Looking at things in one way, the circumstances that one finds themselves in are no barrier or help towards self realization.
However there is no doubt in my mind that technology and a carefully designed environment can aid inner exploration and self development.
There are basically two sides to the coin. One side says transcend/ don't rely on external factors. The other side says optimise all possible variables in the environment towards the desired goal.
These 2 sides are not in conflict. The wise inner worker develops a deep conviction that seemingly unfavourable conditions are no bar to inner development/awakening. At the same time they gain a knowledge of how to best optimise their environment and do so when they can.
For whatever reasons, many people in this age find it difficult to visualise, attain deep levels of meditation and stay focussed on a particular part of their nature long enough to effect change.
In this article I will explore ways in which technology and the environment can aid us in our inner quests some of which I have not seen elswhere.
Floating on your back in a warm saline solution, shut off from light and sound, you are freed from 90% of your usual sensory stimulation. You're suspended in a state of deep relaxation. When the bright sun is dimmed the stars become visible. In the same way when the loud callings of the outer world and the senses are made quite then the inner world can be perceived. When floating bloodflow is unimpeded.
Sound and Light Machines
According to the laws of sympathetic vibration and entrainment brainwaves should mirror the frequency of light, sound and electromagnetic pulses. This has been proven to be the case. Slowly lowering the frequency of light, sound and sometimes electromagnetic pulses slows the brain waves from beta to alpha to theta to delta waves. There are quite a few machines on the market that with goggles and headphones use the entrainment effect to cause effortless deep relaxation in the user.
Lucid Dream Machines
Lucid dream machines detect when you are dreaming and then gently alert you without waking you up. This is done to induce a conscious dreaming state. In other words you know that you are dreaming and so have some conscious control over it. This ability can be used for self healing and improvement etc.
Bio Feedback Devices
The body and it's rhythms mirror the current state of consciousness. These rhythms and signs can be monitored and displayed to the person. This moment to moment feedback allows the person to experiment with different mental techniques and immediately be made aware of their physiological effects thus leading to eventual mastery of changing one's state of consciousness. The many environmental variables can be made to change relative to the current physiological state. This may become, as technology advances, a very important and useful fact.
Suggestions that bypass your conscious mind and directly influence your subconscious mind are called subliminal. The cyber shaman may utilise subliminal messages to positively influence their subconscious minds. The meditation space can be decorated with images/symbols and phrases designed to aid the purpose of the cyber-shaman. Ranging from overt posters etc that are consciously seen but over time are consciously overlooked and so work subliminally to more subtle means, subliminal messages can have an accumalative effect. According to theory the human being and his senses is far more sensitive than is usually realized. For example messages that are apparently conveyed in a way beyond the powers of the senses are really picked up and processed. Messages to small to be consciously seen, messages camourflaged in almost identical colors and even messages written in ultraviolet pen can all exert a subtle effect. The cyber shaman should remember that their own particular language is to some degree arbitary where as certain symbols because of their universiality penetrate into deeper more primal parts of ones nature or at least are more easily understood by the subconscious mind. The cyber shaman may also employ commercial audio recordings that have been specially embedded with specific subliminal messages. Of course if employing this method you should be careful about the quality of the recordings. A similar, more personally tailored effect may be created by recording your own suggestions and then playing them in the meditation space at very low volume levels. Consciously you will hardly be able to hear them but your subconscious will pick them up.
Yantra Goggles can be used to help you concentrate on a particular phrase, concept or symbol for extended periods of time. The goggles are cut out all visual distractions. All that you can see, set at a suitable distance of a few inches from your eyes, is your chosen phrase or symbol. The image is back lit either by natural ambient light or integregated LEDs. It is possible that the LED lights can be made to osscilate at desired frequencies to effect the brain waves. Utilising the left/right split of the brain, the goggles may be configured so as to present each hemisphere with appropriate input ie words for the language orientated hemisphere and pictures for the symbol orientated hemisphere. Alternatively the same input may be presented to both eyes simultaneusly.
