Sunday, January 26, 2003, 10:00 a.m.
of the Awakened Mind
owe the original discovery of the awakened mind brain wave pattern to the
brilliant British psychobiologist and biophysicist C. Maxwell Cade 30 years
ago in the early 1970s. Cade
measured the brain wave patterns of many healers, spiritual teachers and
advanced meditators as well as 300 of his own students.
He found a pattern that he identified as a step beyond meditation
that exhibits the "lucid awareness" of meditation "coexistent
with thought processes". Cade presented his remarkable breakthrough
discovery in his book The Awakened Mind: Biofeedback and the Development
of Higher States of Awareness, which he co-authored with Nona
Coxhead (Dell, 1979).
he stated that the awakened mind state "shows high amplitude alpha
accompanied by two side bands of about 30 to 60 percent of the alpha
amplitude, continuous and of steady frequency -- one at usually 16 to 18
hertz in the beta spectrum, the other usually at 4 to 6 hertz in the theta
spectrum." Of the then
current research in alpha he observed, "It seemed that most researchers
in this area had failed to note the simultaneous presence of other relevant
frequencies... namely theta, beta or even delta waves."
so the birth of the understanding of the awakened mind occurred.
As often happens when initial discoveries are made, there was an
absolutism about this pattern. It
was presented and thought of as a very stable, almost static pattern that,
if it was being produced in the right way, would always be the same.
had the great good fortune to be very close to Max Cade for most of his
early research period. I worked
closely with him from 1973 to 1981, and had the opportunity to be part of
his early research and discoveries. I
developed a complete understanding of the awakened mind both as he saw it
through his research and as I learned to experience it within myself.
- In 1981, I
returned to the United States with Max's blessings and a Mind Mirror, to
develop my own work with the awakened mind.
I began expanding the research into areas other than spirituality and
healing. I measured artists,
composers, dancers, inventors, mathematicians, and scientists. I measured CEOs in the boardroom and presidents of corporations. I found that the brain wave patterns of high performance,
of creativity, the bursts of peak experience, were the same patterns that
the yogis and swamis lived in. I measured the “ah-ha” or the
“eureka” experience and found that the brain waves flared into an
awakened mind at the exact moment of insight.
- I spent from
1981 to 1989 in Boulder, Colorado developing courses, seminars, and a large
private practice, working with the state and content of consciousness and
training the awakened mind. I
spent more than 6000 hours looking at people's brain waves and understanding
how they relate to the individual's state of consciousness. From this work I
created a specific protocol to teach people to develop an awakened mind.
- The State
and Content of Consciousness
- I worked in a
way that was very different from Max Cade.
I worked with both the state and the content of consciousness and how
they interrelate, using content to develop and train the brainwave state and
using the state to access and transform content.
The state of consciousness is the actual brain wave pattern as
measured on the Mind Mirror, while the content of consciousness includes the
thoughts, feelings, emotions, and all of the material of the mind. The range
of content work includes accessing repressed psychological material and
suppressed creativity, using visualization or what I call sensualization for
improving health and well-being, and deepening meditation and spiritual
- Watching the
interplay between the state and content of consciousness for many thousands
of hours on many hundreds of people greatly heightened as well as deepened
my understanding of the awakened mind -- how it developed, how it was used,
what it was used for, how to help to develop it more quickly and
efficiently, and how to use it more effectively.
I learned that there were many varieties of awakened mind patterns,
and through looking at the variety of styles of awakened mind that occurred
on many different types of people with many different kinds of content, I
saw the inherent truth behind the awakened mind.
- It was the
ability of the state to allow the flow of information (content) from the
conscious mind to the unconscious mind and vice versa that identified
whether this state was truly an awakened mind.
The many varieties and forms of the awakened mind, depend on the
individual’s own personal development, on his or her intention or need at
the time, and on his or her normal signature pattern. In my book, The High-Performance Mind (Tarcher/Putnam
1995), I identified many of these varieties of awakened mind as well as
identifying a number of brain wave patterns that were often and easily
mistaken for an awakened mind brain wave pattern.
Patterns that were mistaken for an awakened mind invariably had
subtle forms of bottlenecks or blockages in the flow of information between
the conscious, subconscious, and the unconscious mind.
- Therefore I
It is the interrelationship of the peak frequencies of each of the
four categories of brain waves (beta, alpha, theta, and delta) that actually
identifies whether the individual has an awakened mind.
