By Caz Coronel © 2013
As a DJ, getting tinnitus was always something I worried about. Even when I was younger I would sometimes hear it after a big night out, but luckily it would always go away the next day. I remember the horror of hearing the ringing and praying that I would promise to wear earplugs forever. Unfortunately it didn’t and one night whilst I was DJ’ing, I pressed the wrong button and a high-pitched screech blasted through my headphones into both my eardrums.
Shortly after, I found myself at a ten-day silent meditation retreat.
The apparent silence was only supposed to be broken by stealth like a nun who would creep outside our rooms ringing her bell to indicate that we should stop meditating here and meditatively move to another location to meditate some more! “Why does she never stop ringing that damn bell?!”, was the persistent thought that I tried to ignore as I dutifully focused on one spot underneath my nose. I decided it must be some kind of test.
A few hours later, the terrifying truth descended on me. It was in my head and it wasn’t going away. I can’t really explain the fear that comes with this realization. Thank Buddha I was in the perfect place to learn a technique to deal with it. Still, not long after I was released from the confines of the retreat, all the benefits of the under-the-nose focusing faded and I quite literally went mad. I couldn’t sleep let alone live with this God-awful noise. After months of freaking out, seriously considering chopping off my head and failing to find any solution, I realized I had no choice but to surrender to it. The tinnitus was here to stay and there was no cure and no escaping it. Five years passed, and the tinnitus had well established itself as the new silence in my head.
I had been lucid dreaming all my life, but it wasn’t until a few years ago that I truly comprehended all the useful things you could do within them. In fact it was after reading Robert Waggoner’s Gateway To The Inner Self that a whole world of options opened up to me that I had never considered. One of the most exciting of these was healing. So it was one morning that I decided to address this issue.
In a dream: I find myself in a huge, tall, futuristic, glass building. On the third floor some scientists are doing some unpleasant experiments on a little man (a TV actor) and myself. I become slightly lucid recognising the strangeness of being here with this actor and decide I need the experiments to stop. At this point the whole building gets picked up as if it were on a crane and is transported, to what I recognize from a distance to be an astral city. Now my lucidity is very good. I stare out the window and the scenery is spectacular. I watch as I see the city approach. Eventually the building lands on the ground.
I leave the building and on my way out I notice a mirror. I go and look at myself in it. I am wearing all black and I have a good figure, shoulder length hair and I look a little South African. “Oh, it’s not quite me, but I look pretty.’ I am amused by my different reflection. I walk out through the glass doors of the building and on to the city that looks a bit like Tokyo.
There is a table of girls sitting at a bench. I sit down next to them and tell them about the building and the experiments and how I had to get away from the pain. Suddenly I awake.
I get comfortable again and start to drift as thoughts circulate through my mind. I think of all the pains I have; my back pain, pain from a motorbike accident, the tinnitus and the emotional pain gathered over the years. I wonder if I need to face my pain to balance my body. My ears are ringing loudly and I consider that maybe the tinnitus is an alarm alerting me to listen to my inner self.
I decide to address this once and for all and I tell my subconscious that I would like to feel all my suppressed pain in a lucid dream so that I can start to heal it. I add that I only want to do this if it is a positive thing to do. I have a trick I use to get my body to fall asleep whilst I can remain relatively alert. Ironically, listening to the loud ringing helps me to stay focused and gives my mind something to do. I thank it for its usefulness.
I focus on relaxing and finding my peace within the noise. I worry that I need to keep my mind active so as not to forget my lucid mission. Then I remind myself that my subconscious always knows what my plans are regardless, and that my higher self knows how best to heal me. I trust that it will help me if it is in my best interest. I realize that to find peace, I must surrender and stop trying to figure things out. I just let go and gradually, my body falls asleep.
I find myself in the darkness between dreams with images flickering, starting to form a new dream. I remain alert enough to notice my tinnitus is there. As I focus on it, I thank it for being a point of focus and I feel truly grateful for any lessons it has to teach me. Progressively it fades until it has completely disappeared. This doesn’t completely surprise me as I am used to tinnitus-free lucid dreams. It is however, lovely to hear it disappear in this way.
As the new dream fully forms I lose some lucidity.
I am with my friend S. in the ‘Tokyo-like’ city. She is showing me some squat exercises by a wall. I copy her and ask her if I’m doing them right. She says I am and I feel encouraged. ‘I’ll race you!’ she says and we start flying. She is winning but then I become fully lucid recognizing the city from the previous dream. I suddenly understand that I can fly as fast as I like. I playfully fly at warp speed trying to beat her only to remember that she can fly equally as fast too.
S. and I land in my mum’s garden. Caro is there with a couple of our friends. Caro and I start walking around the garden. It’s a beautiful bright day and it feels so lovely. We walk to the back of the garden and there is a pond filled with life. There are big frogs and newts in the water, it is a little dirty, but it’s full of activity. I turn to Caro and say, “The pond looks wonderful like this, all the life has come back to it.” Then suddenly I realise something “Hey, there is no pond in my garden any more. This is a lucid dream! “Oh yeah!” Caro says as if she really already knew, but was indulging me.
Suddenly I remember my purpose to heal my suppressed pain. I shout out to the dream. “I need a guru!’ but then I realize that isn’t going to work. I reason with myself ‘I’ve made that mistake before; no one can heal you but you. What I need is my higher self, I need myself!’ I then call out to the dream “I want to feel my unrepressed pain”, (meaning I want to feel my pain unrepressed).
Suddenly my body starts to hurt a lot all over and it is hard to move. Everyone else in the garden becomes frozen and my mouth starts to seal over so I can no longer speak, (like Neo’s mouth in the film The Matrix). I can barely open it, as hard as I try. I feel completely inhibited to express myself.
“I don’t need to put up with this!’ I think. Suddenly I launch myself at my frozen friends. I give them all a giant hug sending them all the love I have.
I awake with a thumping heart. I listen and my tinnitus is gone. I spend the whole day checking again and again but it’s definitely gone.
I was ecstatic, jumping around and phoning everyone I knew whom I could talk to about it. Now many months have passed and it still hasn’t returned, I am truly grateful!
I have given this healing quite a bit of thought. From a non-esoteric perspective it makes sense that tinnitus should be quite easy to heal through lucid dreaming. Tinnitus is caused by the brain misinterpreting the signals it receives. Commonly when tinnitus is caused by hearing loss, the brains fills in the missing frequencies it can no longer hear.
In most cases there are actually no sounds occurring, it is just the brain’s subjective interpretation. In this respect it makes sense that if you can access the subconscious mechanism that controls this, you can also change it. I am sure that lucid dreaming has the power to help millions of tinnitus sufferers find silence once again; it is truly a powerful gift.
See Caz Coronel‘s website at www.cazcoronel.com