7 Ways to Enhance Self-Transcendence #1-3

Self-transcendence is natural and healthy. How will you nurture it?

Chair on the beach looking out over the lake, sun and horizon

1. Discover what puts you into Theta

Theta is that “twilight” state between waking and sleeping. It is the home of inspiration, insight—those great ideas that evaporate if you don’t write them down when they wake you at 3:00 a.m.


Depending on your learning style (auditory, visual, kinesthetic), different environments or activities will enhance your ability to tap into the Theta state more easily. (Suggested reading: The Open Mind by Dawna Markova.)


Observe yourself. What works for you? Take a walk. Take a shower. Go for a drive. Play with your animals. Go to an art gallery. Or a concert. Surround yourself with vital sights, sounds, aromas, textures, tastes, physical sensations—and see what causes you to lift off into that “non-self” space that is purely present and transcendent.

Tip: Activities that stimulate both sides of the brain are the healthiest. This would include any activity that engages arms and legs moving in opposition, such as: walking, running, jogging, cross-country skiing, T’ai Chi, Qigong, dancing. Brain GymR is one of the best.

2. Practice meditation
Not everybody can sit on a cushion for extended periods of time. Perhaps you’re one of those who can. If you are, notice if your meditation contributes to self-transcendence, or do you tend to space out? If you’re more spacey than inspired, you might try some of the more grounded options.

Meditative states can also arise in walking, listening, and the mindful practice of paying deep attention. Experiment with various forms of meditation (even simply following the breath) to discover what best leads you into the “Being” states of actualization and transcendence.

3. Carve out time for creative activities

Just like transcendence, you can’t force creativity. Just ask any artist or writer who’s blocked: Nothing. No ideas. No inspiration. Your mind feels like a desert. And no matter how hard you try, nada!

But you can create an environment that encourages creativity. One of Maslow’s key observations about creativeness is that achieving absorption into what he called “the matter-in-hand” can lead to inspiration, novel solutions, and even self-transcendence.


Try this: Remember a time when you were so absorbed in an activity (concentrated thinking and daydreaming both count here) that you became unaware of anything else going on. What did that feel like? What was your experience? Was it transcendent? What were you doing (or not doing)? Could you include more of that in your daily life?

A key to unlocking your creativity: Don’t worry about “performing” or “perfecting.” Just “noodle.” Allow yourself to “go childlike” and play. It’s the “dance like no one is watching” approach. Have fun and see what happens.

Read #4 and 5 of the “7 Ways to Enhance Self-Transcendence”

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