In my last article, I stated that the greatest benefit of meditation may actually be an increase in consciousness. The metaphysicists tell us that everything has consciousness (awareness). Most scientists wouldn't agree. That's OK because science likely hasn't yet developed the tools to accurately measure consciousness. Usually, science develops appropriate tools only after a new question has been raised. For example, at one time, science thought that the earth was flat and that the sun went around it, but eventually, it discovered the appropriate tools to prove otherwise.
Metaphysicists would say that:
- A plant has more consciousness than a rock, e.g. it can sense the direction of sunlight and lean towards it.
- An animal has more than a plant, e.g. it can sense danger and run from it.
- A human has more than an animal, e.g. it is self-aware and can entertain a universal thought.
- Among humans, some have more consciousness than others, e.g. Buddha, Krishna, Christ and certain "enlightened" individuals were more aware of the bigger picture than others.
Whether the metaphysicists have it right or not, regular meditation may be a way that we can increase our consciousness. We can't prove that yet, but a lot of people believe it to be the case.
Now, on to Hypnosis...what are some of its characteristics? Well first, as I explained in an earlier article (June), it has many things in common with meditation, e.g. metabolism drops, brain waves change to alpha, increased receptivity and responsiveness to suggestion, etc. Interestingly, although the American Medical Association (AMA) accepted hypnosis as a viable form of treatment in 1958, a number of myths still persist about it. The following points respond to the top three of these misunderstandings:
- When you are in hypnosis, you are not asleep or unconscious. You are always aware of people and sounds around you, including the voice of the hypnotist. Actually, the senses are a little more acute in hypnosis and you could be even more aware of certain sounds, smells, etc.
- No one takes control of you or makes you do anything that you do not choose or would not otherwise do in your normal waking state. While in trance, you continue to think, act and decide upon information in a way that is appropriate and acceptable to you. Your integrity and sense of morality are in no way compromised.
- You will not get stuck in trance. Sometimes, people enjoy the great feelings of relaxation and peace so much that they are reluctant to emerge from trance, but they always do. Even if the hypnotist were to die while you are in trance, you would either gradually come back to your normal waking state or else fall into a peaceful sleep and then wake up in a matter of minutes.
Unlike meditation, hypnosis is usually directed to achieving some improvement in habits or behaviour, and is often used when dealing with issues such as:
- Weight loss
- Smoking cessation
- Athletic performance
- Panic and anxiety
- Bed wetting
- Nail biting
- Obsessions and compulsion
- Stress management
- Academic performance
- Eating disorders
- Pain management
- Guilt dissolution
- Post-traumatic stress
One of the really interesting things that Hypnotists are finding, and I am in my practice, is that when working on an issue, we often find, that when the client is asked in hypnosis when the problem began, the response is either " sometime in early childhood, before age six" or in what appears to be a "past life." Regressing a client to the origin or root of a problem is usually going to where the solution lies. As well, a number of people simply enjoy experiencing what appears to be medieval times, ancient Rome, the South Pacific, or where/whenever. This type of experience has been written about extensively by many authors, probably most notably, Brian Weiss, MD and best selling author of "Many Lives, Many Masters", "Through Time Into Healing", and "Same Soul, Many Bodies". In subsequent articles, I will write more about Regression and about some of the other spiritual experiences that can be encountered in hypnosis.
Peter H. Dennis is a Author, Speaker, Hypnotist, Meditation Instructor and Nordic Pole Walking Instructor. As a Certified Consulting Hypnotist, Mr. Dennis draws upon his more than 40 years of Human Resources Management experience to help individuals in their careers, fitness, spirituality, relationships, health, and wealth.
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