    Also understand, when you practice Vipassana (or any other meditation technique for that matter,) your brain quite naturally increases its production of alpha, theta, and sometimes even delta brainwaves. Brainwaves are not the "cause" of the state of meditation, they are a natural by-product "of" the meditative state.

    In your Vipassana practice, without using any entrainment aids, once you have been in meditation for a short while if your brainwaves were to be measured with an EEG you would see greatly increased output of lower brainwaves, predominantly alpha. These increased alpha waves are not artificial they are absolutely natural. Practice your technique and they WILL proliferate.

    LifeFlow, in that sense, is not injecting anything "artificial" into the meditative practice. It is simply a tool that permits you to get to that slower brainwave state more rapidly that you were going to arrive at with or without LifeFlow.

    If LifeFlow were to attempt to entrain your brainwaves to frequencies outside of what is capable for the human brain to do on its own, that would be artificial. Or if LifeFlow were to attempt to present a mixture of brainwaves (as does virtually every other commercial brainwave entrainment product on the market,) that would also be artificial.

    But LifeFlow entrains only to a single frequency, then allows each person's brain to produce and organize the other frequencies in accordance with that brain's own unique needs. There is no coercion or attempts at forcing the brain into mixed brainwave patterns that are not native to that brain. This is one of the ways in which LifeFlow is engineered very differently from anything else on the market.

    So the use of LifeFlow is not artificial by any means. It just helps you get where you were headed quicker and more efficiently. It is a directed use of brainwaves rather than an artificial one. Practice of Vipassana is going to result in increased alpha/theta brainwaves, whether you use LifeFlow or not.

    There is one other consideration I'd like to mention with respect to Vipassana.

    Remember that in seeking to observe reality "as it is", YOU are a part of that reality. You cannot be separated from the Totality. So don't be dissuaded from trying LifeFlow during your meditative practice as well as using it as a prelude to meditation. If, as you are going through your practice and using LifeFlow, you become aware of yourself, in your practice, using LifeFlow, this is just another level of awareness of reality for you to bring into your practice.

    As Eckhart Tolle would probably say, be present right here in the now, aware of ALL that is, accepting of ALL that is, not trying to isolate or exclude any portion of "what is". If "what is" includes your use of LifeFlow then you may find you've just added another, deeper level to your Vipassana experience.

    Michael :)
     
  4. jazzyswami

    jazzyswami Member

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    Thank you Michael

    Thank you for your kind and detailed response.

    I've been using LF-10 for several days now as a prelude to my vipassana sits and I am in awe of how well it works.

    I believe my use of the word "artificial" was a bit misleading, as this word often has a negative connotation. In the context of my practice, artificial simlpy means "added". So LifeFlow isn't any more artificial than say, mantra repetitions or visualization exercises. The so called "bee" mantras such as the syllable AUM create a whole lot of subtle energy vibrations throughout the body. This is great, but since I'm trying not to modify reality and simply observe it objectively without manipulation, I would be sort of working backwards. Via one-pointedness focus, I'm peeling layers and layers of reality, going from grossest to subtlest, so why create vibrations around me that I'm going to peel of? I find it difficult to explain. Of course, anything we do will always be "added", even the mere act of sitting, but it becomes a matter of where do we draw the line. When I sit in the style of vipassana that I practice, I try to add/incorporate as least as possible. It is, in a sense, a humbling act of renunciation. Sitting in silence is so beautiful, particularly if it is deep, deafening silence.

    I hope I'm not confusing anyone with my technicalities. There are meditation techniques like there are men. Pick whatever works best for you. From my own experience, Vipassana as taught by S.N.Goenka is a jewel, and LifeFlow may be too, a bit too early for me to say. Eastern traditional meditation technique meets Western modern technology. Sounds promising.

    For now I will keep using LifeFlow as the prelude to my traditional sits.

    May all be happy.

    jazzyswami
     

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