I was recently sitting with a friend who had just taken her first yoga class. We were talking about the various types of meditation that people practice and how they relate to the different states of mind that can be found in yoga. After a long pause, she said, “I’m pretty sure there is one that involves the concept of ‘absorption’ and ‘transmittance.
Absorption and transmittance are concepts that are pretty self explanatory, but they make sense in a world of light. So let’s take a look at what they mean in the context of your own life.
There are different states of mind that are involved in taking a deep breath, and absorbing it. In general, we can think of absorption as “making yourself feel calm and still for a moment,” and transmittance as “absorbing whatever is in your mind, no matter how crazy it is.” Absorption and transmittance are pretty self-explanatory, but the point is that they are not the same thing.
Absorption happens when we’re absorbing a stressful situation in our life. The first time we absorb a stressful situation is when we feel calm for a moment, and the second time is when we feel calm again after a few moments of calm. Transmittance happens when we stop absorbing whatever is in our mind and start again.
This sounds like an obvious, self-explanatory theory, but the reality is that all these techniques that are supposed to be self-explanatory are actually not. One of the best examples is a technique that I had never heard of before, and now I can’t stop thinking about it. It’s called the “Sedative Dose” technique.
The Sedative Dose is a very simple idea: Just take a sedative pill. As soon as you do this, you should feel groggy, and the next time you wake up, your body will be groggy. If you keep at it over a period of time, you should get a steady dose of groggyness.
The Sedative Dose is not just a technique, it’s also an experiment that we’ve been doing in our lab. When we first showed it to a group of students, some took it and didn’t feel groggy for a while. Others, on the other hand, got better, and still others, on the other hand, seemed to have completely lost any semblance of being groggy.
We’ve been using it to test our theories of why some people gain better sleep than others. When we put people in a sleep-deprivation chamber, they get less sleep, but the ones with the most trouble actually sleep the least. The reason we think it has to do with the amount of energy used per unit of time. When you sleep, your body uses energy to stay awake, but it also uses energy to keep you groggy.
The point is that if you want to have a good night’s sleep, you want to make sure that you get the most sleep that you can, so you try and consume the most energy in the least amount of time. That’s why it seems that absorbing a lot of light or being exposed to bright light affects sleep.
Transmittance is the ability of an object to transmit light (such as the light from a lightbulb or a soft light) and absorb light (such as the light from a lamp). Absorbance is simply the ability of a material to absorb light and therefore cause it to be refracted so that it appears brighter. Absorbance and transmittance aren’t the same thing, obviously. We can have transmittance because we can absorb light.