Wednesday, March 26, 2014

100 Days of Meditation - Part I

From January 1st through April 10th of 2013, I participated in a 100-day meditation personal challenge organized by members of the /r/meditation subreddit. During this time, I meditated 30-90 minutes per day and abstained from alcohol and coffee (although I did drink green tea.) Also, in the true spirit of monasticism, I did my best to keep celibacy. I kept an online journal in this Google Group which tracked assorted subjective data points on my “sits.”

I present the results here in an attempt to bolster the already fairly well-known hypothesis that meditation has a unique and positive effect on mood, and also to put forth for discussion some other unusual results of my practice (see section: The Really Unexpected) Finally, I want to encourage anyone who is interested in meditation to pick up a Zafu and a blanket, and give it a try. If this method worked for me, it’s likely it can work for you as well.

The Subject
I was born in 1981 and I live in the United States. I have a 9-to-5 job, am of average height & weight, and I exercise 1-3 times per week. I don’t take drugs, smoke, or have any medical or psychological conditions. I have a wife, a degree, and I live in a small apartment in a large city.

When I was first introduced to meditation, the concept didn’t make any sense to me — I couldn’t understand what kind of benefit “just sitting around” could bring you that couldn't be had in far greater form from, for example, napping. I began to investigate, but I found that a lot of the contemporary literature on meditation is glommed together with what is known as "new age" books, which tend to be composed of 99% nonsense — the kind that makes you genuinely concerned for the person who wrote it (not to mention whoever is publishing & purchasing it.)

At some point, however, I came across two authors who shed some light on the subject and also seemed to speak from the authenticity of their own experience, which rekindled my interest and made me think that perhaps there was more to it than I had previously realized. These two authors were the late Gopi Krishna, and the contemporary author, J.J. Semple. Through Semple’s books and his website, I discovered an old Chinese Taoist meditation manual, The Secret of the Golden Flower, often described as “Zen with details” (pictured right above & henceforth abbreviated as SGF), together which served to point me in a methodological direction.

The Method
Above all, I wanted to find a clean method — one as free from unscientific baggage as possible. Zazen seemed to afford this, so I took a free introductory class my local Zen Center, which, while it didn’t give me anything I couldn’t have gained with a few online searches, helped me feel like I was at least adhering to some kind of acceptable standard. Taken together with the SGF, Semple's, and Gopi Krishna’s books, I felt I had a good starting point. After a period of adjustment, I settled on a practice that worked well for me; it is as follows:

1. Determine the best hour of the day for you to sit
This is actually very important, as the timing of your sit can make or break it. Two requirements are important here:

  1. The hour of time should be before a meal.
  2. It should be more than 4 to 6 hours after consuming any kind of heart-rate-altering chemical like alcohol, caffeine (including chocolate), sugar (although a little sugar is probably fine), or nicotine.

The reason for these two caveats is that your metabolism and heart rate are affected by digestion and even mild stimulants or depressants, to the point that you will not be able to manually slow down your metabolism, which in turn will prevent you from meditating properly. This can be tricky to fit into your schedule depending on whether you are a morning person or not.

Morning, Noon, or Night?
This author is most certainly not a morning person, but despite that, I tried several morning time slots without much luck before ultimately settling on meditating in the early evening hours shortly after coming home from work. In the morning I found I was simply too groggy to focus — I would start to fall asleep and I couldn’t control it. I tried other times as well, but found that both after dinner and before bed were non-starters because I was either too full or too tired. I found out very quickly that sitting with a full stomach or when exhaustively tired is mostly a waste of time. You can’t slow down your metabolism and you never enter the meditative state; you’d be better off taking a nap!

Thus, 6 or 7 pm pre-dinner ended up being the best time for me, although I found I had to eat a late-ish lunch in order to not be bothered by hunger. Drinking a small glass of milk or vegetable juice helped take the edge off.

2. Find a place that is as free from distraction as possible
In my case, this was my bedroom. Here, I could close the doors and windows, pull the shades, dim the lights, and apart from occasionally noisy neighbors, be more or less protected from unwanted distraction.

