Recently I was fortunate enough to get Lasik. It was a strange experience, being able to see without contacts or glasses. It changed my reality in the most subtle of ways. In some ways my world is clearer and in others, things have gone into deep shadow. I can see when I’m in the shower but my night vision is so much worse than it used to be.
This experience can be applied to a deeper metaphor. A life changing event can change everything in the strangest most unforeseen ways. I had my gall bladder removed six years ago and during the surgery I could hear everything that the doctors and nurses were saying. It was the most unexpected thing I had ever experienced. I had my first out of body experience when I was five and have had multiple ones after that until I was about 13 or 14 and stopped. That’s when I started doing serious visualization work. I would build a mental wall around me every night to keep my mother from barging into my room late at night in a temperamental rage. It closed me off from the rest of the world while at the same time allowing myself some reprieve from my mother’s unpredictable behavior.
When I had that surgery six years ago, that was the first time that I had an out of body experience during my adult life. I have lucid dreams, they’re quite common with me but this was something where I was awake and it was real in every sense of the word. I’ve had hallucinations while on anti-depressants which is the main reason why I don’t take them anymore but this was something that I could tangibly point to.
I’ve been attacked mentally before, in the last few years during the worst of my depression and PTSD, it left me vulnerable to whatever is around me. Since anti-depressants don’t work for me, I turned to TM. It was something that was expensive but has helped me settle down, along with the yoga. All of this has put me in a much more stable environment in my head and heart. TM isn’t something I do near enough. When I do it regularly I can experience the benefits but I find that it’s more effective when done in a room with other people. When I’m by myself I get so distracted with all my thoughts that I don’t get as much of a good experience than when I’m around other meditators. Yoga I like doing by myself because it allows me to really stay in a pose and not be guided by someone else, I get into a deeper, more relaxed state. When I’m in a yoga class, I get a lot out of it in strength training but I don’t get the nice, relaxed, deep stretches that relieve so much stress.
This is just a quick run down on what has worked for me recently. I’m still searching for better ways of opening my mind. Lately I’ve found Indigo Speaker on youtube who suggested an interesting concept with taking a single Tarot card and studying it, go into a daydream about it and then write it down. I’ve always been able to read Tarot easily and have multiple decks so this allows me to sit and really find new meanings. I’m not a religious person by any means and usually take a pretty Buddhist/new age view on things, borderline agnostic. One of my favorite quotes by Alan Watts is: “the Buddha said, You’re never going to meet god during your lifetime so why waste your time?” This viewpoint has served me well for most of my lifetime but I still search because life is boring if you’re just content with what is put directly before you.