The Keys to Greater States of Consciousness

The Speaking Mind: Clapping “the Wave”

I journey to New York usually, and I like going to see Broadway musicals. When The E book of Mormon opened, I used to be one of many first to purchase tickets. Members of the viewers had been laughing during. On the finish, the solid bought a standing ovation.

Out of the blue, the applause modified. Quite than a thousand individuals clapping individually, everybody started to clap in rhythm. Clap, clap, clap, clap. The rhythmic clapping grow to be so insistent that the actors got here again onstage for an encore. The clapping communicated approval to the actors, they usually responded with one other music.

The neurons in your mind do one thing related. They hearth collectively in rhythmic patterns, speaking with one another throughout the mind. These patterns are measured in cycles per second, or Hertz (Hz). Think about an viewers clapping collectively slowly. That’s a gradual mind wave, with tens of millions of neurons firing collectively slowly. Think about an viewers clapping rapidly. That’s a quick mind wave, with tens of millions of neurons firing collectively rapidly.

At present’s EEGs calculate mind wave patterns from every of the mind’s many alternative elements. They sometimes use 19 electrodes hooked up to the floor of the scalp.

One analysis crew noticed, “Scientists are actually so accustomed to those EEG correlations with mind state that they might overlook simply how outstanding they’re…. A single electrode gives estimates of synaptic motion averaged over tissue plenty containing between roughly 100 million and 1 billion neurons” (Nunez & Srinivasan, 2006). Once we see mind wave adjustments on an EEG, it signifies that the firing patterns of billions of neurons in our brains are additionally altering.

What Mind Waves Are and What They Do

There are 5 primary mind waves which are picked up by a contemporary EEG.

1. Gamma Mind Waves

Gamma is the very best mind wave frequency (40 to 100 Hz). It’s most prevalent at occasions when the mind is studying, making associations between phenomena and integrating info from many alternative elements of the mind.

A mind producing numerous gamma waves displays advanced neural group and heightened consciousness. When monks had been requested to meditate on compassion, massive flares of gamma had been discovered of their brains (Davidson & Lutz, 2008).


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They had been in comparison with novice meditators who had meditated for an hour a day the week earlier than. The novices had mind exercise just like that of the monks. However when the monks had been instructed to evoke a sense of compassion, their brains started to fireside in rhythmic coherence, just like the viewers clapping at The E book of Mormon musical.

The flares of gamma waves measured within the brains of the monks had been the most important ever recorded. The monks reported coming into a state of bliss. Gamma is related to very excessive ranges of mental perform, creativity, integration, peak states, and of feeling “within the zone.” Gamma waves circulate from the entrance to the again of the mind about 40 occasions per second (Llinás, 2014). Researchers look to this oscillating wave as a neural correlate of consciousness (NCC), a state linking the mind’s exercise with the subjective expertise of consciousness (Tononi & Koch, 2015).

Mind researchers discuss in regards to the amplitude of a mind wave and that merely means how large it’s. A excessive amplitude of gamma means an enormous gamma wave, whereas a low amplitude means a small one. Measurements of mind waves present peaks and valleys. The gap from the height to the trough is the amplitude. Amplitude is measured in microvolts, and mind waves sometimes measure between 10 and 100 microvolts, with the quicker waves like gamma having the bottom amplitude.

Gamma mind wave states are related to many helpful adjustments in our our bodies. A frequency of 75 Hz is epigenetic, triggering the genes that produce anti-inflammatory proteins within the physique (De Girolamo et al., 2013). On the decrease finish of the gamma spectrum, a frequency of fifty Hz leads to the physique rising its manufacturing of stem cells, the “clean” cells that differentiate into muscle, bone, pores and skin, or no matter different specialised cells are required (Ardeshirylajimi & Soleimani, 2015). The frequency of 60 Hz regulates the expression of stress genes, people who code for stress hormones like cortisol. The identical mind wave frequency additionally prompts a key gene known as Myc that in flip regulates round 15 p.c of all the opposite genes within the physique (Lin, Goodman, & Shirley‐Henderson, 1994).

brain-wave-frequenciesEEG mind waves from slowest to quickest.

