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Martin

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Hey everyone. For the past few years I've been doing meditation on and off. Recently however I've been trying to do at least 1 session each day. Why do I do this? Quite simply, to calm my mind down, to take control of my own mind, and to feel happy and relaxed.

I feel happiness is the ultimate goal in life and I really believe that lies in the mind and spirit, not the outward things that we all strive for - money, houses, family, travel, friends etc. These things bring happiness of course and I love them all, but I it's important to not let external situations effect our deep calm; we are aware of troubles and we handle them, but we don't let them dictate our inner world.

Aside from the stress of being an indie developer studio, which I also love by the way [smile], I have other elements in my life which bring me stress and unease. I realize that if I can control my own mind and emotions then the external circumstances won't have a negative emotional impact on me. I've always wanted to be able to calm my sub-conscious mind down and meditation has helped for sure.

I'll talk more about meditation and controlling your mind more in this thread, but I just wanted to start a place where I can post good meditation / consciousness related videos and articles so it's all in one place. Also it'll be great to talk meditation with anyone else who practices it. I consider myself a newbie so it'll be good to share some thoughts.

Here's a great video I found a few months ago and just watched again this evening. I hope you enjoy it.

Happy Calm Developing [smile]
Martin





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mzr

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Reply with quote  #2 
Hi Martin.

I've tried out meditation some time ago and I must say it's great. I kinda stopped it during vacation, but I hope to start it again. It gave me the ability to focus on my game much more.
I found a cool youtube channel about self improvement, it's called actualized.org (there is a website too). I recommend it.
Here's a video regarding meditation:
.

The funny thing is this guy was a game designer.
He made some morrowind (or was it oblivion) mod that got very popular.
Then he started working in some company, but he wasn't too happy about it (because of the lack of creative freedom) and he left to start this whole self actualization business.

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Reply with quote  #3 
Hey Mzr, thanks for the post here. It's good to chat with someone who also does meditation. I think you're the first [smile]
For me it just helps me calm my mind down and stop the emotional waves in my head.

I actually came across that youtube channel just a few days ago, good coincidence. It was pretty good, I'll check out that link for sure.

I've also been watching a few this week. I'll post more here and also the ones which are just music / bineaural beats.
The guy in the video looks familiar to me too, Im sure I'd seen him somewhere before, it must be because of his game design work before. Small world [smile]

Here's some of the videos I've watches recently:

This is a great series about consciousness and reality:








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Martin

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Reply with quote  #4 
I really like the meditation video from actualised.org. I think it's very true what he says that you need to keep going with it consistently and regularly to really feel the benefits. His commitment to meditating for 1 hour every day is very cool.
I decided to make the commitment to do 30 minute of meditation each day from now on. I'll see how many days in a row I can do it. Hopefully I'll just create a solid habit. 
It reminds me of when I first started to code inside unity, I had to create the habit of coming home after work, and then starting my study in unity. It was really hard sometimes and trying to study when all I wanted to do was chill and sleep was a tough barrier to get over. But i've now got the habit of working every day without needing days off.

Here's a cool 30 minute binaural beat video I just listened to. I may continue to use this one for my 30 minute daily sessions from now on. But if I find others i'll use them too.



And another 30 minute one here:


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mzr

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Reply with quote  #5 
Cool, I'll take a look when I have some free time. As for the actualised.org channel, pretty much all of the videos there are great. They really helped me to think some things through.
There was one about breaking bad habits and creating good ones instead, pretty much the same thing you said.
There was also one cool video about happiness. Most people do something fun to become happy, like watch tv, play a game, etc. Unfortunately that's not a way to get true, lasting happiness. It's only a short term solution. After some time you stop feeling happy even when doing those things. And the longer it took the worse you'll feel when you realise that the whole thing was just a waste of time. According to him (and apparently ancient sages) you need to lead a good life to be happy, immediate gratification won't give you that. Example of a good thing to do would be being creative (making games for example;d), since it's not about consuming, it's about creating something, and that something will give you much more satisfaction that simply playing a game someone else made.
Here's the video about it: 

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Reply with quote  #6 
Here's another track I often listen to when meditating. It's very ambient with no specific melody. I find the ones which have a melody tend to bring my attention away from meditating and instead I end up focussing on the music. Ones like this work well for me.


