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Meditation by-products

I am looking for more information about the by-products of meditation from a Buddhist point of view. I think I found something at some point about the subject, but I don't know where.

One of the reasons I am trying to find more info on this subject is the fact that something pretty curious has started to take place since I started meditating more often. I'm having more lucid dreams, and I seem to remember most of them. They are also more vivid, and positive.

Did you experience something similar? Or do you know where I could find out more?

Comments

  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator

    I'm sleeping LESS well..... That is to say, I fall asleep more quickly, but I'm awake an hour or two - at a push, three - later... and that's it. That's me awake for the duration...

    Last night, I went to bed at around 11.00, meditated, and fell asleep at around midnight. 03.15, I wake up. And I remained awake until it was time for me to get up, at 06.00....

  • silversilver In the beginning there was nothing, and then it exploded. USA, Left coast. Veteran

    I guess you could say it's very personal and unique, the effects of meditation - and even mindfulness. I'd love it if I could remember all my dreams. I can't remember a good stretch of time where I didn't have struggles falling asleep/staying asleep.

  • @tibellus said:> One of the reasons I am trying to find more info on this subject is the fact that something pretty curious has started to take place since I started meditating more often. I'm having more lucid dreams, and I seem to remember most of them. They are also more vivid, and positive.> Did you experience something similar? Or do you know where I could find out more?

    I think lucid dreaming is quite common for people who meditate, it's happened to me and I've heard others talk about it. Are you consciously making decisions in the dreams?

  • I rarely have problems sleeping, I only had a few episodes of insomnia when I couldn't sleep an entire night, and this usually happened when I went through some really rough times.

  • @SpinyNorman: yes, I become aware of the fact that I am dreaming, and then start making decisions. I can't seem to completely change the dream, though.

  • DairyLamaDairyLama Veteran
    edited April 2015

    It's an interesting experience. I assume it's something to do with an increased level of mindfulness or awareness which filters into the dream state too.

  • howhow Veteran
    edited April 2015

    @tibellus

    One by product concerning sleeping is that when a meditation practice develops enough inertia, any level of consciousness can be a reflection of that practice.
    This means that you can start experiencing any moments of waking during the night to be no different than your typical state of formal meditation.

  • Thanks for the link, just finished reading that thread, it's interesting to see so many experiences.

    @SpinyNorman said:
    It's an interesting experience. I assume it's something to do with an increased level of mindfulness or awareness which filters into the dream state too.

    Interesting, I wonder if it has to do with meditating / listening to dharma talks just before going to bed.

  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator

    Bull.

    I wish it were so, but when you know you have to get up and go to work, and sleep just won't come, it's impossible to consider it anything other than a total curse.

    dantepw
  • @how So maybe the mind is getting used to working in a different way, applying the new patterns even to sleep?

  • karastikarasti Breathing Minnesota Moderator

    @federica it's quite possible it is just aging that is causing the sleep problems. Meditation might help...or not. But almost every person I know who is over 55 or thereabouts (I don't know how old you are exactly, so I hope I am not making assumptions that are way off) have sleeping problems. Problems falling asleep, problems staying asleep, problems waking up way before dawn. My dad has the problem only when he has sugar too late in the day. My mom has it often, but she has started taking magnesium and that has helped.

    Anyhow, sorry to go off topic! I have lucid dreams quite often. I had them when I was a teenager, but only very infrequently. Now, the past several years they have been probably 50% of my dreams. I am fully aware of the dream (not always initially, sometimes I "snap to" in the middle) and fully able to direct the dream. It's like your own video game, lol, but less frustrating because you can just imagine the tools you need for any situation!

    Looking back, there probably is some relation to my meditation. They increased a lot when I started meditating, and then increased a lot again when I started practicing yoga. It's always interesting to me on the rare occasion I have a dream that truly feels like it means something. I enjoy interpreting dreams in general but it's not something I do all that often. I know what most of mine mean, but there are too many variables for me to interpret for others beyond very general meanings.

    last fall, I had a dream I was on an island on a lake near my home. The island was a resort with water parks and such, and I was perched on a rock and running from the people from the island but not in a scared way. I jumped into the water as they approached, and swam a short ways to the cove of a beach. When I got out of the water, I was an old, crazy haired, toothless Indian (east Indian not Native American) man. I found a futurist pod to live in, but didn't like it and figured I'd set up on the beach and wait for people to come, kind of like Field of Dreams, lol. But it was a very particular sense of making a choice between one life and another, and choosing to indulge or choosing to let go and help people. There was a sense of sadness at abandoning one thing for another, but confidence that I was making the right choice and that as I lived openly and honestly, I could help these people who needed help and would come to the beach to find it. The lake and beach is only a few minutes walk from my house,so I think about it often when I am down there. I have a few other dreams like that that have stuck with me, and they always involve faith/religion/beliefs.

    tibellusNerima
  • howhow Veteran

    @tibellus said:
    how So maybe the mind is getting used to working in a different way, applying the new patterns even to sleep?