3. Find a sitting position in which you can be more or less comfortable for an hour
Reclining is generally a bad idea because your body associates it with going to sleep, and you will find it difficult to stay awake. Standing doesn’t really work because you tend to need to shift on your legs occasionally in order to keep them from aching, and this means the best alternative is to sit. After trying to sit on a bed pillow, then two bed pillows, and finally a couch seat-cushion, I caved in and bought a zafu cushion, which worked remarkably well, elevating my legs high enough for them to be completely comfortable (after about a week of acclimation) during long sits. I also draped a quilt over my legs and feet which helped to keep them warm. Sitting in a chair is an option, and although I never tried it personally during this challenge, it seems like it might work if sitting cross-legged is uncomfortable for you.

4. Focus on your breathing
This is one thing that people always tell you to do while meditating, but nobody ever really explains why it’s so important. Well, it turns out that the reason is simply because when you are focusing on your breathing, it distracts your brain from generating other thoughts, and this helps still the mind. It’s especially useful when you’re just starting out, because initially, wrangling your mind into stillness is quite challenging and can seem futile at times — but by remembering to return your focus back to the regular, calming rising and falling of your breathing, your brain will eventually settle.

With your back comfortably — but not forcibly —straightened, either close your eyes or lower them such that they are about the same angle as the tip of your nose (but don’t actually look at the tip of your nose — this would make you cross-eyed.) Again it’s only important insomuch as it reduces the amount of incoming stimuli to your brain. For the first 60 days, I sat with eyes closed, which helped prevent distraction, but also made it easier to unconsciously slip into a daydream if I was not diligently focused. After about 60 days, it became easier to keep my eyes open. You can do whatever works best for you.

Leg Style
Leg style is something people tend to get hung up on, but it’s best to remember that the goal here is not to master asana poses, but to be able to sit comfortably for extended periods of time. This means it’s okay if you are inflexible or weigh more than the average person — you can still meditate, you just need to find which zafu / chair / leg positions combination is most comfortable. Initially, I found the most comfortable position was actually the typically cross-legged “Indian-style” that most of us are familiar with. However, this was only good for around 20 minutes or so, after which it put undue pressure on my ankles. After a few days I switched to “half-lotus” (pictured) which is the same thing as Indian style but with one leg (any leg) pulled up and over such that it rests on the opposite knee or thigh, or within the space created by the kink in the knee.

I never “graduated” to full-lotus, nor do I think anyone needs to, unless they try it and find it’s comfortable. I’ve never been very flexible: it's up to you to find what works best. Remember that the goal is comfort over long spans of time, so you don't need to overachieve.

5. Be patient as your back and leg muscles acclimate to this new position
This will take a few sits, mainly because this is not a position people normally find themselves in. Your lower back muscles ache after 20 minutes or so, and your legs and knees may fall asleep or be uncomfortable.

Whenever you feel uncomfortable during a sit, it’s best to extend your legs or stand up / lay down if you need to. It may not feel like it at first, but in time — trust me — you’ll be completely comfortable, it takes a few days for your muscles and joints to adjust. If, after a week or two on a zafu, your knees or ankles are still sore or your legs are falling asleep, try sitting in a chair rather than sitting cross-legged. You could also try leaning against a bed or couch or some surface which will offer back support. Finally, if you don't have a zafu, you really should get one — the firmness of the zafu will give your legs a degree of comfort that can’t be found in a pillow or couch cushion. Your legs should never fall asleep — a friend of mine who did a 30-day sit complained even during the later days that his legs consistently fell asleep, and it turned out he had been sitting on a pillow. Do yourself a favor and buy a zafu early on.

6. Consciously stop your mind from following the thoughts it creates
This is the keystone of most meditative practice, and I found that while initially difficult, with even a small amount of practice it was quickly achievable. Its difficulty is due to the fact that the mind inherently avoids stillness, and at first, to “think of nothing” seems impossible — surely even the act of not thinking involves some thinking? Fortunately there is no paradox and “not thinking,” I can assure you, is completely possible for any person, it only takes practice. The critical distinction I finally made was in recognizing the difference between perceiving thoughts, which is a passive process, versus creating them. They are typically very closely bound, such that every perceived thought creates new thoughts, and so on indefinitely, to the extent that even as we sleep, our brain is repeating this process in dreams. The only time it doesn’t is when we are in deep sleep, but our perception is turned off then as well, which draws one to the remarkable conclusion that outside of meditation, we might only experience a thoughtless state of mind for moments in a lifetime, however in meditation we experience it for as long as we like.

