You may be thinking…
Oh, meditation… That’s like thinking about not thinking right? I already tried meditation, I suck at meditation. I just get irritated with myself for thinking when I shouldn’t be thinking.
Well… You probably haven’t had success with meditation yet because your mind needs to warm up, your mind needs some foreplay to actually meditate.
The Blue Sky Protocol is a process that will lubricate your mind like it’s in a candlelit, jacuzzi filled with KY jelly with a Barry White album playing in the background.
The Blue Sky Protocol will give your mind the foreplay it needs.
You’ve probably heard of the myriad benefits of meditation elsewhere; antiaging, memory, neuroplasticity, stress management and “being present” in social interactions.
But what are the immediate, day to day benefits? If you are going to devote 10 minutes a day to something in the short term you probably want to know what you can expect to get out of it in the short term…
Transitioning to a social mood
If you are like me, you probably have a job or work that fills your day with hardcore, logical-faculty demanding tasks, you probably work with computers. However, you want to have an active social life after work, enjoy the life you are working so damn hard for! A lot of times you intend to go out and do some fun social thing after work, but by the time you get home at the end of the day, you are in such a none social mood, going out and getting into a social mood just seems like so much work that you say fuck it; I’m just going to stay in tonight! Netflix.
Let’s say you do find yourself in a social environment after hours of soul-destroying work, there is just a big hump to transitioning into social mode isn’t there? The first couple of conversations you have are awkward, your jokes and witty remarks are a little off, and maybe you run of things to say in a conversation. Most people have NO other way of getting into a social mood other than just spending a couple of hours drinking…
The good news is that meditation is really effective at priming your mind to get in a social mood.
This makes such a difference for me that I will frequently show up a little late for social engagements and dates just because I insist on doing 10 minutes of meditation before going out. I’ll explain later on in this article how I time my meditation…
I will come home from work, exhausted, not in the mood to talk to anyone, but I’ll make myself do my meditation, 10 minutes later I will feel about five hundred percent better, so following the principle that emotion follows motion, I will leave the house, start walking, breathing the fresh air, and then I will reach whatever social event I had been planning to attend earlier in the day or just get into a social interaction sporadically. So 20–25 minutes previously I was like this zombie borg drone with zero personality, and now sober, I’m being witty, articulate playful and taking social risks.
It’s remarkable how permeable meditation makes your mood. You really have to try it to believe it.
A lot of times by the mid-afternoon I will find myself in the trough of decision fatigue. It’s like my mind is a web browser with just way too many tabs open; I start thinking slower, jumping unproductively from task to task, even making bad decisions.
However, if I do 10 minutes of meditation around 1 PM, It brings me incredible clarity about what I should spend the rest of my day doing, I will get right back into that focused zone I was in at 10:30 AM.
Relaxing before bed
I’m really passionate about my work and at the same time, my work is technical, logic demanding stuff, which is a recipe for insomnia, tossing and turning in bed for hours before falling asleep. I’d say that for the past 10 years of my business career I suffered from at least mild insomnia.
Which for a long time I self-medicated with alcohol to deal with… I remember I went through a phase when I just could not fall asleep without a couple of drinks. But alcohol also screws up sleep, a lot of times it will help you fall asleep but then it spikes your blood sugar and wakes you back up in the middle of the night.
A lot of people smoke marijuana or look at porn to relax before bed which are probably better than drinking alcohol but have their own issues. In my obsessive exploration of the Nootropics and biohacking rabbit hole I’ve found some even better tranquilizing agents like Ashwagandha, Phenibut and red Kratom strains, that have the same effects as alcohol but with almost none of the negatives.
However, the really good news is that whatever your vice is that puts you to sleep,10–20 minutes of meditation right before bed (or even in bed) will do pretty much the same the thing. My sleep has never been better after long, demanding days.
Good meditation is like good sex in that if you are doing it right it should feel really good. The first time I finished doing meditation following the Blue Sky Protocol, I got up and thought to myself; Wow I feel great! It can be a pleasurable leisure activity like eating ice cream, sipping your favorite cocktail, smoking, looking at porn or getting a massage — on some days meditation is the most hedonistic thing I do!
So other than all the other long term benefits of meditation that you hear the gurus, CEOs, and celebrities talking about those are the four short term benefits that you can expect within your first 10 sessions of meditation.
The Blue Sky Protocol has 6 steps…
Bodyweight — You start by just focusing on your body weight, feel where your body weight is concentrated on the chair or bed you are resting on.
Listening — Open monitoring of the sounds around you. Don’t focus too intensely on a particular sound but just let the sounds pass through your mind. Be aware of them. You could even try to count the number of sounds you are hearing simultaneously.
