Best ADD – ADHD Treatment: Meditation

Best ADD ADHD Treatment? Meditation.I was going phrase the title, “Best ADD – ADHD Treatment? Meditation or Medication? ” but I decided, no –meditation IS the ultimate treatment for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. There’s no question in my mind about it.

Why am I sure meditation is the best cure for ADHD?

As I mentioned in my previous post about ADHD – Self Adult Attention Deficit Disorder Diagnosis I have had ADHD – ADD since I was a young child, but only knew it in about 1995 during grad school classes in which we tested each other for various, mostly behavioral disorders.

I had no idea that meditation could be any form of  ADD ADHD treatment and offer any relief from my renegade attention and concentration habits.  I didn’t start meditating for that reason at all. I just thought meditation might be a nice way to relax from the stress of college, working full-time and volunteering as a big brother for 15+ hours per week. I ran and biked, and those helped – but I thought meditation would relax my mind even more.

I couldn’t have been more right.

The type of meditation I did was loosely based on Vipassana, or what Theravada Buddhists call “anapanasati”. Basically I sat down, closed my eyes and watched the breath go in and out. Really that’s basically it. There’s more to it of course, but essentially when you distill it down you could say just that, and have a pretty good synopsis of the whole idea of meditation. Sit and watch the breath at a very small point of concentration where it enters and exits the nostrils.

As one does that – the mind gradually slows down. Over time – days, weeks, months of a regular meditation practice the mind slows down and thoughts come less frequently while meditating. Eventually at some point, they stop. They stopped for me for the first time just a couple months into my practice. The concentration I was able to attain lasted minutes at a time – then tens of minutes… then over an hour.

After the thoughts stop… there is a peace of mind that is impossible to explain. There are many profound experiences that happen as the mind is in this state and it’s quite a journey to say the least. It’s amazing and I’ve tried to capture it in words and videos at some of my websites – but of course the words can never explain an entire body-mind experience.

Anyway, as the months went by I noticed something that was amazing to me. I was having spontaneous periods of concentration on what I was doing.

This was a novel experience for me – living with profound ADHD all my life had robbed me of any spontaneity in my concentration ability. If I wasn’t really trying hard I couldn’t concentrate more than a few seconds on any one topic. It’s a weird way to go through life – but I thought it was normal. Until I started having these amazing states of concentration just happen on their own! I wondered – is this what the rest of the world experiences all the time?

Amazing revelation… meditation has a marked effect on ADD ADHD.

I first started meditating about 1998. Since then I’ve had amazing levels of concentration that have enabled me to write a 130,000 word fiction novel, a 100,000+ word biography, numerous ebooks and create over 100 websites. I consider myself cured of ADHD – ADD but there are still times when it is a challenge to complete some tasks because all the sensory input around me is driving me nutty. In cases like that – if I choose to – I can meditate for a minute or 5 or 10 and resolve all the problems quickly. Sometimes I just like to experience the ADHD for a while because it’s what I thought was normal for 30 years of my life…

Here are some reasons why I believe meditation is the best ADD ADHD treatment:

1. It costs nothing.

2. Residual benefits. You’ll gain relaxation… peace of mind… cure or seriously curb your ADD ADHD in non-meditating, waking states .

3. Meditation is a great way to relax and create a buffer between the you that’s stressed out from work and your family who just wants to experience the stress-free you. Meditation is a great habit to get into purely for this reason alone.

4. Medication involves putting something into your body that gives side effects. Meditation involves slowing the mind down to a very slow, or stopped state… which relaxes you and eases stress.

5. Meditation is available anytime. You don’t have to wait for medication to kick in – you just sit and do it. Focusing on the breath a few times to calm yourself and slow thoughts down a bit works very well once you’ve meditated a few months.

6. You can’t overdose on meditation.

7. Eventually – after months or years you reach a state where you no longer need to meditate and your base-level concentration is much higher than it was. You can keep meditating and keep affecting it, basically operating as a normal human being after some time. Medication doesn’t change you long-term, only short-term.

I hope you look into using meditation as an ADD ADHD treatment that can profoundly change the rest of your life. If you want some help on how to get started I’ve created a free meditation ebook for download here.