    Yes, I think formal meditation is a form of voluntary brainwashing that slowly replaces our more habituated and myopic thought processes of self view
    with wider, less limiting possibilities.

    Just remember to maintain more importance on the meditative process than what ever phenomena might arise in response to it.

    lobstertibellus
  • ShoshinShoshin No one in particular Nowhere Special Veteran
    edited April 2015

    @tibellus said:
    I am looking for more information about the by-products of meditation from a Buddhist point of view. I think I found something at some point about the subject, but I don't know where.

    One of the reasons I am trying to find more info on this subject is the fact that something pretty curious has started to take place since I started meditating more often. I'm having more lucid dreams, and I seem to remember most of them. They are also more vivid, and positive.

    Did you experience something similar? Or do you know where I could find out more?

    It's possible this new found awareness as come about due to you now having a calmer mind...( a calmer sense of self)

  • DhammaDragonDhammaDragon Carpe Diem Samsara Veteran

    I don't sleep for many hours at night, though I do a siesta and four-winks here and there.
    But I notice that I sleep better.
    Whether my dreams are more lucid or not, depends on how tired I am that night.

  • ShoshinShoshin No one in particular Nowhere Special Veteran

    One by-product of meditation is (so I have heard) "Enlightenment" :)

    Nerima
  • EarthninjaEarthninja Wanderer West Australia Veteran
    @tibellus it also changes your brain waves. Higher gamma waves etc. I think it also causes neuralplasticity (spelling?) physically changes the shape of your brain.

    Apart from these personally I have very lucid dreams. Although some are now about Buddhism which is great. I can even read signs and books in my dreams.

    Another by product is losing your sense perceptions, you are conscious but the body melts away. You can't find the boundaries of your body.

    Um. I've also felt like I was sitting sideways or upside down. On the roof it wall. Mainly in the beginning if meditation.

    Oooh and Im sure you guys have had this, when you can't feel your breath anymore. It's so refined.

    I've had other weird experiences but words just add to confusion.

    How good is meditation!
    Nerima
  • I agree with @karasti - disrupted sleep patterns and lucid dreaming are not highly correlated to meditation. They can also be signs of a highly agitated mental state. Meditating before sleeping is a tricky thing and also not advised. Losing perception, tripping, generally mental formations. One has to feel a marked sense of well being during ones waking life and this is experienced by others they come in contact with.

  • Did you experience something similar?

    My intestines and innards are more relaxed. More gurgling noises. O.o

    silver
  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator

    Hi @karasti, yes it could well be age-related (I'm now in my 59th year!) but a poor sleep pattern has followed me all my life... even as a youngster it was not really what one could call 'a constant'. I think there's an hereditary factor too....
    Nice tip on magnesium. I'll have to try that.... Thanks! :)

    Earthninja
  • Magnesium is helpful. But the most common form magnesium oxide is not well absorbed by some leading to increased visits to the toilet. A chelated form is worth considering if magnesium oxide is ineffective.

  • Meditation has done a great deal for me. I didn't know it's not recommended to meditate before you sleep. I think I should've read the instructions before starting doing this kind of stuff. :smile: The new mental formations are much better than the previous ones: no more nightmares, a more positive view on life, no more panic attacks while in bed. I think this is worth clinging to for a while.

    lobsterdantepw
  • Good news @tibellus. Positive effects good, lucid dreaming like intestine gurgling . . . not really important unless doing dream yoga. If you gurgle in your sleep it might effect or wake your dream . . .

    http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dream_yoga

  • @lobster Sounds like Inception, but with yoga, meditation and no Leonardo DiCaprio. :lol:

    lobster
  • @tibellus Meditation releases energies which are disruptive from time to time. Anyone who has experience with that will tell you not to do it at night before sleeping. Some people learn it the hard way because someone initiated them and then took a bio break to never return and complete the instruction and some find a meditation practitioner to guide them. Also it becomes hard to determine whether you were meditating or sleeping and while it may not bother you at night when you pick it up during the day you will not be able to distinguish between sloth/torpor and meditation. Hope you dont mind my saying this. I am not some teacher or preacher. This is just some of my experience as a lay person.

