To Lucid Dream: Meditate into a Lucid Dream

Suddenly, you will feel at peace with yourself, and in that serenity you will realize you have a choice to make.  With enough practice you will be able to stay within a dream for extended periods of time, perhaps even for what feels like hours.  You will learn your ability and your limitations (or lack there of).  From here on, the choice is yours.

I am excited to announce that my lucid dream guide has taken a new form by way of creative reconstruction. As a part of my new direction with Useful Soul Media, I wanted to introduce a new way of looking at one of my oldest and most popular quests: lucid dreaming. It is without a doubt that my lucid dream guide and its contents are the most popular pages on my blog. However, I always felt that some sort of interaction was missing, and just reading the guide was never enough to truly invoke the sense I wanted. Now I am combining three different forms of media in a collaboration with my photographer brother to bring you the lucid dreaming guide on YouTube.

To get the full experience, please listen with headphones and watch in high definition. Relax and meditate into this lucid dream.

(P.s. the song featured in this video is a special collaboration that has been in the works for a long, long time. I’m glad I found a way to sneak everyone a preview of it before officially announcing its release at some point in the future).

 

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Conscious Talks: The Satiating Void of the Float Tank

 

If you asked me what I saw, I would have no honest answer. This is not because I saw nothing, but because in pure darkness I saw infinite possibility.

I stepped into the float tank and witnessed the sensorium dissipate, as the pale green light and the ambient music faded away. Left alone with my thoughts, effortlessly floating for sixty minutes, I couldn’t help but to think about the void. At first I was relaxed and any concerns of my day were rendered irrelevant in my own oblivion. But the time ticked on by the seldom splashes made by my movements, and my deeper thoughts crept up higher and higher until they burst over the surface. My mind was clear when I stepped out of my first floatation tank experience: “I am human, the greatest experiment to ever walk this earth.” In an hour of isolation, the modular components of my body disappeared, and I was given the opportunity to understand my perception in the absence of a material world.

The “new-age” nature of sensory deprivation might be a turn off to many people who first hear about it. This makes sense, given the nature of both the practice and the characterization of most of the people who energetically spread the word about floatation tanks. However, it is actually far simpler than this and I would encourage anyone reading this to think of sensory deprivation in a floatation tank as an experiment that we have only just begun. Sensory deprivation by exact definition, as we currently know it, is an extended period of time in which you float in a dense Epsom Salt (magnesium sulfate) solution with a blank sensory environment. Many people float in tanks (some in pitch-black rooms), the temperature outside is equilibrated with the solution and your body temperature, and there is so sound other than your heartbeat and your breath. As time passes your body gets accustomed to feeling the salt solution around you. At this point the experience becomes subjective, but in all cases I have heard, the experience remains pleasant.

Deep into my experiences, I find it common to think that I haven’t truly reached the full potential of what float tanks have to offer. There are stories of intense experiences with psychedelic visuals, epic adventures of the mind, and sometimes even getting completely lost in one’s thoughts. While these experiences could very well be the product of what was ingested before the experience, I do believe it is possible to reach certain semi-dreamlike states through floatation, and with the science it does seem to make sense. When the lights go out, your serotonin will gradually convert to melatonin due to the absence of blue-light radiation to the pineal gland (is it nice to hear the pineal gland in a conversation that does not include discussion of a third-eye?), and neurotransmitters like dopamine are projected to rise. Combined with the lack of external sensorium, your thoughts pervade and these neurotransmitters promote a perspective that could have more in common with a dream than waking perception.

Even with my limited experience and lack of necessarily awe-inspiring trips through oblivion, I believe that it is still incredible to perceive the contrast between the floating experience and reality when the lights come on, the music begins playing, and it is revealed that you are just a human floating in an oversized salt water tank. The incredible relaxation accompanied by a thought-provoking experience gave me the opportunity to feel refreshed and renewed. I recommend to everyone to try experiencing a float tank, even if only to rejuvenate the mind and body.

If you have any experience you would like to share please let me know. I would love to hear what you have felt or seen in the void of a float tank.

-Jw

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Useful Soul Project: Modern Media

I hope it doesn’t come as too great a contradiction that today I am going to praise modern media for what it offers society. I am speaking specifically about utilizing the technological tools available to enhance our creativity in a community of writers, scientists, and artists. The internet is a vast, open-minded landscape that allows anyone to build a decorated fortress around their own ideas, and how many visitors you get is often proportional to several key factors. One of these factors is whether or not people are already seeking for your content. The first thing nearly anyone on the planet does when looking for an answer is go to a search engine, so you want to be on the other side. Then once you’ve been discovered on the receiving end of a search, the next factor is the quality of the content and layout of your website. However, when you are something brand new in the world, especially when it comes to art and media, no one is searching for you in the beginning because your key words have not yet been established in the minds of the searchers.

This is my goal: I want to go from something new and un-searched, and build a fortress around my own ideas.

My project today begins with a new phase of two new websites that I introduced earlier this week. Even more recently, I built a page on my home website that is meant to showcase the art of poetry when combined with the landscapes and media that inspired the words. If you would like to see my new project, please click here and don’t forget to leave feedback below. It is still in early stages of development, and I am unfortunately having a few issues with loading the webpages at times so any criticism will be extremely helpful. This is the beginning of a project that illustrates words through combining poetry and photography.

Do you want to be a part of this project?

To join this project, please submit either your poetry or high-resolution media (or both) to my submissions page for evaluation. Make sure to follow all the rules there! If you get featured, your posts will appear on my media hub, which can be found here.

