I’m finished with Holosync

Right before I left for my training, my new level of Holosync came (I am starting Level 3). But this time  when I opened the case expecting to find the usual 4 CDs, there were only 2.  There was the first one, and the 5th one called “Floating,” which I don’t ever listen to.

This was really annoying, but I didn’t have time to call Centerpointe and get to the bottom of it because I was walking out the door, so I just shoved the first CD in, and threw the headphones into my suitcase. I never did listen to them during my training days.

Lately I’ve been thinking about my old sitting practice, the one where I would just sit down, sit perfectly still, and watch the mental “show” for a designated period of time.  No CDs, no headphones, no rain, no gongs.  Just whatever happened to be happening in the moment.

It took a lot of discipline to do that, whereas it takes no discipline to do Holosync.

Holosync takes my brain into a whole different world, and I like that world, but there is also something to be said for learning to deal with the tedium, the banality, and somedays, if I’m lucky, the magic, of “reality.”

I read somewhere that if we truly want to be consistently happy, we need to learn to “fall in love with reality.”

Yeah. That’s the truth, isn’t it?

Today, for instance, it was freezing cold out. The sun was out, it looked like spring, but the wind bit my face, and the cold went right into my bones. It hurt to walk the dog. And to think, just this time last week people were driving around with their convertible tops down!

So as I was cursing the cold, I thought of this “falling in love with reality” idea.  I thought, “Can I fall in love with this cold?”  If I could, there would be no discomfort. It would just be, well, cold,– without all the drama of me hating it and wishing it would be otherwise.

But I couldn’t pull it off.  I couldn’t fall in love with today’s cold and wind, though I could imagine being able to.  I  thought back to that time when I used to practice being okay with everything as it was, and that was the time I was sitting still every day for a few minutes with the sole intention of paying attention to reality.  Not to fall in love with it necessarily, but just to be aware of it.

So, I’ve decided to put away my Holosync headphones for awhile and go back to sitting.  Just 10 minutes a day to start, and then working up in time.

I think it’s time to start a new streak.

One Year of Holosync

Yesterday was my 1-year anniversary with Holosync.

365 consecutive days without a miss.

Have I ever been this consistent with anything?  I don’t think so.  As a kid I would give up things for Lent, but how long is Lent? 6 weeks?

But with Lent you “give up” stuff.  With Holosync I added something; I added a whole hour of blessed NOTHING to my day.

It wasn’t hard to do, either.  Not like giving up candy for Lent. Not like sitting Zen.  I don’t know if I could have sat on my cushion for an hour a day, every day for a year.  Maybe, but it’s not likely.

The beauty of Holosync is that it is enjoyable, so I looked forward that hour in my Space Chair with my feet up every day.  And unlike Zen, there wasn’t the incessant work of mind-herding and corralling to attend to.

All I did was sit and listen to the rain for an hour.

At the beginning I was itchy.  As I sat, headphones on, listening to the rain, I would think: I have things to do!  This hour is going to put me waaay behind!  I’m not going to have enough time to (fill in the blank):

Walk the dog

Do the dishes

Get to the bank in time

Mop the studio, etc

But that was mainly the worries of the beginning months of the practice.  Now it has its “slot” in my day. I just drop it in, like a coin.

And that metaphor is apt, because this 1-hour meditation is money.  I have something of value in the bank. I have 365 hours of “nothing” earning compound interest.

But as I just re-read that sentence, I think I need a new metaphor because it doesn’t feel like “nothing.”

It feels more like space. Like real estate.  Like land.

Every hour is an acre, a cleared parcel in my mind.  Some of these acres run alongside rivers, some have ocean views, others are at the tops of mountains affording long vistas.

Every one-hour acre of time gives me a place to stand, to land, to sit.  Every hour gives me a piece of psychic geography, and from that home base, I can venture out into the world more quietly.

I feel less needy, more generous. I feel that whatever chaos I should happen to run into in the form of people, or events, or even my own inability to focus, I always have that hour to look back on, remember, and pull up from recent memory and stand there.

People talk about having a “happy place” in their mind that they retreat to when their present reality is either incomprehensible, intolerable or uncomfortable.

What meditating every day gives me is a “happy place” the size of a small country.

By tending its infrastructure, by “walking its fences” everyday, I get to know it, and it gets to know ME.

“Oh, here you are again,” it seems to say as I settle in to The Dive.  “You belong here.”

In this clear, clean space I can write my book, do my yoga practice, make dinner, or meet you for tea and conversation.  It’s a place conducive to creativity and clear thinking.  It has places of high vantage points, as well as cozy cabins to curl up in to germinate new ideas.

After a year of this practice, I feel that I am just now beginning to get comfortable in this new country.  I am also getting the sense that this “little kingdom” might be a lot bigger than it appears.

I am definitely feeling a sense of pride today on this anniversary.  I did something I said I wanted to do.  So many times in the past I have said I wanted something but never followed through, never persisted, never dug my heels in and guarded my supposed “wants” from all invaders.

In the past I weakened. In the past I thought, “Just one day won’t matter; I’ll get right back to it tomorrow.”

But you know what? That one day DOES MATTER.  Because that’s the day the pile of Jenga blocks you’ve erected comes crashing down and you have to start all over again.

And yeah, you can start all over again the next day, and because of the work you did before, all the blocks are within reach and the pile goes up easier the second time.

But there is always the thought, at least for me, of “What if I hadn’t crashed it back there?  How much farther would I be now, and what would that first thing have looked like?”

