Archives for the month of: May, 2018

Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that is formed from the amino acid tyrosine. It is linked to movement and reward, according to researchers. I think it is interesting to read what science thinks it knows with what I have observed in my own body as a result of self-identifying the flush of dopamine in my body as a consequence or symptom of awakening.

You heard that right; self identifying dopamine in my body as the result of awakening. Really, it wasn’t that hard. I asked myself what this feeling was and what kind of chemistry was causing it. I gathered my symptoms and how this state felt, assuming that it had a chemical component, and I went online and found the “culprit” within five minutes. Simple. I of course did more reading to make sure I wasn’t missing something, but it all led back to dopamine as the central player. There are other compounds that are important (oxytocin, for another) but none quite so important to my mind (and experience) than dopamine. So rewind to my initial awakening, the first year…..

Six months into awakening and I am feeling this incredible chemical cocktail. It has numerous facets, and right away I consider that I am feeling more than one compound that is supporting a very cosmic level of consciousness. I have been a careful observer and there was one compound that remained after the initial “three year burn” took place, that period often identified as a sustained peak experience of high levels of a number of key chemical compounds all impacting consciousness. Chief among these, I found, was dopamine.

I identified dopamine early on in the process. What compound makes you feel blissed-out, cuts pain, and drops worry and fear? That’s right; dopamine.

I credit high dopamine levels with my ability to drop Pain Body as well as stored trauma. It also made the process of transformation a lot easier once I learned how to keep a steady flow of dopamine production going in my body. And yes, you can learn how to do this in your practice. Since we live in a world dominated by the idea promulgated by the pharmaceutical industry that the only way to change your physiology is to pop a pill, it us hard for someone like me to state that the body can and will produce any spectrum of compounds you “tell” it to produce without the need of external aides. There is a mechanism in the body that links thought and chemistry together such that the body will react to what the mind tells it.

To get the body to react to thought, it’s useful to know that the body doesn’t react to just ANY sort of thought. The body reacts most immediately to feelings, or thought that is backed by a strong level of feeling. In some cases we call this emotion, but this can be quite subtle and maybe not seen as emotion, even though it is. Now this can be dominated by strong emotions like fear, in which case norepinephrine and adrenaline will be produced, suffusing the body in a feeling of flight or fight edginess. The opposite range of our chemistry can be emphasized, which is the dopamine spectrum and this occurs as a result of an ability to let go, and to surrender. This isn’t easy to achieve in the beginning when most often the self is still dealing with an overburden of stored fear in the body. Busy with producing adrenaline, it gets hard to realize that dreamy bliss is even possible at this stage in the process.

The Advantages

Dopamine can be extremely beneficial in helping speed you to a place where you are less prone to micromanaging every aspect of your life and others. It aids in letting go of fear, and it allows the Dark Night experience to pass much easier. It can also lead to “spaciness” and trouble keeping focused on tasks. Dopamine is responsible for being blissed-out, so when we say dopamine, we are talking about a chemical spectrum that in the pharmaceutical world corresponds to opiods or painkillers. Knowing this, it is easy to see that dopamine makes it easier to deal with pain of all kinds, both physical and emotional. What I found from the experience was dopamine doesn’t kill pain….at all…what it does is it makes it so you just don’t mind or pay attention to the pain. This means that dopamine can decouple you from your recursive psychological pain (that manifests as hot button issues or trigger issues).

There is also evidence in my own work that once you begin initiating states of mind (unitive rather than disconnected ways of thinking and being—if you wonder what this is, kundalini itself is unitive, it draws the self together to initiate a chemistry and process that destroys unnecessary psychological/emotional structures and beliefs that keep a wider sense of union with the universe at bay) that the flow of dopamine also brings on other compounds critical to the awakened state (because awakening cannot be sustained by dopamine alone—I have a theory based on my observations that alone it creates paranoia). These compounds are oxytocin, adrenaline, norepinephrine, and endorphins. While it might seem counterintuitive that adrenaline and norepinephrine would have a play in awakening, it’s my observation that these compounds in small amounts help to counter the “spacy” nature of dopamine, helping to add balance and alertness to the experience. Obviously this cocktail is a delicate matter to be done with the human body, but my work shows me how it can be done by…anybody.

Dopamine Can Lead To A Cascade Of Releases

One beneficial advantage to supporting strong dopamine production in the body is it’s potential to assist in the release of emotional body armoring. The release of this armoring is an important step in the release process that helps dissolve the “false self” so often discussed in spiritual circles.