  • NerimaNerima Veteran

    Unfortunately my hectic life has made it hard to take time to meditate lately. But I agree with @Earthninja about how it can alter your brain waves.
    Off topic, I just received my first two treatments of acupuncture and wow that has me dreaming vivid dreams. I wake up exhausted. At least my back is feeling much better.

    Earthninja
  • HamsakaHamsaka goosewhisperer Polishing the 'just so' Veteran

    @Shoshin said:
    One by-product of meditation is (so I have heard) "Enlightenment" :)

    Oooh, damn, I'd hate to get that :anguished:

    I too noticed changes in my dreams -- not pleasant changes, but not nightmares.

    That said, when a person begins doing something new -- like going gung-ho into meditation, a new experience one probably looks forward to (not to mention the positive changes they're always on about) -- ANYTHING is going to look like a side effect of meditation.

    If you start washing all your clothes in uber-green organic non-lethal environmental detergent, your pattern-seeking brain is going to notice side effects, like the grass grows faster, the toilet needs cleaning less often, the kids eat more vegetables :D .

    I think just about 'anything goes', but now I really GET IT, what I was told when I asked the same questions. I was told 'Eh, who cares :) It's just 'stuff''.

    It bent my nose a bit, but I thought they knew more than I did. Turns out there is a lot of 'stuff', and not just because I started meditating. It's everywhere! More 'stuff' than I ever imagined. The 'stuff' isn't new . . . it's just that I didn't notice it. Meditation refines one's attention, but then that's not exactly predictable (unless you are carefully following a teacher's technique, I suppose). I'm a lot more comfortable with 'stuff' and not caring what it is, or caring.

    There's no problem in noticing or wondering. Just don't be surprised or make anything significant out of it when people say "oh really? So?" You, too, will get to say this to a new meditator someday, and it feels goooooood :D he he. No, really.

    silverShoshintibellus
  • howhow Veteran
    edited April 2015

    Soto Zen.
    It is a practice that works on taking the formal meditation into everything else.
    I usually formally meditate when I first wake up and just before I go to bed.
    Most monastic Buddhist monks I've lived with have done the same without worry.
    I meditate/I sleep.
    If my sleep looks like meditation, I have not cared.
    If my meditation looked like sleep, it was simply not meditation.
    In my 40+ years of doing both... no problems.

    lobsterwindfalltibellus
  • nakazcidnakazcid Somewhere in Dixie, y'all Veteran

    I've been meditating for a while now, and still can't remember my dreams. I do seem to have an easier time getting to sleep, though.

  • windfallwindfall Explorer

    I'm sure we can all agree that the stress of day to day life ha it's draw backs. For just the same reason seeing things in clearity through meditation and conduct are equally challenging. I have the same problems from time to time also and find I'm wired like a reactor when I'm really deprived and cannot shut down. As I have reminded myself in the past, a good days work goes along ways. The moral here is theirs no aliens here just ten fingered human that have life times of built up tendencies that don't get expressed and at times just get built up in meditation. Going for a walk to clear my head! Cheers

  • namarupanamarupa Veteran
    edited April 2015

    I have managed waking up at 3-4 am everyday and working 12+ hours a day for years thanks to meditation. I don't drink any type of energy drinks. Coffee or tea sometimes.

    lobsterEarthninja
  • I have got sleep paralysis (plural) after meditating before falling to sleep.

    Earthninja
  • @boobysattva said:
    tibellus Meditation releases energies which are disruptive from time to time. Anyone who has experience with that will tell you not to do it at night before sleeping. Some people learn it the hard way because someone initiated them and then took a bio break to never return and complete the instruction and some find a meditation practitioner to guide them. Also it becomes hard to determine whether you were meditating or sleeping and while it may not bother you at night when you pick it up during the day you will not be able to distinguish between sloth/torpor and meditation. Hope you dont mind my saying this. I am not some teacher or preacher. This is just some of my experience as a lay person.

    No, not at all. I don't mind, I find it interesting. I never got any bad effects from meditation, only some stuff surfaced, things that I probably withheld in my subconscious for a lot of time. After noticing them, I started to understand what problems I have and how I should fix them. To be honest, I sometimes intentionally doze off during my nighttime meditation. Makes my sleep even better.

    lobsterEarthninja
  • I think @how said it well.

    Personally if I meditate when sleepy, I fall asleep. Lucid dreams? Yeah whatever. Gibbering monkey? What of it. Siddhis? Yeah so what etc.
    All good, even the weird, difficult, euphoric, bursting out laughing for no reason etc.

    Cushion time. [image of cushion redacted]

    tibellus
  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator

    Not by me, I would hasten to add.

    lobster
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