A Unique State of Mind
The above struck me because it means that the state you reach in meditation really is a genuinely unique state of mind, and once I got to the deeper states, I realized how true this was. In those states, you can clearly sense that you are in a different mental world, and you can remain there for as long as you like, at least until your legs get tired or, say, your downstairs neighbors start vocally expressing their affections for one another, for example.

As you persist, you’ll notice that your mind comes to rest very naturally if, for as long as 30 minutes, you don’t follow the thoughts or feelings that constantly arise. Those 30 minutes will seem like 300, and it will typically start with a lot of "Oops, I just realized I was daydreaming again" and "Crap, I just reviewed an event from work in my head," until you remember to come back to your breathing — this is the "hack" that will distract your mind from itself long enough for it to settle, and once it’s settled, it's much, much easier for it to stay settled, but until you get there, it can be painfully difficult. It’s also not as gradual a process as one might imagine — it’s a stair-step graph where for 25 minutes or longer you simply will not notice any change, and then, at a certain point, you notice that you’re not where you were before.

The image that came to mind when I first got the hang of it was that of the brain as a large jug of water. Your thoughts and feelings behave like waves that travel through it, so when you think about something or submerge yourself in a feeling, you are agitating the jug, which creates waves, and so on. This process is very, very subtle because your brain is sensitive even to the quietest of thoughts, and once you create one, the waves will bounce around your brain for several moments until they settle. But, as soon as you stop creating new waves — just as the jug of water would naturally settle and become calm — so too does your mind, except that while the jug might take only a few seconds to settle, your brain tends to take 30-45 minutes. It’s a sensitive instrument, after all.

Amusingly enough, during this initial "waiting period," I always thought to myself — even at the 100th day — “It isn’t working this time, why I am I sitting here? I could be doing something else right now!” ...and so on and so forth. Nevertheless, after the 30-45 minute mark, I would slip into what I began calling The Deep.

The Deep
The Deep is a point at which you realize that not only has your mind settled, but you’ve entered into another mental state entirely. From a physical perspective, it could be the point at which your brainwaves actually shift to a lower-frequency state — at least, that’s what it feels like. Its hallmark is stillness — to the point where you feel as though you are suspended underwater. I didn't always get there, and it took several weeks before I was even able to approach it, but before long, getting there became the goal of every sit. It made the experience rewarding and fascinating, because I sensed a progression; that I could go further.

Breathing and heart rate were key. I had to slow my breathing — never to the the point of discomfort, mind you — and in doing so, very gradually, my heart rate would slow down. If I ate a heavy meal or was tired, I never got there, but every time I did, it felt good at a deep level. Every time I came out of The Deep, I experienced, for lack of a better word, a blissful, tranquil euphoria that lasted several hours and was the principal benefit of practice. Knowing that I can be in that state if I want to helps me deal with the stresses of everyday life.

7.  Repeat
Adhering to the regimen and not “breaking the chain” was challenging, but  rewarding.  Knowing that I absolutely needed to be home between 6-7 pm every day or I wouldn’t get my sit in put a framework around my day’s activities and motivated me to get work done. It also changed my social life, for better or for worse; for example, one thing I could no longer do was go out for happy hour drinks following work — or rather, the few times I tried to go to a bar and not drink made me feel like it wasn’t worth the effort. It was interesting to find that I really didn’t care for socializing unless I was drinking, and that drunk people can be really obnoxious to be around when you’re stone-sober. Furthermore, knowing that meditation would require a certain amount of energy, I found myself moderating my work level during the day, such that I didn’t end up completely worn-out.

Coming soon: The results!