If you want to learn more information about ADHD – Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder < go here.

Best of Life!

Find me at Twitter HERE >

31 Sleeping Lifehacks for Helping you Sleep, Minus the Sheep

Getting sleep tips.

I wrote another sleeping lifehack post not long ago and it’s had over 78,000 pageviews (reads) so far. That’s amazing to me because I created that blog post article on a spur of the moment idea one night when I realized that by having my head covered with my arms or hands I seemed to be more relaxed and I fell asleep even more quickly than I usually did.

To expand on that greatly, I’ve listed here another 30 ways to help you get to sleep. I take my sleep seriously. You should too. If you’re not getting enough sleep then you CAN change something and reach the point where sleep comes more quickly. You might be stressed out from life, but one or a combination of these lifehacks about sleeping should work for you!

31 Sleeping Lifehacks that Work:

1. Your bed is for two things: Sleep and sex. If you read in your bed, eat crackers in your bed, or program on your notebook computer in your bed, then your bed is no longer a special place. It needs to be special. It needs to trigger your brain for sleep. It needs to mean sleep so when you see it, and if you’re not feeling horny, you think, ‘sleep’.

Sleeping on the side, with hands on top of head helps get you to sleep.2. Make sure your room is cool enough to sleep. If it’s not cool enough, shoot a fan onto your legs, in your face, wherever you need it. Fans are cheap and efficient. My wife cannot sleep in the warm weather without a fan blowing DIRECTLY at her face – preferably on high speed from about 3 feet away. I can’t possibly sleep like that, so we sleep with my feet at her face and hers at my chest. Works for us most nights.

3. Music on low volume is OK, if the music either doesn’t have words – is entirely instrumental, or, consists of a sleepy girl’s voice like Sade. I can sleep to Sade’s “Love Deluxe” CD in about 4 minutes. If you don’t have it – get it and I think you’ll see what I mean.

4. Television on low volume works for some people. Not me. The problem is that you wake up at 3 a.m. with the loud static that makes you feel like you’re in a psycho Japanese horror-flick.

5. Fake meditation. Meditation books will tell you, “Don’t meditate while lying down.” There’s a good reason for that. You get too relaxed and your mind starts to get dizzy… unfocused and before you know it, you’ve slept yourself right through your meditation. Now, if you didn’t care about meditation, sleeping would be a good thing. Try it in bed on your back and see what happens. Success!

Read my best-selling ebook – Meditation for Beginners – A 22-Day Course here >

6. Progressively relax all the muscles in your body. You can do this one of two ways. You can simply focus on different areas of your body from the head to the toes or toes to head, either way – up to you. Try both ways. Look at your head, the muscles in your face, your nose, your ears, your throat… feel them relax… you know the drill. We’ve all heard audio suggestions like this on mp3 or god forbid if you were alive during tape recorders, you listened to a tape of it. Don’t tell anyone if you heard an 8-track of it.

Sleeping on side with hands on face weird helps you to sleep.7. The other way to progressively relax all the muscles in your body is not just to focus on them, but to tense them first. Contract the muscles you’re focusing on tightly and hold it for a couple seconds. Do this with each group of muscles as you focus on them. Then when you let go of the contraction you really can sense the relaxation because it’s so opposite of the tenseness. Do this with every group of muscles in your body… head, face, neck, traps, shoulders, biceps, triceps, forearms, wrist, hands, fingers, chest, etc. Don’t miss anything.

8. Enlist the help of your friend for one of the following…

  • To clean your fingernails and toenails as you lay in bed, ready to sleep. I’ve never fallen asleep faster in my life than when my wife did this recently. She started on my toes. By the time she got to third toe of the first foot I didn’t get to enjoy the rest of it – because I was asleep quick!
  • Rub your feet gently.
  • Rub your hands gently.
  • Trace a line with one finger on your feet, hands, across your whole body, or back.
  • Tell you a bedtime story.

9. Remember there are only 2 positions to sleep correctly: On your back, or on your side. Don’t sleep on your stomach as your neck has no alternative but to twist oddly. You know what pulling a neck muscle is like, don’t you? Thought you had sleep problems before?