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Martin

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Reply with quote  #7 
@Mzr - hope you're doing well man. Yeah I agree with your point about doing something fun externally is not true lasting happiness, ie playing a game, eating chocolate, traveling etc. All those things are great, but the happiness quickly goes as soon as they are over.

I'll check out the video for sure, thanks for sharing [smile]

Chat soon
Martin

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Martin

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Reply with quote  #8 
Here's an interesting video which talks about the one universal mind - the idea that there is no separation between objects, no distance, and that all things are one. It's simply our perception of reality that leads us to think that there are separate objects.
This was interesting to me and it sounds analogous to a dream. In a dream you know that all things are you. In a dream you can see other people, buildings, objects, and things which a separate from you, but in fact they are all apart of your mind created in the dream. There are no separate objects in the dream, its just the appearance of separation.

Some other cool subjects to look up around this are 'the holographic universe' and 'entanglement'.

Enjoy [smile]


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Martin

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Reply with quote  #9 
Hey all, I hope you're all having a great weekend. 
I've been watching a few videos which talk about the subject Biocentrism - I think this is the idea that we create the reality around us and that without an observer (us), there is only a 'wave function', a potential existence. It's only when we observe the world that the wave function collapses to a specific unit of matter such as an atom. It stems from the very famous double slit experiment, you should definitely look that up. I'll add a video of it here too Im sure.

Enjoy these [smile]






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Reply with quote  #10 
Hi Martin.

Don't really have the time to watch these, but regarding your video about needles.
The guy I've mentioned above suggested that a good way to train your subconscious mind is to start doing affirmations. In short: you have to continuously say some short sentence over and over again five minutes a day (every day), apparently you can imprint it onto your subconscious mind. I guess in your case it would be "I like needles" or "I am brave". I have tried it for some time (like few weeks) and I have to say it did help me a little bit. Don't know if it's a placebo effect and it works because I think it works, but either way it did change my behavior, so I'm happy.
The interesting thing is affirmations sound a lot like prayer. Does that make self-help a religion for atheists?;]
If you want a full description, here it is:

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Martin

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Reply with quote  #11 
Hey Mzr, thanks for the post, I just watched the video. Pretty interesting. I'd heard a lot about affirmations before but not really done it diligently as he suggests in the video. I agree that it really needs to done every day to have an effect.
i might add this into my routine and do affirmations regarding wealth.
I've been meditating every day now for 30 minutes each day and I do feel a little calmer and less impulsive about things. I'm also making an conscious effort to focus on my breath even when not meditating. I've found my thoughts to be a lot calmer too. I'll keep this up and let you all know how it goes [smile]

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Martin

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Reply with quote  #12 
Hey all. I hope everyone has had a great week wherever you are. 
I've been listening to some interesting and inspiring videos this week and so I'm posting them here. 
Since starting this thread I've been doing 30 minutes of meditation everyday and also 5 minutes of affirmations repeating to myself "I am a billionaire". I've started to feel a little more relaxed this past few days in general and I've not been doing a lot of compulsive behavior, this could be due to the meditation slowly taking effect. It's only been a short time and the effects are gradual, so I'll follow up again about my feelings a few weeks later on here.
Also when I'm working I'm making a conscious effort to focus on my breathing all the time. It was hard at first, just like the meditation was, but i'm finding it easier as each day comes.  

Enjoy the videos [smile]


Here's a great one which briefly discusses how thoughts affect our biochemistry, and therefore our emotions. Emotions are simply chemical reactions in the brain which can be brought about by conscious though. For example, we think about fighting with someone in our mind, our blood pressure and adrenaline increases. We think about having sex and our heartbeat increases etc. Thoughts directly effect our biochemistry which can lead to a health or unhealthy mind-body.



A good video on an introduction to meditation. I find it very useful to come back to these videos and watch them again, especially at times when my mind seems clouded and a little crazy. They remind me to stay calm, focus, and also inspire me to continue my meditation practice.




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Martin

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Reply with quote  #13 
This is a great meditation track I found yesterday on youtube. Very tonal and calm. Just adding it hear so I can find it easily in the future.


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Reply with quote  #14 
I found this one on youtube a few days ago. Not listened to it yet so just adding it hear and I'll listen to it soon.