This correct interrelationship of peak frequencies of the awakened
mind allows the flow of information to occur between the conscious,
subconscious and unconscious mind.
Alpha is the bridge between the conscious and the subconscious mind.
Without alpha the individual will not be able to remember with his or
her beta brain waves what occurred in the theta (subconscious) state --
whether it is dreaming, meditating, dealing with repressed psychological
material, dealing with suppressed creativity, or even retrieving a lost
There is a "line of consciousness" that occurs in alpha and
is specific to each individual at any given time.
The content that resides above the frequency of the line of
consciousness is available for the normal (beta) conscious thought process
of the individual. The content
that resides below the line of consciousness at any given time is
"subconscious" or even "unconscious" and unavailable to
the conscious mind. This
subconscious content can be made available to the conscious mind by
activating the line of consciousness and having the individual develop an
awakened mind brainwave state with the appropriate intervals in between the
peak frequencies that allows the content to be retrieved from the
For the purposes of consciousness training using the spectral
analysis of the Mind Mirror, the frequency identification of the brainwave
categories of beta, alpha, theta and delta is variable depending on each
one’s relationship to the other, and the specific content purpose of the
particular category. For example, theta at 7.5 might contain subconscious
content if the line of consciousness is at 10 or 12 hz. (or even as high as
15) in one individual, while in another individual the frequency of 7.5 hz.
might be the line of consciousness, itself, and, therefore, be acting as an
alpha wave with the subconscious access in the range of 4 hz.
- By watching this
process over and over again on the Mind Mirror with many different clients
under many different circumstances, the individualized nature of the
awakened mind state became apparent. I
also saw the step-by-step developmental process as the awakened mind emerged
in each individual. I developed
this step-by-step process into the following generic protocol for training
the awakened mind. This
protocol can be individualized in accordance with the client’s signature
pattern and specific needs.
- The first
step is to do a complete Brainwave Profile and obtain a signature pattern
with both eyes open and eyes closed. Training
for the awakened mind begins with eyes closed, and is as follows:
Address Hemispheric Balance
Access Alpha and Theta together
- 8. Add Beta back to access
- 9. Stabilize Alpha (give
- 10. Stabilize Theta (give direct feedback)
- 11. Stabilize Alpha and Theta together (give direct feedback)
- 12. Beta Mastery
- 13. Stabilize Awakened
Mind (give direct feedback)
Alpha and Theta
Gradual Discovery of a New Pattern
- In 1996, I first
began to recognize a subtle but identifiable series of brain waves that
occurred sequentially over time. I had seen the pattern before and been
uncertain of the meaning. In the past I had chosen to dismiss it as
disorganized or unstable. (Disorganized
is the random flaring of distinct and stable categories of brainwaves.
Unstable is the random flaring of individual frequencies within
distinct and organized categories.) Normally,
when a student has a disorganized or unstable pattern there is a correlation
of subjective experience. Likewise, when a student has an organized, stable
awakened mind pattern, there is also usually a correlation of subjective
- In fact, I have
two ways of verifying whether a client has an awakened mind:
- 1) The brain
wave pattern contains all four categories of beta, alpha, theta, and delta
with the appropriate interrelationship of peak frequencies; and
- 2) The client
reports at least some of the subjective experiences listed in the Table of
Subjective Landmarks, which correlate with the awakened mind and/or the
evolved mind brain wave patterns (states 5 and/or 6 of the Table of
- Table of
Subjective Landmarks (states 5 and 6)
- (Adapted from
complete table, see page 30-31 in Awakening the Mind or pages 35-36
in The High Performance Mind)
lucid state of consciousness
of deep satisfaction
alertness, calmness, and detachment
of "spacing out" or disappearing
from environment and/or body
vivid imagery when desired
of altered state lacking in previous levels 0 to 4
way of feeling
insight into old problems, as though seen from a more aware level
of opposites into a higher unity
of being surrounded in light
feeling of higher spiritual awareness
sensation that "nothing matters" other than just being
feeling of greater knowledge of the universe
Awakened Mind (beta, alpha, theta, delta)
Optimum meditation (alpha, theta, delta with beta mastery)
Evolved mind (beta, alpha, theta, and delta with no blocks)
- Perla was a
student who invariably had the subjective experiences of an awakened mind
while her brain waves depicted a pattern that was a constantly-moving,
low-amplitude, unstable and disorganized-appearing series of progressive
brainwaves. I didn’t understand it, but I couldn't ignore it!