Monday, March 24, 2014

Global Ethics and Sustainability

Forty years ago, I experienced an event in my personal life that I didn't know anything about at the time it happened. It's called Nirvikalpa-samadhi. The experience added a new dimension to my consciousness. The next several years were extraordinary as my mind and body adjusted to this new condition that had awakened in me.

I had to leave college because there was a continual conceptual flow in my mind that had nothing to do with school. I needed to give it time and I couldn't focus on my studies. To his day, this awakened energy continues to circulate within me.

One of the aspects of the change was that I began to compose a scheme for an accounting of philosophy and the nature of being. As I began to divide reality into its constituent parts, I read the works of Ouspensky and others who had done the same. Over the years, I found that almost every culture has created an articulation of a system of belief at one point or another to account for all of reality and how it is integrated.

I discovered the I Ching and the Tarot, and found similarities to them in meso-America. All mystics who are affected by the awakening of kundalini find this strange compulsion to organize reality into some sort of holistic system. At this point, I have assembled a holistic system, combining Western scientific understanding with the ancient Chinese system of the I Ching.

A few weeks ago, I found myself in New York City, selected to speak at the annual Conference of the World Federation of UNESCO Clubs, Centers, and Associations (WFUCA). My friends in the organization had invited me to speak on Global Ethics and Sustainability, an offshoot of my interest in global sustainability. Several hours before my speech I still had to compose it.
Ambassador Murata, Guy Djoken, and the author
From a natural flow, I produced Four Principles of Global Ethics: 
Respect For Diversity
  1. Acknowledgement of Human Rights 
  2. Acceptance of Personal Responsibility 
  3. Compassion for all Beings 
In diversity, we need to realize that there are many cultures and many paths to God. No religion has a monopoly on God, though several try to claim one. In fact, some religions seem to have abandoned the mystical message of their founder and instead focus on prosaic morality and organizational operations.

Human Rights are universal and stem from the pursuit of justice, the basis for all legal systems. In so many places in the world, individuals are subverted by powerful persons and interests. Idealism is important for ethical behavior and this is ignored in places where journalists are imprisoned or killed, where women are victimized, children are used as sex slaves, ethnic minorities are denied equal treatment, the poor are relegated to living on the streets, and where plants and animals are driven into extinction with no thought for the health of our ecosystems and the future of humanity.

Personal responsibility must be assumed if truth is ever to prevail in the public arena. No dictator can admit to a mistake, instead they blame and punish others while their societies devolve into desperation and chaos, heedless that "pride cometh before a fall." True humility is the sign of a great leader. We owe it to future generations not to leave behind a world filled with toxic waste, nuclear weapons and waste, and a diminished and ailing global ecosystem.

Finally, compassion for all beings is in some sense not about others but about one's self. This is a fundamental tenet of Buddhism, but is found in the character and the teachings of all founders of religions. If we allow ourselves to feel compassion for others, then we can absorb the truth of the world around us. That truth is blocked by the failure to keep the heart open, our natural state of being.

I presented these basic values in a slide show. Happily for me, they were very well received. I was very impressed by the assembled group and all the creative thinking that went into the presentation and discussion of these issues on world-wide basis. I came away more hopeful about the future of our planet.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

What Type of Person Awakens Kundalini?

That is a question that cannot be answered scientifically. Anecdotally? Yes, perhaps. Generally, however, I don't see a lot of Type-A, mesomorphs involved in self-actualization. Of course, I may be wrong. I'm not seeing the total picture; nobody can. But if I'm not wrong, why might this be true, why are seekers predominantly ectomorphs?

First of all, you may not be familiar with the following terms pertaining to physical types: mesomorph, ectomorph, endomorph. I first ran across them in Robert De Ropp's 1968 book, The Master Game: Pathways to Higher Consciousness Beyond the Drug Experience, given to me by my father as I was about to kick off my European self-actualization adventure. It was the first book I read that approached higher consciousness from the perspective of Western psychology and science as opposed to Eastern yogic influences, although the book does include its share of Eastern knowledge and experience.

