What most people who get into this game don’t realize is, you are already an incredibly accomplished adept in certain kinds of mind yoga. You have to be: the only way you could sustain such an aberrant and dysfunctional set of assumptions for your entire life, is if you had concentration that could crush diamonds, and withering commitment to various behavioral disciplines that borders on the suicidal. Maintaining anything resembling a stable identity for hours a day is a truly heroic feat of concentration.

This is both a good thing, and a bad thing: the good thing is all you have to do is slightly re-direct your focus and everything falls into place. Indeed, that slight alteration of focus is much easier that what you were probably doing before.

The bad thing is, if you don’t give yourself the proper directions, that power of mind that you’ve cultivated can turn on you in the most dire ways. This is why some people, particularly accomplished adepts, get really fucked over in the dark night. It’s not that they don’t know what they’re doing, but rather that they are too good at what they know and slight maladjustments are a big deal.

One of the things I’ve picked back up in the last week or so is giving myself a regular series of structured hypnotic inductions, to help reprogram my subconscious mind. This is probably a much faster and more efficient means of metaprogramming than whipping yourself, fasting or wearing hair shirts, but everything in it’s proper place.

I was very much into this a few years ago and it drove most of the alchemy for the braindamaged series and much of my best work of that time. When my machine died and took all my accumulated hypnosis recordings and whatnot with it, is when things started to go off the rails and I began focusing on things in a less productive way. I’ve just now begun to reconstruct my collection and get back into that kind of self-programming with vigor.

What it comes down to is that you need to give the mind proper instructions. Especially when you’re doing insight practice and taking out huge chunks of previously unquestioned material and replacing it with nothing, or sharpening your concentration to the point you can pick out the most abrasive sensations and turn them into what feels like an indestructible holding pattern. You need to tell yourself what to do, what to focus on and how to readjust your beliefs, or you are taking your life in your hands. It’s easy to get all gung ho on the simple and clear injunctions of vipassanna and samatha and get bent on becoming an arahat, but all that stuff has to fit into some kind of functional container, and that container is you.

Fortunately all that practice  I’d done in the past was still laid in deep, and responded quite quickly to some new well-structured suggestions, such as one can now get on youtube. There are better ones to be had if you look, by better hypnotists, but it’s a fine place to start. One of my favorites, “major” mark cunningham, has said that at the level where the conscious meets the subconscious, problems don’t exist. That’s a pretty nice place  to be, I’ll tell you that for nothing.

Now, disclaimer, I can’t pretend that I’m some schmuck off the street and this stuff will necessarily work for you the way it has for me. I’m about 15 years into various forms of mind and body training, and 10 years into essentially doing it as my sole vocation, so I’m a little farther up the curve than some of you lot, and it’s hard to know sometimes what is the practice and what is the conditioning.  But I feel quite sure that it won’t hurt, especially if you’ve got some game in the altered states department already. It certainly can’t be any worse than letting CNN hypnotise your ass every day.


7 thoughts on “Getting out of the Ditch

  1. On account of this I’ve been spurred to using hypnoroutines on the subway every morning. It’s only day 3 of that experiment, but I have to wonder why I quit doing that. I never got a lot of mileage out of pre-recorded stuff (e.g., “Major” Mark’s stuff is just too goddamn vague) but spontaneous stuff works.

    That said the biggest problem I have is that with hypnosis you really end up with ecological issues. It’s kind of like re-routing streams in your backyard–you might hit the gas line while you’re digging. E.g., right now I’ve gotten three times as much accomplished at work as usual–I just neglected to realize that my “peak productivity” time was at 9 PM. It’s one of those cases where there’s so much work to be done that by the time you’d be ready it’d be irrelevant.

    Wow, this is a bad endorsement. I’m not in PR for a reason.

  2. for I’m my own part I’m finding it quite surprising. I’ve slept amazingly well since i started, and I keep noticing subtle changes in how i think and feel about things that very much feel ‘installed’, which would be kind of disturbing, if i hadn’t chosen to take it on, which is probably the only way it would work anyway. Hypnotic effects basically branch out of the trance phenomena of access jhana, and i find myself really ‘trancing out’ several times a day now, and it’s like having two hours of sleep in thirty seconds, and all my anxiety and tension have gone away. I imagine the only reason I can relax enough to do this is that I don’t cling to my frontal personality as much anymore, and the fact that my subconscious can just shut me off to do a reboot isn’t that big of a deal. It’s kind of fun when you can just accept that your conscious mind was never in charge to begin with.