Body scan — You are going to begin a body scan by asking what is the overall mood of your body? It could be tired, sore, restless, relaxed or even excited. Then starting with the top of your head you want to scan down, part by part asking yourself if that part of your body feels tense or relaxed. You’ll start at the top of your head and eventually reach your toes.
Counting breaths — You will begin to breathe deeply in and out, as you do, just focus on saying in your head:
Very slowly and you breathe profoundly
Then begin to count to 10
You get the idea…
Try to focus your mind just on the counting, occasionally another thought will pop up, but refocus your mind just on the counting and breathing.
Blue sky — After you reach ten breaths, imagine your mind as a big beautiful blue sky. Imagine yourself somewhere in nature just enjoying the sight of the tranquil blue sky. That’s what you are doing here, just enjoying how beautiful your tranquil mind is. Occasionally a thought will pop up, at this point, it’s important to be able to laugh at yourself;
How silly that I worry about that bill right now!
How silly that I would compare myself to that person!
While I’m just enjoying the view of my tranquil mind…
The thoughts that pop up at this stage we are not going to judge, we are just going to laugh at and let pass.
Empty mind — Now we have finally reached the stage where we are going to think about not thinking. Start by imagining your mind as a bubble floating in a dark vacuum. Then move into the bubble, imagine running your hands along the bubble, feeling how smooth it is. Feel the emptiness. If any thoughts pop up, just smooth them over, feel the emptiness. As you do this repeatedly you will feel your head throbbing, experience almost a rolling or falling sensation, as your increased gamma waves bring you more into a flow state. You may even have some low-level hallucinations, sometimes I will see weird eyes and geometric shapes at this stage.
Then you’re done; return your focus to your body and breathing. Take a few moments to appreciate how good it feels to empty your mind.
Like I said earlier this process takes just 10 minutes a day, however you can stretch it out to take more time if you want, recently I did an Ayahuasca ceremony in the Andes mountains and I didn’t have any crazy hallucinations so I just spent about 5 hours going through the Blue Sky Protocol really slowly.
Now, this is not just a protocol I came up with on my own, it was developed, I’m sure by people much wiser than myself over a very long period of time. There’s a very good meditation app called Headspace, that will walk you through this protocol.
By Jonathan Roseland Connect Mindfulness has been a part of my life for the last 3 years in the form of Dual N-Back…
How the app works: You plug in the headphones and a guy with a very suave English accent provides a guided meditation, walking you through your first ten days of meditation. The headspace sessions are only 10 minutes so I use this to time myself if I only have 10 minutes to meditate.
I have actually been using the free version of Headspace for about 9 months now, I will probably eventually upgrade to the paid version and do a proper review but I’ve gotten tremendous value out of just using the free version. I just keep repeating the day 8 of the free 10 day period.
You’re not going to remember all the things I’ve said here and the 6 steps of the Blue Sky Protocol. So download Headspace on your smartphone. Do it now.
It’s free and awesome. It will give your mind the foreplay it needs and provide the initial structure that your meditation practice requires.
So meditation… do it! Give your mind the foreplay it needs!
A very cool Meditation Lifehack…
This is going to sound a little funny but it has an uncanny effect and is worth trying if you’re a meditator. Near the end of a meditation session rub your hands together vigorously for 30–60 seconds which will produce some heat via friction; then place your now slightly warmed hands on your chest for about 20 seconds, you’ll an energizing sensation in your chest. Repeat and place your hands over your belly. Repeat and place your hands over your eyes, this produces an effect similar to a strong cup of coffee or a hit of Nicotine. Then get up and kick ass! You’ll find yourself a bit more energized and productive after your meditation session.
A Technological Mindfulness Biohack
The only Biohacking device I’d buy
The HeartMath Emave2 is a mindset quantification device for Biohackers, transhumanists, meditation practitioners…
The HeartMath Institute offers a line of mindset quantification devices for Biohackers, transhumanists, meditation practitioners, stress hackers, and flow state junkies. emWave® technology is based on 20 years of research on the mindset state of “coherence” between the heart, brain, and autonomic nervous system. Achieving coherence, basically feeling zenned out, has been linked to mental, emotional, and physical benefits like decreased stress levels.
While it’s a fascinating mindfulness technology it works a little differently than normal meditation. The device measures the coherence of your heart rate variability, giving you nearly instantaneous biofeedback. You focus on staying in the coherent zone as opposed to normal meditation where you might focus on breathing exercises, body sensations or visualization. The emWave can also be used while commuting, reading, working on your computer or even making love!
I’ve used this device extensively and it does optimize my meditation sessions, 10–15 minutes of HRV training gives me an unprecedented degree of mental clarity which is why it’s the only biohacking device that I’d buy and what I recommend highly.