Hanging Out in the Hypnagogic State
Let’s get into it here. For most of us that use binaural beats or isochronic tones our ultimate goal, or a major one,as meditators is to be able to hang out in the hypnogogic state. Weird word right, well how about lucid dreaming,the state between our awake and dream life.You’re familiar with that right?
In this state of awareness, you are aware that you are dreaming or meditating as well as an active participant. It is like sitting back in a reclining chair in your own home theatre and watching your meditation unfold.One that you can actually alter and arrange as you like.
Meditators will usually seek to achieve this hypnogogic state because at this stage they are more likely to remember their meditations.Meditations and what occurs in them are clearer, more precise. Those who have mastered this state quickly fill up their dream journals with meditative and nocturnal wanderings.
For most of us, however, the ability to actually maintain this state takes practice and real brainwave control.It is at this stage that you are also the most likely to do the one thing that messes it all up and that,as meditators,we have an ongoing battle with, falling asleep.
A few tips in brainwave control can help deepen and enhance your experience in achieving and maintaining this hypnogogic state.One of the most popular methods for actually inducing the hypnogogic state is borrowed from lucid dreaming but it works for meditators, too.
It is called Waked-Induced Lucid Dreaming, WILD for short.The concept behind WILD is to take control of your meditation right from the onset. It is best to try WILD when you are well rested. If you are dead tired, it’s obviously going to be more difficult to resist falling asleep. You probably know from experience that meditating first thing in the morning is your best bet for stating awake.
Consider maybe setting your alarm for very early while you are still in that dreamy state. When you are closer to the REM (rapid eye movement) state, it going to be much easier to achieve the hypnogogic state.
Step One: Start off with a relaxation style meditation. Relaxing your mind and body first to let the day’s stress float away.Then take your meditation to the next level by going a bit deeper into the meditation. The object here is to activate your alpha state – the eyes closed awake state. In the hypnogogic state, your alpha waves get activated between 8 and 13 Hertz (Hz). Allow your body to go somewhat numb but keep your conscious mind active. This is going to take some brainwave control on your part. The key being to stay awake and fully aware of your state. Many meditators start off using brainwave entrainment recordings to reach these deeper meditative states.
Step Two: In stage two, you’re going to relax more deeply and sit back and enjoy as the show begins on your internal movie screen. Some meditators say they use the back of their eyelids as a screen. Still others feel their entire minds opening up beyond its physical confines to a virtual life like 360-degree screen.
Next thing, you should probably start to see some sort of hypnogogic colors, symbols or imagery. You may even see people and places. Stay very relaxed and continue. The iportant part here is to be a passive observer at this state.No judging, the phrase “That’s interesting” should keep you in focus. A common response at this stage is to perk up and try and get a closer look or analyze what you see. Unfortunately, this active engagement can sometimes interrupt your deep meditation. Observe the movie but do your best to not actually respond to the hypnogogic imagery.
Step Three: This hypnogogic imagery will actually begin to become more meaningful and connected and tell a story. Now here, real brainwave control is going to be needed to remain in the alpha state. Just tell yourself that you are dreaming: “I am watching my dream. I am an active participant in my dream. I am in control of my dream.” You might feel some sense of physical paralysis while your mind becomes more active but your body remains in a deep state of relaxation. This is a common experience and no need for alarm.
Don’t forget to have your meditation or dream journal beside your bed. With a little practice and consistency it’s going to fill pretty quickly.
Do you have any experiences with this type of lucid dreaming techniques? Any that work better for you than other? Add a comment below and let us know what you use. If you’re looking for some good binaural beats or isochronic tones to help with you meditations and lucid dreaming make sure you check out the resources page to find some great systems to help you.