2. Beta Mind Waves

The following quickest wave is beta (12 to 40 Hz). Beta is often divided into two elements: excessive beta and low beta. Excessive beta is your monkey thoughts. Excessive beta (15 to 40 Hz) is the signature mind wave of individuals with anxiousness, individuals experiencing frustration, and individuals beneath stress.

The extra pressured individuals grow to be, the upper the amplitude of the beta their brains produce. Adverse feelings reminiscent of anger, worry, blame, guilt, and disgrace produce massive flares of beta waves within the EEG readout.

This shuts down the mind areas that deal with rational considering, choice making, reminiscence, and goal analysis (LeDoux, 2002). Blood circulate to the prefrontal cortex, the “considering mind,” is decreased by as much as 80 p.c. Starved of oxygen and vitamins, our brains’ skill to suppose clearly plummets.

Low beta is the band that synchronizes our our bodies’ automated capabilities, so it’s additionally known as the sensorimotor rhythm frequency, or SMR (12 to fifteen Hz).

Beta is required for processing info and for linear considering, so regular ranges of beta mind wave states are nice.

Once you deal with fixing an issue, composing a poem, calculating the very best path to your vacation spot, or balancing your checkbook, beta waves are your pal. SMR represents a relaxed, centered psychological state. It’s stress that produces excessive beta, particularly above 25 Hz.

3. Alpha Mind Waves

Alpha (8 to 12 Hz) is an optimum state of relaxed alertness. Alpha connects the upper frequencies—the considering thoughts of beta and the associative thoughts of gamma—with the 2 lowest frequency mind waves, that are theta (4 to eight Hz) and delta (0 to 4 Hz).

It seems that alpha additionally does good issues for our our bodies. It improves our ranges of mood-enhancing neurotransmitters reminiscent of serotonin. When the alpha mind wave degree elevated in a gaggle of exercisers, they gained a lift in serotonin, and their emotional state was elevated (Fumoto et al., 2010). In one other examine, Zen meditators acquired the identical advantages from cultivating an alpha state (Yu et al., 2011).

A pioneering examine uncovered DNA to varied mind wave frequencies. It discovered that the alpha frequency of 10 Hz resulted in considerably elevated synthesis of the DNA molecule (Takahashi, Kaneko, Date, & Fukada, 1986).

4. Theta Mind Waves

Theta is attribute of deep rest and light-weight sleep. Once we dream vividly, our eyes transfer quickly and our brains are primarily in theta. These mind waves are the frequency of fast eye motion (REM) sleep. Theta can be the dominant frequency of individuals beneath hypnosis, healers, individuals in trances, and other people in extremely artistic states of consciousness (Kershaw & Wade, 2012). The recollection of emotional experiences, each good and unhealthy, can set off theta.

It’s the frequency mostly noticed in healers. Becker (1990) discovered that when healers had been within the midst of an power therapeutic session, theta was the most typical wave of their brains.

Theta is related to many helpful adjustments within the physique. A gaggle of researchers studied the impact of varied frequencies on DNA restore. They discovered that electromagnetic fields between 7.5 Hz and 30 Hz had been capable of improve molecular bonding (Tekutskaya, Barishev, & Ilchenko, 2015). Inside that vary, 9 Hz proved handiest.

5. Delta Mind Waves

The slowest frequency is delta. Delta is attribute of deep sleep. Very excessive amplitudes of delta are additionally present in people who find themselves in contact with the nonlocal thoughts, even once they’re conscious. The brains of meditators, intuitives, and healers have rather more delta than regular.

The eyes of people who find themselves in deep dreamless sleep don’t transfer. Delta waves additionally predominate in such non-rapid eye motion (NREM) sleep.

Delta is the wave that we see in EEG readouts when individuals are having a way of reference to the infinite. They sometimes report mystical experiences during which the native self merges with the nonlocal self. Meditators with massive amplitudes of delta really feel related to all of nature, to different human beings, and to the infinite. They lose the sense of being an remoted particular person, or what Albert Einstein known as the delusion of separateness. As an alternative, they expertise oneness with all that’s.