Happy Thursday!

-Jw

 

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Tonight We Disconnect

By James Wadman

At night my thoughts quake louder than thunder,
My heart blossoms from every root,
It seems so solitary that I should crave the moment
When I slip and fall from a waking world.
But if I fall tonight, I will fall to green leaves
In a lightening lavender world.

A wonder of the modern world is that we are always in touch and in tune in our daily lives. We are plugged in, in sync, and we have nearly every informational answer at our fingertips. However, technology has proven to be such an incredible gift to humanity that we often forget the simple things in life that we need to stay afloat.

As you read this, I offer you an opportunity to look away from the screen and promise yourself the time to unwind from your daily life. Inhale the stillness of a moment and hold in your lungs a breath free of obligation. Uncork a bottle of wine, light a fire, or even watch the clouds crash into the horizon of a setting sun. Gaze at the stars for long enough to see one fall, stroll quietly around your neighborhood, or close your eyes and meditate. Set your phone aside, leave your TV remote on the arm of the couch, and be with only the city sounds or the hums of nature for a little while.

Most importantly, find time to say the words: Tonight I will disconnect.

I promise that when you take the time to let go, you will sleep easier and stress less. The world will keep turning, moments will pass you by, but you will be stronger from the time you let go.

 

Happy summer week to everyone! This post was inspired by my adventures in Iceland, and it was actually written not far from the featured image of this post.  The picture is taken by my brother, and features my sister and me off in the distance. This climb was something truly exceptional and it inspired an incredibly pleasant feeling of isolation. The poem, titled evening tea, reflects the pleasant side of solitude. This solitude is not one that comes from being alone by yourself, but from being alone with the right people. If you have two or three of the right people around you, such vastly empty places as where we were in Iceland can bring you true peace. The lightening lavender world satisfies both a literal description of the color of the world beneath the midnight sun on this hike, but also a figurative description of how I look back on the landscape and how my mind still is processing my experiences in my dreams. I have dreamt of my travels all but one night since returning home, and every dream has a delicate lavender tint that reminds me of the midnight sun.

If you do not follow me on Twitter, I would like to share with you that I have two new websites that I designed that are now published! One of them is my personal website with my mug right on the front, and the other is my media website where I will soon post all the media projects I have worked on with my Useful Soul Media team. Please let me know what you think about the websites, especially if something does not load/render properly. Best wishes!

-Jw

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Photographing An Adventure

Please Click Here To View the Gallery: Photographing an Adventure

Click Here To Read My Norway Road Trip Itinerary

The greatest memories of any adventure are those that don’t end up in photographs. Having said that, I can’t complain about having a talented photographer along for the ride when traveling. Photographing an adventure is one of the best ways to remember just how in awe we were in some of the most inspiring scenery on the planet. I will soon be writing full travel-blog type posts, including itineraries, recommendations, and reflections.

It is my pleasure to share some amazing shots from our recent excursion to Norway and Iceland. Any direct questions about these photographs can be asked in the comments below or on my brother’s website. I believe now is also I perfect time to remind you all that we both post our best attempts at capturing this beautiful planet on our Instagrams, so keep in touch with us there!

What is photographed in this gallery?

  1. Bergen, Norway: This is a picture of me pretending to be a tree or perhaps just pondering nature in the midst (and mist) of a mossy forest on the top of Mt. Floyen. Fortunately, I can say that this picture was taken BEFORE we got lost, so at least I know that this is not a picture of me trying to figure out how to get un-lost. You can read all about that adventure here.
  2. Gullfoss, Iceland: Rated by many travel blogs out there as the best waterfall to see in Europe, Gulfoss did not disappoint. One thing unique about this waterfall is that it did not appear very spectacular in photographs I saw on google, and I visited the site without any high expectations. I turned a corner and there it was. Wow. The lighting is essential to this photograph, as it was taken around 11:00 PM under the soon-to-be midnight sun. There are so many proofs in this image for why Iceland is a destination of a lifetime.
  3. Unknown, Norway: The fact that I was unable to recall exactly which waterfall this photograph shows speaks volumes for how brilliant the fjords of Norway are. I will say time again that if you extract any random waterfall from Norway or Iceland and place it in the United States, it will become a number one tourist attraction. However, there are so many waterfalls where we were that they would have to be truly remarkable to be a tourist attraction. Nonetheless, I speak for all of us on the trip together when I say that we never got tired of seeing waterfalls. This photograph is taken from a high vantage point, so I’m sure some hiking or hair-pin driving was necessary to get this view.
  4. Geysir, Iceland: Last but certainly not least is an ode to the midnight sun, taken only a few miles from Gulfoss. This photograph is only an introduction to our many midnight sun pictures, and I promise this gallery will continue to grow in the coming weeks. I took a GoPro video and timelapse of the active geyser nearby, Strokkur, which I hopefully will post here soon.

Thank you for taking the time to view and read about some of our photographs from this adventure. I look forward to posting more pictures and details about our travels through Norway and Iceland. If you want to use any of the pictures here, you can send me an email, or you can search through the royalty-free pictures we have on Unsplash. Yes, if you use our pictures from unsplash you don’t have to pay, you don’t have to credit, and you don’t even have to tell us. It’s always nice if you do tell us if you use the pictures, though, because we would love to see what you use them for! Keep an eye out for new media coming your way. Again, please let me know if you have any questions.

 

-James Wadman

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As long as the universe exists, there is something to be created and something to be explored. James Wadman
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