I haven't read the book in over 40 years; I lost it along the way, in fact. Around 2001, I bought a copy, but never got around to rereading it. Nevertheless, certain ideas in the book have stayed with me.
Hanging out in a Washington, DC basement apartment
JJ Semple (1964) – The Quintessential Ectomorph
In a section entitled Physical Type, De Ropp writes about the above body types and their related temperaments. "Sheldon's (W.H. Sheldon) basic theory is that temperament is related to physique. This is intuitively understood by every experienced novelist and playwright. Shakespeare's three prototypes, Falstaff, Hotspur and Hamlet, correspond both physically and temperamentally to Sheldon's three physical morphs and three temperamental tonias. Falstaff is the extreme endomorph. He is shaped like a barrel, typically oval in outline. Hotspur, the fiery fighter, is the extreme mesomorph, muscular, broad-shouldered, narrow-hipped, triangular in outline. Hamlet, the irresolute thinker, is lean and angular, linear in outline, the typical ectomorph."

He goes on to describe the temperamental characteristics of each physical type and how the quest for self-actualization fits with the ectomorphic profile.

Endomorphs, De Ropp says, are labeled viscertonics (gut dominant) and characterized by: excessive food intake, excessive relaxation, excessive complacency, excessive amiability.

Surprisingly, De Ropp is harder on mesomorphs or somatotonics (muscle dominant) than on either of the other two types. "They delight in vigorous action, the overcoming of external obstacles. They have powers that less rugged individuals may envy, have a high capacity for physical endurance, a low sleep requirement; they are relatively insensitive to pain, noise, distraction, and the feelings of others." They are characterized by insensitivity and blind obedience. De Ropp quotes Sheldon, "Somatomic people tend to lack introspective insight. They tend to enter upon the most tragic of human quests, the quest for lost youth. One of the cardinal indicators of somatonia is a horror of growing old."

The ectomorphic physique, on the other hand, is nervous system dominant. This cerebrotonic individual says Sheldon, "...finds both his delights and his defenses in the system and the detail of his own consciousness." People high in cerebrotonia are often "seekers."

I don't believe we can assign a given individual to any single one of these categories. We share traits across all of them. At the same time, there probably is predominance of one type in each of us. I know that I started life as a somatotonic (mesomorph), but, due to a childhood accident, I morphed into a cerebrotonic (ectomorph). Yet, I retained many mesomorphic attributes in the body of an ectomorph. This enabled me to complete the Kundalini awakening process successfully, which, back in 1973 when I went through it, was a solitary undertaking, due to the lack of information in the West at the time. Perfectly suited to a person with the loner temperament of the ectomorph and the action-oriented drive of the mesomorph.

Don't believe a person can morph from one body type to another? Body type and temperament have to do with symmetry, and I document my experience with both in Deciphering the Golden Flower One Secret at a Time.

Again, mine is only one experience. I believe anyone can do it, but I've encountered more ectomorphs/cerebrotonics along the way than any other body or temperament type. That this type is governed by the nervous system is a dead giveaway because it's the nervous system that handles the anatomical and metabolic work of the Kundalini process.

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Transphysiological Energy Activation

Back in June 2011, I wrote a post on the labeling of spiritual constructs and how labels restrict meaning, making it difficult for individuals exploring the same process to cooperate because they feel beholden to the subtext of meaning they've been indoctrinated into.

Take Kundalini, for instance. It's a term with all sorts of connotations, none of them very scientific. Nevertheless, these connotations control the way the process is perceived, a notion I wrote about only a few weeks ago. In that post, I cited an example of persons being unable to even discuss Kundalini because the term somehow signified a cult — with all its negative connotations. They couldn't see beyond cult, couldn't accept the process as a biological actuality.
Chico Hands sculpture
So the Right Hand Knows What the Left Hand is Doing
Even if people aren't offended by a given term in its raw state, they still tend to infer meaning from their own immediate experience. Until, of course, the process is described in scientific language, which is itself, not an easy task to manage. Survey the various authorities on Kundalini and you realize each one has its own special perception of the process behind the term, which, of course, leads to the inability of the various authorities to cooperate.

