My first time focusing on sitting silent for 30 minutes was an experience I wasn’t technically ready for. I’ve done this a few years ago but then it was for an hour and it was more focused on dealing with anxiety I was having, actually it was probably more focused on stopping a panic attack. I also wasn’t really too worried about falling asleep.
This time I was very focused on not falling asleep if at all possible. I did catch myself drifting once but I’m fairly certain I caught it in time. When I first started there was definitely a part of my mind that was very much attempting to control what was happening which was working in opposition to my idea of letting my mind go. For quite some time I was very obsessed with the idea that something interesting needs to happen and the idea that I need to remember every single thing that came up during this. Because of this I started to wonder if my idea to document the experience was a mistake but ultimately I was trying to shift my focus back to the meditation, and to not avoid that fear and idea. I also was hoping to instill a sense of trust within myself to actually formulate something interesting to say. We’ll see if that happens as I’m literally at that process now.
There’s very much a secondary part of my mind that was active as well, while the very controlled portion of my mind was certainly the loudest there was an aspect that’s more lucid and basically it was firing images off at random. At first it was just quick flashes of animals, like a cat crawling up my leg and then just quick pictures of other images, and then quickly it turned to the ocean. I started seeing waves and dolphins and other ocean animals. Then a traditional clipper ship and then a hippo. My very structured mind who was already obsessing over saying something interesting all of a sudden had a problem with a hippo being involved in an ocean world. See, there are no hippos in or near the ocean and that part of my brain was simply not okay with this. But the more lucid, less controlled portion of my mind decided it didn’t care and let the narrative go, then there was, like, a third voice….which was me (I mean all of these are me but trying to formulate this is odd) it was like a more conscious me watching all of this go down kind of stepped in and said “I’ll allow this,” and that’s where the world got weird. I can pinpoint four very weird scenes, the first of which became a tiny narrative and even my more controlled mind stepped in and tried to formulate a narrative and force it even when the rest of us were trying to move on. The hippo all of a sudden became more human and started picking fights with ocean creatures, more specifically a hammerhead shark. It beat up the shark professional wrestling style and moved on to fighting the ship and destroying the ship in one move which I can’t remember in detail. The hippo then was able to walk on water and posed on top of the water as though he were wrestler Randy Orton or soccer player Megan Rapinoe scoring a goal in the World Cup. Underneath the water, side characters from SpongeBob Square Pants went crazy as all of a sudden the hippo was wearing a Hulk Hogan bandana. All the cheers ended though when a whale-sized eel with alligator teeth ate the hippo in one bite and the scene shifted.
The next few scenes lacked the narrative as the portion of my mind that wanted more control kind of grew bored with all of this as it started to wonder when this would all end. It also tried to focus on my back pain then grew anxious that we might be sitting here more than 30 minutes and my alarm just didn’t want to go off. It also was a little fearful that I would not remember the hippo story which seemed impossible. (As an aside, I might name the different parts of my brain that come up during this. There has to be an easier way to present what’s going on.)
The next image I remember was Danny Devito sporting a mustache in an empty bar just staring at a TV. My more conscious self was looking at a depressed looking Danny Devito and I asked him, “What’s wrong Danny Devito?” he gave no response but instead just continued staring forward. Out of nowhere then came Steve Buscemi looking down on me but not like in an angelic way. It was kind of like a photo of Steve Buscemi from People Magazine or something, just floating above my head staring at me before it decided to breath fire at me like a dragon.
Another vivid image I had was the logo from The Lion King musical singing the beginning of Circle of Life at me on a loop while in front of the logo two unnamed silhouettes of figures took part in a chase scene and jumped into a random chasm.
The final vivid image I had was separate from the chase scene in front of the logo was the WB frog chasing a man on a bicycle but never actually gaining or losing ground. The WB frog also looked like it was running away from the man on the bike but he was actually going in the direction of the man. All of this was quite odd.
I don’t quite know what my expectations for this were. I guess I was expecting to have some kind of breakthrough on myself but ultimately it felt like dreaming while awake. I ended up accessing a part of my imagination I feel had been missing for a long time and it was pleasing and I look forward to accessing it some more and I hope I am able to let my mind go more during this and not obsess over results.
I also am finding myself wondering if certain hallucinogens are not creating hallucinations but instead unlocking an aspect of the mind that remains hidden or at the very least sits in the background.
And finally I wonder where these images came from. Some I can at least associate from recent pop culture and entertainment things I’ve consumed but some of them are just weird. I’m guessing they’re just stored memories from over the years but from where exactly is likely unclear though I think if I sat and thought it through there’s a likely origin somewhere.