Level 2, Days 12-14: New Mental State Unlocked!

Hey folks- sorry it’s been a few days since I’ve blogged! Days 12 and 13 were pretty standard sleep practice- it would take me a few minutes, but once I was under I drifted off to sleep pretty easily and never even woke up at the end of the session to get my headphones/phone out of bed.

Today was a really awesome practice- out of all my BrainEv practice sessions thus far I think it was the most interesting mental state I’ve attained yet.

I laid down for my practice feeling pretty tired, thinking that today’s session might just turn into a nap. I was using my nice big headphones (Sennheiser HD-205s), and had the volume on a little louder than usual. My mind started off a bit busy, and thoughts gradually shifted into those sorts of odd visualizations that I have before sleep- nonsensical, sometimes funny, and as one commenter here has pointed out, maybe a gateway into lucid dreaming. They weren’t particularly vivid or memorable today, but they were present and I was aware of them.

Something interesting happened though- midway through the session, I definitely wasn’t asleep, but I was still aware at some level. Usually when I reach the deepest parts of the session, I’m not even aware at that point, I’m pretty much unconscious. Today, I maintained some degree of consciousness, which was very interesting!

That effect, though, was in strongest force AFTER the session had ended- I decided that since I had been feeling tired and hadn’t fallen asleep during practice that I would just stay right where I was and nap for a bit. Except…I still didn’t fully fall asleep. My physical body was completely shut down, I felt like I couldn’t move (although I didn’t really try to/want to), but my mind was still somewhat conscious! Not fully, but I was definitely present. It was a strange sensation, I felt like my mind was separate/detached from my body, almost like a vague out of body experience. I stayed there just relaxing/vaguely thinking/napping for 15 minutes, although it felt like much longer.

At any rate, it was a fascinating sensation that made my practice all the more interesting today. I do feel like BrainEv is opening me up to those same levels of mind that are used in things like lucid dreaming or out of body experiences, so I’m even more excited now to continue progressing with it!

Level 2, Day 4: Intrusive Thoughts

So I missed a few days of BrainEv as I just went through a pretty tough time in my life- a breakup 🙁

Although I’m feeling better and back on my feet again, that doesn’t mean that I don’t still think about it plenty every day, and I found that those intrusive thoughts + the increased difficulty of mental relaxation in Level 2 made today’s practice a challenge.

Although I think there may have been brief moments where I was mentally relaxed during the last 10 minutes of the practice, my mind was switched “on” and thoughts were flowing for almost the entire duration.

I’m glad that I didn’t fall into the trap of “efforting” my mind to remain quiet- I did stay as relaxed as possible, and was physically relaxed as well. But between the audio making it more challenging to mentally “go under” (as is the purpose of Level 2), and my thoughts proving more of a roadblock than usual, today’s practice was iffy and tough.

I’m interested to see how long this continues on for, if at all, hopefully not too long! If nothing else, I’m getting a lot out of Level 2’s challenges!

Level 2, Day 1: A Clumsy Jump In!

That’s the support/preparation/explanation for Level 2. If you’re going through this journey with me, I’d recommend you watch that before jumping into Level 2- I wish I did! (and if you aren’t doing this, then what are you waiting for?! You get a free mp3 to start!)

I think the philosophy behind BrainEv is super cool- rather then make a product that you need to rely upon to relax and enter deep states of mind, they’re actually trying to train you to build these skills on your own WITHOUT needing the program! Although Level 2 is still “introductory” and “skill building”, it’s pretty different from Level 1. And it’s even explained that this level may at first seem less pleasant.

That’s because there’s new challenges introduced- ambient sound (louder and sometimes cacophonous church chimes) are added to the audio, and the brainwave entrainment part of the audio is no longer the overbearing all-encompassing focus, it’s now a little less pronounced. This is so that you can better build up your ability to relax in the face of stressful situations.

And this did indeed effect me at first! Because of the chimes, it took me a while to really relax. Maybe 15 minutes, much longer than the 5min Level 1 used to take me. Now, if that had just been the session, I’d consider it a pretty decent day 1. However, I made one major blunder…

I forgot that I had had my iPod on “repeat song” earlier that day, and the audio ended up repeating itself! I guess I fell asleep somewhere late into the audio, and because the sounds just continued and looped, I never noticed and woke back up, I just kept sleeping! So I actually listened to the audio twice through, but really only the first time was beneficial.

Anyways, tomorrow I’ll make sure that feature is off, and I’ll report back and let you know how it goes! Brave new territory here, this is already as exciting as I’d hoped!

Level 1, Day 31: Level 1 Graduation

Today I “graduate” from Level 1. I feel pretty accomplished- it took way longer than a month, and I’m only seeing a sliver of progress on my goals, but I know that things are working for me and I can’t wait to see what Level 2 holds.

I spent my final reflection day to just read every blog post I’ve written during Level 1. I know I didn’t write a post every day, but I want to get better with maintaining this blog during Level 2 and also make some improvements to the design/layout/etc.

I also revisited my listing of goals, and based on some of my other practices/readings right now, as well as my life circumstances (I’ve been struggling with anxiety at my sales job), I’ve made a few changes. I deleted the goal to improve cognitive functioning (just not as important right now), added a new one about unlocking new dimensions of awareness, and otherwise tweaked/reworked the existing ones.

So now, my (semi-prioritized) list of goals is as follows:

  • Open a new channel of awareness and free myself from my mind by “watching the thinker” (see Eckhart Tolle’s “The Power of Now”)
  • Decrease stress levels and increase “being in a ‘flow state’” in my everyday life
  • Enable and support positive rewiring and reprogramming of my brain
  • Reach and explore new, deeper states of relaxation and mind
  • Begin and boost a lifelong love and daily practice of meditation

Can’t wait to see what Level 2 will hold for me. I’ll check in tomorrow after my first brainwave practice!

