Meditation Superhero

This meditation guide can kill your anxiety, help you connect with people and make you feel like you can take on anything — especially if you talk to yourself in your head a lot.

THE SUPERHUMAN STATE: MEDITATION IN ACTION

I first realised the effects of meditation 4 years ago while I was at work.

I used to feel anxious a lot of the time at the office. I was afraid of talking to people. I often stumbled through sentences that made no sense because I was trying to say something cool. I’d hide around corners so I didn’t have to talk to people in the hallways.

Then one day I just felt good. I walked right up to the hottest girl in the office and started a conversation. I asked about her weekend plans… it was no big deal.

It hit me later that I hadn’t felt anxious while doing it. Highly unusual. Then I realised I couldn’t remember the last time I HAD felt anxious. I felt awesome. I was comfortable talking to anyone!

I’d starting meditating daily 2 months earlier.

WTF meditation?!

Check out this article by Comfort Pit. Seriously, read it now. It lists 26 scientifically proven superhuman benefits of meditation. I tasted a few.

My superhuman high lasted for a whole month. Then somehow I lost it and went back to my usual sometimes-anxious self. The benefits were more sporadic after that.

THE FRUSTRATION OF MEDITATION

I’d kept meditating for 20 minutes daily but often struggled to hit the superhuman state.

I thought there was something wrong with my method, so I tried everything:

  • Visualisations;
  • Guided meditations;
  • Music;
  • Group classes;
  • Hand movements;
  • Tai chi;
  • etc.

Each new thing worked for a while, then it stopped working. My mind got distracted and I beat myself up over it.

Other meditators have told me they’ve gone through a similar frustration phase. I think it’s because I was TRYING to feel superhuman. I was focused on an outcome instead of just being aware of what was happening in the moment.

It still worked sometimes, though. And I had a handful of crazy-awesome experiences that I still can’t explain.

A few times while meditating I felt an earth-shattering, whole-body orgasm build up in my spine: heart racing, heavy breathing, whole body tingling. It felt like my universe was going to explode. I chickened out and it fizzled out. If anyone can explain to me what the hell was going on, I’m ALL ears. And no, I didn’t touch myself.

Anyway I’d had a taste of the superhuman state and I’ve been meditating for 4 years since.

Here’s why it works.

MIND SETTINGS: AWARE VS. AUTOPILOT

Your conscious mind has 2 settings:

1) Aware;
2) Autopilot.

Daniel Kahneman refers to them as System 2 and System 1 in Thinking, Fast and Slow. Read it if you want to learn how to make good choices (and why you sometimes make the wrong choices).

If you don’t have a mindfulness practice (like meditation) you’re probably on autopilot most of the time. You’ve probably only caught glimpses of ‘aware’ while playing sport, drawing, reading… activities where your worries fade away.

Your autopilot settings are built on emotions (not logic) from past experiences. If something feels good your autopilot learns to want more. If something feels bad your autopilot learns to avoid it. That’s why you can’t seem to stick to an exercise program, or stop yourself from finishing the bucket of ice-cream.

Your autopilot isn’t deliberately working against you, it just values the feeling of a face-full of ice-cream more than the feeling of being healthy.

You can’t change your autopilot thinking when you’re on ‘autopilot’. You CAN change it from your ‘aware’ setting.

First you have to get out of ‘autopilot’… through meditation.

BECOMING SUPERHUMAN THROUGH MEDITATION

How many slow, deep in-and-out breaths can you count before you get distracted by a random autopilot thought? 10 would be impressive. You’ll probably struggle to get 5. Whatever that count is, that’s how long you can stay ‘aware’.

Meditation lets you extend that awareness to 10, 15, 20 minutes, even hours. That might be hard to believe because you’ve always been on autopilot, like the rest of us. The good news is you can train your mind just like going to the gym.

Your brain literally gets bigger, just like your muscles at the gym. It’s not magic. You’re just training the muscle of “learning how to pay attention”.

Even Arnold Schwarzenegger trained this muscle. He says meditation fundamentally changed his life. He used it to kill anxiety, focus more, calm down… and look at just some of his credentials:

  • Real estate millionaire
  • Mr. Olympia (7 times)
  • The Terminator
  • Governor of California
  • Superhuman

(Check out his podcast interview with Tim Ferriss where he talks about this).

When you expand your awareness through meditation you loosen your autopilot’s control over you. You notice its neurotic thoughts and can choose how you react to them. You get access to hidden processes that you didn’t realise were running in the background.

You become an immovable rock in a river. Your thoughts swim over you but do not stop unless you choose to stop them.