By the way, I'm really getting in to practicing meditation daily now. Since starting this thread I've meditated everyday for 30 minutes, sometimes twice. I'm starting to feel some changes in my day to day emotional state. I'll talk more about this in a few weeks though, im still a newbie [smile]

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Reply with quote  #15 
Hey Martin, great thread. Indie development is an incredibly stressful job, and people underestimate the difficulties of working predominantly alone. I used to complain about my job in the industry, but it's nothing compared to the stress you get as an indie. I think the worse time for me was about 9 months in, when the honeymoon period had run out and I realised it was incredibly difficult to make money (especially at the beginning). I'm not an anxious person at all, but I did start suffering from quite bad anxiety for a few months.

The things I've done to really deal with this have been:
  • Gym daily (for about 30 mins)
  • Walking the dog (once or twice a day)
  • Muscle relaxation therapy (tensing/relaxing the muscles in your body - this really, really worked for me)
  • Doing more things outside of work
  • Keeping sensible hours (I work about 8 or 9 hours a day, usually starting at 8 or 9 in the morning) - I never work in the evenings, and rarely work on the weekends
  • Being less hard on myself, keeping positive
  • Sites like this are also great, as they help give you perspective and make you realise that there are others in the same boat.
It's difficult, forcing yourself not to work in the evenings or do the gym (I could be working in this time!) but I do feel I'm more productive now as a result of it and generally a lot happier. I'm glad meditation and affirmations are working for you. I'm happy that people are more open about mental health these days, it's amazing how much better we can feel if we take just a little time to deal with it.
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Reply with quote  #16 
Hey Grumpy, thanks for the reply to the thread. It's great to catch up with other devs on these topics.
I totally agree, indie dev is extremely tough to build a business in, and working mainly alone has its own challenges as you mentioned. I think for me 2012 was the hardest year, I was working around the clock and my body and mind suffered. It's the time when my skin really started to get bad. At that point my money had dropped down from about 16,000 GBP in the bank, to only 1000 GBP. I had a big severance package from my previous company which kept me going for a while but it went down and down.

Thanks for the points as well. I think being less hard on yourself is essential, and realizing that you can take it easy sometimes and let work go. I had a big problem with this too, I would also say to myself "I should be working now, not chilling in a coffee shop", this is a really unhealthy mindset if taken too far. The big thing that changed for me recently though is that I now have some staff working with me, and so my mindset has changed to "It's ok to relax a little now because the work is being continued by the team even if I'm not working at this moment. The most important tasks, ie. developing the games, are still continuing". This made a massive difference to me since before I was placing all the work on my shoulders. It's not healthy for the mind-body, but it's also not a healthy business practice.

Meditation is working well for me, I'm glad to hear you also have your methods too, keep em up man.
It's also great to know that I'm not alone in a difficult situation, most devs are in the same struggle, but it makes it easier to chat with others about it for sure.

Catch up soon [smile]
Martin

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Martin

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Reply with quote  #17 
Just adding some other videos I've watched recently / plan to watch soon.

This is a great discussion about how the world is all in the mind since we construct the reality around us based on our sensory input, we can never truly experience reality in it's true form. So all the things we "see" out there are really just our own projections; a great topic to look more into:




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Martin

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Reply with quote  #18 
Hey everyone. So I've managed to continue my meditation practice since starting this thread - 30 minutes meditation every day, and 5 minutes of affirmation saying "I am a billionaire" with visualization. I have started to notice some small changes in my day to day emotions. It's gradual and I don't know if it's directly related to the meditation practice. But I can say for sure that after doing 30 minutes I feel very relaxed and quite blissful during the meditation. There are moments when I seem to not be thinking anything at all, no emotion, no cognitive thoughts, no feelings, just awareness.
I'll write more about my progress with meditation soon once I can comfortably give some concrete positive examples of changes in my life. In the meantime I've been watching some more videos on the subject of consciousness, meditation, quantum physics, and the overall nature of reality. 

This is an awesome talk given by Prof. John Hagelin. I've seen him in a quite a few videos and first saw him in the movie called 'What the Bleep Do We Know'. It's a great explanation of how the universe at a fundamental level is consciousness. 

