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Psychedelics vs Meditation, Which Is More Transformational?

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Take a moment and breathe. Place your hand over your chest area, near your heart. Breathe slowly into the area for about a minute, focusing on a sense of ease entering your mind and body. Click here to learn why we suggest this.

Continuing from a previous article I wrote on Collective Evolution about karma, I thought I’d point out the way in which psychedelics and meditation differ from each other when helping people deal with their karma. As mentioned in the previous article, karma in this case is used to describe the things within ourselves that hold us back; not just the actions we gamble with that we know have consequences, but also our underlying malfunctions that we are not even consciously aware of. Meditation and psychedelics affect the mind in different ways, however both in my opinion bring about transformation that enables one to better navigate the condition of being human, which pretty much all boils down to just mastering your ego…. not an easy task.

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Psychedelics

Psychedelics allow people to be mindful by over-exposing themselves to all the aspects of themselves that hold them back. There are moments when you trip and it’s all beautiful and happy, but when your mind goes into some dark places, it is usually a place that is coming from your own insecurity. From trauma to emotions and thoughts that hold you back, these experiences are usually amped up in ways that can be frightening to endure. When your mind revisits painful memories of things that happened to you or things you did to others, they are often experienced very intensely throughout the trip. Coming down from the trip, you can sometimes become so overwhelmed by it that you have no choice but to become aware of those personality traits within you that are making your life less than ideal. Those type of trips can be a tough pill to swallow as they serve as an unapologetic wake up call, a call to action to get your shit together, and deal with your issues. This message doesn’t always resonate with everyone, but to those who can handle looking at themselves in the mirror with all their vulnerabilities, it can be one of many pivotal shifts in consciousness that will navigate the trajectory of your destiny.

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It’s not always shock and awe with psychedelics. Sometimes you can experience your malfunctions from another perspective outside of yourself, looking at your behaviors from the sideline, leaving you to become indifferent to the trauma. Watching it unfold from an objective point of view allows you to connect the dots between all the events and circumstances leading up to what caused the type of behavior within you that is holding you back. Forgiveness does not mean approval, but forgiving the situation allows you to make peace and move on. When you connect the dots, it makes sense to you how you allowed the effect of XYZ situation to create the X element of your character. It allows you to observe how that element of your character has helped or held you back. It’s a mirror, a window into yourself.

The old Native American proverb about the tale of 2 wolves translates to the psychedelic experience. There are so many wolves you can be conscious of until you take a psychedelic and realize all the bad wolves you were unconsciously feeding.

Terrence McKenna mentioned that as you explore the world of psychedelics, the amount of time between each trip will lengthen. In fact, many psychonauts trip occasionally because the lessons learned from the trip are applied to one’s life successfully. The need and desire to find alternate perspectives on how to master themselves subsides the more one implements their ego conquering lessons.

The transformation process with meditation is more gradual than with psychedelics. With meditation, the goal is to cease the Ego mind from chattering. All thoughts are meant to slowly fade away with patience, which can be frustrating at first, especially if you have a busy mind, but the more you simply ignore the thoughts that occupy your reality, the more the thoughts will ignore you. Eventually they fade away and all that remains is a state of balance and feeling centered, without stress, and without desire to fix something that you see as a problem in your life. All worries, however small or big in magnitude, for that moment in time of being present with your natural self, cease to exist.

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Meditation

In meditation, as thoughts begin to subside, layers of the ego unravel, allowing this intangible thing that is called YOU to exist without restraint. When you stop meditating, those layers come back, piling on top of one and other, making the mind feel heavy and caged once again. For one who commits themselves to meditation, a gradual desire to free the mind begins. Life becomes more meaningful by letting go of the things that keep you from being present, happy, and productive.

The more you meditate, the more you will begin to notice the difference between how you feel when you meditate and how you feel when you live your daily life. As worries and stresses make their way back into your reality, you’ll gradually begin to become more mindful of your thoughts. The responsible meditator will come to realize that their negative thoughts and feelings are what’s hindering the enjoyment of their reality. The choice of being mindful of those thoughts and feelings or indulging in them will be up to you, but your awareness of becoming more perceptive to how your thoughts keep you from feeling centered will be heightened. This is part of what it means to become more in tune with yourself, as many people who carry themselves unhappily through this existence are not in tune with the traits within them that are keeping them from happiness.

In meditation, the more you practice, the more mindful you will become of your thoughts. The point of meditation is to relax the mind, allowing it to be free of thoughts. Through this process you become more aware of how you feel when you are free of thoughts. You will notice how calm and stress free you feel when in a meditative state of mind. This may induce an altered state of consciousness that is different from your regular conscious mind. As you practice meditation more and more, you will notice how your thoughts creep in and chip away at your ideal state of being present. You’ll notice the difference in how you feel between meditating and how you feel when you aren’t meditating. As you become aware of how you feel and how your thoughts distance you from how you feel when you meditate, you will gradually make changes in how you think and you’ll begin to let go of all the unnecessary thoughts that distract you from being present.