Level 1, Day 30: Last Level I Practice!

I have to say, I’m actually kind of surprised that I made it this far. When I started using BrainEv, I almost persuaded myself AGAINST making this blog, thinking to myself “Ugh, I never finish these things- I’ll just give up after a week or two.” So I’m feeling pretty accomplished right now.

I’ll use my time tomorrow for the final Level I reflection (and then I’m on to Level II holy crap!), so in this post I’m just going to talk about how my final practice went.

I did a late afternoon practice as I usually do (when I’m not doing pre-sleep practice), and it went very well. I went into it feeling a little bit of dread and anxiety about my work life (things are kind of tough right now, but it makes using BrainEv all the more worthwhile), and doing the practice definitely helped erase/alleviate those feelings. Within 5 minutes I was fully relaxed and in a deep state of meditation.

I stayed consistently down, except for a brief moment of consciousness maybe 15-20 minutes in where I just felt gratitude and said “wow, this feels great” and continued along. It took me a few extra minutes to fully “wake up” after the audio ended, maybe 2-3 minutes, but I know I didn’t fall asleep and I woke up feeling nice and refreshed.

Overall, a great note to end Level I on!

Level 1, Days 16-25: Moving Forward!

Just wanted to check in and say that I AM alive and yes I AM still moving forward with BrainEv (although I missed a few days).

There’s been once or twice that I’ve practiced early evening when I get home from work, but otherwise it’s been a lot of turning it on as I get in bed for the night. The same pattern always happens- takes me about 5 minutes or so to go “under”, I’m in a deep state of relaxation throughout, but not asleep, and then by the end of the audio I’m awake enough again to realize the audio has ended, take my headphones out, and head back to sleep easily.

That’s so awesome, considering that I used to always fall fully asleep during the audio and sleep past the ending as well. Now even if it’s actually bedtime, my brainwaves are entrained to the BrainEv Level 1 audio!

Anyways, I’ll make sure I’m doing daily blogs here as I approach the end of Level 1 and the start of new things! :O

 

Level 1, Day 14: Reflection 1.2

Today was a reflection day, which means that instead of using the brainwave audio (free download here), I sit in silent mindfulness meditation for around 10 minutes, and then spend some time reflecting on how BrainEv is working for me, my progress, my goals with the program, etc.

It was an incredibly busy day, so I did my mindfulness meditation while on the subway, which proved to have both good and bad aspects- the 10 minutes passed by very quickly, but once or twice I had to open my eyes because I was starting to feel disoriented. It was also a bit noisy for my taste, but not unmanageable.

Overall, I’m pretty happy with my progress in BrainEv so far- I have to keep in mind that it’s just Level 1, just halfway through, but things do feel good in the here and now. I’d say at least every other session has been really great, so that’s encouraging. Also, the goals that I set for myself during my first reflection are becoming more and more important to me as I’ve started my first full-time job in sales.

So far, so good! Let’s keep on progressing- I can’t wait for Level 2.

Level 1, Day 9: 50%?

Had a pretty good Brain Evolution System session today, felt like I was in a deep state of mind, and then I checked the time and I was only 12 minutes in! Great first half.

Things weren’t as amazing the second half- I fell asleep and at the end realized that there was AGAIN loud music playing downstairs, so I have no idea if that affected my session at all. But, I can’t complain since I had a good first half.

Now I just need to keep pressing forward until my brain adapts more completely and I reach these deep states of mind for the entire duration without falling asleep. When things are working well though, it’s really enjoyable. I’m definitely starting to look forward to my daily sessions.

Level 1, Day 7: Reflection 1.1

Seeing as today marked the end of my first “week” with the Brain Evolution System, it was time to take an intentional day off from using the audio and instead spend my daily 30 minutes in self-reflection. I first reflected on my goals for using the program, then spent 10 minutes in silent meditation, and then sat down to write this blog post and some other personal writings on my progress so far.

Here are the goals I came up with for using the BrainEv system:

  • Begin and boost a lifelong love and daily practice of meditation
  • Decrease stress levels and increase “being in a ‘flow state’” in my everyday life
  • Enable and support positive rewiring and reprogramming of my brain
  • Reach and explore new, deeper states of mind
  • Increase/enhance cognitive functioning

These self-reflection days will be especially great if I use them to practice longer and longer periods of silent mindfulness meditation. Right now 10 minutes seems like a long time and I get frustrated with how pervasive my thoughts are, but after 6 months of practice I’m sure that I’ll get very good at it, plus I’ll have developed a habit where EVERY DAY I spend 30 minutes to myself in some sort of meditative state.

Otherwise, I think my biggest challenge moving forward will be staying consistent in my practice, which I have full faith that I can. It wasn’t an INCREDIBLE first week, but I feel encouraged, and think that plenty of amazing things lie ahead not just in the next week, or even Level 1, but in the entire program.

If you want to come join me on this journey, BrainEv offers a free MP3 of their program for you to try out! Grab it here.

Level 1, Day 6: A Busy Mind

Today I practiced in a slightly louder environment than usual (i’m on vacation with my family, so) and with the lights on, and I don’t think I was asleep much if at all- more of in a deep state of relaxation. Even though I felt very relaxed, my mind was very busy and chattery today, and rather than fight it I just kinda let it run it’s course. Interesting idea, when brainwave practice picks up again on Day 8 i’ll work more again on letting my thoughts go. As Lazy Yogi reminded me via Tumblr recently- don’t get fixated on/attached to a “goal” during meditation, just let everything be and be patient/loving to myself. 

Tomorrow is my first day off for self-reflection, so I’ll write more here then!