Meditation and self-hypnosis aren’t strictly the same thing.
The sort of trance meditation puts you in is different to what hypnosis does.
But what does that even mean? No two hypnotists will put you in the same sort of trance either. And I’ve experimented with many styles of meditation – it’s the same deal there.
‘Hypnosis’ and ‘meditation’ are each a range… and those ranges overlap.
Each uses your focus to guide you into an altered state of consciousness. That state is worth entering simply for the sake of it – to enjoy the freedom of thinking, feeling and being differently.
Or you could use that altered state of consciousness to change your mind. It’s as if your thoughts in this state carry more weight or punch harder.
When you tell yourself you’re amazing in a trance, you believe it more.
You’re suggestible, flexible, sometimes down-right programmable in a trance, whether you got their by meditation or hypnosis.
So if they’re both about the same, what difference does it make?
Because the journey is different.
For most folks, meditation is difficult. Even doing it for five minutes is a challenge. With practice and discipline, you can increase that to seven minutes, then ten, then 20, then…
On and on.
I heard one experienced meditator say they like 20-minute sessions. It takes them about 15 or 17 minutes to enter a trance, giving them a couple of minutes of deep inner work before they come out of it.
That’s an experienced meditator.
Highly advanced ones can enter the trance state much faster… and borderline enlightened folks are always in it.
But a skilled hypnotist can take an untrained person and put them in a similar state in under ten seconds.
That’s why hypnosis can be such a revelation for folks, why it can feel so strange and powerful. It’s like skipping years of dedicated practice and suddenly finding yourself in this deep trance state.
Now, there are two ways to look at this.
One is to marvel at hypnosis for the revolution it is. It’s like spending two hours every day making bread, then buying a machine that does it in ten minutes. The convenience and efficiency is amazing.
The other way to see it is it’s the Dark Side of the Force – a lazy shortcut to the results without putting in the work.
There’s truth to that.
A huge part of meditation’s benefits come from holding your attention for so long. Skipping that to get to ‘the good bits’ misses the point, like someone who buys a robot arm to lift weights at the gym.
And, sure, this could happen, I suppose. Someone might replace their meditation practice with a minute of self-hypnosis and 19 minutes of Twitter.
But what if you spend, say, ten minutes in self-hypnosis?
That’s three times as much deep, inner work as a 20-minute meditation session – plus it’s about two-thirds as much focused concentration time.
Because that’s the beauty of it. Meditation tends to be mindful focus, followed by inner work. With self-hypnosis, the focus and the work are all the same.
I’m not saying meditation is obsolete. Sometimes you do need to just sit, breathe and focus.
But with self-hypnosis, you get more of the benefits, with less difficulty and in less time.
Pitting these two practices against each other is unwise. It’s great to learn them both, as each sets the foundation for the other.
That’s why I teach both – and how you can get superior results in less time.
If you want to meditate like a monk without withdrawing from society for a decade first, you should check this out: