Monday, June 15, 2015

And when I stood up, I was different

Celebrate Your Life conferences bring together gurus and teachers of various disciplines all focused on the same thing: helping you achieve the best life for yourself and others. I've never been to one, but I attended their pre-conference workshop with Dr. Joe Dispenza last Friday and I am so damn glad I did.

I've read Dispenza's Breaking the Habit of Being Yourself: How to Lose Your Mind and Create a New One a couple of times. It led me to see how powerful the mind is in creating our reality because the body follows whatever the mind tells it. This allows us to change our health, beliefs, relationships and even things that seem external like job opportunities, experiences in nature and chance meetings.

Now I'm the last person to say "there's a reason for everything" or "the universe wants me to..." or "the universe is telling us to..." or any crap like that. You'll never catch me invoking the law of attraction. I don't believe in a mechanistic universe that we appeal to by behaving in certain ways. I find that a lot of New Age talk uses the same language as religion, but substitutes the words "the Universe" for "God," granting human qualities to these things, which I think is bull&*#.

What Joe Dispenza's book taught me is the science of the quantum field and how attention influences physical matter. Remember in physics 101 how the professor talked about scientists discovering that photons behave differently when they're being watched? Have you heard people say that the act of observing a behavior has an effect on the behavior?

Dispenza's books use these kinds of ideas to explain how our thoughts influence what happens in physical reality. I know it sounds ridiculous and out there, but research in physics supports the idea that where our attention goes, so goes our reality. Photons appear where the scientist looks and disappear when the scientist stops looking. Science hasn't explained that kind of weird stuff yet, but Dispenza explains how to use it to create the life you want.

I've been using Dispenza's guided meditation recordings for a year and a half. I've gotten excellent results (healing relationships, releasing anger, improving health, losing weight), but I've gotten sloppy about my practice. Going to the workshop last Friday gave me the boost I needed. Dr. Joe gave a rundown of how the mind influences the body and the body determines reality, and then he led us through a meditation. Meditating in a room with 140 people being guided by an expert into the alpha brainwave state is a powerful experience! The twenty-seven minutes felt like a third of the time. We did one more 45-minute meditation at the end of the day. His meditation process is to quiet down, get past the analytical mind, go into deep relaxation, rest in "nothingness," then focus on a specific goal, and experience the emotions you would feel if you already had that goal in your life. He said that if you can't imagine what you'd feel in that future possibility (a dream vacation, new job, loving experience, healed chronic condition, etc.), then start with gratitude. As you sit in the state of meditation, feel how grateful you are that you've finally reached this goal.

He likes to say that each time you do this meditation (daily), you mustn't get up until you are a different person. If you really reach the state of nothingness and truly tune in to the emotional experience of your goal, you change the vibration of your cells and actually change who you are on a fundamental level. After that second meditation, I finally felt this. I went deep, got to the place of no time/no body/no thought, felt gratitude and excitement as if my future had already happened, and when I stood up, I was different. I felt so good! I couldn't stop smiling. It felt like my wonderful future had already happened.

Since then, I've felt happier. My daily meditation is deeper and when I come out of it, I keep the feelings of gratitude and excitement. I walk down the street with a slight smile and greet more people. I feel more worthy of my goals and less doubt about reaching them. The negative mind chatter has quieted (for now). Since I already feel the gratitude and joy of accomplishing my goals, I have more patience about how long they'll take to manifest in the world. I am at peace.

Meditating with Dr. Joe also reminded me that the best times to do this kind of meditation are upon waking and right before sleep. Wide awake, the brain is in what's called "beta state." We sleep in "delta state." That hazy time between being fully awake and being fully asleep is called "alpha state," and is also known as the trance state. You can go into alpha even when you're active, such as when you're driving and you get home without any memory of the actual trip because your mind was wandering.

For meditating you want to be in alpha state, so an ideal time to meditate is in the morning while you're passing through alpha anyway in order to go from delta to beta. That's when I've been doing it for the past three days and I'm getting much more out of it than before Friday. I had been waiting until I was fully awake in the morning to go meditate, which meant I had to get myself back into alpha after reaching alertness. But now, as soon as my eyes are open, I haul myself out of bed and stumble to my meditation cushion that sits in the living room. In a half-awake state, I begin Dr. Joe's meditation recording and go right into that powerful place of no thought. And then I come out of it as I start thinking about things. So then I re-focus on relaxing and reaching the nothingness. I achieve it again. And then my mind chatter comes back. Et cetera. But that's just how meditation goes: every time your mind tries to get active, you calm it down again, over and over. 

I'm SO GLAD I went to that workshop, even though I had to rent a car and drive through horrific Chicago rush hour traffic in order to get there (the event was in Lombard, Illinois and I live on the far north side of Chicago. Ugh). It greatly improved my meditation practice. Dr. Joe Dispenza will be in St. Charles, Illinois for a weekend workshop in August, which I'd love to go to, but I'd need about $650 of extra money to cover the workshop, hotel and transportation. You can see all the places he'll be giving workshops on his website. He's a stunningly busy guy and gives these workshops all over the world. Want to become a better person in Australia? Munich? Costa Rica? He'll be there.

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