  3. Love your writing, Zac. Found your blog today from MonkMojo. I’ve read Ingram several times, worked for Integral Institute, been on Buddhist Geeks, etc. We’ve surely crossed paths somewhere, perhaps in the Dharma Overground before I flipped out and left due to a conflict with Vince (hence resolved IRL).

    That YouTube hypnosis video has a pretty good trance induction, the visuals are nice and trippy, and I didn’t object to any of the direct suggestions (rare for me). Overall, a godd intro.

    I’ve been in the hypnosis and NLP world for about 6 years now, and if I may make a suggestion, I have found that the Core Transformation process created by Connirae Andreas is the most powerful hypnotherapeutic process I’ve come across for deep psychological healing and integration. It really gets you to deep states (called “core states”) quickly and with full ecology, full integration of all objections. Very useful for anxiety and other unwanted emotions.

    CT is basically practical alchemy, turning psychological lead into gold. Very, very effective stuff.

    More about CT here: http://coretransformation.org

    I recommend reading the book and doing the exercises therein. Very easy to learn with meditation background. CT doesn’t give specific suggestions however, so you can use it as a supplement to direct suggestion hypnosis.

    I haven’t heard his stuff, but I wonder about Cunningham’s connections to the “seduction community” and “circle relationships.” In my experience, there is no refuge in sex (no matter how pleasurable or frequent), although certainly having one’s needs met here is a fine thing as part of a full human life.

    I’ve found that much of the hypnosis and NLP world is mired in black (non-enLIGHTening) magic aimed at the acquisition of personal power, sex, fame, wealth, etc.–practicing methods that increase already existing suffering (usually increasing psychological conflict, cultivating ego inflation and grasping, etc.) and reducing liberation. Usually it’s a mix of course–lots of good stuff and some illusion, at least until some mythical point of perfection. I would advise steering clear of the seduction or personal achievement hypnosis stuff, but that’s just from my personal experience.

    Anyway, I have lots more thoughts on hypnosis/NLP/vipassana/etc. that I’m always happy to chat about.


  4. thanks Duff.

    I was following you on twitter already, actually.

    I absolutely agree a lot of self help stuff is ego-magick, and potentially pathological. My feeling is that most people need a little bit of it to untangle the neurotic repression and resentment that comes from not getting any of what you want. skipping over it in favor of spiritual cultivation usually creates pathologies that come back at a later date. you become holy instead of getting laid, and your enlightenment group turns into a sex cult.

    I’m well aware of the dubious side of cunningham. I stick mostly to his self-help inductions, and business stuff. his contribution to the seduction community was mostly ‘inner game’ as far as i could tell, which was all I really wanted.

    I’ve never had much to say on the DhO. I spend most of my time convincing people to start insight, not arguing minutiae with people who already do it. besides there are guys on there who represent my views with much more vigor and saves me the effort of actually doing it myself.

    anyway, thanks for the contributions and come back anytime.

  5. Interesting thoughts re: getting what you want before going too much into spirituality. I guess the potential for pathology exists whether you go holy first or human first. I actually rejected meditation and spirituality early because I saw the potential danger of spiritual bypassing, given strong social anxiety as a kid. And the path of figuring out how to get your human needs met is just messy for most of us, which is part of the whole deal.

    Glad to hear you are already on the same page with Cunningham. Inner game is in my opinion the most important, no matter the context.

    And probably wise of you to avoid arguing minutiae between meditators.

    Looking forward to more of your writing,

  6. I’ve tried some of Cunningham’s stuff (which worked), but I’m curious if there are other, specific inductions you could recommend.

  7. I haven’t really done much in a while, but I recall liking some of kenrick cleveland’s stuff a fair bit. richard bandler can be fun if you can see past that he’s a bit of a douchebag, and his ‘inductions’ are usually just rambling anecdotes loaded with hypnotic metaphors.

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