10. Try the WINE! (Quote from, ‘A Clockwork Orange‘) Wine or beer, anything with that magic ingredient, will relax you. That’s why doctors tell you, don’t drink alcohol with your sleeping pills. They accomplish the same thing. I rarely have trouble falling asleep immediately, but if so, I’ll have a glass of wine or a beer and I’m out cold in 15 minutes.

11. If laying on your back, straight out like a corpse you might find that you have some weird feeling in the area between your butt and your middle back. This is your lower back. It might not feel relaxed. There’s a reason for that. It isn’t. You might feel better if you put a pillow under your knees. This will lift your legs and allow your lower back to contact the bed where it should be, not up like a suspension bridge or an eleven-year-old’s back-bend in gymnastics class.

12. If you still don’t feel right, try crossing your legs Indian-style on top of the pillow, while still laying on your back. This works for me really well. I think too much meditation in the past made my legs pliable enough to do this and now it feels more comfortable to sleep like this than with legs straight.

13. Assume the fetal position. What do fetuses do best? Sleep. They sleep a good part of the time they’re in there. Make yourself fetus-like and curl up on your side. Heck, suck your thumb if you want. Nobody is watching.

13.5. A hammock will help you get into something resembling the fetal position. It works wonders for infants!

14. When choosing to lay on your side and sleep, your pillow must help you sleep, not hinder it. You need a pillow when you sleep on your side. Or something else that will keep your spine in a straight line. If you sleep without a pillow, your spine curves at the neck because the width of half of your cranium does NOT equal the same width of your spine to the outside of your shoulder. See the disparity? You need something under your head to pick it up and line up the vertebrae so your spine stays in a straight line horizontally.

15. Sleep horizontally. What I mean is… your bed, the floor, a lounge chair, whatever it is – really should be horizontal. It shouldn’t be angled, tilted to one side, or so soft that the heaviest part of you (your butt) sinks into the surface and collects all the blood for the next eight hours. Sleep horizontally.

Women sleeping at Dhamma talk in Thailand16. Take the major step of improving your sleep patterns by moving your bed into another room – maybe create a TV room or a sex room and buy a firm foam pad two or three inches thick to sleep on in place of your bed. I’ve slept this way for the better part of two years now and my back pain has decreased to where I don’t even notice it. I don’t have any problem sleeping either. There is about a ten day or so adjustment period when you’ll curse me up and down but, when that’s over you’ll send me internet flowers or something warm and fuzzy.

17. Drink warm milk. For some reason it works. Look at breastfeeding babies. Half the time they fall asleep AT the source. While your milk you heat up in the microwave might not be exactly 98.6°F, it is better warm and it has a relaxing effect due to the tryptophan, an amino acid that acts as a sedative.

18. Go to sleep at about the same time everyday. If sleep is part of the schedule then the brain is wired for it to happen at a certain time. If you have an unsteady schedule, you’re more likely to suffer periods of insomnia.

19. Exercise to the point of exhaustion right before you eat dinner. By the time you eat dinner and the blood goes from your muscles to your stomach to help in digestion, your mind doesn’t get the blood it needs to stay awake. You naturally get sleepy. Of course you’ll need to time when you exercise and eat dinner so you’re not falling asleep at 6:30 p.m. Exercise at 6, eat at 8, sleep by 9? Sure you’re eating a late dinner and you’ve heard that’s not such a cool thing to do – but the people that said that are sleeping everyday. You’re not. You want to sleep, don’t you?

Don't sleep face down because it won't help you sleep.20. Cover your eyes with some satin undies. Or whatever you choose, it’s just that satin is nice and cool and very lightweight you won’t even know it’s there. I use a lightweight running t-shirt. Don’t bother with the Bluebeard eye-patches and other gimmicks. You don’t need to buy them when a sock will do just as well. Eye patches invariably have a rubber band or elastic that squeezes your head either too tightly or too loosely.

