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    Thread: Conscious Dozing?

    1. #1
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      Conscious Dozing?

      Hey guys,

      In general, upon returning home from work, I take a nap for approximately 1.5 hours. During this time I believe that I dream relatively little, due to having almost no recall except for tiny fragments; I feel these fragments are just thoughts I am having as I slowly become more aware.

      Recently, however, while I have been still taking the nap, I am now not losing consciousness. Instead, I lie down and breathe until a spasm hits my body. Sometimes it is powerful and rocks my entire body; other times it is weaker and jerks my face or an extremity. After this, my body becomes very heavy and it is difficult to move. My thoughts are also a lot less active overall, and when I do get carried away by a thought, it is something weird with no real relation to anything in WL (one from today was just some police officers arresting a person). During this time I am not losing conscious awareness. I am aware of what is happening in the room (I had to get up today to answer the door, for instance) and can choose to get up if I want. Furthermore, I am awaking relatively refreshed.

      My first question: am I asleep? Am I awake?

      I also, while lying like this, sometimes begin to feel a sensation of falling. I have tried to just "go with it," but every time it approaches I have this instinct to pull myself back. I would like to fall, but my body/mind seems not to want this at all. My body also does not jerk when this happens--it occurs entirely in my mind. Is the falling sensation an approaching transition? If so, any way to just fall?
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      ^^ Curious that no one responded to this, as it is an interesting phenonemon.

      The answer to your first question, I think, is "Yes."

      I think what you are experiencing is very similar to what happens during a WILD dive, with one major exception. You experience all the usual noise that accompanies your journey to sleep, and are visited by HI and dreamlets, and your body even begins the process of shutting down your connection to waking life... but then that major exception gets in the way:

      Unlike a WILD, you are both not falling asleep, and not interested in falling asleep, This difference is important, because it completely shifts your perspective on what is going on in your head: you are straddling that fence between wake and sleep just like a WILD transition, but in this case you're doing so with your head in a daytime, waking-life consciousness sort of place rather than a sleepy, dreamy, nighttime sort of place. The difference can be confusing, but the sensations are pretty cool.

      I've done this bit of para-meditation many many times (I even have a special chaise lounge where it works best) and, though I've never found much real value in it in terms of LD'ing or esoteric exploration, I have found it to be an intesting time, and strangely relaxing.

      And yes, if you were to continue with that falling sensation, you will likely find yourself in a simple dream (simple meaning plain and pretty much schema-free, because your dreaming mind never got a chance to spool up); at least that's what happens to me. Your instinct to snap awake is another reflection of that odd fence your straddling, BTW: your body snaps awake because it is in "awake" mode, and not "sleep" mode; you're supposed to be awake, in other words, so your reticular system kicks in to keep you up -- sort of like what happens when you are falling asleep while driving.

      Of course, all this is based on experience and not actual knowledge, so I could be wrong...
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      ^^ Just the man I was hoping would respond. I actually had reasoned a bit of this out during the interim, but your post answers my questions regardless. After getting up from one of these sessions, I realize I did not feel as rested as I would have liked--which implied I never fell asleep, or at least not fully. It is an interesting time to meditate, though, and provides an environment with fewer distractions than what my "normal" mind usually throws at me.

      Any advice on how to continue with the falling sensation? My wife said she just tells herself it isn't real, and falls. I tell myself the same thing, and I keep jerking awake every time.

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      Quote Originally Posted by ThreeCat View Post
      Any advice on how to continue with the falling sensation? My wife said she just tells herself it isn't real, and falls. I tell myself the same thing, and I keep jerking awake every time.
      Not really. Your wife is offering the same advice I would, except maybe I'd add one more thing:

      Yes, tell yourself the falling isn't real, and let it proceed with the full confidence that comes with knowing that this is just another process, it's perfectly safe, and it might lead you to interesting lucid or meditational times. But in addition, I would also say that you might have to do this many times, until you, your unconscious, and your reticular system are all on the same page. With repetition, you and your body will become accustomed to the process, and that falling sensation should eventually not be seen as a threat to your unconscious machinery, and you won't jerk awake.

      So: be self-assured that the falling isn't real, and give your body time, through repetition, to absorb that assurance.

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      spasm hits my body. Sometimes it is powerful and rocks my entire body; other times it is weaker and jerks my face or an extremity
      This is exactly what you want to experience! Everybody experiences some form of this phenomena every night, except normally you're asleep (unconscious) when this happens; however, you felt this because you were conscious when your body was asleep. Many people try to achieve this state because this is when you can enter a lucid dream directly without losing consciousness. aka astral projection/OBE. There's dozens of techniques available on how to exit into an LD consciously from this state.
      Awareness beyond lucidity is an epiphany.

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