Enjoy [smile]


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Martin

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Reply with quote  #19 
A great presentation by Peter Russell on reality and consciousness. What really sticks with me from this talk is the fact that when we look at something green, it's just a representation in the mind. There is nothing green actually out there outside of our head. Electromagnetic waves of a certain frequency, like ripples in water, hit the retina at the back of our eyes, those are then converted in to electrical impulses which are send to the back of the brain I believe where the vision center lies, and from there we give the impulses the representation of the color green. There's nothing inherently green about the electromagnetic waves, and no green travels down our optic nerve, and there is no picture of green in our brain if you were to open our heads.

It's a great realization that the world 'out there' is a projection of our own mind. We literally project and create the way we see reality subconsciously. The trick I suppose is to control our subconscious mind with our conscious mind and change the way we perceive reality for the better.

Enjoy the video all [smile]


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Martin

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Reply with quote  #20 
Just sharing a couple of meditation tracks I found. Very relaxing and they also have binaural tones.




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Martin

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Reply with quote  #21 
This is a great track to play whilst meditating. Very tonal without a definite melody.
I'm now doing 2 meditation sessions a day for 15 minutes each, followed by 5 minutes of affirmations after each session. It's really helped me to relax and I have noticed some subtle changes in my behavior recently. 
I broke the 30 minutes in to two 15 minutes sessions because I was finding myself leaving my meditation until late at night just because of being too busy through the day. this isn't the best time because its when I super tired. But doing one 15 minute sessions followed by just 5 minutes of affirmations is quick. I've also found it relaxes me for a longer period through the day since the sessions are broken up. It's like eating a slice of cake for each hour through the day and feeling full, as opposed to eating a full cake before going to sleep, if you get what I mean lol.

Enjoy the video and music [smile]


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Martin

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Reply with quote  #22 
A great talk on the top of Biocentrism. I'll write more about these later but just wanted to bookmark the videos here:

Part 1:


Part 2:




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Martin

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Reply with quote  #23 
Here's an other great meditation track to listen to which includes binural beats.




And a very interesting presentation about the Delayed Choice Quantum Eraser Experiment which is an expansion of the original Double Slit Experiment. It talks about how a conscious observer collapses the wave function simply by observing. Huge implications about this reality we find ourselves in. But I recommend seeing this video first if you don't know what the Double Slit Experiment is:




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Reply with quote  #24 
I'll have to try listening to some of these videos. I used to dismiss this kind of stuff as ineffective, but I've come to realize that different types of sounds really can engage the brain in different ways.

I'll try this out for a week and see if it helps. I don't know about you guys, but personally as a newish developer who struggles with coding, it's stressful sometimes. I mostly curse at my computer and get discouraged if I can't grasp simple coding concepts. [mad]

Hopefully if I can calm myself I won't be so impatient with learning new skills [smile]
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Martin

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Reply with quote  #25 
Hey RGX, thanks for the post and sorry for my late reply.

It's true, some tonal sounds can really calm me down especially when doing meditation at the same time. I think in the mobile games industry this is essential [smile] Or any other way to calm ourselves down and away from the high pressure.

Give it a try yeah, Im interested to hear how it goes for you. But I think you'll need to continue it for more than one week. It's like exercise, 1 week in the gym will not make you in to Arnold Swarzennegger lol. It take a long time of dedication to become very good at meditation. But even in the beginning you can feel the benefit of meditation 2 times a day 20 minutes each.

Don't worry if coding takes a long time to learn, it took me years to get anywhere. But over time you will be able to pick up things faster as you head gets used to absorbing new dev concepts.

Good luck and chat soon [smile]
Martin

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Martin

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Reply with quote  #26 
Hey guys. hope you are all doing well recently and getting some good deep meditation done [smile]
I've not been on this thread for a while. I just wanted to post a good binaural track here so that I can find it easily. I'm always losing the good tracks I listen too in youtube because I have to scroll back through the history, just easier to keep a link here.

Enjoy [smile]
Martin


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Martin

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Reply with quote  #27 
Hey guys. Just adding a couple of other tracks i've been listening to recently to relax. The rain one is definitely good to listen too whilst falling asleep. And the 2nd one is a binuaral beats track with some positive subliminal messaging.

Enjoy [smile]




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