Saturday, June 4, 2022

Awakened to a Dream

I have awakened to a dream, I back then concluded. While following the current of my breath, I observed the reflection that I saw in the waters of my mind laid out, as the life that was before me. In a lucid, conscious state, I felt wonder. Life was a dream—It must have been, even if only metaphorically. Life was and is too amazing not to be! Years before this, I never would have thought I’d be deep in meditation, especially while held by the Napa River in California, living on a yacht just outside the San Francisco Bay. Even the bad moments exhibited a romance that I justified to be, in the German sense of the word, like a beautiful tragedy. I saw life as a dream with lessons to be learned, with symbols to interpret, but most of all, life was just pure wonder even when I lived in doubt. My mind was on the border of the surface of the water, but at the same time swimming deep in the subconscious of my mind. Anchored by intention, with a mental motor that sat idle during all those hours of meditation, just like the idle boat, I was tied up to a dock not moving, much like how my many meditations were spent in stillness. Like a motor with many gears, brain waves change with meditation. Science proves it. There are many different brainwaves that make up consciousness. Beta is the most alert, awakened state. Alpha waves are relaxed, a state of day dreaming. Theta is a trance-like state, or lucid dreaming. Finally, delta is a state of deep sleep. When these brainwaves change, it is usually subtle, but it can also be quite obvious. I bet you can even feel it if you set your mind to noticing. Those familiar moments of sinking deeper into sleep at night is something that everyone experiences. Meditation does something similar to the brain, not in the sense that it always puts people to sleep, but rather that the frequencies that the brain operates change like a radio tuning into a different station. One should strive to not get caught up in the static of unnecessary noise. Binaural beats can be a good tool for changing the brainwaves. They work on stimulating different parts of the brain with sounds as a way to bring about a certain kind of consciousness by altering brain waves. These audio frequencies come in the form of binaural beats for deep meditation, sleep, lucid dreams, focus, or even sound-simulated drug sensations, all basically operating as many methods to channel the surf of mental waves. It was not until after a Vipassana retreat that I was ultimately put into a self-directed trance. All I needed was chill-trance music and breath to help bring me deeper into what felt like states of deep “hypnotic” trance. This is when I learned that my brain waves could actively, consciously change on their own, just through mindful observation. It certainly made for a good mental surf. With waves literally in mind, I thought of the Double-Split experiment in quantum mechanics. Electrons, as matter– a subtle form of consciousness–behave as both particles and waves. What determines what form it takes, particle or wave, is whether or not it is being watched. Observing the mind in meditation also behaves differently while being watched during mindfulness. Although in a different sense, while wavering between different realities, particles and waves also depend on observation to get an accurate understanding. This concept helps us to observe consciousness as a psychological reality in a similar sense. Observing helps give a meditator a more well-rounded picture, as things are not always as they seem. That is true especially to those that do not practice mindfulness enough to know that. That is also what the atom-split experiment found out through observation. That observation really does matter to matter. Is reality mind or matter? That’s the big debate in science and philosophy. It has been for some time. Cartesian Dualism, as Rene Descartes theory puts it, says that mind and matter exist separately. This idea helped to set the foundation for the debate of metaphysics, which quantum mechanics has boosted up with scientific data, not to mention also major analogies. Going back to the idea of whether or not I have awakened to a dream, or the question that I may have dreamed up a reality, I had found myself in a constant state of awe over this. I definitely still feel that, but then in the blissful high that I felt upon traveling the country going on spirit quests and retreats, I concluded that my mind, which was awakened (mainly to uncertainty), caused me to believe that it could only be best summed up as yet another scientific analogy, one that I humbly stole from Werner Heisenberg. According the Heisenberg’s Uncertainty Principle, when an observer knows the position of a particle, it cannot possibly know the momentum. When it knows the momentum, it loses track of the location. In other words, when the particle is in motion, one cannot know the stance. When it knows the stance, it doesn’t know its swing. I don’t need to be physics genius to be able to turn this into a useful analogy. My blissful uncertainty to the world around me, the one that leaves me scratching my head over, at the same time leaves me clapping my hands. After all, I have AWAKENED to how beautiful it is! It’s not supposed to be figured out! It’s supposed to be a mystery! While putting my head together with a physics professor for a few hours, he had said my version of understanding reality works, too. Even if I am not that physics wiz that actually understands what I spend my life obsessing in terms of my own uncertainty principle, I still managed to come up with a theory for my everything. In regards to do-si-do dance of synapses that make up my mind, I told the professor who I carpooled with to an activist event, that when I meditate, or even live life for that matter, I sometimes get caught up on changing perception so much that I do not know my official stance. That is, I get caught in the flux. I said that I was wavering too much…only sometimes, but that’s the point. One cannot know the stance while in flux! That is why I told the Professor that when I know my stance, I get overly hyper-focused with it that I forget that I change, thus the unpredictability, yet with intense focus. I called this “Meta’s Uncertainty Principle.” To my happiness, I got a good laugh out of him! He said it is the perfect analogy, matter as consciousness, and consciousness as matter. The analogy works. I’ve really felt this lately with the existential crisis that I’ve been in. I’m about to be thirty. It’s a big deal, truly what a big deal! As this age dawns on me, it has made me want stability, but I’m forever in a paradox of which I call life, while grasping for something that I cannot hold on to. This is mind though. That is the three-month moment of the river that I lived on. Now it’s the memory of it. This is also reality. This is the dream that I have awoken to! This feeling is also my meditations. Meditation is like riding waves that either pull you under or help you to rise above to surf. Brain waves come and go, but consciousness, as that ocean, has always been here and always will be, from what we can imagine as humans. Therefore, we might as well embrace it even if you cannot be totally present to observe it. Even if you were, it would be different than the actual state of reality, as that is what observable consciousness does. Like many meditators, I have found the breath to be a current that changed the direction of the flow of the mind to create peace. Like waves on a river, or even the ocean, or the San Francisco Bay, the tide changes with the wind. Just like a good summer breeze, the breath, as wind, makes for more refreshing swim in the waters of life. It is even better with the shining light of the sun, or in other words, the idea lightbulb that brought you to the shores of your mind. Frankly, I did not have to just picture myself on a boat on a river, like The Beatles song. I literally went out into the world and sought after a piece of mind to someday bring home with me. The truth is that I had just found that the Universe, as an abundant place for spiritual adventure, provided me many different kinds of experiences, all summoned through mindful intention setting. Thoughts become reality, as reality is like a lucid dream of all dreams. The Buddha said that if people do not believe him, they should go out and try those teachings for themselves. That means, take an adventure! This should be encouraged more heavily in society. Mindfulness is important. Being present can solve a lot of life problems, not to mention societal issues. The breath, as the force for this solution, gives wind to the sails of life. If people are going to test out the waters of life, they all might as well blow themselves in the right direction, especially if it is away from a storm. That is something we have all gone through, but could easily avoid through the right discipline and direction. Sailing is a lot safer than it used to be, and meditation and mindfulness is more comfortable and scientifically researched than ever. Might as well take the journey, even if it means just picking up a book. A more enlightened mind is waiting for you after every page. Please, take your breath with you, whatever it is that you decide to do. You are going to need it for the journey!

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Awakened to a Dream

I have awakened to a dream, I back then concluded. While following the current of my breath, I observed the reflection that I saw in the w...