Drawbacks

One drawback of excesses of dopamine can be increased paranoia. One thing I noticed when I awoke was a sense that the world was not quite what I thought it was, which was itself completely accurate, along with a sense that I was overly focused on seeing nefarious intent behind geopolitical and personal relationships. While this “edginess” was not excessive, I notice that it is present in the majority of those in the awakened community (And who write or comment on blogs, online communities, etc., so that their views are known). My research into dopamine and it’s effects shows that yes, there is a direct correlation to kinds of paranoia and loads of dopamine in the body. Get too much, and schizophrenia results. Subjects who take L-dopa, for example, a synthetic form of dopamine, tended to develop paranoia after a while. This was popularly seen in the book and movie of the same name entitled Awakenings about patients who had become paralyzed by a rare neurological condition that left them unable to move.

I have suspected that dopamine may be contributing to our unique awareness of blocked energy in the light body. This is circuitous, but bear with me. I noticed in my reading about schizophrenia that those who had too much dopamine in the brain would begin to have hallucinations. Since dopamine is a neurotransmitter, it wasn’t hard to see how similar this effect was to the use and hallucinatory effects of LSD. LSD mimics neurotransmitters in the body and brain, resulting in a flood of data flowing through the brain now experienced as hallucinations. It made sense that if dopamine was a neurotransmitter, it could, and would, lead to hallucinations in the so-called schizophrenic. But what about those of us who aren’t hallucinating but who have a wealth of dopamine flowing in us?

Does Dopamine Turn The Mirrror Of Our Awareness?

I have considered that dopamine helps you to become aware of suppressed emotional material by allowing a means for this suppressed emotion to “talk” to us in a myriad of ways. Many show up as phantom sensations of pain, pressure, or tension in the region where the energy is blocked. Now could it be possible for this awareness to shift and turn from referred or hallucinated pain (which is just stored emotional pain, not real physical pain at all) to becoming or evolving into a voice that speaks in your head in the same way as a schizophrenic experiences it? I feel intuitively that this theory is correct and that the voices a schizophrenic hears is nothing more than the accumulation of stored emotional material that the psyche animates in order to make it aware of the stored emotion (except its never seen this way). I suspect that the “voices” in the mind of a sczitzophrenic are part of the same spectrum of experience as the awareness of blocked emotion is in the awakened person. If the self is unwilling to see it on the conscious side of awareness, then it seems it will see it on the subconscious side of the self, and in both cases, it will be expressed either as a hallucination in one case or an awareness of tightness, pressure in the body or even pain (phantom pressure or pain—as is so often expressed by people as happening in a large number of people in their first six months of initial awakening) . Because of this arrangement in the self seeking to bring subconscious material to the fore, it seems the self is not in control of these voices…which in the case of schizophrenia and awakening symptoms (of body pain) is very much true. It is a double edged sword; the price for making the self aware of its own shadow is that this shadow has to go from being subsumed within consciousness to becoming animated in one way or another. The question is to what degree. I think that the person who is awakened is merely experiencing a slightly less intense version of animated painbody (the record of our stored traumas) than the person who is unable to properly metabolize dopamine so that it accumulates and accentuates the symptoms or presence of high dopamine levels in the body.

What is interesting, is while researching the dopamine connection to awakening/kundalini, I came across schizophrenics who described their symptoms as identical to kundalini at a very specific period of their experience after going off their medication. I had stumbled across a whole group who were sharing their experience (on a dating site of all things) and they were actually using the term “kundalini” to describe their experience right up until they would experience a psychotic break, afterwhich, they would go into full blown hallucinations, and would go back onto their medication.

What was so fascinating was how identicaly one person in the group described my own awakening symptoms. Two weeks into not taking his medication, he developed a pressure band around the head (this is consistent with countless accounts of awakening that include a powerful third eye chakra activation which spreads like a “helmet” across the head) as he then began to see events at a great distance in a central portal of his inner eye or mind that looked like a small tv. This was my own experience EXACTLY. As I began to awaken, I had numerous nights where a portal like a small tv screen would open up and I would see scenes at a distance in exactly the same way as the sczitzophrenic had described (Not everyone will have This exact experience, but many experience the “helmet head” along with some kind of inner visual phenomenon. In my case, probably because I was on to something, the universe saw to it to provide me with an account that was identical to my own in order to grab my attention and help connect the dots). This continued in the person describing these remarkably similar events until dopamine levels got too high and created a tipping point into hallucination. But prior to the psychotic break, these people were golden, exhibiting all of the same symptoms of awakening such as expanded sensory capability, psychic ability, and changes in physical chemistry. Until too much dopamine was produced, their symptoms were all consistent with…..kundalini or awakening.

