The Lotus Technique

Recently I was listening to an audiobook about personal transformation, and the author prescribed a meditation routine with 8 parts. You’re supposed to spend a week mastering the first step, then add a few steps when your proficient, and so forth. The idea being to chunk it all into one fluid motion that you don’t have to think about. The same idea applies here.

For a long time I’ve worried myself about bullshit. Relentless testing triggers that occur throughout the day, that put you in your head and on the back foot, often questioning your own worth. I might go into what such things mean but The truth is don’t know, and rationalising about them gets you nowhere except a downward spiral. So I devised this routine as a way of regaining emotional self-control and poise.

Interestingly I’ve found a lot of the things that are effective don’t involve tussling with the perpetrator via intention. Trust me. I think what’s best practise is basically what psychologists teach nowadays.

There are five steps partly because it’s pleasant to be able to count them off your fingers. Mostly though it’s because it’s enough to be holistic without going overboard.

So here is my gift to you, a way of thriving in spite of triggering people in situations that you shouldn’t remove yourself from. The lotus technique. By the way it’s called lotus because it allows you to be like a clean lotus flower in an environment of mud and dirt. Poise, presence and intention are characteristics of this routine.

1. Muscle relaxation and acceptance of what is

2. Mindful attention of one breath

3. Think something helpful (could be an affirmation, positive reframe, objectivisation, thought challenging etc)

4. Do with your body or actions how it would be if you felt how you would like (e.g. smile, stop fidgeting, sit up straight, make eye contact)

5. Realign with your values

I’ve been to a psychologist for 12 weeks and this pretty well runs the gamut of what they teach for dealing with depression and anxiety. So what I predict for you if you start doing this is strengthening these neural networks and thereby increasing your overall well-being.

The more you do it the easier it will get. Neutrons that fire together wire together. Soon you’ll be unconsciously relaxing your muscles, being present, acting confidently, thinking right and being aligned with your values. The hardest part is step 3 and pretty soon you’ll have memorised thought patterns for dealing with common situations so that will become easy.

The beauty of having muscle relaxation as the first step is that it’s easy and it itself acts as an anchor. Rather than, say, tapping your fingers twice on your leg. Your body will know what to do when you release tension like that in response to something.

Giving Up Caffeine

Recently I was going for a walk and listening to the audiobook “Breaking the Habit of Being Yourself”. Dispenza had shone a light on stress as a survival response. He likened it to a deer’s adrenal response when it sees a predator. The difference is that after about 15 minutes the deer will go back to normal. Humans, on the other hand, have the ability to think about past and future events which alone can make us stressed. So we are capable of making ourselves feel stressed all the time.

He linked this stress response to depression, anxiety, feelings of competition, hatred, envy, scarcity. At this point, I felt like he was talking about me personally and knew me better than I knew myself. The part about anxiety, envy, and competition, in particular, hit me like a freight train. Although it may not have been what he was driving at, the message for me was clear: reduce stress levels. So I gave up caffeine the very next day.

The decision not to drink caffeine is a decision to live more presently, spiritually, off-the-grid, in one's emotions and familiar with one's inner-child.

Day 1 

On day 1 I was home most of the day, working. The withdrawal was not bad. I lost my temper at a family member though. Definitely the caffeine withdrawal made my response worse (and maybe caffeine drinkers feel like pushing your buttons a bit when they sense your calmness).

I decided to postpone meeting a girl who I’ve been seeing lately. It seemed like too much work and I didn’t have the patience. She didn’t mind postponing so it was a good move.

Another girl wanted to tee up a time to meet at the library to practise lanaguges. I suggested we go to a nearby cafe instead because it was more comfortable and I had no need for books. Then she sort of insisted the library then I got tired of her shit and said I’d rather practise with someone else (I was annoyed because by being too reticent she was adding stress and therefore making herself a problem to solve). I unfriended her 5 minutes after friending her and asked her to leave me alone. Then she seemd to suggets I was into her and she wasn’t into me and then blocked me. That’s why I asked her to leave me alone.

I would recommend choosing a day without much socialising to quit caffeine.

I did manage to be quite productive that day. This is important because productivity is the main reason for drinking caffeine is it not? I did 20 minutes meditation. It was much easier than usual, the time seemed to go so quickly. Got into that trancelike, theta brainwave state that Dispenza talks about in his book. I arose feeling refreshed and then spent 10 minutes doing an emotional release. I lay in bed and didn’t feel like watching endless memes like I usually do and fell asleep. I had stayed awake for less than 16 hours. This is important because in the past I would always stay awake a little bit later each night.

Day 2

It was the best sleep of my life. Slept so well that I woke up with a sore neck. Again, managed to be productive at home. An encouraging sign.

Day 2 is where you start to feel good and see the benefits. I was riding around on my scooter in the central business district and it was plainly apparent to me that 99% of the people on the street were amped up on caffeine. They seem like their skin and muscles are hardened into stone. The whole planet seems like that even. For me, it felt like I was on holiday. Camping. Truly relaxed in my own home town. Who would have thought it was possible? I felt like I was treating myself, enjoying life, while most other people were in the rat race. I suppose that is true but usually, I don’t feel good about it. I could tell that my presence was attractive to others too because I was the most relaxed person around. It was as if my ego wasn’t playing the human game anymore. 

I realised that so much of the behaviour that usually annoys me has something to do with caffeine. I realised that them being on caffeine is probably why women often seem bitchy/problematic to me and people in the workplace seem adversarial. I realised that other people like people who aren’t on caffeine too, and by not being on it, I was getting the best from people. They felt they could let their guard down. Rightfully so.

I went to the pub to watch the State of Origin rugby match. I realised that usually I have a loud, amped-up, overactive mind. I felt like it was a good thing because I could use to it control situations quite well. It never seemed to go down well with others. What is better is being the person with a quiet mind. Then you can watch the ‘smart’ person who is amped up and thinking they are controlling things.

When you’re more relaxed you naturally feel more dominant. Surroundings are less threatening by definition. Sex feels like something that just makes sense as if the threat has abated so now it’s safe to play around, have fun and let the limbic system express do its thing. Bullshit seems to mean less. Everything of the environment, body and time seems to means less as a matter of fact.

The decision not to drink caffeine is a decision to live more presently, spiritually, off-the-grid, in one’s emotions and familiarly with one’s subconscious.