How could someone have such an experience of illumination while the
pattern, on first appearance, seemed so chaotic?
I began to call it "Perla's Pattern" and started talking
about it in my training program and studying it as much as possible.
I went to Argentina where Perla lived and measured her many times.
Meanwhile I began to recognize similar approximations of the same
pattern in a few other students. While
their subjective reports were not as stellar as Perla's, they certainly had
enough references to the awakened mind state in the table of subjective
landmarks to make me begin to see the similarity.
the next few years I saw this pattern repeated in a number of other clients
and students who reported similar subjective experiences.
Because of the complex nature of the pattern, it took me some time to
actually attune my eyes to see that the brainwaves, themselves, were
behaving in a way that was "snaking" or passing information down
from the conscious mind to the subconscious or unconscious mind, or up in
the other direction. This required the frequencies to flare, in very quick
succession, one right after the other, drawing the information or the
content through all four categories of brain waves, thus instigating the
awakened mind experience. This
sequential awakened mind pattern can be the sequential flaring of each
category, as a complete distinct whole, one after the other, or it can be
the sequential flaring of successive frequencies within each category that
creates the "snaking" effect.
Perla’s pattern contained all of the frequencies necessary for the
awakened mind -- beta, alpha, theta and delta -- flaring in succession with
the interrelationship that allowed the flow of information which defines the awakened
mind to occur. I had discovered a new form of the awakened mind that I named
the Sequential Awakened Mind. It met all of the criteria for the awakened
mind that I had established above.
- Like the
awakened mind itself, this sequential awakened mind can be produced in a
variety of styles, amplitudes, speeds, and clusters of frequencies.
Once I knew what to look for, I was able to identify it much more
frequently and have seen it in more subtle ways.
Because of the complexity of the Sequential Awakened Mind pattern, it
remains vital to correlate the relationship between the state as seen on the
Mind Mirror and the content as experienced by the student.
- Tommy Boy
- In 1998, I spent
some time in New York City working for a recording company, Tommy Boy.
I did individual sessions with many of the recording company’s
employees. The issues that the
individuals wanted to work on ranged in both content and state -- some
needing to learn to still their minds while working, others needing to break
through creative blocks, still others wanting to work on personal and health
issues, and yet others simply wanting to learn to relax and meditate.
I had one hour with each individual to give them a complete session
and bring them to resolution, while accomplishing something important and/or
inspirational for the state and/or content of their consciousness.
- I developed a
meditation to accommodate their needs. It works
contiguously with the contents of beta, alpha, theta, and delta to create
flow of information. Each category of brain waves contributes its own form of
content to the progression:
- Beta provides the conceptual framework and the descriptive words that
define and render precise intellectual delineation of the situation.
- Alpha provides sensory input and illustrates the content through imagery
and sensualization. It also
links the conscious mind to the subconscious.
- Theta provides the subconscious, inner information or wisdom.
In its pure form, this is not experienced with clear imagery,
rather having the hazy, dream-like qualities of deep internal reverie.
When alpha and theta are experienced together, the theta provides
the depth and profundity of the material and the alpha provides the
clarity and lucidity of vivid imagery.
- Delta, which can be seen as access to the universal mind, the collective,
or the unconscious, provides the most instinctual and intuitive input.
category of brain wave has its own contribution and part to play in the
totality of the awakened mind experience.
Each is necessary and none is more important than the others.
They must all work in concert to promote high performance, true
mental clarity, and emotional and spiritual awakening. But they don't all have to work simultaneously to be
effective. It is possible for
each brain wave category to play its proper and effective role almost independently,
one approaching the content fully through its appropriate modality and then,
in essence, passing the material along to the next category to be dealt with
in its way. In this way, the
flow of information moves sequentially from the conscious to the unconscious
mind and back.
the presentation at the conference, I will introduce the sequential awakened
mind and give a special version of this meditation to begin training it.
- The purpose of
my work in training the awakened mind is to help people master both the
state and the content of consciousness. I define mastery as being in the
state you want to be in, when you want to be there, knowing what to do with
that state, and being able to accomplish it. The discovery of the Sequential
Awakened Mind is a major step in understanding and training this mastery.