21. Ear plugs. I’ve not found any that fit my ears correctly. Here in Thailand there is a one size fit all and they leave a quarter inch of rubber plug sticking out the side of my ears like a Frankenstein or, dare I say it – Herman Munster type deal. Sleeping on the side with those things is impossible. Great for back sleepers though.

22. Put your arms, hands, or fingers over your head and face as you sleep.

See my other Sleeping Lifehack article here with images of how I sleep >

23. Turn your bedroom into a cave. When you shut the lights off, your bedroom should be as black as a cave. No light means your eyes can’t focus on anything, even if you’re laying in bed wide-eyed. Cave men had the right idea. Sleep was important to them as they were outrunning mammoths and saber-toothed tigers, they needed to conserve energy. What worked for them can work for you!

24. Trick yourself into falling asleep. Reading a book that you really want to finish is a sure-fire way to fall right asleep. Telling yourself that you must stay awake and cannot sleep is another great way. For some reason this works. For some weird reason if you tell the mind – NO, then it does it. It’s like the mind is always rebelling against what we tell it.

I’ll never forget a car trip from Washington DC to Pittsburgh at 2 a.m. when my friend, Mark, with full-blown sleep apnea, reassured me forty or more times that he was fine to drive. I told myself, ‘Don’t fall asleep because if Mark does fall asleep you’ll need to grab the wheel.’ Sure enough I fell asleep. God it’s just heavenly to be sleeping in the car while someone else is driving. Anyway, I woke up to the sound of Mark snoring like a grizzly bear, the car flying down the road at 80 mph. Not one of life’s AWESOME moments I’ll tell you.

25. If you’re in Korea or have access to it, drink “SoJu”. It’s a rice wine that has formaldehyde in it (had in 1986 at least) and not only will you sleep, but you’ll forget what you did the night before. You could also dose yourself on roofies if you’re seeking that particular effect.

26. Intentionally try to stay up all night long every night for a week. See. You sleep. Again, this works on that same principle of telling the mind what you want to do – stay awake. It does the opposite, puts you to sleep. Strange mind we have!

27. Don’t take a hot bath or shower at night, or do some physical activity right before bed since your body needs to lower it’s temperature and heart-rate to sleep. An elevated temperature or heart-rate will keep you up longer without sleeping.

28. Get yourself some of that white noise. White noise can mask the sounds that annoy you and that inhibit your sleep. For me, a fan running close to me works, as long as it isn’t pointing at me. You could turn on YouTube with an hour of babbling brook, ocean waves, waterfall, rainfall or wind through the trees and that might work for you.

29. Have a power-down routine before you climb into bed. Anxiety about your living space, kids, what you’re going to face tomorrow and so many other things can add up to anxiety before you hit the bed. Go through a power-down routine where you walk around the house, shutting the blinds, checking windows and door locks, starting the air con in the kids rooms, or whatever you need to do. Write a short list of what you’ll need to get done the following day and have a glass of warm milk. Cool your room down to just above freezing and gently slide into the covers. Go through the muscle relaxation progressive exercise and feel consciousness slipping away.

30. An hour before you sleep do some yoga, meditation or stretching exercises to wind yourself down physically.

If nothing else works, resort to the old standby…

31. Just eat a potato! Some researchers are saying that potatoes have a relaxing effect when eaten before you sleep. Who would have ever thought it was that easy?

Anybody have more? I tried not to rehash the 50 other things most lists have about how to fall asleep, but some of them worked for me in the past so I did mention them.

Let me know if anything above works for you. This post has been here since 2008 and already over half a million people have read it. Some report falling asleep quickly after trying some of these lifehacks. Let me know – I’m anxious to hear if anything worked for you!

Best of Life!

Find me at Twitter HERE >

PS – I’ve had ADD/ADHD my entire life, and yet I’ve not had problems sleeping using the tips above. Try them, they work.

Quieting the Subconscious Through Meditation

Meditation to quiet the dysfunctional subconscious.

In the last post we looked at using dream interpretation as a tool for looking at the subconscious mind using a conscious effort.

In this article I’ll talk about using meditation as a tool to reduce the subconscious popcorn flying around in your head, reducing the amount that can affect your consciousness.

