There are many ways to experience meditation, and some meditation experiences are more intense than others, so how prepared you are on a mental level can influence whether you interpret your experience as more negative or positive.
There’s a state that’s not often talked about in meditation, but that some manage to enter, nonetheless, and it’s more than just a deep meditation. It’s complete detachment from thoughts and having a floating consciousness just floating.
It’s something most meditators haven’t experienced and might never experience, but the few that manage to practice long sessions, uninterrupted might have certain experiences that go beyond what’s considered ‘normal’.
Many describe the void state as pure darkness, where we experience some sort of ego death, and it’s the true essence of meditation. Now, to be clear, you don’t have to enter this state to reap the rewards of meditation, but you might want to because it’s more than just a step further in the practice.
It’s borderline touching another plane of reality that not everyone is used to. Now, there’s no danger of reaching this state, but not everyone is prepared to reach this state. I’ll outline deeper what it means to be in this state, and if this ever happens to you, you’ll be able to recognize it once you are out of that void state.
Detachment From Time
The void state is often described as nothingness, and since you are detached from your physical body and senses, you’re also gonna be detached from the notion of time you have. What seems to be one hour in the void state may in reality be just a few minutes.
The same can be said about sleep because the void state happens in a hypnagogic state where the mind is between being awake and sleeping.
But the void state can feel so extreme it might make you feel like getting out of the void state is beyond your control. It’s, in layman’s terms, just ‘existing’ and allowing thoughts to flow. Except there’s no mind to kick you out of that state with some distraction.
Eventually, you’ll leave the void state and your consciousness will revert back to your control, but it can be a very life-changing, spiritual experience you either take as something pleasant or traumatizing, depending on what your expectation of meditation is and how prepared you are for everything that comes up.
Deep State vs. Void State
What’s the difference between a deep meditative state and the void state in meditation? The void state is complete darkness, and while there are in many ways similar, with the void state more of your senses are shut down from the world.
With the void state, you are more in a hypnagogic state, whereas with a deep meditative state, you feel a strong sense of peace but that you can stop at any point and most who have experienced a deep meditative state rather stay there as it’s a way to disconnect from the world without going to the same extreme the void state would.
With a deep state of meditation, you can be fully conscious throughout the practice but you still have a higher level of control over the thoughts that flow, having some sort of effect on you.
Some Rely on External Substances to Enter The Void
I never recommend taking any external substances to enter what many would consider an experience that’s out of this world, yet, some will resort to these substances as a way to escape.
Meditation alone is a way to enter this state, and you might be able to do so frequently if you’ve gotten good at quieting your mind and entering deep meditation.
Deep meditations are one step closer to the void state and it’s something you can experience in a natural way, without putting your body or mind at risk.
What You Can Get From The Flow State
Since the flow state is genuinely giving your mind rest and disconnecting in a way that’s beyond normal and experience complete nothingness, it can also be used as a way to grow spiritually and develop your mind in ways you might not have thought was possible, much like giving muscles time to grow after an intense workout.
But for the most part, you’ll experience detachment and sensations neither your mind nor body have experienced before or let alone be prepared for.
You can react in any way and will reveal things you might not have known about yourself. Something else that’s controversial about the void state is that it can make some lose their fear of death.
Some will find this liberating whereas others don’t want to get a glimpse of what could be on the other side.
The Void State Can Be Too Much
Many strive for peace in meditation, but can too much peace be bad? It’s experiencing nothingness and no thoughts at all, which is said to be impossible since in one way or another we will always have some thoughts, even during meditation when we focus on our breath, which is why thoughts come up anyway.
But with the void state, it’s said to be a complete detachment from your thoughts and from the ego, which, the ego often clings to these thoughts and allows us just to be, but the darkness and perceived lack of control of the void state can scare many away from ever resuming the practice again, so, in that sense, it can be a double-edged sword.
Others see the void state as a path towards enlightenment, but always remember, if meditation gets too scary or if the meditation you are doing somehow leads you to a void state, and you don’t want to be in a void state, what you can do instead, without quitting meditation, from then on is to do guided meditations.
With guided meditations, you know what to expect more or less, but the flip side is that you’re outsourcing something that you have the ability on your own to do to someone else, which some would consider as invasive in an intimately spiritual sense.
Is The Void State Something To Strive For?
It’s not as easy as giving a yes or no answer since everyone is different. You can experience the benefits of meditation without going through deep and dark experiences.
Sure, meditation is a great way to overcome fear but you shouldn’t take it to the other side of the extreme and traumatize yourself with it. At its core, it’s supposed to be a blissful experience.
At the end of the day, you want to take a step back and follow up with how you are feeling over the long run. Don’t just do meditation because you’ve heard it’s good if you are achieving the opposite effects and feel like the meditation is going wrong.
Now, it’s worth noticing that if you are using meditation as a means to an end to achieve something like a lucid dream, you might benefit from reaching the void state, since it could easier transition to a dream where you are conscious and in control, given that you already are in the hypnagogic state.
Being in the hypnagogic state can be blissful but it can also take a turn for the worse if you aren’t sure where you are heading.