If my face is relaxed, then my eyes are open. Tension is required to keep them closed. Mutually exclusive requirements here.
With eyes closed and face relaxed, trying to relax my eyelids immediately causes them to start twitching madly, fluttering almost, until I give up and either hold them shut or open them. There is NO in-between.
HELD shut--or OPEN and relaxed.
Everything I read also tells me to start by relaxing my entire body. Then focus on individual muscle groups and *ahem* relax them further. Um, I relaxed them all in the first step. If I could relax them "further" then they weren't relaxed in the first place, so...
An analogy for this is "relaxation" controlled by a dimmer switch.
Step 1: Close your eyes
Step 2: Turn all the dimmer switches to OFF.
Step 3: Now focus on dimmer switch #1, count slowly backwards from 10 and turn this switch MORE off.
I fail to understand what "more off" than "off" is.
Everything I can find says something similar, So it must be me. I can relax my whole body in about a third of second (except my closed eyelids...they're either closed, or they're relaxed. see above)...so what's all this other nonsense about?
I also see lots of things about clearing your mind by focusing on your "flourescent" hypnagogic images behind your eyelids, and manipulating these in some way. Now, I do and always have noticed this hypnagogic imagery before sleep (if I make it that far), however:
"flourescent" is the very LAST word I would ever use to describe it, although I see it in just about every description I read. It's more like black shadows on a black wall for me. Furthermore, any "manipulation" of these images seems like a ridiculous concept to me. They do not allow me to manipulate them in any way, even if I had any idea of how I would accomplish this...which I don't. Again...black shadows on a black wall.
If I sound extremely frustrated, then I am understating it. For 9 days Ive been doing this for an hour a day. At the end of the hour, I am ready to start throwing things through my window and strangling my dog. After I "meditate" I am 500% more tense than I was when I started.
How necessary is this superhuman ability you all have to meditate, as far as becoming lucid in dreams?
If it's a dealbreaker, then I guess I am screwed.
P.S. I have once again stopped remembering my dreams, except for an occasional image, although I am still doing everything I have been. The one thing it seems "meditation" has accomplished for me is that it now takes me 3 hours to fall asleep at nite, instead of 20 minutes. Wonderful.
P.P.S. Sorry for long post...extreme frustration coming out of every pore of my body.
Jack Reacher wrote:My god that sounds frustrating. Maybe you should like... smoke weed. Just throwing it out there.
Ha, way ahead of you, buddy. Been a smoker for about 20 years. (Not daily by any means, least not anymore lol)
Bleekman117 wrote:Don't worry, its not a deal breaker by any means. If your having that much trouble, I'd say just forget about it. Just focus on your other exercises.
Thank you, that makes me feel better.
Ya, it has been very frustrating for me trying to meditate. I have calmed down a lot since that long, frustrated post. (I posted that immediately after an especially irritating session).
Anyway, I found a some videos of a guy named Tom Campbell (a consciousness expert) talking about meditation, and I feel much better after watching one in particular...specifically the beginning of it. I was looking at it the wrong way, it seems. And maybe trying too hard, and expecting to get some kind of recognizable result quickly...He also implies that the PHYSICAL relaxation is incidental. That part seems to be just a means to an end, and not a goal in itself. He basically says you can meditate standing up on a crowded bus...once you're good at it. The physical relaxing is thus just a tool for noobs like me to help us get to that MENTAL state....which is evidently the only true goal of the meditation.
I am gonna stop meditation temporarily while I learn more about it and not worry so much about it.
Thank you for your help, guys.
Also, If anyone else is as frustrated as I am, having trouble meditating...try watching the first half hour of this vid. He answers a question about meditation and rambles on for a half hour with some good information.
Personally, I think that would be freakin awesome!
Now I better understand a chapter in a meditation book that was read at one of my meditation meetings. After an entire chapter of zen contradictions. It seemed like the author just said we are to practice very very hard at not practicing anything .
The more you focus on the reasons you cannot meditate the more you fix that reality for yourself. The Tom Campbell lectures will tell you a lot about fixing your reality with your beliefs and thoughts.
As far as the dimmer switch thing goes. By focusing on what you perceive to be illogical about the meditation advice and thinking up the dimmer switch analogy to show this. You fixed your intentions to not be able to meditate even if that was not want you meant to do. You also denied yourself the opportunity to figure out and perhaps experience what was being said there.
My experience with the advice to further relax even though you should be totally relaxed is that the attempt often times shows that you are NOT totally relaxed. It is a technique designed to get at the bits of stress and tension that are there but that we do not notice so readily. Once we are totally relaxed and think all the tension is gone, now can feel and relief the hidden tensions.
Try to meditate for just 5 minutes a day. Forget about 1 hour marathon sessions. Just work on 5 minutes and be glad if you get one 30 second period where your mind is clear.
It is like weight lifting start out with light weights and work your way up. Consistency is important. So daily short meditations even a few minutes is better than weekly long meditations.
There is breath meditation at my blog that might be of interest to you:
Karmic Beats http://www.youtube.com/user/MrKlawdek
I kinda realized all this, too. I was just very frustrated at the time I posted that, I knew this was a good place to let that all out because I knew everyone would understand. That huge tirade made me feel instantly better, so it was worth it. I'm sure it made me sound like a crazy person, but it was only temporary insanity.
Tom Campbell seems to me like an absolute genius regarding the mystery of consciousness in general, and I am already addicted to his lectures, and plan to read his book as well. I came to the same conclusion about my dimmer switch analogy as you did, even while I was typing it out, but I was on a roll, and it was making me feel better so I just kept on ranting.
You're absolutely right, I was trying way too hard and just working myself into a froth over it, making it much worse. The day I decided to forget about meditation for awhile, I fell asleep easier that night, and my dream recall came right back with a vengeance. The night after, I had a (semi?) lucid dream! Woo!
(Dream content posted elsewhere)
I will get back to the meditation soon and try your 5-minute advice and check out your blog. Baby steps. Thanks again.
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