You evolve through meditation by maintaining presence and centering yourself throughout all situations in life. It’s not easy to do all the time, but just being mindful of your ability to do it is a powerful step in the right direction. Our busy modern lives do not allow us to meditate all day long, nor would we want to when there is much to see and experience in this world, so the best we can do is to try to be as aware and mindful as possible when within our regular states of consciousness. This can only be done if we take care to prevent all the thoughts and emotions that keep us from being centered.

Meditation allows one to understand that our mind, without all the conditioning of the ego, is already balanced and centered. Who we are at the center of all the chaos in our life is all we need to feel complete and navigate through this world. On the other hand, psychedelics can be a heavy dose of the malfunctions of your reality delivered to you in the most abstract way. It breaks your ego so rapidly and abruptly that the loss of what is familiar and comfortable can make for a bad trip. Whether through passive observation or embracing the fear, one can master letting go of the filters that make their perspectives darker than they really are.

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Consciousness

How To Have Your Own Personal Zen Master Around Anytime You Descend Into Stress

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CE Staff Writer 7 minute read

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Take a moment and breathe. Place your hand over your chest area, near your heart. Breathe slowly into the area for about a minute, focusing on a sense of ease entering your mind and body. Click here to learn why we suggest this.

When you look at a true spiritual master, guru or yogi, one of the most remarkable things you might notice is that they don’t seem to experience stress. You might conclude that they arrive at this state through meditation, fasting, prayer, or other such disciplines. This is only partly true. Those spiritual practices can certainly contribute to stress reduction, but their ultimate effect is to support the maintenance of ONE KEY THOUGHT that spiritual masters hold in their minds (and bodies) with unfailing certainty.

Granted, this key thought is not easy to grasp, hold as truth, and then deeply embody within yourself. Throughout history spiritual masters have done their darndest to articulate it for those hoping for inner peace and harmony. The limitations of language, of all human languages, is woefully revealed in these attempts. But if you are ready, open, and genuinely seeking–an ‘aspirant’ as they say in yoga–then it becomes possible for a certain expression or turn of phrase to begin to activate your deeper inner knowledge of the state some call samadhi, enlightenment, Christ consciousness, or what I like to simply term presence. Are you ready?

Stress-Free Perception

In a true state of presence it is impossible to feel stress. Impossible. That is because stress is predicated on our seeing the world as dualistic. In a state of presence we embody a perception of singularity. The apperception of the world as whole, as unified, is truth unmasked.

From a perception of unity there is no past or future, there is only now. Note that human experience is only ever experienced through the now, past experiences were only ever experienced in the now, and the same will hold for our future experiences. Having the experience of presence helps us get a glimpse that time itself is a fabrication, a ‘program’ that helps our intentionally limited minds have a particularly lush and interesting kind of experience in the physical world.

How We Create Stress

But let’s get back to our everyday time-bound consciousness. For those of you who earnestly seek to dissolve your stress, and are open and willing to let go of anything your mind is clinging to in order to achieve it, I will try to explain the one key thought.

The experience of stress is the experience of the tension or dissonance between two things: how your world IS in any moment, and how you think it SHOULD BE. You create stress by carrying in your mind an image of how something in the NOW—yourself and others, the presence or absence of things, the weather—is NOT OK as it is. That puts you into a self-created adversarial relationship with the only point of contact you have with life.

Fortunately, your emotions alert you to this crazy confabulation, by making you aware of internal discomfort you label as STRESS. This STRESS is nothing more than an urgent signal from your higher intelligence to return to presence. But in a state of stress how can you possibly return to presence?

The One Key Thought Into Presence

You need to get into the habit of using your awareness of your own stress as a trigger to align yourself with this one key thought: everything is perfect as it is. It’s like having your own personal Zen master around any time you descend into stress asking you the well-worn koan, ‘What, in this moment, is lacking?’

It works. Trust me.

But it only works to the extent that you are willing to let go of the past (and future), along with all your judgments, grievances, ‘shoulds’, hopes, and fears that arise out of a dualistic perception. If you are truly willing and able to deeply hold this one key thought as ULTIMATE truth, above ALL other beliefs and opinions, you will start to feel it working.

Spiritual Context

If you have doubts about this one key thought representing ultimate truth, allow me to provide the spiritual context I work with in which the statement makes perfect sense.

A common thread at the heart of all great spiritual traditions is that we are all immortal souls who are currently having a ‘human’ experience. The circumstances of this life experience were chosen by us to facilitate our soul’s evolution. So any time you feel stress, you can see it as the universe prodding you to take an evolutionary step. That evolutionary step is to see the perfection in everything, if only for a moment at first. If you’re game, these brief moments of clarity add up quickly to a more permanent step up.

An Example

Let’s say for example you’re stuck in traffic, and realize you are going to be late for a meeting. Maybe it’s even your ‘fault’, because you left late or didn’t check your GPS. If you’re feeling stressed about it, realize it’s because things are not how your mind thinks they should be. Your mind thinks you ‘should’ be at the meeting on time–to get some important information, perhaps, or because your reputation as a reliable person is at stake, and you will be judged by others at the meeting in a way that may impact your future success.