This was extremely fortunate because it helped to prove my dopamine hypothesis by providing what we call in science a negative. When I first identified dopamine as the chief compound that seemed to be driving kundalini, I was interested in seeing if there were conditions whereby a person had too much, or too little dopamine in the body. If my theory was correct I would expect to see a complete lack of kundalini symptoms (perhaps the antithesis of awakening in the case of a condition or disease where the body is starved of dopamine), or in the case of a disease where there is too much dopamine, I would expect to see symptoms with a high degree of correlation or coincidence with kundalini. And I believe that I have. But I’m not a scientist. I am only a highly engaged and passionately involved person who gives a shit about understanding ourselves here on this rock hurdling through space. Additionally, I have passed my findings on to researchers in the field, eminent scientists who have, as it turns out, completely ignored my efforts to contact them and convey this information. For them, coupling their work on sczitzophrenia to kundalini is tantamount to professional suicide it would seem. That world where we are open to all possibilities will have to wait for those who are material scientists. But talk about not being willing to go where the evidence will lead you!

So, to sum, by having a negative, I was able to see what happens when dopamine goes awry in the brain and body. Instead of being completely divorced from awakening, the symptoms were entirely consistent with kundalini or awakening, albeit with the dysfunctional aspect consistent with the condition of sczitzophrenia. Still, I felt that the hallucinations of the sczitzophrenic were just the furthest end of the awakened state (and an imbalanced one in regards to body chemistry—and the body is always seeming balance in order to stay healthy).

The Pleasure Principle

Dopamine is tied into our reward system in the brain. Whatever we associate as pleasurable will tend to be coupled to a dopamine “fix” that the brain delivers in the form of waves of pleasure. The problem is that we often associate pleasure with dysfunctional or unhealthy behaviors. What is so interesting is that awakening often leads to people dropping addictions. It is fascinating to me that a drug that when taken into the body from an outside source (opium, opiates, heroin) can lead to addiction can actually assist in freeing us from addictions when it’s generated in the body.

By looking closely at the compounds that are produced in awakening, we can better understand it’s physical basis and form common sense approaches to dealing with its presence in our lives (which does not automatically mean including pharmaceuticals to try and manage things!). I know that people with severe conditions need medication, but if we each were to learn how to switch dopamine on in the body, we would be much happier and in many cases, be drug free. There is a way. I was able to feel supreme levels of bliss at what should have been my absolute rock bottom when a divorce followed my awakening and my separation from my children whom I loved very much became an imposed condition of my divorce. I know that saying we don’t have control over our bodies simply shows a lack of awareness to the truth, and despite the environment, we can at any time, in any place, find peace and wellbeing. Isn’t this what all the great traditions and their teachers have had to tell us? The takeaway for me is that pleasure can heal. Not just any pleasure; pleasure no longer tied to a person, a place, a condition, or a substance smoked, shot up, or swallowed. Uncoupled from such conditions, the mind can remap itself, freeing itself from the tyrrany of belief and conditioned behavior. It seems, you still must be willing to surrender to it’s mighty power, showing the universe, a silent witness, really, that you trust it to heal you (which it of course obliges).

It can lead you to learning how to take control of your physiology by learning how to modulate your emotional responses in order to reduce certain undesirable chemicals produced (the chemistry of fear, say), while also boosting the output of the desirable chemistry. The question you might have here is, “How do I know which is the desirable chemistry?” The answer is that it is the chemistry that naturally emerges when enough fear and painbody is dropped. It is the natural state. Further, your body does seem to know, or is ready to give you bliss as soon as you give it the all-clear to start cooking up the chemistry of what that bliss looks like. Sadly, there is no one doing this work that I am aware of except for those of us who have had either the clinical background or the desire to make careful observations in order to gather data. Unfortunately the system is biased towards those who have been credentialed in the field. But who dares study this? The answer is no one. We then must fend for ourselves. Make observations, share your findings, develop a body of data.

(Copyright, 2018, Parker Stafford. No part may be copied or reproduced in whole or in part without expressed consent of the author)

Source: https://www.livestrong.com/article/408170-what-are-the-effects-of-too-much-dopamine/

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Awakening is like the Magic Visitor.

I am reminded today that if you have a teacher, that teacher might guide you to awakening. But if you don’t have a teacher, then awakening can come without the bells and whistles, instead being the force that brings you to it (this was how it happened to me—the force itself made it possible for me to awaken—I think it really wanted to wake me up!). Awakening, the Magical Visitor, finds the perfect way when there is a need. On a desert island? No worries; conditions will arise that will make it so you have visions. You will he tutored at night in the mysteries. Wherever you are, whatever your situation, the Magical Visitor will give you exactly what you needed in that moment. It feels so perfect because the solution has come from a place outside of time. That is why it feels so….fated…so perfect…because it comes from that place outside of our time. When you create a solution to a problem, you can see past, present, and future, so the solution will feel perfect.