There are obvious reasons for this: the term Kundalini has a spiritual derivation. The process has been documented by most of the world's religious and mystic traditions. Each one has their own terminology and practices, which they defend against all other usages and observances. A veritable Babel!

Yes, the term Kundalini is the reigning champ, but its connotations, as we've noted above, overwhelm any ability to attract serious scientific investigation. Why should we consider science over religion? Kundalini is a biological process, first uncovered by early religious seekers, who, because of the startling effects induced by Kundalini, attributed these consciousness-enhancing and health effects to spiritual causes. At the time, the scientific method had yet to be discovered. Biology was unknown, for the most part. The only rational explanation was an irrational one: that the Gods must be responsible, that the Gods had conferred special powers on certain individuals.

We owe those early explorers a lot: Milarepa, Lao Tse, Jesus, Siddhārtha Gautama - the Buddha. Props also to modern investigators, Osho and Gopi Krishna, the 20th Century's most prolific writer and researcher on Kundalini.

The term Kundalini has served us well. Until now... 

Now we need to focus our research and practice on the biological aspects of the process. To this end, Cristian Muresanu has put forward a new lexicon of terminology to do exactly that. Will it take hold? I don't know, but I applaud the energy he has put into it. Transphysiological Energy Activation is the term he proposes. He's already published a first post on the subject, one that deals with the medical condition he faced and how his infirmity led him to the Transphysiological Energy Activation process. In the coming months, he'll present more of his research and methods in this blog. Until then, read up on his back story

Friday, March 7, 2014

Reversing an Incurable Chronic Degenerative Disease

This story begins in the ‘90s when I occasionally, and seemingly by chance, suffered short bouts of back pain in the lumbar area. The diagnosis at the time consisted of scattered X-rays that uncovered a condition known as early lumbar discopathy. I didn’t worry too much. However, I did worry about occasional headaches of extremely high intensity, which had begun at least 10 years earlier and, for which Fasconal was prescribed for treatment.

I also noticed that acute pain sometimes coincided with sudden, twisting body movements, especially when I moved an object from one place to another. These episodes were rare and the pain went away after sitting or lying in bed.

In 1991, I started practicing yoga, which helped slow the degenerative process of the intervertebral discs (a process about which I knew nothing at the time). It did not help restore my health because during my yoga practice, I did not apply the sexual sublimation techniques our teacher taught us. I had two choices: either believe what he said and try to apply it or not believe and therefore not apply these techniques in my life or my daily practice. I chose not to apply them.

In 1991-1992, I began to suffer from chronic hypertrophic rhinitis, which made my breathing extremely difficult, especially in winter. It is interesting to note that although I was applying the theory of yoga the wrong way in classes, the actual yoga postures did have a mitigating effect on my headaches and their intensity.

From 1992-2000, the disease gradually worsened and the episodes of acute pain became more frequent and more painful, obliging me to take anti-inflammatory drugs to relieve the pain, because sitting or resting in bed, as well as practicing yoga postures recommended for such situations, no longer had any effect.

Between 2000 and early 2004, the symptoms became persistent: daily pain, some tolerable, but mostly of high intensity, increasing the need of larger amounts of medication. Without knowing it, I was already in the second phase of the disease. I started using drugs with increasingly stronger side effects, which, in turn, became more intense.

By 2004, the symptoms had become more intense and pain reached the limits of my endurance. My capacity to work was greatly reduced. This affected my sense of time, as if time was speeding up and I was unable to finish tasks in the same amount of time as compared to the same work assigned to me 10 years earlier. Due to the severe pain, it was more difficult for me to focus my mind and attention. Sometimes, I failed to perform electronic editing without making mistakes. At other times, I was unable to work on mechanical operations requiring great effort.

