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Dancing between worlds: My introduction to altered states

Since childhood, I’ve been intrigued by alternative views on reality and often imagined life as a game.🎮

📖 My curiosity about the paranormal and past lives was deepened after reading books by Raymond Moody and attempting guided meditation to revisit past lives.📚

🧘‍♂️ Over the years, I’ve explored various meditation and mindfulness methods, and music, especially DJing, played a significant role in their journey.🎵

🍃 Before the Covid lockdown, I underwent a transformative ayahuasca experience, which led to significant personal and professional changes.🌱

🌌 This and other experiences like sweat lodges and psychedelic mushrooms have given me a deeper understanding of self and life’s purpose.🍄

💼 I founded my own marketing and design consultancy and lost 35 pounds after my first ayahuasca journey.⚖️

🌍 “Tryb” is an initiative that will promote alternative perspectives, reconnect with nature, and help people be of service to their community.🌐

Ever since I was a wee boy, the prospect of seeing the world through a different lens intrigued me. I always sensed that there is more to reality than we understood and sought out alternative views.

This continued into adulthood, where exploring altered states of consciousness helped me dive into alternative realities while shaping my perspective on life and helping me discover who I am.

Read on as I delve into my encounters with altered states of consciousness – ASC – including meditation, psychedelics, DJ’ing and a touch of past life regression.

Where did my fascination with reality and altered states begin?

When you look back on your life, it can be easy to remember your younger self as being much smarter than you actually were.

Although, many people more intelligent than me believe that younger minds are more open to the wider aspects of reality as our brain – in particular, our default mode network – hasn’t trained itself to concentrate on the duller aspects of life, like working and paying the bills.

The one insight into wider reality I remember having as a wee boy in Scotland was that life was all a game. I’d ask my pals to imagine that we were all sitting in a chair with a headset on, playing our own game of life.

I won’t know if I was right in this assertion or had been watching too many episodes of Red Dwarf until I end this game and either take off my headset or disappear into the void.

However, there is some serious scientific research into this led by Donald Hoffman and his book, The Case Against Reality, and it’s a great read.

As is this podcast featuring the big man himself.

 

As I grew older, my fascination with the paranormal grew and I wanted to know what happened after we died, whether ghosts were real, would ET ever land in my shed, and a whole load of other exciting questions.

During an after school trip to the local library, two books further ignited my paranormal fascination: Life Before Life and Life After Death by Raymond Moody.

Life Before Life was the book that piqued my interest the most as it had account after account of people experiencing lives before they were born.

At the end of the book, there was one thing that would be transformational for me – a guided meditation that could help you visit your past lives.

As soon as I read that, my 15-year-old self dug out my cassette recorder and recorded myself reading the meditation. I’d then listen to it and attempt to revisit my old lives.

How successful I was is debatable, but I did learn techniques for slowing my breathing and focusing internally.

I still follow some of the methods in the original transcript today and use them in meditation or as a way to fall asleep at night, which can lead to some wonderfully lucid dreams.

Various methods for meditation and mindfulness

Since that first introduction, I’ve tried my hand at numerous other meditation and mindfulness methods. From basic body scans to meditating in nature and a session with Zen Buddhists in Brighton.

One area I’ve not fully experienced is transcendental meditation, but it’s very much on my to-do list.

My most mindful activities over the years have involved music.

DJing is something I’ve taken a lot of pleasure from over the years. The whole experience of crafting a set that – DJ cliche alert! – takes you and other people on a journey is a truly mindful and transcendent experience.

You gain a sense of oneness and community as you guide 1,000 dancing souls through the night as our innate tribal impulses groove to a driving beat.

Ecstasy obviously helped with that, but I always saw ecstasy and music as equal tools that allowed us to connect with our tribal selves and the community around us.

These days, I’m more likely to be DJ’ing in my rave cave at home, but the energy and satisfaction music gives me is still powerful.

Pushing myself into uncomfortable situations

Just before the first Covid lockdown happened, I was fortunate enough to participate in my first ayahuasca experience.

Ayahuasca is not for the faint-hearted, but I was in a bad headspace working in a job I hated and overweight. I had the call to drink aya and see if I could find a path towards a more positive and happy life.

That first ayahuasca journey was powerful enough to set me on a path to find my authentic self and better care for myself. This is a journey I’m still on, but in the first year after aya, I:

  • Changed my job – losing it during Covid was also a big push, but with aya’s help, I broke the bad habit of working in-house and for people I didn’t like
  • Started fasting and lost weight
  • Fully reconnected with my meditation practice, which had slipped
  • Got back into the studio and made binaural beats music, which further helped my meditation journey

All of which helped me become happier and lose a tonne of weight – 35 pounds. I also started my own marketing and design consultancy, which is still going strong today.

That first journey was part of a process of trying to move out of my comfort zone and test myself.

I’ve since attended several more ayahuasca ceremonies, done my first sweat lodge, embraced cold water, participated in a vision quest and gone deeper with psychedelic mushrooms.

Not all of these have been enjoyable, but they’re not necessarily meant to be – sweat lodges are something I find challenging, but I know I’ll do one again and face the experience with a new perspective.

However, all of the ASC modalities have given me a deeper understanding of what it means to be me and what I want to achieve in life.

Those experiences haven’t been a complete fix, and I still have more work to do – it’s a lifelong process.

Tryb

That leads me nicely to Tryb and my reasons for setting it up.

Firstly, it’s because there’s a need for society to embrace alternative modalities and alternative ways of seeing the world. We’ve lost our connection to nature and don’t know our place in the world.

Secondly, it’s so I can further challenge myself and put myself in positions where I have to take the path less well-trodden.

I want to learn more about myself and help people along the way.

And by that, I mean my wife, two boys, wider family, friends and community. Essentially, I want to be of service to my tribe.