So, yes, there is some pride in piling up these 365 hours of time, in acquiring these 365 acres of psycho-spiritual geography.

But from this new vantage point, I see that I am still not standing on the top of the mountain the way I had hoped. This year of daily meditation has just brought me to the trailhead.

It is only now that the climb can start.  It is only now that I am in shape and properly equipped.

So my new goal is 1,000 days.  Why not?  But really, the number of days isn’t important.  What’s important is constancy and persistence over time.

And even constancy and persistence aren’t the real goals.

The real goals of these disciplined practices, for me, is the person they make me. These practices aren’t so much what I do, they’re who I am.  My practices become me, my identity.  They align me, they shore me up, they give me ballast, they inform me.

They are who you see when you look into my eyes.  They are who you “know” when you say you “know” me.

It’s so simple, really.

And it’s also really, really sacred.

Hooked on Holosync: The Top 6 Reasons Why I Do Holosync

Lately, every time I Twitter or Facebook that I am going up to my space chair to Holosync, somebody writes, “Huh?  What’s Holosync?”  So this post will be my “answer.”

I’m not going to go into what Holosync is, though.  You can find out about it here.  Suffice it to say that it is a 21st Century way to meditate using brain wave technology.  You don’t meditate.  Holosync meditates you.

I have been doing it now for the past 158 days without a miss.  That’s 22 and a half weeks, or over 5 months.  Here’s what keeps me coming back:

1.  It’s Pleasurable

I actually look forward to this hour each day.  I like the ritual putting on of the headphones, the settling back into the chair, the closing of the eyes in preparation for float-off.  The sound of the rain and the chimes instantly deepens my breath and relaxes my muscles.  Ahhhh….

2.  It’s Error-Free

I don’t worry about doing it “right” mainly because there is no “doing it” at all.  Holosync “does” it.  Even if I sit for that hour and do the forbidden “thinking” i.e. problem-solving or planning my future, that’s okay.  Holosync is still working in the background. It’s kind of like a Roomba for your mind.

3.  There’s a Reliable Anchor.

Holosync is the anchor.  In a traditional meditation practice, you decide on an anchor (the breath or a mantra) and keep coming back to it when your mind wanders.  With Holosync, the rain is the anchor.  You can say a mantra if you want, or count your breaths, but what for?  There’s really no need.  Whenever you get bored of your thoughts, you can just focus on the rain and how wonderful it is to be sitting in this peaceful place listening to it.  Back in my medieval meditation days, I’d sometimes feel my anchor wasn’t working and switch in the middle of the meditation.  Then I’d spend the rest of the hour beating myself up about never being able to stick with an anchor.  With Holosync, there’s just the rain. It’s always there.  It’s comforting, constant, and easy.

4.  Falling Asleep is Not a Sin.

There is no “sin” with Holosync.  Whatever happens is OK.  I do find that if I’m able to stay alert and “with it” during the hour though, the effect is more lasting and powerful.  But even if I happen to Holo-snooze, rather than Holo-sync, it’s the most nourishing kind of rest—like falling asleep in savasana. And no robed guy with a stick ever comes up behind me and whacks me on the back.

5.  It’s Comfortable

I can do it in a comfy chair, or lying in a chaise lounge on my deck, or in bed with a lavender-scented eye bag over my eyes.  No lumpy cushion, no staring at a white wall, no legs falling asleep, no aching hips.  Best of all, no mental struggle about whether or not I should cave and scratch that itch in my armpit.  (Good god, I have suffered so much in drafty rooms with dead feet and the need to pee.  I am so very done with all that.)

6.  Something is Happening

Just like after a traditional meditation session, some days after my Holosync session I feel amazing, some days I feel nothing, some days I feel cranky.  For a while I wondered if all this “brain wave technology” stuff was just a lot of hooey.  What if it turned out that it was totally fake, and nothing was going on in my brain, and I had been sold a bill of goods?

You know what?  I’d still do it.  Because this hour I have been spending for the past 158 days makes me feel so balanced, rested, creative, sorted out, peaceful and energized that it’s like pushing the “re-set” button at the bowling alley.  The sweeper thing comes through, gets rid of the mess, then sets up the pins again in nice symmetrical rows, ready for the next roll of the ball.  It’s “meditative” without all the pain and suffering of “meditation.”  As I told a friend recently, “Why walk to California when you can fly? Why do it the hard way when you can get to the same place easier and faster?”

(This next part will only make sense to Holosync users.)

Holosync Levels

As I go through the levels (I am now on Awakening Level 1, Disc 2) I am noticing that when I first start a level, I fall asleep.  Then, a few weeks in, I can actually stay alert for the whole hour.

With each new level, there is always that initial falling asleep stage (Holo-snooze), then an increasing ability to hang with it.  I am now 5 days into this new level and I can stay awake for most of the Dive, but this new level of Immersion is really konking me out pretty good.

I fully expect by the end of the 6 weeks on this level though, I will be able to stay alert through the whole thing and then be ready for the challenge of the next level.

As I am able to sustain alertness in these ever deepening levels, I feel that it’s increasing my ability to stay alert to more subtler states of awareness  in my life. I  notice more, and seem to be more present even when doing  familiar and monotonous routines that I would normally do on autopilot (like the dishes, or cleaning out the cat box.)  I think I like living this kind of life where things are not done in a zombie-like, slurred-over mode, you know?

That’s why I do Holosync.