Saturday, March 26, 2011

Theta To Turiya~

The advantages of meditation for our day to day life. *or something to that effect*

I have tried and tested personal self help sort of meditation (not advocated through any cult or sorts- a sort of relaxation which I have personally discovered beneficial for myself over time), for most of my post pubescent life; though not practiced in regular timed intervals (mostly erratic because of the constant demands on time for business and fun) but whenever I have managed to actualize the process and sit in my meditation room, I have felt immense bliss, peace and intense brain activity like never before.
Hence I over time have tried to understand how meditation actually helps us or changes us. There have been many studies (well at least some which have actually taken this age old process seriously) on the subject with mostly Buddhist monks (who achieve this very easily as part of their daily life) as lab rats mostly. The western scientific community still does not know much about brain chemistry and how various external and internal processes go ahead to change it while alive.
The brain actively can be present in 4 states (shown below in diagram) as the frequencies change and hence present different views of the world (internal and external). These also correspond to the 4 states of consciousness which Indian tantra and yoga states present in all living organisms for the most part. The final and most intense state in Indian yoga refers to 'Turiya'. This is intense dreaming state, where there is presence of pure consciousness reflecting itself. And the meditator/perceiver is part of this, reflecting on her own consciousness.
The other three states are - Jagrat (corresponding to beta perhaps) Svapna (corresponding to Delta state) and Sushupti(corresponding to delta and advanced alpha states).
The Alpha state is the one which is most active and strongly reinforced as a practitioner starts dreaming or meditating * Please do not confuse the dreaming I refer to as those involuntary dreams-- we are a part of without the least bit of control over them from our side- though we are the ones creating such dreams yet with no perceived control for the most part,
Rather the dreams i am talking about refer to active lucid dreaming where one is able to create visualize and project intense realistic dream in sleep while having perfect control and reflection over them*
The fourth state (turiya) corresponds closely to theta state of brain function. It is not considered a state in indian texts, rather it is an absence of states (dualistic or otherwise), and in turiya; the practitioner is able to transcend into advaitya. Into universal oneness.
The Gita propounded by Krishna also goes with something like this- while arjuna (the troubled mind asks) - How to see the lord/be the lord/Who am I? and Krishna replies (the advaitya consciousness)-
"When Dream and sleep disappear; That which is left; can be considered to be the true you"

So how to achieve theta states, if only for a certain period of time? I have pondered deep into this question, because when one starts meditating; there is initial difficulty caused due to the ever agitated nature of the mind which does not allow for even a second of pure relaxation which when overcome is followed by a sudden static state peace (though its a stagnant state and again leads later to agitation). These are progressive states experienced when the mind immerses itself in alpha wave meditation. Its a very peaceful calm and highly intelligent state. Though as one progresses in time with such meditation, the brain automatically becomes even less frequent and dives into mystical mysterious theta states.
A Bit about Theta : Theta states are compared to the deep mystical revelations and third eye opening phenomenon's through the passages of time. People who have accidentally or consciously opened their mind to infinite possibilities, slow down the frequencies of their brain activity upto 4-5 times per second; to increase their attention manifold. Other faculties like lateral thinking, strong real intuition, extreme emotional energy and release, child like abandon and creativity. Spiritual urges leading to emotional and powerful kinetic outlets are all induced in this stage of mental activity. States where super fast learning are experienced are due to theta programming in the brain as well.
Though I told you that theta is the brain wave which is most probably present during turiya, its difficult to prove it scientifically even in this day and age, for the simple reason that we will not be able to find anyone experiencing this state and willing to be experimented by lesser mortals.
But yes, I do trust that this brain wave frequency is induced to create turiya, perhaps after turiya is established... the mental frequency may dip down further. An absolute dead mind, or running at very low frequencies. But this again could be debated.


How to Induce/awaken/create it then?
I experience meditation with various tools. I always use dim lights, which affect the melatonin levels in the brain, I use quick psy fast music with a lot of beats which can help induce shamanic trance like states- which are the ones experienced in theta levels. Where there is auto programming of the brain to do something (like listen to music), and the other parts of the brain can quickly slip into slower frequencies. There is also Japa-yoga- which also helps in inducing states of emotional outbursts and again help in a sort of auto programming which keeps the brain occupied in its wandering (well not wandering- because attention is directed to only one constant source); while the rest of the brain including most senses are in a state of utter relaxation and peace. There is no introspection or thoughts then to bind you to them, and the brain remains peaceful and in deeper states unparalleled.
You can also do the same through a ryhtmic walking in nature, or running at a constant pace and so forth. Yes, I do all of these too whenever I have the attention and will to perform walking or running meditation. Its when the logical and rational systems are completely occupied with some sort of auto programmed work (like listening to music, doing japa, doing exercise etc), is when one can induce the other parts of the brain in complete-ness. The full functioning becomes beyond reckon as I have noticed with my own brain. I am not saying I can think more, or faster or better. But over the years, my brain has increased manifold in areas like stamina, will, creativity and imagination (lateral thinking for all you nerds), and so much more. Intuition and extreme emotional states are also present, and you can choose to refine these brain functions depending upon your intent and the time you can spend in this slow brain frequency stage.
Turiya is daylight in the absence of light. Its a state where there is no one to perceive anything; and yet the practitioner is there in silent receptivity, through the night and day looking into nothing in particular and with calm focused long breadths. He would seem to be oblivious to the world, though he would understand everything incoming through his senses, or his intuition. His brain would attain higher states of understanding of the active universe. Yet there is no thinking taking place. Its just a blissful being, and NO its not a mental/made up/schizophrenic/thought up/unreal/escapist state of mind. Its the nature of reality, and those who can actually start the process of unravelling Turiya under the powerful real theta states, can see the reality in the absence of a limited perception.
Peace/
Meditate for the Peace of the world and all in it. Here and Now.

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Man Made Meditation