Those in other traditions see this phenomenon, of course, but when you live in a country where there are yogis and yoginis, you use what you have. The Magic Visitor provides you with what fits you best for the time. But in so doing, people erroneously believe that the yogi or yogini is the Way. The Magic Visitor is much too versatile than that…

I have been told by a number of Indians that there is no way I could have awakened kundalini. They cite reasons, such as I do not have a guru, that I have not had darshan, that I did not cleanse the nadis (नाडी), that I did not do yoga, all prerequisites for even beginning to consider kundalini as making its way inside of you.

But what is kundalini?

I know that it is an abundance of life force, this thing we call prana or chi/qi. I know that in its abundance, I have felt its presence, its intelligence. I have tried speaking to it and I have quietly listened. It has spoken to me in the way that it seems to do best; imagery seen internally like dreams. To connect with it, I myself must be open to feeling, to being receptive, sensitive, intuitive. It whispers I must tap my feminine receptive side in my consciousness. It is a kind of vulnerability, it is also setting aside what I think I know. It is also embracing all the parts of who I am as my soul has created itself through many lifetimes as both man and woman. I pay heed to what my soul has sought in these lives as a way of knowing the Magic proportion necessary to bring myself to riotous creative fecundity, which is, simply, adjusting the masculine and feminine traits in my consciousness so that what is naturally in my soul can be expressed in this life, in this time. There is no better way to honor the Magic Visitor and no better way to bring forward and embody your authentic self. It means listening more than professing, at least for me. When I listen for it in nature, I know I am listening to myself. We exist in intensities cleverly hidden behind a veil of forgetting. You can pierce that veil by being receptive…

You cannot be hardheaded and do this well. I am heard-headed, but not when I hear it speak. I listen, I have made this promise to it that I want nothing more than to be more like it is….to grow into what it is, which is a visitor from the future. It doesn’t just come to me, but rather It is ready for me and waits for me to come to it, like how the feminine waits upon her suitor, using her own magical grace to make the call as It ripples through every atom on it’s way to him. What we are talking about is how intuition is able to access vast sums of information. It feels like how the feminine accesses the masculine.

It is a cheat, a wonderful opportunity to learn, to change my present and to change the whole time line – past, present and future. It says that we all win when we let this force into our lives. This is what it tells me.

What does it say to you? If you don’t think it will speak to you, have you tried? It is interesting how if you don’t have a teacher, it will bring the events perfectly timed so that you will get just what you need. Sometimes I think that we want to hear words from someone when all along we really needed to listen to the words that are welling up within us. By not listening, that wellspring can go dry, or appear to. Imagination is where you must go to begin accessing it. It is why so many miss it because they think imagination is just for fabrication, for making things up. True, but if you step three steps deeper into the secrets that imagination hides, you will quickly realize that imagination is used as a technology for making the unseen seen, the unknowable, known. Instead of fabrication, your mind goes blank, really blank, and you do not even worry about your mind being blank. So many people think the mind is like an art gallery whose spaces must be filled with objects, but this is not so at all. When you can not let your tinges of angst get to you that your mind is emptying out (gasp!), you can begin to experience transmissions both from the infinite as well as from your higher self. This is all done simply, by letting I tuition lead, by letting the blind part of the self seek it out….it is to me like being blinded, I cannot use my physical senses, I must use my inner senses instead, be blind to physical sensory experience and let my intuition and open imagination guide me. I can tell you that the more masculine rational mind will fuck it up every time because it is not made to comprehend the infinite. The feminine aspects of consciousness do. As a man, I have had to approach all of this openly, by making myself the way I need to be to find that Oracle within me, to sense the Presence of the Magic Visitor.

I have learned so much from this energy. It has shown me how it is. It has told me what I could hear when I asked questions of it. The answers also changed over time, too, as I matured and as I changed (which is telling; we may only hear what we ourselves will allow ourselves to know or grasp consciously). Sometimes there were things I either could not know the full answer on or would not be able to hear the answer for one reason or another….but always, the energy was kind and compassionate and considerate in its answers to me.

Sometimes I think that it would be nice to be in a community of like minded people, and in many ways I remain unwaivering in that sense. But then I get around these folks and I realize that what I am doing is perfect for me right now, and that I have reached a point where I rely so much on this energy to guide me that I may well be ungovernable…maybe that is a good thing!

Listen. Ask. Wait. Be ready for the answer. It might come through an inner message, it might come in the form of an unwitting conversation with a friend or stranger. When wading into these waters, expect the miraculous.

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