- Perception Bending Guide
- When I was 15 I accidentally discovered meditation, and discovered numerous techniques from this initial discovery. Later on I found parallels with other traditional meditative and mystical systems and practices. I call the form of meditation I do “Perception Bending;” learning to trick yourself into experiencing illusory perceptions such as tactile and visual, and altered states of consciouness. This paradigm has been very effective in teaching myself new techniques. Perception Bending is changing one's physical perception, such as creating phantom sensations, out of body experiences, “visions” and lucid dreams, and even emotions.
- The fundamental method of Perception Bending is to induce a strong anticipation of a physical sensation so that you begin to actually perceive it, which creates even more anticipation of feeling the sensation more strongly, creating a feedback loop. Imagine yourself biting into the sourest lemon you can imagine, and you will feel your mouth salivate; likewise whenever you conjure up a sense-memory such as a smell, you are creating that perception in the "blackboard" of your imagination. Perception bending is just an extension of this.
- I discovered a way to easily experience tactile perception bending that others on the internet have derived independently, and is related to parlor tricks such as a phantom coin left on your forehead after pressing it against it for a bit. This is "activating your third eye," which is an area more prone to perception bending due to the sensitivity of the area.
- To "activate your third eye" grab a pencil and point it at your forehead, just above the brow, almost touching the skin. Imagine how sharp and intense it would be if it were to touch, while trying to simultaneously focusing on your forehead and the pencil. With luck, you'll feel a tingle: the strong anticipation of feeling a sensation in this area creates a tactile perception of it, which feeds back into the anticipation because you feel a sensation. If this doesn't work, try a knife (now THAT will create an intense expectation,) having someone else hold the object and point it at you so you aren't in control of it, or touching the object (not the knife) against your forehead slightly. Always be careful when pointing sharp objects at your face, protective eyewear and a solid seating position is recommended.
- Once you have experienced this phantom tingle using a prop, try inducing it without - this time by remembering and anticipating the tingling sensation itself. Close your eyes and focus on your forehead while remembering the sensation. It could take a few minutes. If this doesn't work, try using the prop in a few sessions to get more acquainted with the sensation and embed it into your sense-memory a bit deeper to allow better recollection. As you have experienced “energy” you probably know how to do this, but taking out the narrative middle-man of mystical energy could help to enhance the ability.
- This illusory energy can be felt in other places of the body, such as the crown of the head (the crown chakra, which seems to be related to ASMR and perhaps feeling lice and parasites so as to remove them, making the scalp sensitive to minute sensations.) the fingers, and the toes. With greater practice one can engulf one's entire body in this phantom tingling.
- I don't have a specific method of replication for the other parts of the body beyond focusing on that area and trying to feel the sensations there. There is however a method for the fingers, which leads to OBE's. Lay on your back with your elbows on the mat/rug/bed and raise your upper arms up, touching the tips of the fingers of both hands together. Position and balance your arms to reduce muscle tension as much as possible and to place the least amount of pressure on your fingertips. Alternately try this while sitting with the same hand position with your hands in your lap in the most comfortable posture. You want your muscles to be as relaxed as possible, with the smallest amount of pressure on your fingertips while they are still touching.
- Concentrate on your fingertips and the sensation of them touching as intensely as possible, and try to imagine the sensation growing. You should feel the same sort of phantom tingle as the forehead eventually. Once you feel this you can slowly move your hands apart and the sensation is retained, though move them too fast and the sensation vanishes.
- Now for an out of hands experience. Using the hand position above, focus as much illusory energy into your fingertips as possible. Just imperceptibly begin to move your hands and fingertips apart without doing so - the goal is to trick your mind into thinking your hands are moving apart when they are not, and slightly moving your muscles to do so reinforces this illusion. If successful, the energy and your hands will feel as if they are moving steadily apart a foot or more while your fingertips are still touching. It feels like a partial out-of-body experience. You can also expand this sensation outside of your body, which is done by Qi practitioners with “energy balls” and mystics with magical wands and staffs, as well as Reiki practitioners.
- Once you know how to do the above hand OBE, you can experiment with trying to induce it in other body parts, knowing experientially how the experience feels and how to trigger it. Eventually you can do this with your entire body, making it feel as if you are levitating or you are moving outside your body completely. There is another technique that can help with this. Lay on your back, close your eyes, and try to get into a fairly deep meditative state if you know how. There's many methods, such as focusing on illusory energy, mindfulness meditation with the eyes closed, focusing on the blackness you see with your eyes closed, imagining yourself descending in an elevator, and breathing techniques. From my experience they all arrive at the same meditative "trance" state. Now visualize your body (not in front of you, but with the visualization overlapping where your body actually is) laying on a plank in space, a boat, a plane, or something else that moves. Imagine this plank or other object beginning to tilt, and then speed downhill or otherwise move in ways that feel "right" at the time. With practice you will be able to fool your body into feeling illusions of acceleration, momentum, and gravity, being able to replicate experiences like a rollercoaster or flying through space. Combine the experiential knowledge of how to make your mind think a body part is where it is not with the ability to fool yourself into feeling motion and you can begin to experiment and try to "push" your body upwards or downwards, or tilt it.
- Another type of illusion you can create is that of heat and coolness. This is a commonly known phenomenon: to feel warmer in the cold visualize yourself in the cold, or eating ice cream. In any position close your eyes and imagine yourself being in a very cold place, such as an icy lake with snowy trees and mountains around it. Like with the plank ride, overlay this visualization over your physical body, so that it surrounds it. Try to feel, via tactile imagination, the cold sensations around you: the icy air entering your nostrils, the frigid air blowing against your skin, snowflakes landing on your skin. The goal is to merge your tactile imagination with your perception to some degree that you feel colder. The sensation of warmth is achieved similarly, a desert or other hot environment visualized instead. This technique of visualization can be used not just to alter sensations of warmth, but also to calm one's self by going to their "happy place" as is commonly known during guided meditations.
- Now for visions. Close your eyes and concentrate on the center of your field of vision. Within seconds or a couple of minutes you will see shifting geometric and other shapes, such as a hot dog, boat, gear, etc. These are directly perceived visually, not imagined. It may help to first imagine these shapes, appearing as sketch-like and relatively simple objects, appearing in the center of your vision. It seems to be a subconscious shifting from shape to shape, not unlike a dream. Try to get them to shift into something particular consciously and you'll find it slightly difficulty and non-immediate, though with enough forcing it is possible. Deep meditative states offer similar hallucinations along much more intense and larger, often roiling color patterns or intricate geometric shapes that can take up the whole field of view. Very deep states and understanding of how to near-completely merge visual imagination with visual perception can make these hallucinations like waking dreams, featuring characters, and are very life-like. This is entering a lucid dream state directly from wakefulness without losing awareness.
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