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Posts Tagged ‘Angle Hour

Using Your Angel Hour

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If you practice Zen meditation and you have reasonable success with it, you can use that skill to put yourself into a special supermind state that I call the “Angel Hour.” It is a state of being awake but where the conscious thinking mind is quiet—or perhaps not thinking at all. This can last anywhere from a few seconds to many minutes.

For me, this often happens during the pre-dawn hours when I’m well rested but awake. Typically, I’ve just had my early morning pee break, and I’m back in bed ready to resume sleeping. I get comfortable, relax the body, and slow the mind.

But because I’m rested, I don’t fall asleep right away. However, I could fall asleep. I’m right at the cusp of falling asleep. And THAT is when my angel hour can begin—if I want it to. If I had previously programmed myself to search for an answer to some question, or if there’s some particular problem weighing on me, that is the time it will come to mind.

The magic of the angel hour is to have that question or problem being somewhere “in mind,” but not necessarily thinking about it. Since the conscious thought machine has been slowed or stopped altogether, other parts of the mind are able to contribute images, feelings, ideas, and other thoughts that don’t require thinking.

English doesn’t exactly have a word for thoughts that don’t require thinking. Sometimes I’ll use the word smattering, which is defined as “superficial piecemeal knowledge of something.” Typically, this happens to me when some part of my mind comes up with a smattering, but at that time (because of the meditative state) that part of the mind doesn’t have access to all the speech, logic, vocabulary, and other thinking parts of the mind. Voila! I have “thought” of something that I otherwise would have never thought of.

Now, coming out of the meditative state, the conscious mind can kick in and consider the smattering that just surfaced from some normally unavailable back corner of the mind. Often, when the rational conscious thinking machine gets hold of it, the smattering will turn out to be a stupid idea. Or impractical. Or just some useless piece of mind fluff.

But sometimes, the smattering will be pure genius.

Quite often, your smatterings will be brilliant ideas. Especially after you get used to using your mind that way. You will discover creativity you didn’t know you had.

Written by Eduardo Mitchell

September 8, 2020 at 3:29 pm