Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Contemplative Neuroscientists Belive Meditation Can Change Your Brain

Before reading the CNN Article - Can meditation change your brain? Contemplative neuroscientists believe it can, I had never heard of contemplative neuroscientists, which basically deals with the brain science of meditation. The article touches a bit on this as well as a bit of history in meditation research as well as what is going on today with studies, the funding for that research, as well as some criticisms about that research.

Monday, October 4, 2010

It was a Dark and Stormy Morning...

This post is about a personal experience from this morning that was so intense and interesting enough that I thought I would share it. I woke up around 3 a.m. this morning, feeling a bit warm. It was then that I noticed the sound of the storm, though from my waking senses it had sounded like a bad remake of the thunder sound. I was close to an hour later when the thunder and lightning intensified, with the thunder so loud that I thought my house would explode at any minute, as it was directly overhead. As for the lightning, it was bright enough to still see it's flashes even though my eyes were closed. Finally, in the 4 o'clock hour, I started to fall asleep. That's when the real weirdness started.

The following is disjointed writing, as I wrote it this morning before taking off to work to make sure I would remember it for this evening. I'm good enough to hold the dream memories in my head for quite a while, sometimes forgetting about the dream until the middle of the day. Anyway, here we go:

Lucid dream - I woke up, but I was not in my room, but in a hotel room instead. I look out the window and see that I am the first floor of a hotel, as I look out directly on to a street and sidewalk. The sky was a brilliant orange and purple. There were a number of billboards, including one with an ad for a radio station, but not one in the waking world. I could see cars driving, even on a distant road that was curving around a hill. It may have been sunset as opposed to sunrise.

Another lucid dream, continuation of the dream above, or maybe this part came first - woke up to a radio. Saw two clocks as opposed to just my one. What looked like a small clock turned into or turned out to be a boombox. Tried to find a local radio station on the radio (after trying to remember the station number) and think I found it, but am not sure, as I did not recognize the song on the radio or the artist (but then, that station has been playing music I do not recognize lately).

After this (I slipped out of the dream) I seemed to focus on going back to look at those billboards from the first dream. Not sure if this focus was from within the other dream or from the waking world. I was able to do it easily. Also saw more of a cityscape, but it did not match the city I live in, even though I saw a billboard with an ad that mentioned the city. I would've likened it to more like Seattle, based on some of the structures I saw, but it probably didn't match that city.

Another dream in a hotel, down in the lobby, an ex-coworker was working the bellhop desk. Then I was in the elevator, trying to remember my floor, then remembering it was the 12th floor, and selecting that.

In one of these dreams, where I realize it was a dream, I am still in the dream, yet hear the AC from the waking world.

Later, I had a more normal dream that looked like a sitcom. Don't remember much except an excited discussion, something about knife throwing and a competition, then a group of big biker looking like guys coming in and starting to sing acapella.

I seem to remember trying to see my hands in front of the clock shades from a window, but am not sure if it was in the dream or waking world. I tend to think the dream world, as there was a bit too much light for that time in the morning.

These dreams went by pretty quickly. Ten minutes or so would pass, I wake up, go back into sleep, and dream again. The combination in the number of dreams, as well as the lucidness of them (which I have had before, but rarely), and the fact that a number of these were about waking up (and I've had those dreams before, including dreaming about waking up from a dream), not knowing what was real and what was a dream, made me feel a bit crazy. My brain definitely felt a bit off when I woke up this morning.