Guide to Meditation - Become an immovable rock

This might all be hard to imagine, because it’s hard to explain if you haven’t experienced it.

Just know this: extending your awareness to even 1-2 minutes will have a huge impact on your life. It’ll give you taste of superhuman.

FOR EXAMPLE:

Imagine approaching a hot girl or guy at a bar.

Autopilot setting: “What the hell are you doing?! You’re going to say something stupid. She’ll hate you. Don’t do it!”
Aware setting: My heart is racing (just noticing).

You don’t chicken out when you’re in ‘aware’ mode. You’re calmer because you’re not judging yourself. Your head is clear and your words flow.

Here’s a more extreme example – Thích Quảng Đức, the monk who burned himself alive.

Autopilot setting: “Ouch, this hurts! I need to do something about this!! Scream, maybe?”
Aware setting: There is pain (just noticing).

He never moved a muscle. Never uttered a sound. Imagine that kind of self-control. His mind must have been a peaceful place.

HOW TO MEDITATE

There are many different ways, but I think this is the easiest to start with.

  1. Sit down somewhere quiet. Set a timer. Start with 5-minute sessions and gradually build up.
  2. Rest your attention on one thing that you see, hear, feel, smell or taste. This is your anchor (examples below).
  3. Your autopilot thoughts will appear (probably every couple of seconds at first).
  4. Smile at your thoughts, then go back to your anchor and let the thoughts swim by.
  5. Repeat this over and over again.
  6. Keep returning to your anchor. Your autopilot thoughts will start to appear less frequently.
  7. You may start to notice curious details about your anchor that you’ve never noticed before.
  8. If you’re relaxed enough you’ll eventually reach a point where you actually feel your pupils dilate. This is the ‘aware’ setting. Sit with it and enjoy how awesome you feel.
  9. You’ve started to become Superhuman.
  10. Keep meditating daily.

ADDITIONAL TIPS FOR BECOMING SUPERHUMAN THROUGH MEDITATION

If the infographic doesn’t load, click here.

Meditation Guide Infographic

 

Pete - Social Coach For Intelligent Men

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25 Thoughts to “The Simple Guide to Becoming Superhuman: A Crude Break-Down Of Meditation”

  1. Hi Pete,

    Years ago I meditated quite a bit and, while meditating, would start feeling vibration traveling up and down my spine. I got to the point where I could control the speed of the vibration. One night I spontaneously ‘awoke’ to this sensation of vibration. The vibration spontaneously got faster and when it reached a certain frequency the episode culminated in an ‘out of body’ experience. It was not unpleasant, however, it was a little unnerving so I stopped doing that type of meditation. Your blog is very informative and interesting. Thanks!

  2. thnx you beard strocker you. i will definitely try this and let you know what impact it had made. I also read that it helps you to focus when trying to digest new knowledge. what are your thoughts on that?

  3. You missed the Most Important Anchor.
    The Sound Of Silence.
    Our Inner Sound.
    That Humming Sound that constantly run inside your head.
    Some May call it Sound Tinnitus.
    But that is the music of Existence.
    In Hindu Culture it is termed as “Anahata Nada” means “Unstruck Sound”. Literally this means “the sound that is not made by two things striking together”
    (Am i going too deep?)
    You can also refer to the book “Nada Yoga” which means “Sound Yoga” for more insight.
    Btw, great post Pete :)
    You are always inspiring.

  4. Wow, Pete you’re awesome dude!
    I’ve heard a lot about, and tried medication couple of times but actually never worked out…never got how good it feels actually.
    (Once I’ve read a whole long article over the neuroscience of meditation)
    I’ve tried a few guided meditations but didn’t work as well.

    This time I came across your meditation article with a big sigh, knowing again I can’t enjoy this apparently great meditation thing :(
    But it REALLY worked this time! whoooh!!
    I really felt something nice, relieving and felt soo free!

    Thanks a lot! Keep up being amazing :))

  5. This does not apply if one is in financial dire straits. There is no way that one can meditate when one doesn’t know where the next cent is coming from. Meditation is essentially workable only on those who actually don’t need it. How’s that for a conundrum?

    1. Hmm, what makes you say it wouldn’t be helpful in that situation?

      There’s a Zen Proverb that says you should sit in meditation for twenty minutes a day, unless you’re too busy. Then you should sit for an hour.

    2. Saying you can’t meditate because you’re too anxious (whether about money, relationships or anything else) is like saying you can’t tidy the house because it’s too messy. As well as helping you to gain a clearer perspective on your money problems (and where they fit in the grander scheme of things), meditation can also help your mind to generate solutions. Why not try it and report back in a month?