Meditation is an absolutely amazing tool and one that can give you the greatest results if you’re one of those people that can do a few things consistently. Meditation at it’s simplest consists of sitting in one place, closing your eyes, and focusing on the spot where your inhalations and exhalations are felt in your nose or on your upper lip.

Seems pretty simple I know, but that’s all you need to do in order to have the most profound experiences available to you as a human being on this spinning blue ball. Can you handle something like this? Sure you can. If I can do it with attention deficit disorder (ADD) you can do it, I’m sure of it.

Some people tire of meditation. Yes, believe it or not – some have a lot of expectations about where their meditative sessions will lead them – and they become disappointed with the length of time it takes things to happen. Paradoxically, if you are really wanting something to happen – it won’t. Meditation itself is like a zen koan.

One meditates to get somewhere in their mind… to advance through the stages of meditation leading to jhana or other absorption experiences.

However, if one desires overtly to get somewhere. He or she will go nowhere really. Meditation is catch-22 like that. It doesn’t seem like it should make sense, but it does. Just not sense that we can rationalize using our minds. The book, Zen in the Art of Archery teaches how in order to let the perfect arrow fly from your bow you cannot make a conscious decision to let the arrow go. It must just go. If you focus too much on trying not to focus too much – you are focusing too much and the arrow will be off course. Likewise if you focus too much on meditating to reach high levels of meditation and you’re excited about getting there and anxious – you go nowhere.

Meditation takes persistence, I will say that. Though you’re only sitting for 15-30 minutes at a time you would be amazed how difficult it is to focus on the feeling of your breath in the nose for even 1 complete inhale and exhale. Then, once you’re able to do that you’ll be amazed how difficult it is to focus for 2 breaths. And so on… Yet, this is all that’s really required in order to send yourself down the path toward the most exhilarating experiences.

The mind has a natural tendency to produce thoughts. We all know that. However, you’ve likely not really seen thought for what it is. You’ve likely not watched it consciously for any period of time. As you sit and attempt to focus your entire mind on the feeling of the breath you’ll undoubtedly be taken away from that focus toward whatever the mind wants to churn up in the way of thoughts.

Are thoughts conscious or unconscious? You might question that for yourself as you begin meditating. You’ve probably never watched a thought form in your head and followed it to see what it does. As you meditate you will. Your attention will be pulled away from focusing on the breath to something more interesting that the mind cooks up. You might follow that thought as it builds adding more thoughts around the original focus of the thought. Or, you might follow it as it branches off 16 different ways into different thoughts entirely that are all linked loosely to the first thought. The thought-chains that are created can be brought to conscious awareness if you look at them – apply attention to them. Otherwise they are in the background… in the space between conscious and subconscious. They are being fueled by the unconscious during meditation but you could choose to ‘think’ about something and the thoughts become conscious and focused around whatever subject you chose.

The simple act of meditation does a couple things initially:

  1. Focuses the mind on a small task with a tiny sensory footprint.
  2. Relaxes the body completely so there is no bodily stress or concerns.
  3. Trains the mind to re-focus on the area of attention repeatedly so that it becomes second nature after a while.
  4. Slows down the barrage of thoughts that are being churned out.

As the number of thoughts becomes lessened the mind starts to achieve a strength that maybe you haven’t known before. It’s a kind of power that enables you to focus for progressively longer periods of time on one very small sensory input – the feeling of your breath coming in and out at some tiny spot around the nose and upper lip.

Eventually the mind-candy slows waaaay down and you’re able to experience brief moments without thought. Eventually these moments get longer. Absorption experiences start. Jhana starts. Eventually this process transforms the mind into something amazing. The mind becomes strong and unaffected by things that used to cause it discomfort… neurosis. You’ll notice that you’re relatively unaffected by things that used to bother you.

Why is that – are you a zombie now?

No! Meditation makes you much more alive than you ever were before. It gives you a new perspective on life as you realize how much time, energy, and efforts were wasted on things that really don’t matter. You’ll begin to experience life in the present moment as you never could have understood before. You may have read books on the present moment, Thich Nhat Hanh – a Vietnamese Buddhist monk has an amazing series of books you can find on mindfulness and the present moment. You might want to read those as you get started, they are a wonderful aid to help you practice getting into the present moment.

