The Lives of the Dead

Some of the most interesting people I meet are dead…

Archive for the category “yogic breathing”

Have More Fun in Bed!


Lately, I’ve been taking an intellectual and philosophical deep dive into the mind-expanding qualities of psychedelics (without actually doing any myself.)  Just finished the very excellent “How to Change Your Mind” but Michael Pollan and am reading the slightly more scholarly “Way of the Psychonaut” by Stanislav Grof.    Grof was one of the original LSD researchers, back in the 60s, until the US government classified it and other hallucinogens as illegal substances, in the same category as heroin.   (Timothy Leary really fucked things up for those psychiatrists who were doing legit research.)

When he could no longer use LSD, psilocybin,  etc.,  he developed what he coined holotropic breathing,  holotropic from the Greek meaning “moving towards the whole,”  i.e. the integration of the mental and spiritual.   Most of us have heard of “altered states” vis a vis psychedelics but Grof finds that imprecise.  One’s state could be altered by a high fever or a mental breakdown, for example, but such states are not generally beneficial to our psyches.   So, how does one put oneself into a holotropic state with the goal of having a positive spiritual experience without drugs?

Holotropic breathing.  It takes quite a bit of practice and guidance from professionals, so I’m not suggesting you try it at home however it does bring on a hallucinogenic state that can be used for spiritual insight and growth.

During all this reading, I’m also taking an advanced hypnotherapy class (via Zoom, of course) with the very brilliant Melissa Tiers.   Last week, she taught us an interesting induction using a specific kind of breathing which, while not exactly Grof’s method,  works very well at quickly down-regulating the mind and body.  Essentially,  you breath in deeply, fairly quickly,  and exhale for twice as long. So,  inhale counting to three or four,  exhale slowly to six or eight.  (This is an excellent way to de-stressify when you’re feeling overwhelmed.)

As my regular readers know, I’ve been trying to astrally project at will for a long time.  My attempts to do so were the basis of this blog.  But,  I haven’t had much luck, to date (though I seem to have done it in dreams.)   I have tried getting myself into the proper state before bed, but either a) I fall asleep or more likely b) my darling husband starts snoring which just harshes my mellow.

Being that he wakes up much earlier than I do, I’ve started meditating in the morning, once he’s up and out of bed.  Rather than just do a normal meditation, i.e. with yogic breathing, or a Reiki style meditation, I’ve been using a version of Melissa’s breathing technique,  with an open-mouth, slightly forceful exhale,  a bit similar to Grof’s technique. My body starts to respond immediately.  It feels light and tingly, the precursors to an out of body experience.  The challenge has been to keep my mind focused on the breathing, and not become distracted.

The other morning, I finally succeeded!  Rather than floating straight up however, my astral body fluidly rolled forward, as if I were curling smoke. At the end of the bed, I just took off!  I was elated,  thinking “I’m doing it!!!”  I suppose I could have, should have, gone somewhere interesting but I but I was just so thrilled to be out of my body I was happy to just fly around the house.  I was singing loudly and joyfully  “The Sound of Music.” (I know it’s seems silly, but it captured my joyous mood — imagine Julie Andrews singing, spinning around,  in that beautiful alpine meadow.)  I did a couple of loops around the house, and then came back to bed where I felt asleep and didn’t wake up for a couple of hours.  (I asked Michael if he heard me singing and of course, he did not.)

Now I have a dilemma!  As you might imagine, I would like to be practicing every day until I can achieve lift-off at will.   Problem is,  I can easily end up in bed half the day, precluding me from getting anything else done, especially if I end up falling asleep, which is always a possibility.

Question:  When I do this, am I being a psychonaut or just a lazy slug?


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The Case of the Missing Drishti

As my regular readers probably have noticed, I haven’t been posting any new narrators.  I am really missing being able to channel.  It requires at least an hour of intense focus/mind clearing which I’ve been finding extremely difficult these past 6-8 months or so, given the big move.  Life is still a chaotic mess (slowly unpacking boxes as hubby finishes our built-ins. He’s doing an amazing job but it’s time-consuming. My office desk and bookcases were only finished this week. My fabulous day bed is still in pieces in the garage so I have no place to sit and chill.)  And of course, one would have to be brain dead not to feel anxious and distracted by our current political situation.  These days, I have the attention span of a fruit fly, my thoughts fluttering about and rarely landing on any one thing long enough to extract meaning or delve to any depth.  (Except politically, where all my thoughts tend to roll, like loose marbles in a tilted box.)

This is a Catch-22 source of anxiety for me, because even when I find myself able to focus on my drishti for 30 seconds,  I immediately start to worry that I’m not going to be able to hold my focus. Or I think,  “Hey!  Look at me!  I’m focusing!”  And that destroys my focus.  (It’s like when you can’t sleep and you finally feel yourself drifting off and a part of your waking brain thinks, “Yay! I’m falling asleep!”  and that wakes you right up again.)

But I think I have finally turned a corner.  A new “friend” has come into my head to help me.  I would not deny that this entity is a figment of my imagination,  but as long as I can attribute certain qualities to it,  it seems to be helping.   The form of this entity is a general outline of a human body but within the outline,  I can see beyond it into the universe.  Emanating from the outline, is a sort of halo…. rather like this:

This entity has the persona of a coach.  Together we do this exercise where it pushes positive white energy at me,  which I inhale deeply and allow it to course through my body,  and then slowly return the energy back.  This mimics yogic breathing,  with the long inhale,  a long hold,  slow exhale, long hold when empty.  If I start to mentally drift away, the entity scolds me lovingly. “Hey!  Focus! Look at me! Come on!  Three more times! You can do this!”

I asked this entity its name and it said it didn’t have one; I could call it anything I liked.  Then it said, “How about Truman, because you can look ‘tru’  me.” (It’s funny, too!)   And I said, “And you also give me Truth.”  So we agreed that name was as good as any other.

It’s been a couple of days and Truman’s coaching has really helped.  Hopefully this will bring me back to channeling.

Again,  I fully recognize this is a creation of my own imagination — I haven’t fully lost my mind… yet — but it’s helping so I’m going with it.   I’ve also ratcheted back on social media.  It just jacks my nervous system. Keeps me from my happy place.  🙂

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