Can you remember a dream or a very deep meditation you have had? Sometimes when your conscious mind is relaxed you will have difficulty remembering the exact details, You might get a vague sense of what overall feeling you had during a dream but the intricacies of it are not so easy to grasp.
Have you ever noticed that during a time when you fully relax or sit in meditation, you remember something that you had forgotten, perhaps something that you have to do? The activity of the brain has been silenced and old stored and often increasingly relevant information surfaces.
Have you ever stood on a piece of the earth somewhere in the world and felt like you had been there before? Like you connected with that ground? Some ancestral memory or neurological connection arose? I know I have been places where I have felt that very strong draw to the atmosphere, the earth, the stones. Donegal is a place like that for me. It inspired me to write the poem that I post below.
A Meditative theta state can result in often vivid mental imagery, peacefulness and clearing experiences. It can also allow us to access hidden parts of the brain that are not showing up when beta and alpha are active.
We wish to get to Theta brain waves which govern the tenuous link between consciousness and unconsciousness.
Recent research highlights the interesting role that theta may play in memory function. One theory proposed by Lisman and Idiart suggests that short term memories are constantly refreshed in order to retain their presence in the brain while they are being accessed.
On the significance of theta brain waves, Gabe Turow writes:
“The links between the theta frequency and memory, emotion, and neural plasticity on a localized level provide relevant clues to questions on why visualizations of meditators in theta are so vivid, why meditators have such good memories, and why hypnosis can create lasting changes in the brain.”
It is only in the last number of years that I have learned entering a new season in a mindful and conscious way can change your whole experience of the months that lie ahead.
It comes back to Theta Yoga and the power of your brain. Every season now I become more conscious of how I will embrace the movement of the earth, its affect on my mental state, on my body.
Lets re-trigger our way of entering winter! We each have genetically programmed physiological systems that allow all organisms on the earth to live in harmony with natural rhythms, such as day/night cycles and the changing of seasons.
The most important function of a body’s natural clock is to regulate overt biological rhythms like the sleep/wake cycle.
The five waves of the brain, Beta, Alpha, Theta, Delta and Gamma are always in constant motion and producing waves at specific frequencies. At certain times of the year our brain waves, and our bodies reactions, (compared to when you are used to being active and awake) slow down so that we are willing to sleep earlier as the evening approaches more quickly.
When the weather changes and we spend more time indoors we must allow ourselves to also slow down.
Here are my five Tips for accepting winter, being prepared and happy for those cold months ahead.
1. Organise your winter clothes, have coats and jumpers scarves and other woolies washed and ready to bring out in all their comforting cosy glory. Get the layers ready. And don’t worry about how you look if you are wearing many layers, you can always de layer if you get too warm.
2. Make your time indoors enjoyable by having enough fuel by the fire and blankets and warming lamps in the room where you will spend most of your time.
3. While we insulate ourselves, think of the trees that lay themselves bare, shedding and exposing their branches and bark. The trees do not die, they stand tall and beautiful.
4. If you feel like all you want to do is curl up with a hot water bottle, read a book or snuggle a pillow then act on it. Search your soul a little in winter, hibernate. Find out things about yourself that you did not know – like how resilient you are despite the cold weather. Like the trees, we do not die, we are exposed to the elements of bitter wind, sometimes snow and rain and we weather the storm. We become stronger.
5. A few stretches during the day when your bones start to feel like they are sitting in the same position under your skin is a good idea. Moving to warm the body is always a good idea! Face the wind and brave that brisk 20-30 minute walk even if it is dark outside.
6. Breathe it in. Notice the change in the air. See the mist gather, watch the moon, inhale the new season.
Like many things we can link our seasonal rhythms, our biological clocks, our connections to certain places in the world even our link to certain people back to ancient times.
You landed in the perfect boggy spot
Next to an ancient stone rock
That sent forth energy
from its formation years before
Sea shells, triangles jutting that rode the waves
Locked in the prisms of the ocean
now locked in beside an old ticking clock
A place where the earth sat
Your natural arc hailed from its pike
I took to the waters
Tearing him open, wading in your dock.
For quietness, years, grabbed the heart
no other place
To find the spot, exuding its
sprouting minds, men
Tens of thousands of years set within a
new limbo of air and the carefree cresting of salty froth.