As something I do more than 1/3 of my life, I truly value my sleep experience. After over a decade of use, I gave away my vintage 2008 king-size Simmons Beautyrest Black because my new place didn't have room for it. Instead, I slept on double-size futon for 6 months until I couldn't take anymore. The time had come for me to find a new luxury mattress. After a lot of internet research and exactly zero personal testing of actual mattresses, it appeared to come down to 3 options
In these unprecedented times of quarantines and curfews, the key factor of our human morality we are processing is that of "free will." Free Will is the most quintessential element of our existence here on planet earth. Of course, we all want free will for ourselves, and we have been generally given that. The bigger challenge for human existence is not asserting our own free will, but to only have free will up to the extent that it does not impinge upon the free will of others.
It has been said that our primary mission in this existence as humans on this planet is a decision between "service to self" and "service to others." In the case of free will, many on this plane have mastered it in terms of "service to self." Unfortunately for them, this is a pyramid scheme, and only the true top 1% will succeed. On the other hand, in a world of "service to others," the system sustains itself if everyone is at least 51% service to others. The key is a balance to experience human life sustainably with the evolutionary goal of service to some higher purpose beyond that of your own physical body... or even gene pool or social circle.
It has been several years since I've visited Ma Ayahuasca, and this story was written back then, but not published until now. Interesting; I think it contains wisdom. Notably, "Humans don't exactly 'need' drugs like ayahuasca, but when we expose ourselves to the other drugs in our food and media, we become conditioned to the point where we may indeed need another drug to quickly break the conditioning..."
Nowadays, I say things like breathwork can help too.
I wrote this blog a while back to promote my Sleep album from Guided Meditation Treks. It sat on my hard drive for a while, and I've moved on to other albums since then, but I've still remained an avid lucid dreamer. These are the secrets I've uncovered in researching and experiencing this topic for many years. If you're not familiar with the concepts, a lucid dream is a dream where you know you are dreaming. Once you become lucid in a dream, you can become a conscious creator of it. Imagine yourself in a world where anything is possible – a world where the physics of earth do not apply. It’s not only a world where the repercussions of an action have no (known) physical consequences, but it’s also a world where you can have just about any experience delivered to you at will. As a lucid dreamer, it becomes possible for you to visit unimaginable places in your dream and even co-create the dream itself! An out of body experience is similar in that the steps to induce it are similar, but the difference is that your consciousness remains in some version of the physical reality instead of the dream world. Here are the secrets to go to these places!
I've been writing software for some 30 years now, since I got my first computer at age 10 and copied BASIC programs out of 3-2-1 Contact magazine so I could play games on my Apple II compatible. I graduated with an IT degree at the peak of the tech boom, worked for a Fortune 500 bank, a couple of growth companies, my own side projects, and most recently, I even co-founded a software startup. However, nothing quite prepared me for the stressful journey of finding my next endeavor on the job market of Boulder, Colorado. Here's my story and my advice for anyone else about to be put through the wringer...
As a white male, I've grown up with a level of priveledge and entitlement in this world which had led me to rarely question my advantages, but worse, sometimes question the plight of those who mostly experience disadvantage and discrimination -- the total opposite of privilege and entitlement. As a person who, above all, strives to serve the greatest good of others and the greatest good of all, this is an unacceptable state. Fortunately, after being in a long-term relationship with a person of color, I've had the blessing to be able to gain a better understanding of how the dichotomy of skin color separates us in subtle ways, and how we still to this day create unfair advantages for ourselves, even in states of ignorance when we are trying to help. In this blog, I explore various ways that we, as white people, create these disadvantages, as well as how we can transcend beyond the lip service we give to people of color as we all try to erase separation and truly treat each other as equals.
This was a great question asked in The Law of One series. Here's Ra's take...
Questioner: Can you expand on the concept which is that it is necessary for an entity, during incarnation in the physical as we know it, to become polarized or interact properly with other entities and why this isn’t possible in between incarnations when the entity is aware of what he wants to do. Why must he come into an incarnation and lose conscious memory of what he wants to do and then act in a way in which he hopes to act?
Living in this world as an individual whose life is a set of linear experiences over time, we may fall into the trap of seeing things only from our own point of view, unable to see the other side of an argument because of our own lack of experience. This is compounded when we surround ourselves with others who have only had similar life experiences, resulting in an echo chamber that amplifies our own beliefs and reassures us that our positions are the correct ones.
A simple example of this can be shown any given day on social media, where we argue about concepts that have been neatly placed into dichotomies that force us to “pick a side.” Without a variety of life experiences, it becomes easy to pick one of the sides and then get swept into an argument where we disregard the experience of others, which may be different than our own.
