The Nagualist Newsletter and Open Forum / Issue 2 August / September 1994
Copyright 1994 by Nagualist Newsletter, all rights reserved. Individual submissions by readers and staff of the newsletter are also protected under copyright law. No portion may be reproduced without the written permission of the Nagualist Newsletter and of the individual who made the submission. Additional copies may be available at no charge.


Reader responses to how they learned and what it feels like.

I find I don't shut off my internal dialogue per se, rather I occupy my attention with something more compelling and it just drops away. I find being able to relax and then to single out items for my perception not ordinarily emphasized or concentrated upon works best for me. ... When I first started, I found gazing at shadows cast by little plants and grass on the ground easiest. You know you're on the right track when all of a sudden the scene in front of you changes and something unrecognizable replaces it. You feel like you're being sucked into, or zooming into another visual landscape. The trick is to sustain this alternative vision, just as the trick in dreaming is to maintain a cohesive view of the dream landscape you find yourself observing. ... Not-doing is very simple, but very powerful. I find it's effects to be both instant and cumulative.

Source: Otisville, NY

Editor: When you said "zooming", it gave me quite a memory. I once made a very fine plant extract and then proceeded to utilize it's effects by a bit of Not-doing. The piece of ash I was staring at literally turned into an island floating in a sealike void. I was falling towards it from a great height while I heard a sickening buzzing sound all around me. Despite being desperate for experiences at that time, I immediately summoned all I had to stop it. To this day, I wonder what would have happened if I hadn't.

Maintaining the initial decision constitutes concentration.

..I never found the time to do the right way of walking and instead concentrated on shutting off my internal dialog while driving my car. I figured that would amount to more than an hour a day of practice. I noticed slow changes over the years. Eventually I noticed a strange feeling at night looking at the red taillights of the cars in front of me. That turned out to be a key for me and I entered a new level of quietness. Sometimes while driving, I would panic from the changes that occurred from not talking to myself. A few times, I almost blacked out. I even worried that my brain might shut down and my heart stop beating. That turned out to be wrong.

It was not pleasant at first, it was hard work and very tense. Eventually it became more natural and it carried over into my entire day. I started to notice strange episodes where an entire conversation or event would flash into my mind as if I had just been transported somewhere and had interacted for many minutes. The actual time lapse was probably only a second. Usually, the memory would fade instantly. One time, I remembered an event clearly. I happened to be looking at my coffee while practicing shutting off my internal dialog. I blacked out and found myself looking at a scene of my coffee with a rainbow over it. I didn't think anything was unusual at the time. The image of some internal organ superimposed over the coffee cup. I heard a voice explaining to me that coffee was OK, but I needed to let it completely metabolize before drinking it again. Otherwise, I would harm that organ. While listening, I felt so comfortable and familiar with that voice that I barely noticed it.

Another thing I look for, to signal success in shutting off the internal dialog, is "nonsensical" thoughts. These are like complete images with vision and sound that pop into awareness, but don't make any sense and don't share the same units of time. The mind seems to be accustomed to dismissing them instantly and it is difficult to notice them. Yet they are very sharp and vivid.

I got the best practice when The Art of Dreaming came out and I tried pressing rocks between my fingers. This was a more concentrated practice and it developed my concentration. I discovered that the best way for me to completely drown out my internal dialog was to keep starting over. I keep making the initial decision to shut it off. If I make that decision only once and then try to maintain it, I fail. Concentration is, for me, the ability to keep up the decision to shut it off. Using this technique, I developed the ability to fall into sleep within minutes (but not on a predictable basis).

Finally, I believe recapitulating is the best exercise. I believe it cuts out the source of the stray thoughts and reduces the effort one must make to succeed...

Source: Lake Elsinore, CA

Editor: I liked the way this reader used heard instead of heard. It's more accurate.


... with regards to the question about shutting off the internal dialog, I can and do, frequently. The initial starting point for this was in a book entitled "Turtles All the Way Down" by John Grinder. John Grinder is the codeveloper of Neuro Linguistic Programming... In this book, he refers extensively to Castaneda's work, and gives a lot of information about shutting off the internal dialog. There is a state that is referred to in NLP as "uptime" in which the attention is entirely focused on external input- visually, auditorily, kinesthetically, olfactorily & gustatorily. In this condition, it is impossible to have internal dialog. There is no interpretation of experience going on, just perception. Using what I learned from this and other elements of NLP, I can shut off the internal dialog for indefinite periods of time, I believe there have been times where it has been absent for hours...

Source: Wilbraham, MA

Editor: Gustatorily? Yuck! Normally, we don't include submission material that refers to some other doctrine. That's not a judgmental thing, it just seems everyone has spent time in something else while waiting for a chance to join up with Carlos. If we included all references to something else, this would turn into Magical Blend magazine and that market is already covered. In this case, it sounded like a blueprint for the right way of walking. That made it close enough to Nagualism in our eyes. I guess readers are subject to the whim of the staff here when it comes to including stuff like this.

Other topics mentioned by readers are Gurdjieff, Shambala, Seth, Malidoma, Yoga, Zen, Scientology, Christianity, Buddhism, Hinduism, TM, Taoism, Chi-ism, Ayurveda, Caycee, Andrews, and others I've forgotten. And in most cases, the submitting reader believes it to be particularly relevant and worth sharing with other readers. So you can see the problem. I've no doubt there are other ways to learn to shift your assemblage point. I've tried lots of them myself for many, many years. Nagualism takes a lot more effort; you really have to work. I think that the results are worth it.  

Nagualist Newsletter and Open Forum / Issue 2 Aug. /Sept. 1994