When our brains are producing delta, we’re bathing our cells in a frequency that has the potential to provide a complete gamut of helpful physiological adjustments on the degree of our cells, from rising our telomeres and boosting our development hormone ranges to regenerating our neurons and sweeping our brains away from beta-amyloid plaques. We aren’t simply having a pleasant subjective expertise; within the delta state, we’re creating an goal power surroundings during which our our bodies thrive.

Awakening from On a regular basis Actuality

EEG pioneer Maxwell Cade seen that alpha, in the midst of the vary of frequencies, varieties a bridge between the 2 excessive frequencies of beta and gamma and the 2 low frequencies of theta and delta (Cade & Coxhead, 1979). Biofeedback and neurofeedback expertise deal with instructing individuals tips on how to get into an alpha state. The best state is sufficient alpha to hyperlink all the different mind rhythms collectively. Excessive beta is minimized, so that there’s little or no monkey thoughts and anxiousness. There’s a balanced quantity of gamma and theta, and a large base of delta.

A biophysicist, Cade had labored on radar for the British authorities earlier than turning his consideration to measuring states of consciousness. He developed his personal machine, the “thoughts mirror,” in 1976. It’s distinctive amongst EEG units in that it gives a transparent visible snapshot of mind waves.

His pupil Anna Sensible described the machine as follows: “What units the Thoughts Mirror aside from different types of electroencephalography was the curiosity, on the a part of its developer, not in pathological states (as within the case of medical units), however in an optimum state known as the Woke up Thoughts. As an alternative of measuring topics with issues, the inventor of the Thoughts Mirror sought essentially the most extremely developed and spiritually acutely aware individuals he may discover. Within the flicker of their brainwaves, he and his colleagues discovered a standard sample, whether or not the topic was a yogi, a Zen grasp or a healer.”

The Woke up Thoughts

Utilizing the thoughts mirror, over 20 years, Cade recorded the mind wave patterns of greater than 4,000 individuals with robust non secular practices. He discovered the Woke up Thoughts state was widespread on this group. Cade additionally seen one other similarity: all of them had excessive quantities of alpha mind waves. As famous, alpha waves are proper in the midst of the spectrum, with beta and gamma above, and theta and delta beneath. When somebody within the Woke up Thoughts state has numerous alpha, it creates a hyperlink between the excessive mind wave frequencies above and the low frequencies beneath. Cade known as this the alpha bridge, as a result of it bridges the acutely aware thoughts frequencies of beta with the unconscious and unconscious thoughts frequencies of theta and delta. This permits a circulate of consciousness, integrating all the degrees of thoughts.

Cade wrote: “The awakening of consciousness is like progressively awakening from sleep and changing into an increasing number of vividly conscious of on a regular basis actuality—solely it’s on a regular basis actuality from which we’re awakening!” (Cade & Coxhead, 1979).

I developed a meditation technique known as EcoMeditation that’s quite simple, but it’s constantly and robotically capable of deliver individuals into the Woke up Thoughts EEG sample. EcoMeditation makes use of EFT tapping to clear obstacles to rest. It then takes you thru a sequence of straightforward bodily rest workouts that ship indicators of security to the mind and physique. It doesn’t depend on perception or philosophy; as a substitute, it’s based mostly on sending the physique physiological cues that produce deeply relaxed states of consciousness robotically. The directions are free at

Throughout EcoMeditation, we see numerous delta mind waves as effectively. Delta is the place we join with many sources above and past the native self. As famous, individuals in trance states, in addition to healers, artists, musicians, and intuitives, are inclined to have loads of delta.

These in a artistic trance, reminiscent of a composer making music or a baby at play, normally have numerous delta waves. They lose all consciousness of the outer world as they grow to be absorbed of their creativity. They’re largely in delta, with some theta and alpha, and simply sufficient beta to perform (Gruzelier, 2009).

It’s been fascinating to me to talk to individuals whose mind wave states present a excessive amplitude of delta waves throughout meditation. They report transcendent experiences. They describe feeling one with the universe, an beautiful sense of concord and well-being (Johnson, 2011). Albert Einstein referred to this as an expansive state of consciousness during which we “embrace all dwelling creatures and the entire of nature.” Scientists could be mystics too!

When Consciousness Adjustments, Mind Waves Change

The power fields of mind waves and the matter of neural pathways are in a continually evolving dance. When states of consciousness change, mind waves change and completely different neural pathways are engaged.