My New Book, Spin the World Around, is available now on Amazon
At the end of my trip around the world through 24 countries, I found myself with a 750,000-word draft “travel book.” It was gargantuan. After months of editing, I realized I needed to split it into two books, and of course, continue editing. The first book was a guide for someone to travel deeply and cheaply entitled How to Spin the World Around. Now, I present a nonfiction narrative entitled Spin the World Around, in which the protagonist (me) essentially discovers the methodology of travel later outlined in the first book.
The experience of writing a memoir has been a time-consuming process, and it taught me about how we can play with time. Just the other day, I was cleaning out my garage and I found a journal in a filing cabinet. I opened it to an entry I had written when I was in high school, and it was about the desire to travel the world for adventure. “I’m not afraid of death,” was one of the lines written in the journal entry. I hadn’t read this entry probably in decades, but I’m sure it’s no coincidence that the same line written in my high school journal was later said during a key moment by a person I met years later in this book I’m about to release – about my world travel adventure. Be careful what you wish for; I’m glad that’s behind me. Then, I realize that this book I’m about to release actually ended about 3 years ago, and the protagonist was not only growing and changing over the course of the book, but once the book ended, I continued to grow and and change. I realize and accept that I am no longer the person I was in this book, just as a river is ever-changing and never the same moment to moment. That said, capturing the river in a given moment with a photograph or a story is a worthwhile creative endeavor. Learning to look back at our past selves with compassion is also worth it.
A certain amount of time was needed between the completion of the events and the manifesting of storyline omniscience. This allowed me to write a nonfiction narrative instead of just regurgitate a slew of chronological journal entries. Editing became key, as well as generating a story arc and developing a writing style. I worked with several editors and learned something from each of them. Before I even split to two books, I was encouraged to focus on action-based parts from the first editor. “More Action! Action! Action!” she’d write in the margins. The second editor was actually a writer who I paid up front through a proxy, but they never got back to me after they got paid. One guy offered to edit, but after reading the first chapter, he claimed to already know how it ended, so I knew I was in for another re-write. The editor I ended up crediting on the title page spent the most time with me and made the most impact on the writing style. The entire process helped make me a better writer… and editor. The good editors would generate writing assignments for more writing to be further edited. This process could go on for infinity, but eventually I needed to let it go. I encourage everyone to write their own memoir, if only to learn about oneself through creating it and become a better writer (and editor). In the mean time, I hope you enjoy my story and find my message valuable.
With that, I present to you – Spin the World Around. Available now.
I've had my kundalini awakened by a Siddha Yogi in India, visited ma ayahuasca with shamans, participated in white tantric yoga, become certified in reikki and breathwork, worked with the akashic records, practiced guided and silent meditation for years, experienced lucid dreaming and out of body experiences, and even once spent a night in jail, but nothing could quite prepare me for my recent 10-day vipassana seminar near Dallas, Texas hosted by dhamma.org.
I have to say first-hand that it was a life-changing experience, and in great alignment with my philosophical beliefs. The retreat taught me a new way of meditating that has made it a great pleasure to meditate for long periods of time while sitting still; witnessing sensations arise and pass with objective equanimity has also led me to approach the world in a different way.
Since being back (it's been two weeks as I write this), I've been meditating twice a day, averaging at least 90 minutes of meditation per day, and in those times, really getting to know my body, mind, and senses, inside and out. This practice is one that I can see carrying on for a long time because it is so empowering, and it allows me to journey within myself for the answers by exploring sensations arising from within. As I continue to meditate daily, I can literally feel physical healing, and I am more able to connect with others to "be there" with an few extra moments to listen before letting my thoughts and sensations lead me to a hasty response. I've also totally lost interest in facebook debates, politics, and other argumentative divisive activities disguised as worthy philosophical discussion. In fact, reading some of my older posts on this site yesterday, I can see a growth in my thought processes. Certain things, which used to sometimes consume me, have just become irrelevant, and I don't even need to try to explain anymore. "Change starts from within" has a more genuine meaning to me now. I see a vibration shift, and I can see how this helps me focus on giving more time to positive contributions. The work continues, but it's been a great start.
Here is a blog I wrote about the retreat on my Guided Meditation Treks site with more details. I highly recommend that ANYONE gather the motivation, strength, and courage to take a 10-day retreat with Goenka. It will change your life... actually YOU will change your life! - READ MORE
Copyright (c) 2015 Russell Eric Dobda