Wednesday, July 20, 2016
Astral Projection Experiment - Cutting Caffeine for 30 Days
Over the past couple of years, I have tried to do a number of things for my health in hopes that it will help my projection practice. I have increased my intake of raw fruits and vegetables, cut down on red meat, cut out fluoride, cut out sugar along with any fake sweeteners, and taken up an aggressive daily exercise routine. The one thing that I have only tried half-heartedly over the past two and a half years is the elimination of caffeine from my diet. I go a day here and a day there, and then I fall back into the habit of my morning and afternoon coffee.
Some recent digging into the effects of caffeine on the brain and its effects on things like the creation of serotonin have convinced me that I need to give it another shot. For real this time.
This brings me to my experiment, and I would love it if any of you would join in so we can compare experiences along what is likely to be a difficult journey full of yawning and long meaningful glances at my coffee maker. For the next 30 days, I will forego all caffeine in any form and will continue with my daily/nightly projection attempts. I will record my experiences periodically along the way. If at the end of the 30 days, I have attained new unimaginable levels of enlightenment, I may just continue this experiment. If I don't notice any difference, I may just sink back into my old love affair with my 24-ounce cup of black delicious perfection.
Update - Day 7
Seven days in and I can definitely tell a difference with my practice. Unfortunately, it has had a negative impact. We'll get to that in a minute, but first, let's talk about the physical aspects of cutting caffeine.
I didn't experience any headaches as I have heard others report, but the first two days, I was incredibly sleepy in the afternoons right around the time I typically have my second cup. The mornings were not so bad because I am in the habit of going to the gym and running 4 miles on a treadmill would wake anyone up. The tiredness in the afternoons lasted until about day 4 or 5. By day 7, I was feeling just about normal in the afternoon.
Now, onto my projection practice. As I said, it has not had the effect I was hoping for. As I have mentioned in previous posts, I am in the habit of putting my body to sleep while keeping my mind awake every night whether or not I wish to project, just for practice. Since cutting out caffeine, I am hitting less than a 50% success rate when it comes to keeping my mind awake during this process. I have also found that I no longer have spontaneous awakenings during the night which means I don't get to practice the indirect method, so that is strike two. Finally, my dream recall is down from 4 to 6 dreams a night to an abysmal 0 or 1.
I am hoping that this is just part of the transition to a body free from the effects of caffeine and that I will have better news to report next week.
Update - Day 14
I have a slightly more optimistic report for you all this week. First, no tiredness whatsoever, in fact, I have more energy now than I did when I was drinking my two cups a day. Another added benefit that I have read can be attributed to cutting caffeine is a decrease in mood swings. I just feel good all day long.
Now for my projection and dream practice. My mind awake/body asleep success rate is still hovering right around 50%, and I continue to sleep more deeply than I used to, so spontaneous awakenings have not returned as of yet. The good news is that my dream recall is back up to the 4 to 6 per night I was at before this experiment began. My dreams are as vivid as they ever were. Not lucid yet, but vivid, so that is a step in the right direction.
Two weeks down, two more to go. I hope that the rest of my practice will come in line with my dream recall in the weeks to come. We'll see...
Update - Final Thoughts
Well, the experiment is almost officially over, but I have decided that I will be continuing with my "no caffeine" way of life. Physically speaking, I have far more energy than I had when I was relying on a cup of coffee to pick me up every day after work and I have found that my overall mood is far better than it was when stimulants were causing occasional depression and mood swings.
From a projection and lucid dreaming standpoint, I am still recalling between 4 to 6 dreams a night, which is right back where I was before undergoing this endeavor. My mind awake/body asleep practice is right back where it was. I am hitting a 90% to 100% success rate in my attempts again all thanks to a friend who recommended that I just need to be a little more aggressive in keeping my mind awake than I used to have to be. That seems like an obvious conclusion right? Somehow, it didn't occur to me as I continued going through the same motions that have worked for me consistently for over a year. I modified my practice so that I began counting down from 300 as usual, but I counted my heartbeats rather than my breaths. This was enough to keep the internal dialog a little more frequent and did the trick.
I have yet to experience a projection since beginning this experiment, but I am optimistic based on the fact that my other efforts and practices are returning to normal and overall, I just feel great!.
My final thoughts on caffeine, in general, is that it makes no difference. Obviously, cutting it out or possibly introducing it when it is not a regular part of your diet will impact your practice since it plays a role in regulating sleep chemicals and brain stimulation, but if you are accustomed to consuming caffeine, or accustomed to a life without caffeine, I don't see that there is any benefit from a projection standpoint to change your habits.