Trance is a wonderful state. As a European child of the 1990s seeking the experience was a part of growing-up. Trance music, raves, strobe lights, vodka in my blood I danced to the beats each and every weekend. Rhythmically induced ecstasy at 140 bpm. I didn’t need any chemical help. Beats, spheric vocals, dancing. Awesome.
Seeing trance as either an ecstatic trip or a means to learn more about oneself (or both) is for everyone to decide by themselves. What scares the shit out of some, others consider interesting and desirable.
A very neutral and general definition of trance is an altered state of consciousness. The way we experience ourselves evolves into something incredibly intensive and immediate. Your usual mode of awareness wanes. The reign of incessant thought ends. Strong emotions blend with synaesthetically enhanced perception creating a powerful internal imagery rich with symbolism. The Self dissolves and opens up the way for an oceanic experience of connectedness and oneness. Trance, in its various degrees, is the archetypal spiritual or mystical experience. Many people, including myself, associate trance with a state of wakefulness, awakening, clarity and enlightenment. Is this the matrix? Do we live in a simulation? Am I experiencing a waking dream within a dream within and dream? Experiencing trance gives some indication as to where these questions come from. Boundaries vanish. Beautiful and disturbingly so.
You can induce trance in quite a few ways. Here are some that come to mind, presented without judgement…
- Meditation, specifially in my experience meditation focussed on the pineal gland/3rd eye chakra
- Vivid imaging and Lucid Dreaming
- Hypnosis and self-hypnosis
- Spiritual rituals (Schamanism etc.)
- Focussing on monotonous stimuli (see trance music)
- Natural or chemical agents (Ayahuasca, DMT, certain tranquilizers, LSD etc.)
- Trance induced as a result of schizophrenia, mania and or psychosis
Let me tell you about my experience with hypnosis-induced trance today. I will discuss trance in manic psychosis another time. Hypnosis is a great method to induce trance. It is simple, controlled, has measurable and sustainable effects over time and is not that prone to causing ill health effects. Try this at home, in a safe place and you will be fine.
I started with hypnosis about 18 months ago, just a few weeks after kicking-off my own meditation workshops. I realized that guided meditation might be a variant of self-hypnosis. Intriguing. So I began a series of self-experiments. Thanks to YouTube, there is not shortage of fantastic hypnotic inductions. In all that time, I actually never saw a human hypnotist. Initially, I had the idea to stop smoking. So I tried some hypnosis in that area. It didn’t work, which is mainly due to the fact that I did not really want to quit. Nothing happens against your will or intent in hypnosis. I was fascinated anyway. Hypnosis was so similar to meditation and yet different. I tried other things. Trance induction. That worked great as I was really eager to make this work for me.
Trance induction through hypnosis is really quite simple… you relax via the breath (see meditation). A voice guides, quite strongly so, talking continuously, drawing all the attention to the voice (in guided meditation, there are impulses and repetitions within stillness). It is very important that you like the voice. If there is an erotic connotation, even better. Once your brain is attuned to a stable alpha-state, relaxation is coupled with something else, for instance, feeling heavy. The more you relax, the heavier you become. The heavier you become, the more relaxed you are. The voice guides you deeper and deeper down that spiral. Thoughts subside. You enter trance, but, that is the great thing, remain fully conscious as an internal observer. You never lose control. The voice continues to “drone” replacing your thoughts. After letting go that far, you implicitly trust the voice that is very much your own now. In this face “you” plant suggestions and place triggers (e.g. “fresh air feels great in your lungs. Pure oxygen is fantastic.” in smoke-free hypnosis). When that is done, you slowly wake up, again being guided by the voice.
After quite some testing I conclude: hypnosis and inducing trance works great. It is a fantastic complement and/or replacement for meditation. Quite a few people actually struggle with stray thoughts that pop-up in still meditation yet find guided meditation distracting as well. Hypnosis might be a great way for those people to learn to let go of conscious thought first.
I had two major roadblocks to face. My ability to let go even further in meditation (in Germany we would say I was a “burned child” due to my manic-psychotic experience) and my relationships towards embracing pleasure. My motivation and focus shifted accordingly. I trusted guidance more and more readily embraced it, gaining more control by losing it in the first place. These past months, I worked a lot with Lucid Dreaming. Very interesting.
In sum, my attitude towards trance has become healthier. I understand the process much better from a technical perspective and feel more at home, aware and safe and secure during the experience. And I know how to get out of it, separate what’s what and establish a sound sense of my internal dimensionality. That is worth a lot for somebody with my background.
Here are three of my favorite hypnotic inductions on trance, letting go, pleasure and lucid dreaming.
Feeling pleasure is beautiful and something most people are eager to let go for. Don’t be frightened by the title of the clip, the hypnosis is not at all sexual. Try it, it works. If you don’t like the female voice, there is a male version on the channel.
Namasté my Brothers and Sisters