Now, you can continue to be stressed in that moment (and subsequently for the entire drive to the office), or you can take ALL that very reasonable blather of ‘oughts’ and ‘shoulds’, roll it up in a ball, and drop it into your faux-ashtray. You will be able to do this if you reach for presence, if you remind yourself that there is only the present moment, and in the present moment you can choose to experience stress, or choose to experience peace. If you choose to be fully present you accept the present moment exactly as it is, realize there is nothing you can DO in that moment to remedy the so-called problem, and take the evolutionary step of seeing everything as perfect in this so-called ‘stressful’ moment. There is no problem now–and you will deal with the ‘problem’ when the ‘problem’ arises. You are simply in a car driving. You will then start to feel relief, and gain confidence that if you maintain presence through your arrival to the office, your late entry into the meeting, and your conversations afterwards, the ‘problem’ will never arise and you will literally breeze through the whole experience. You will be ‘ok’ with whatever happens.

Common Fears About Presence

FEAR: If I go into presence I will lose my mind.

Maybe-but only in a good way. Lol. Seriously, presence is not losing one’s mind, it is aligning one’s mind properly, with the timeless ‘true mind’ playing the role of master and the time-bound ‘false mind’ (ego) playing the role of servant, allowing the true mind to interface as it pleases with the time-governed physical world.

FEAR: If I go into presence I will stop trying to make my life better.

Perhaps. After all, what is better than presence, where everything is perfect? But there is more to it. You may be surprised to hear that a state of presence does not thwart action, it only thwarts reaction, fear-based, ego-sponsored drives to alleviate doubt, fear, insecurity, stress. In a state of presence the true mind decides on action, the best action for the situation, which is then carried out in perfect flow with the environment.

FEAR: It’s too hard to do and I’ll ultimately fail.

Failure is impossible. Patience, though, is required. The evolution of consciousness might seem like waves rising and falling on the shore, but the high water marks accumulate and eventually produce a stable higher state of awareness. Remembering and forgetting presence is natural, but with persistence it is remembered more often, maintained for a longer period of time, and eventually becomes part of your normal, base perception. With this as your base perception, then, it is truly possible for you to experience a life free of stress.

 

Dive Deeper

Click below to watch a sneak peek of our brand new course!

Our new course is called 'Overcoming Bias & Improving Critical Thinking.' This 5 week course is instructed by Dr. Madhava Setty & Joe Martino

If you have been wanting to build your self awareness, improve your.critical thinking, become more heart centered and be more aware of bias, this is the perfect course!

Click here to check out a sneak peek and learn more.

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Consciousness

Are We Well Adjusted To A Profoundly Sick Society?

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CE Staff Writer 1 minute read

Before you begin...

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Take a moment and breathe. Place your hand over your chest area, near your heart. Breathe slowly into the area for about a minute, focusing on a sense of ease entering your mind and body. Click here to learn why we suggest this.

Following up on a classic quote from Jiddu Krishnamurti, what does it mean to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society?

Dive Deeper

Click below to watch a sneak peek of our brand new course!

Our new course is called 'Overcoming Bias & Improving Critical Thinking.' This 5 week course is instructed by Dr. Madhava Setty & Joe Martino

If you have been wanting to build your self awareness, improve your.critical thinking, become more heart centered and be more aware of bias, this is the perfect course!

Click here to check out a sneak peek and learn more.

Continue Reading

Consciousness

How To Ground Yourself: A Simple Yet Powerful Technique

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CE Staff Writer 2 minute read

Before you begin...

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Take a moment and breathe. Place your hand over your chest area, near your heart. Breathe slowly into the area for about a minute, focusing on a sense of ease entering your mind and body. Click here to learn why we suggest this.

Mental health challenges, depression and even physical illness, are all on the rise. All three are believed by emerging research to be linked to trauma.

Thankfully, nervous system health and trauma are becoming a big part of what people talk about as it seems people are looking to get to the root of these issues more now than ever before.

After coming to my own realization that I was traumatized from experiences I had, I began studying trauma to not only help myself but to see how I could further improve my own media work – which has been, in essence, trauma-informed, since 2009.

What I’ve come to feel is that trauma affects almost all of us in some way, while there is not much data to back that up, I truly believe this to be the case. Learning useful skills to work through that trauma is becoming important in order to take our health into our own hands.

In the video below, I talk a bit about how events going on in the world can make us feel anxious and worried, and how that affects our bodies, minds, and health. I also share a simple yet powerful technique for sensory grounding.

Dive Deeper

Click below to watch a sneak peek of our brand new course!

Our new course is called 'Overcoming Bias & Improving Critical Thinking.' This 5 week course is instructed by Dr. Madhava Setty & Joe Martino

If you have been wanting to build your self awareness, improve your.critical thinking, become more heart centered and be more aware of bias, this is the perfect course!

Click here to check out a sneak peek and learn more.

Continue Reading
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