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Sleepy Sarah

Thoughts on ASMR as a mindfulness exercise?

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Hi all,

 

I practice meditation and mindfulness exercises mainly to improve the quality of my sleep and especially to fall asleep faster.

One new tool I stumbled upon on my quest for peace of mind is ASMR (check e.g. https://asmrstate.com/asmr-definition/ if you don't know what I'm talking about). To say it is weird is putting it mildly, but it does kind of work also. One thing I like in particular is the videos where they've mixed guided meditation and ASMR together, though I cannot too many of those. I am new to all this, so I'd really appreciate some input here. What I've tried so far has been really really helpful because I do have a history of sleeping problems and pills are something I avoid like the plague.

What are your thoughts on ASMR as a mindfulness/meditation exercise? Any suggestions which things to try?

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hi, i just stumbled on your post - this is interesting ...  have you tried or heard of vipassana meditation? so the definition/explanation on the asmr site that you sent states that the tingling sensation  : "...typically starts from the scalp and then moves towards the back of the neck and spine." - and i know that with vipassana the focus is to observe the sensations from the top of the head and scan slowly down towards one's toes - observing but not interacting with the sensations...interesting - i will check it out .

i too had alot of trouble sleeping until recently  - now - i just focus on my breathe and dont interact with my thoughts and fall asleep pretty fast... so just wanted to share my two bits with you ...as you mentioned you had trouble sleeping ...

 

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Very interesting post about ASMR. I was not familiar with it, but it sounds very similar to the concept of piti in Buddhist meditation. Here is one brief explanation of it from Sutta Central:

Pīti is a sense of joy or uplift that occurs during the course of meditation. It is best understood as an emotional response to the pleasure experienced in meditation. It may have physical manifestations, such as goosebumps or hair-raising, but is primarily a psychological quality. Since it is a subtle excitement or thrill in response to pleasure, it is moderated by passaddhi [tranquility], and drops away in the deeper states of samādhi [often translated as "concentration" but it might better be translated as "synchrony" or "settled harmony"]....

In modernity, pīti may be related to the psychological phenomena known as frisson or A.S.M.R.,1and moreover, in a case study, researchers have reported strong dopamine reward system activations in the brain of a long-term Buddhist practitioner during meditation.2

I find slow body sweeping and then settling on the sensations of the breath, similar to what yogawithpriyanka referenced, to be very conducive to developing piti and samadhi. It took many months of practice before I experienced piti. But, not everyone will find initially placing attention to bodily sensations rewarding. This was discussed in the topic covering the book Trauma-Sesnitive Mindfulness. I recall Sean very recently sent out an email about a package he put together to help with sleep. Here is a link to the website: https://mindfulnessexercises.com/tranquil-meditation-sleep-music/?utm_source=ActiveCampaign&utm_medium=email&utm_content=Tranquil+Meditation+Sleep+Music&utm_campaign=2020_03_10_Tranquil+Meditation+Sleep+Music I myself have not checked it out yet.

Best wishes.

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Hello,

I've heard of ASMR and a lot of my clients asked about it. I'm all for it- if it works for you. I think a lot of my clients were disappointed because they weren't able to experience the sensation. From my understanding, some people are able to, and some people can't. Maybe you're right David, and it takes a long practice of meditation to be able to experience the sensation. I figure it's maybe a better idea not to have expectations, because often that leads to disappointment. It's great to be aware of it, so I appreciate your bringing it up Sleepy Sarah!

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Jo, in this era of instant gratification I suspect many of your clients simply are too eager, too impatient. In the Buddhist map, even piti gives way to a subtler and more serene pleasure sukha that pervades the entire body. The process is one of settling and relinquishing that basically happens naturally. Sukha in turn gives way too an even cooler settledness and bliss in equanimity. It is part of “peeling the layers of the onion,” a metaphor often used to describe meditation.  Seeking and trying too hard to make this process happen just gets in the way. As you let attention simply settle, abide with present-moment experience, and transition into a spacious awareness of the whole body, it is as though you naturally tire of successive stages of agitation, abandon them, and settle more deeply. It just takes time, showing up again and again for formal meditation practice in a safe setting with interest, kindness, and patience. While it isn’t always pretty and sublime, you learn no time practicing is wasted. That is one of the biggest lessons of mindfulness, right? It is simply a losing game to oppose the way things are. If we want our actions to have positive effects, it helps if we are grounded in how things are, accept how things are. That’s where we have to start time and again. When we stop fighting it, we tend to find some peace and joy in the acceptance, certainly relief. Well, that’s my take anyway.

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