The idea is not necessarily to constantly gaze at the image. It is suggested that you relax with eyes closed and meditate on your chosen theme. Only periodically should you open your eyes to receive the controlled "input" from the visual sense.
When designing a meditation space the CyberShaman considers as many factors and variables as possible in order to optimise that space. The great body of knowledge that has accumulated in Fengshui deserves our respect and study. No doubt some foolish ideas have crept into the subject and maybe in the present age some valuable secrets have been lost so use your discernment in the study and application of Feng Shui.
Ley lines and energy spots are natural features of the Earths' electro/magnetic system. What effect do they have on your meditation space?
Matter has Memory
Treat your CyberShamanic equipment and meditation space with repect and use it for the highest good not to help you indulge temporary stress induced fantasies and desires. Bless the equipment. This will help you associate the equipment and meditation space with positive useful activities. It will also actually rise the psychic vibration of the matter involved which is in always beneficial.
We are bio magnets. The magnetic poles of the Earth influence our bio electric systems. In meditation and during sleep what is the best direction to face? Basically we have four main choices when oreintating our beds: with the head direction facing north, south, east or west. There are a number of conflicting theories about the benefits and negatives of each of these four directions. The CyberShaman should research these existing theories and do his own experimentation.
"Remember that feeling you've experienced near a waterfall or high in the mountains? Those are two places that thousands of negative ions occur. They create an effect on human biochemistry." Negative ions can make you feel fresher and more alert. They also help remove pollen, smoke and dust etc from the air allowing for easier breathing. The Cyber Shaman should look into this. Their meditation space could be fitted with comercially available negative ion generators or real "water fall" type devices. Increased negative ions equals increased bio-electricity. Serotonin levels are beneficially changed by negative ion intake.
Every meditational posture has some advantages and some disadvantages. The cross legged half lotus or full lotus postures in many ways are the best. The death posture (ie laying down on one's back) is very relaxing, all the muscles can relax fully and it is very comfy. However because of it's association with sleep, its effect on the fluid pressure in the brain and other factors connected with the laws of sympathetic vibration, it tends towards unconsciousness and actual sleep. This tendency can be countered with the use of angled beds. The surface of the bed should remain flat and supportive so as to allow for a relatively straight spinal column. However the head end of the bed is raised so that the bed is at an angle of around 20 or 30 degrees. Ideally the cybershaman should have an adjustable bed used exclusively for his meditations. A step further, out of the reach of most Cyber Shamans, involves the use of bio-feed back devices. The Cyber Shaman is hooked up to various bio feed back devices. If the devices detect too much unconsciousness then the bed should automatically, silently and slowly raise up to a set limit. If the devices detect too much agitation then the bed automatically, silently and slowly lowers itself to horizontal. There is said to be an effect of the cross legged posture that helps recycle/ best use the incoming life force. This effect can be induced to perhaps a lesser degree by gently crossing ones ankles. There may be a slight benefit in crossing one leg over the other or vice-versa to do with the direction of blood flow around the body.
Different frequencies of light have different effects on the aura and the mood of those seeing them. Ideally the cyber shaman should have a set up where he can experiment with different colors and intensities of light etc. They should study the body of knowledge about the effects of color but they should not rely on this "second hand knowledge" exclusively. Do not neglect your own experiences and experimentation.
The Faraday cage is an electrical apparatus designed to prevent the passage of electromagnetic waves, either containing them in or excluding them from its interior space. It is named for physicist Michael Faraday, who built the first one in 1836. There are many electomagnetic forces and signals everywhere. A meditation space within a protective faraday cage will shield you from any negative effects. Research the subject and decide whether it is worthwhile to set one up.
Synthetic materials such as nylon are said to disrupt the bio-electric systems of the human body. Wear clothing made from natural materials. Do not wear anything too tight that may restrict natural bloodflow or cause discomfort. Choose colors according to your knowlege of color therapy etc. Aim to maintain an average temprature:being too cold or too hot will distract you.