One benefit of meditation is that your subconscious that’s filled with fear, anger, and sadness churns out less dysfunctional material over time. See, when you’re sitting there quiet and watching the breath your subconscious will continually throw up a lot of information from the past that it wants you to look at. If you choose to you can look at it.

Everyone has painful memories of experiences from the past. Sitting quietly helps to bring those up. Occasionally you might cry during meditation because all the sudden sad thoughts overwhelm you and your eyes flood with tears. That’s a good thing. For major things like this it’s good to put meditation on hold and really think about the issue that brought tears to your eyes.

What is the reality of the situation? Can you change something? Often times you can change something about it… you can make a phone call, write a letter or even role-play out some interaction from the past with a friend you have now. You can change what happened in the past with the new role play situation and it can change your life from that time forward.

Nothing from the past has the power to affect you once you decide to eliminate it. It can’t. It’s finished. Done with. There is far too much present and future available to continue your life in a different way, a more functional and better way.

In fact, the only thing about the past that is still there – are the memories in your head about it. That’s IT. The action doesn’t exist anymore. It existed at one time and then it disappeared. Nobody in the world can bring it back. The memories you have about the issue are the only thing that exists – and you know – memories are only tiny electrical impulses… Change them by facing them and then doing things differently from today forward.

My father left my mother, me and my brother and sister when I was five or six years old. He did his part to come see us once a week usually and I can’t blame him for leaving as it was the right thing to do. For a long time I had memories of him and they made me feel sad. Sometime about my mid-teens I remember my girlfriend asking me if I missed my dad and if I had sad thoughts all the time about him. I told her, “Sure, I still think about him occasionally.”

But you know what? I spent the next couple days looking at the reality of the situation. He had left nearly 10 years before. He wasn’t mean to me or abusive to me in any way. He was just not there. Society was telling me that he should be there but when I thought about it myself… it didn’t really matter that he wasn’t there. I didn’t really need him close by and part of my life I realized. I got along fine from the time he left and I didn’t really know him.

Why would I want someone I didn’t know to interact with me more? The reality was, overall it really made no difference at all whether he was there or not. At that point I let go whatever dysfunction my memories and my subconscious were churning out. I moved forward. I don’t dislike my father. I just don’t know him. Should I know him? Society would answer – YES, you must know your father. You must care about him. You must do whatever you can to get close and remain close to him.

I think, what for? I’ve known lots of other people… To me it’s neither here nor there now and I’m happy in my own mind not thinking about him on a daily or weekly basis. Since my mid teens I can’t remember a time when I missed him or thought that I was missing out on a part of life for not having him as a close friend.

Even major things like this can be quickly gotten over if you just analyze the reality of the situation and realize that the only thing that exists are your memories. Question them. Question your beliefs. Question what society is telling you. You’re your own person. Nobody else is looking out for you like YOU are. Change you memories or change your present life such that the old memories don’t matter that much or have less power and you change your life.

So, if you’re crying as you sit and meditate that’s a great thing because you’ve just found something from the past that you can look at and eventually rid yourself of. There’s nothing too great, nothing too powerful to screw up the rest of your life. You gave it the power to affect you up until now – and now you can get rid of it. Don’t ignore it. Now’s the perfect opportunity to destroy it.

And so meditation provides this opportunity to quell the craziness in your mind that surely exists to some degree like it does in all of us. In fact, if you had no craziness you wouldn’t dream at all.

After a year of meditation you know what?

I didn’t dream at all for the next five or so years (I didn’t count, I’m using five as a minimum though). It was amazing to realize that the subconscious had no reason to create dreams anymore. Just outrageous really. My mind was so calm and at peace with the past, present and future that it didn’t create dreams for a long time.

Gradually after 5+ years the dreams slowly started again about events that I was stressing out over. I had stopped meditating after a year and I’ve no doubt that if I would have continued the dreamless state would have also.