The extremes are love and worry. Once we’re in a state of worry, our alpha bridge disappears. We should still have theta and delta, however we’re reduce off from the sources of our unconscious thoughts and its reference to the common complete. Beta waves flood the fearful mind. It’s in survival mode.

Once we’re in a state of bliss, our brains present the Woke up Thoughts sample. A step past, they’ll additionally transfer to a symmetrical sample Cade known as the Developed Thoughts. As our consciousness is full of love, our brains perform very otherwise, with massive quantities of theta and delta, plus an alpha bridge to attach our acutely aware with our unconscious thoughts.

Feelings create mind states. Mind waves measure the fields generated by consciousness. Passing indicators by the neural bundles engaged by love, pleasure, and concord creates a attribute power subject (Wright, 2017). When monitoring the brains of individuals doing EcoMeditation, EEG skilled Judith Pennington noticed that “theta and delta progressed their patterns from the Woke up Thoughts to the Developed Thoughts state.”

Feelings additionally create neurotransmitters. Amongst these are serotonin, dopamine, endorphins, oxytocin, and anandamide (Kotler & Wheal, 2017). Serotonin is related to satisfaction, and dopamine with a sensation of reward. Endorphins block ache and enhance pleasure. Oxytocin is the “bonding hormone,” and it stimulates emotions of closeness and intimacy with others. Anandamide known as the “bliss molecule,” and it’s named after the Sanskrit phrase for happiness. It binds to the identical receptors within the mind as THC, the first psychoactive molecule in marijuana. When the thoughts adjustments, it creates molecular information within the type of these neurotransmitters. As they flood our brains, we really feel happy, safe, bonded, blissful, and serene. When our minds enter elevated emotional states, we’re actually getting excessive—on medicine produced by our our bodies.

Consciousness Shifts the Manner the Mind Processes Data

Once we meditate, faucet (EFT), use one other type of power psychology, or in any other case shift our consciousness, the mind adjustments rapidly. The mind could be deliberately modified by the thoughts, particularly by what is named consideration coaching (Schwartz & Begley, 2002). True transformation repatterns neural pathways. Ultimately, all the state of the mind shifts and establishes a brand new and wholesome degree of homeostasis.

One analysis crew notes that “an accelerating variety of research within the neuroimaging literature considerably assist the thesis that… with acceptable coaching and energy, individuals can systematically alter neural circuitry related to quite a lot of psychological and bodily states which are frankly pathological” (Schwartz, Stapp, & Beauregard, 2005). We are able to take our dysfunctional mind networks and alter them with our minds.

It’s not simply mystics and healers who produce massive alpha bridges and theta mind wave flares once they’re in ecstatic states. Teams for whom excessive efficiency is vital are discovering that tuning the mind on this manner produces large leaps in achievement. U.S. Navy SEALs have to function successfully in quickly altering fight situations. Utilizing tens of millions of {dollars} of superior EEG gear in a “Thoughts Fitness center” specifically constructed in Norfolk, Virginia, they be taught to enter a state they name ecstasis (Cohen, 2017). As soon as they “flip the swap” into ecstasis, their brains are in a state of circulate, an altered actuality during which super-performance turns into potential. Different peak performers, reminiscent of elite courtroom attorneys, Olympic athletes, and Google executives, additionally practice themselves to enter ecstasis.

The traits of those circulate states are described within the e-book Stealing Hearth (Kotler & Wheal, 2017). Amongst them are selflessness and timelessness. Individuals in ecstasis transcend the boundaries of native thoughts. EEG readings present that the prefrontal cortex of their brains, the seat of a way of self, shuts down. Beta-wave psychological chatter ceases. They acquire distance from the anxious obsessions of native thoughts. Their inner chemistry adjustments as “feel-good” neurotransmitters like serotonin, dopamine, anandamide, and oxytocin flood their brains.

On this state, they acquire a nonlocal perspective. They’re open to an infinite vary of potential choices and outcomes. The self, slightly than being trapped in a restricted mounted native actuality, is ready to attempt on completely different potentialities. This “knocks out filters we usually apply to incoming info,” resulting in associative leaps that facilitate drawback fixing and super-creativity. