When I got out of the Army in 2000, I had a really tough transition. I did not fit in well with the civilian world, let's just say. For a couple of
years, I couldn't hold down a job because I hated how petty and ridiculous civilians were (no offense) and I couldn't work with them. Some of the
panic attacks compelled me to the emergency room, where they would hook me up an tell me that I was fine, it was all in my head.
When I couldn't pay the ER bills, I decided that if it was all just in my head, then I should be able to do something about it myself. I developed
some techniques over the years to deal with it, and those techniques turned into other things.
I'll say probably the most important thing I did first was I went out and got three jobs. I took a fast food job, an auto parts delivery job, and an
early morning hotel room service job. The benefit I believe I got from three jobs was not so much that it took care of the money problem a little
better, but that it forced me to be in the moment, in the now, and not able to dwell on the future or the past. I was also too freaking tired to be an
I stopped drinking (not permanently, this particular time), and stopped partaking of recreational vegetation with my buddies.
My perspective on the anxiety, and the approach that I took to change it looked pretty much like the old cliche, "If you ignore it, maybe it will go
away." Or however that goes... I recognized it as really an illusion my mind created out of a negative feedback loop in my mind based on regret, fear,
and confusion. So I ignored it, and also the thoughts from which the feelings I had resulted.
Not to make this thing really long, I'll just say that I was doing really well with how I was tackling this problem, then something really bad
happened, and I had a total relapse, ended up losing my vehicle and on the streets. My Dad told me to just come up to his house in the mountains and
chill for a while and relax. I was there a year, and while I was there, I resumed my techniques. I also found one of the loves of my life, the game of
poker, and also started posting here on ATS under another moniker.
My dad's a hippie, and he was always harping at me about hippie #, which I never really took too seriously, but I picked up some stuff on meditation
and consciousness and read. I tried meditation, and was a little frustrated by it, I guess because I didn't know what was supposed to happen, if
Damn, I'm just going off, I didn't mean to give anyone my life story, just wanted to supply someone with some of the things I do to help me relax and
1. The Candle. This is the one I started with. Sit in a dark room with a candle. It doesn't matter what it smells like, it doesn't matter how far or
how close. Just a candle, darkness, and you. Sit comfortably. Don't worry about where your hands are, but make sure your feet are flat on the ground.
Look at the candle, and continue looking at. Look at it for no reason at all.
So this is just good practice. Practice makes not only you get better at something, but it also makes that something better. If you do this for 15
minutes a day for 2 weeks, and don't even bother yourself with why you're doing it, or what should happen, whatever it is for you will just happen
naturally. This is the problem I had with meditation that was hard to realize. You don't meditate for a reward, you meditate for the meditation of it,
and the rewards are all along the journey. You can meditate for a half hour and have three different profound feelings that change your outlook or
your attitude toward something, and you didn't even ask for it or seek it. It just comes with practice.
Eventually, you don't need the candle, you can simply call up the candle in your mind and almost instantly take yourself to a place of balance,
silence, and stillness. You can do it in the bathroom at work, you can do this one at a party, please don't do this one driving.
2. Sensory Perception Meditation. I will do this when I'm sitting at a poker table, folding hand after hand after hand waiting for some value. I'll
also do it while driving.
I will cycle through four senses, combining taste and smell, one by one, attempting to amplify one intentionally, while subduing the rest. I'll spend
four or five minutes on each one, just really trying to use each sense to the greatest extent I can while denying the others. After I've been through
three or four cycles of each of the four senses, I'll try really hard to pay very close attention to all of them at once.
This is kind of a freaky one, because with practice, you tend to get pretty good at it, and you get to a point where you can willingly only focus
intently on one sense organ. This comes in handy.
3. Walking with your eyes closed.
This is less of a meditation and more of a game. Do this one in a place with which you are intimately familiar, like your home, or your workplace. YES
YOUR FREAKING WORKPLACE! You're so familiar with it!
Sit anywhere in the house. Don't set anything up, just leave everything as it is. Look at the walls, look at all the things in space, objects, carpet,
doorways. Now close your eyes and see in your minds eye exactly what you saw with your eyeballs. Open your eyes and confirm what you see in your mind
with what you see with your eyeballs. Close your eyes. Look at the room in your minds eye. Choose a destination. Walk.
Please walk slowly. Half open doors are dangerous. At first, use your hands to confirm that the object you see in your mind's eye is really where you
think it is. If you feel like cheating, cheat. If you're scared, say you're scared.
With practice, and overcoming fear, and becoming confident in your abilities, you can navigate your house pretty well with the picture in your mind.
I'm in a new place now, so this is fun and exciting for me again.
One might think that this ties them closer to the illusion which is matter, and while that is troublesome, I believe it actually allows one to simply
interact with the illusion in a different way, and supports the idea that the illusion is of ourselves, by ourselves, and if you can imagine your
surroundings close to as well as it seems to be, then maybe you can know it well enough to...
4 Thought Experiment: Sports Highlights
I'm an amateur student of physics and cosmology. I love these things. As I began to understand physics, it made me realize that the world could be
looked at in very different and entertaining ways. I began to observe physics, and try to understand them intuitively, observationally.
I really despise professional sports for what they represent to me in my worldview. I'll be a football fan the moment an educator can make $120K a
year starting AND still get summers off. But I digress...
I LOVE HIGHLIGHT REELS! I think it's really amazing the things that humans can do with their minds and bodies, and I like to observe that. Sports is
chock full of examples of this. So when I watch highlight reels, I try really hard to conceptualize what I see occurring before me in the context of
If you understand physics well enough, watch instant replays in the context of physics. SEE the forces at work. SEE the world interact with itself.
Over time, amazing things are revealed. Just paying close attention to bodies of mass colliding and spinning off in different directions. Note angles
of incidence, incorporate gravity...
...continued, I guess...
edit on 8-1-2014 by Mon1k3r because: homonyms...