Today I still have dreams, but they seem to be related to not achieving goals that I have fast enough. I don’t dreams about fear, anxiety or sadness about past events. I have dreams about the future and not being where I want to be. I think this gives me the motivation on a daily level I need to sustain over time so I reach all those goals.

I’ve started meditating again recently and already I’ve noticed that my mind is quiet and balanced when I shut my eyes and focus on my breath. I have little thought – little extraneous material popping into the conscious from that nether region between sub and conscious awareness.

Meditation is an incredible tool and one that is available to you:

1. Today
2. For free.
3. As much as you want.

Mind-blowing benefits are waiting for you with practice of as little as 30 minutes a day.

I think meditation is the most important thing you can possibly do for 30 minutes. I can’t name anything that even approaches it as a close 2nd. Nothing. Nothing has the power to change your life so completely.

I’ve created a 22-Day meditation e-book course on PDF and in other ebook formats. If you are interested, click the link below.

Meditation For Beginners – A 22-Day Course >

I’ve considered revising it to add a lot of information but if I do that I’ll likely turn it into a publishable book instead. For now – grab it for free and get started!

If you have any questions about meditation as you begin feel free to write me and I’ll help however I can. I’m not a Buddhist teacher or any other kind of teacher. I follow no religion about meditation myself and I can offer nothing but the reality of how I did it and the truth of what it did for me.

It’s the most amazing thing I’ve ever experienced and I know it would be for you too!

Here are some links to videos I did about my experiences with meditation. These are in no particular order, they are just numbered as a series.

Experience 1: Body relaxed, mind starts to follow

Exp 2:  Breath slows, body starts disappearing

Exp 3:  Fatness

Exp 4:  Consciousness expands

Exp 5:  Denseness of body

Exp 6:  Bliss & Joy

Exp 7:  Highly concentrated mind

Exp 8:  One pointedness of mind

Exp 9:  Dying – no breath

Exp 10:  Interconnected cosmos, at “one with all”

Exp 11:  Just as it is…

Exp 12:  Visualizations

Here you can find some more information about me and my journey in meditation: >

Good luck on your path to a higher consciousness through eliminating dysfunctional material in your subconscious!

Best of Life!

Find me at Twitter HERE >

Meditation, bottom half

Does Ginkgo Biloba Improve Concentration? My experience…

Gingko Biloba LeavesI’m really of the anti-supplement mindset. I’ve used them in the past especially when doing triathlons and bicycle racing but for the last 8 years I’ve stayed away from any kind of supplements. I guess I think I’m always eating enough variety and it’d be a waste of time to take more of what I already have plenty of. I lucked into a good health stream here in Thailand and I’ve not been sick at all in more than two years.

Most supplements are unnecessary. That’s my thinking anyway (Vern-logic).

During graduate school in 1995 I was having trouble holding it together to study. I’ve mentioned that I have ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder), and especially during grad school when I had classes, practicum, big brother volunteering, work, exercise and a girlfriend I had a heck of a time studying when I needed to. My mind was going every which way. I’ve never taken Ritalin or anything to treat ADD, though at times in the past I’ve considered it. My brother has taken it and said his creativity just dies when he’s on it – so that was the deciding factor for me. Better to live with monkey-mind than lose my creativity.

I’d read about Ginkgo biloba in a couple of magazines I subscribed to. These appeared to be minimally biased articles (nothing is unbiased!) about the benefits of it. In addition to helping Alzheimer’s patients with memory deficits other benefits were mentioned like concentration increasing in intensity and duration. I found more articles by researching health journals in the university library and it seemed like pretty safe, natural stuff with side effects including: possible increased risk of bleeding, gastrointestinal discomfort, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, headaches, dizziness, heart palpitations, and restlessness.  I noticed death was absent as a side-effect and the rest I could live with once. I decided to try it on a trial basis and see if it helped me concentrate while studying.

I started taking the minimal recommended dosage (60mg) 150 minutes before I was to study. That was when it was at it’s peak in the blood stream. While I didn’t have any side effects at all I didn’t notice any real improved concentration effects at first either. Over one week I ramped up to the maximum suggested dosage of 200mg. At this dosage I noticed a difference immediately.