In the winter of 2004, I explored several kinds of alternative, mechanical therapies in the hope that one might offer 3-4 days of comfort. I remember one particular incident. I was returning from a chiropractic appointment. The therapist warned me not to stop on the road under any circumstances, urging me to go straight home without interruption walking at a constant speed and maintaining an equal amount of effort. But before reaching home, I stopped for a few minutes at a grocery store (without having an urgent need), believing that I would be able to browse and then walk the remaining distance without too much trouble. It was winter — cold and snow everywhere. I arrived at the entrance of my building. As soon as I opened the door to my flat, I jumped straight into bed with what was left of my strength, dressed in my thick winter coat, unable to unlace my shoes. I could neither lie in bed, nor rise to a vertical, sitting position without intense pain. Only tilting my body at 45 degrees allowed me sit without pain. It became extremely unbearable. I had to coordinate all my movements with my back at 45 degrees so that my movements would not lead to a serious accident that might leave me paralyzed. My back or any motion with my back caused me unimaginable pain. I sat on the bed with my back to the book case, facing the table, unable to reach the Clorzoxazona box.

It took me about three hours of effort to come up with a set of micro-movements for my back — at just the right angles — so that one of my hands could grasp the box of tablets firmly without dropping it on the floor. I felt a sense of immediate danger, but also understood that I had two choices. One was to make a sudden movement that would have sheared the sciatic nerve root, which was already under pressure. The pain might disappear, but paralysis would set in. The second option was to take maximum dose of Clorzoxazona all at once to force my muscles to relax. During those 3 hours, I had time to think about those two choices and after I managed to get the bottle of drugs, I crushed them in my mouth and chewed at least 6 tablets — possibly 8. After 30 minutes, the pain disappeared, but the consequences of ingesting so much medication kicked in.

I wanted to relax but it was not possible. Trapped at an angle of 45 degrees, unable to lie down or stand up, I spent about 5 hours in that tilted 45 degree position. The pain continued to grow; I had nothing to lose. After the medication took effect, the tremendous dose I took made my heart beat so slowly, I felt it might stop. Using yoga breathing techniques, I created the minimal conditions for my heart to keep beating, but the heartbeat was virtually unnoticeable. My hands and face cooled, visual disturbances arose, and my vision blurred. I felt seized by a dangerous condition of drowsiness. Before falling asleep — a state that became inevitable after ingesting such a large dose of medication — I heard a thud on the bed in the area of affected vertebral discs. The pain had stopped.

Much later, I was able to understand what had happened: the “thud" occurred at the moment the disc ring ruptured and touched the sciatic nerve. Ten hours of prolonged sleep followed immediately. (I could be wrong because I did not have the capacity to store details at the time). After I woke up, my heart was still beating weakly. I continued to lie in bed, feeling a tender numbness in my left leg. I found out later that the intense muscle contractions, which pressed the nerve and gave me unbearable pain, were an automatic action of the body in order to protect the intervertebral disc annulus from breaking. The muscles wanted to maintain disc integrity.

The third phase of the disease is characterized by irreversible damage to the nerves when under pressure, injury or damage which can degenerate into further complications, including inflammation of the axons or destruction of the myelin sheath. Classical Medicine believes it is impossible to return from phase 3 to a state before the disease takes hold, which actually means you do not know that you have the disease. For three months, the left leg remained numb, then sensitivity began to return. However, one toe in my left leg has remained numb for another 9 years.

In 2004-2005, the biggest nightmare of my life began, when back pain was added to headaches, neck pain, cholesterol, and chronic hypertrophic rhinitis. I requested a referral for various tests, I was diagnosed with these 4 diseases, all in the chronic phase (therefore, considered to be incurable). I had my first MRI at the Military Hospital.

The diagnosis was as follows:
Bilateral degenerative lumbar discopathy, degenerate lumbar discs, multiple disc protrusions, external annulus rupture median – right paramedian L2, L3, L4 L3 median, paramedian left L4, L5, L5 with root touch to the left.
June 10, 2004 - Military Hospital Cluj
I requested two nose surgeries to correct my condition that could not be solved with medication, but there was no significant improvement.

In 2006, on the third of February, I underwent the first and most difficult stage of cellular biological transformations (known herein as Kundalini) and it cured all diseases. In addition, I continued to discover improvements and physiological optimizations that were not known to me when I was healthy. I will detail the process I call Transphysiological Energy Activation in future posts. It's the term I apply to Kundalini in order to give it a more scientific and less parochial denotation.