  6. I wonder why you said that going to 10 is an impressive feat.

    I went to 20 breaths before I got bored, and all I focused on was controlling and counting the breaths, and the oblivion in front of my closed eyes. (And I don’t usually meditate)

    I also find it worth mentioning that trying to focus just on a feeling that is not intensive to the passage of time would be better than an anchor which is. In my case, I’m practising for oblivion. The reason for stopping at 20 being that counting my breaths was intensive to the passage of time, being fully aware of which is what we’re trying to avoid.

    In case anyone wants to try oblivion, remember the feeling you get while sleeping when you aren’t fully aware of passing time. Well…you are, but aren’t thinking about it, ie., no autopilot. I, personally, CAN feel it.

    So, I sleep daily, and that’s the trick. All I do is to recreate the memories of nonexistance, sometimes with a bit of tweaking.

    I wonder if that qualifies as a method of meditation, even. But it is highly unlikely for it to not be one. If anyone can suggest me what it’s called, I’ll be grateful. Perhaps I’d even write a short story for you :D!

      1. Not really. The awareness of oblivion during sleep (when I’m not in the REM state, of course) is something for which nothing can be done. Just being able to do it for a long time is something forced upon the person doing it. There is not enough energy to wake up, and even if you go on and try waking and even succeed, you can’t get up. Not exactly sleep paralysis, but energy isn’t really released in body.

        I don’t like that state. All the bodily senses feel numb, as is they were tranquilised, strongly. And there is this very slow awareness of time passing as if I’m high. But going against it would be sheer torture, because there just isn’t enough energy to fight it.

        At least I can perfectly imagine what pure oblivion feels like, and don’t scare easily. Meditation…that’s more of a side effect. But I doubt anyone would want such a skill that he feels pure inability for about 6-12 hours, and (almost) all he can see, feel and think of is oblivion, then waking up as if only minutes passed in the numbed awareness of passing time.

    1. Hi Jennifer. There are meditation retreats where they get you to meditate many times throughout the day. I’ve personally done it up to twice per day for 20 minutes but I’ve never heard of a ‘maximum’ limit. You can also do mini meditation exercises for 1-5 minutes whenever you need a pick-me-up.

      1. Not much. But that’s not an extension of REM state. I mean, I can get up, move about and do whatever I want, my body’s not paralysed. But due to lack of enough energy to do that, I won’t, because of the pain it brings and my head hurts a lot. Also, I don’t see any hallucinations or feel anything except tiredness and headache if I try to do anything or when noises won’t let me rest. And unlike sleep paralysis which lasts only a few minutes, it can go upto 40. It’s more like sleeping with eyes open.

        In short, I’m essentially awake, but not energetic enough to get up. It’s the same feeling of numbness you get WHILE you’re sleeping, and that’s what it’s an extension of, unlike sleep paralysis which is an extension of the REM (or dream) state.

        Though meditation has it’s benefits, and the focus in that state is on calmness of mind which is not a possibility during waking hours but there it’s all that is possible, I can think better and more clearly than others. And I’m also better at many other things related to thinking.

        As a sidenote, it’s not such aware feeling daily as I sleep, but I’d still know that I felt it even if I can’t remember it by memory.

  7. Sounds like the “full body orgasm” you experienced may have been kundalini. Do you hold your tongue to the roof of your mouth? I’ve read that doing so helps (or is necessary, I forget).

    1. Interesting. Hmm, I’m not sure. I’ll keep that in mind if I ever get there again.

      Do you have any good links where I can read about it?

    2. Exactly what jumped to my mind. Check out the Australian Robert Bruce; he has a practical, down-to-earth, experientially-based take on these kind of things.

  8. Hi Pete, Quick question. I quite like the idea of the sound of an instrument in a song you like. In fact what you describe here makes me think I’ve unintentionally taught myself to meditate that way already.

    The only thing is that the particular instrument/song I’m thinking of only lasts about 4 minutes which is not long enough for the sessions you suggest building up to. Any suggestions? Should I try looping the song? Thinking about the sound in question? Maybe pick a different anchor?

    1. Sounds like you’ve probably got a little taste of it, Westley.

      It’s really a process of experimentation to work out which anchor is best for you, since everyone is different. Music/sounds might work well for you, in which case you could try different songs or listening to sounds outside (birds, rain, cars…). Looping would probably get old really quick.

      But also you might find that something else on the list works even better.

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