I was studying – reading through a book and highlighting important bits when I realized – I’ve paid absolute attention to what I was doing for the past 90 minutes! I was in the flow – while studying! That had never happened to me before in my life. I wasn’t even necessarily very interested in the material, I think it was something about biochemical aspects of disability – and yet I was sitting there in complete attention to the process of studying. That was an amazing moment in my life.

I was floored. I attributed it to the Ginkgo as that was the only thing I’d changed recently. Over the next few weeks it got even better. If I wanted to do study or think about something – I was able to with little problem. My mind wasn’t jumping around to analyze extraneous sounds, sites or thoughts. I was able to focus on just what I wanted to focus on. I remember thinking what a powerful feeling it was. I remember asking myself over and over – is this what normal people feel their entire lives? No wonder people can pull it together and write a book or graduate top of their class at Yale. If you can concentrate you can do anything requiring extended bouts of sustained, focused thought.

I continued to use Ginkgo on and off during graduate school usually at the end of a term when I really needed the level of focused mind it seemed to give me. I was wary about using it all the time because I’m concerned about taking any kind of supplements over the long-term. I did use it often though.

I noticed no change in level of creativity while taking Ginkgo and I haven’t heard about others experiencing such side effects.

After grad school I stopped taking it. The level of stress in my life decreased substantially and it was right about this time that I found meditation. Meditation (click for my book) has since taken the place of Ginkgo. It gives me a peace of mind, a balance and equanimity that is available anytime without supplements.

Recently I’ve been in book writing mode and I asked my family to find some Ginkgo and send it here to Thailand to see if it helps me focus on writing for extended periods of time about one subject. Blog posts are easy enough – since they’re only a couple thousand words max. Books are another animal and I’m thinking I need to call in the “Big G”.

The price for good Ginkgo here in Thailand is around $100 USD for a two month supply. Twelve years ago in the USA it was around $30. I hope the price hasn’t risen over the years. Isn’t it supposed to decrease? That’s my private logic anyway.

Anyone else using Ginkgo and want to relate your experience? Please leave a comment!

Best of Life!

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I encourage you to read more about Ginkgo Biloba before trying it for yourself. The effects that are claimed by companies manufacturing Ginkgo biloba are not wholly supported by research. The success I seem to have had could be the result of the ‘placebo effect’. There are many articles cited in the Wikipedia entry to help you understand more about Ginkgo. Here are three below that apply to improving concentration in healthy persons:

Elsabagh S, Hartley DE, Ali O, Williamson EM, File Se (2005 May). “Differential cognitive effects of Ginkgo biloba after acute and chronic treatment in healthy young volunteers”.
Psychopharmacology (Berl) 179 (2): 437–446. PMID 15739076.

BBC News: Herbal remedies “boost brain power”.

Dose-dependent cognitive effects of acute administration of Ginkgo biloba to healthy young volunteers.

None of what I’ve written should be taken as medical advice or persuasion. I am simply relating a first-person account of my experience with Gingko Biloba. Your experience may differ. Please research fully before embarking on your own experiment!  If you haven’t yet, please read this disclaimer.

Suunto Ambit2 R Glass Pitting – Broken

Suunto Ambit2 R broken glass - has some pitting.

I had this watch for one year. I don’t remember ever banging it hard, or even semi-forceful on anything. The other day I was thinking about selling it to upgrade to the next Suunto Ambit4 when it is released, and I checked it out carefully – and found pitting in the glass.

Pitting, a crack, I don’t know. Doesn’t look like a crack, just looks like the glass was affected by something and started to fall apart. Looks like pitting in the glass.

Closeup photo of the broken – pitted glass issue:

Pitted glass close up on watch face of Suunto Ambit2 R GPS runner's watch.

Anybody else having this issue?

So now, my Suunto Ambit2 R watch has a broken watch band, pitting in the glass, and the heart rate monitor died and I had to pay $70 to get it replaced.

Six months ago I was sure I would upgrade my Suunto Ambit2 R to a Ambit4 model.

Today? Not sure at all.


Do You Use SUUNTO AMBIT Watches? The New Ambit4 Release is Soon - Top 10 Features?[ More Info Here ]