Setting an intention

I’ll be going in for a booster infusion soon, and was trying to figure out a way to more effectively use the experience. Much has been said about setting an intention for this kind of experience, but exactly what does that mean?

I suspect that most people encountering an experience like this for the first couple of times are a little like back country rubes in the big city for the first time. They’re so taken in by the experience itself that it becomes a distraction that precludes turning that experience to their chosen intent.

So what say you? What does it mean to you to “set an intention”, and what does that translate to at the height of the infusion?

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Today will be my 12th infusion. Each time I’ve learned something that’s helpful for the next experience. I don’t want to come off as if I have any larger knowledge of what works for anyone else besides me, because I don’t. There’s no specific thing I focus on except healing and learning what I need to know. That’s my intention and prayer every time. My prayers go something like this…“Let me be at peace, let me learn, help me heal”.
Here’s what I am doing for today:

  1. No food after dinner the night before. I don’t stop water until a few hours before the appointment.
  2. When I went to bed I listened to a prayer litany/meditation.
  3. No TV the day of infusion before appointment.
  4. Make sure bag is prepared with everything I’ll need for infusion.
  5. On the ride there-headphones with music or meditation.
  6. After IV is in, I ask for a moment to get settled and focus on my intention and say my mantra “I am love” (someone very kindly gave me that). The room is just dim, not dark.
  7. As it’s starting, I just keep repeating the mantra.
  8. Each time feels more like I experienced something, rather than just being on a wild ride. That seems to be the key; I’m more familiar each time, so there can be more of an intention.
    For myself, the process is more of letting come what has to-and working on it. Setting an intention is a good practice. Having the experience and taking something away from it is better.
    Best of luck with your appointment!
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You want to have something to work on when you go into an infusion! It could be as simple as a mantra like “I am a good person.” I found that positive feedback meditations work well in addition to music.

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@gingersmom, we have helped each other, and that is a good thing. I think I have a better idea now of what I want to do. :pray::pray:

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@gingersmom, I used your prayers at the beginning of my infusion yesterday (although with modifications to fit my own need, and more as statements of intent), then as the ketamine began to take hold, I switched over to the Mantra. Playing through my headphones was Stile Antico, “Music for Compline”:


I have never experienced an infusion like this before. The intent was clear, as was the focus, and I came away with a clear feeling of having addressed certain needs successfully. The Stile Antico album is medieval/renaissance chorale music, by Thomas Tallis and others. I recommend it highly if you have an appreciation for such things - and I suspect you do. :pray:
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@Sojourner. Fantastic news! I think we might have the formula-for now, at least. LoL. I felt much the same about my infusion on 4/22. So much so, that I came home and slept 14 hours! I can’t wait to check out Stile Antico… thanks for the tip.
All the best to you :slightly_smiling_face:

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I love this topic. Setting an intention is a great idea. I have been thinking about that also. I have had mostly good results with planned music but I want to take the experience farther. It usually works best if I try not to control any of the visuals. I love the prayer or mantra that you guys are doing. Just simple words to live by or something that you are struggling with. I’m interested to know how well that works over time. The insight that I gain on some of the rockiest visuals is amazing. If I wasn’t depressed I wonder if I would see as much. So now we can see the therapist in ketamine. Lol! Or in us.

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Wow thank you for this. My first set of infusions was probably 2 years ago. I’ve always wondered if I go into with a clear mind or have the issues I need to work on ready to go and focus on them instead. I can honestly say I don’t know which is better at this point. I used to get infused every 4 weeks, by the 6th week felt horrible, tried lozenges and just built up a tolerance requiring me to increase from 100mg to 200mg lozenges. My new clinic doesn’t offer lozenges and I don’t miss them at all. For the last year I receive boosters every 8 weeks now. Yesterday marked 8 weeks exactly and I am feeling it. Friday I will be getting infused and try to set some intention, we’ll see how it goes.

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Welcome! To touch on the subject again, I don’t think the trying to control my infusions worked too well. I got way terrified today. The visuals were so clear that I scared myself. Or something like that and I got so dissociated that I lost control instead of gaining. So I think that it’s best, for me to just just fly into it and go with whatever comes up.

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FWIW, I don’t think that setting an intention means trying to control the visions, or at least it doesn’t mean that to me. I’ve played with it a little…things like I want to experience speed, or space, or light, but trying to actually control the visions with the little self seems like a bad idea. After all, if the judgment of my little self were all that great I wouldn’t have issues with depression or anxiety. For me anyway, it simply means affirming that the visions will show me those things that I need to see and accept and then letting go, trusting that my own higher Self is doing the driving and will guide me to acceptance of those things I need to face. If you are fortunate enough to have those very clear visions, I’d guess that those are what you need to see and accept. Scary perhaps - obviously I don’t know what you experience - but as with grief, I suspect that the way through it is to embrace it.

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I agree with every single thing that you said, Sojourner. Sometimes I think pretty black and white about just about everything. So just feeling good about yourself could make your treatment somewhat more positive or I would think. At least worth a shot even if you don’t really believe it sometimes and I speak only of myself. Thank you for responding and I need all the help that I can get from all of you nice people. Seriously some days are so hard.

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I’ve only had 7 infusions but the thing I’ve learned so far is that the experience is different for me every single time. The first 4 were all pretty similar, but since then it’s been harder to navigate each session. I a still finding what works for me but I am going to try and have a planned playlist of classical music next time so that I won’t have any bad associations and there are no lyrics. One of these days I’d like to try a simple and familiar guided meditation. I can find both classical music pieces and meditations that are long enough for an entire session which is good because I realized yesterday the scariest part of any infusion for me is when there is some sort of change or transition- the song changes, the nurse comes in or out of the room, the blood pressure cuff starts squeezing, etc. Good luck with everything else you try! Let us know how it goes.

For me, setting an intention is key. My first infusion, I set a simple intention to be present and humble during a couples therapy session with my SO (significant other). During the infusion, I did not really notice anything direct, but when I came out of it, I did find myself ready to be more compassionate about my SO’s feelings. For me, having been a very black and white, right or wrong thinker? It is a big deal for me not to try and frame everything in logical terms. I realized that I was more focused on defending my actions than listening to my SO’s feelings and understanding them. I also realized that this way of response left my SO feeling unheard. Another person’s feelings cannot be mashed into a “logical” mold, or at least that is what I am beginning to understand personally. Feelings are feelings. They should be left as they are. An important piece I took away from a session with my therapist is to try and understand “what was or is the other person thinking?” When I came to the therapy session, it was super hard not to try and rationalize my SO’s feelings, but I was finally able to sit and listen. I was further able to acknowledge that the feelings were probably scary, sad, and overwhelming. I was able to understand that feelings could change. I was able to let my SO that I didn’t like the fact that I had brought them to a place where they felt those feelings, and I wanted to figure out how they could feel safe and trust again. I doubt seriously that I could have done that without the shift in thinking that occurred. I think the ketamine gave me an hour where I could decide to explore and feel safe about what had happened, my role in it, and that I wanted to move forward in a gentle compassionate way. It was no longer about winning or losing, or maintaining the relationship, my focus became being present and compassionate. I felt very vulnerable, I was able to voice that in a genuine way.
I won’t say that I set a concrete intention every time, but I have found it to be helpful. My hope for everyone that tries this idea is that they receive something meaningful from the attempt.

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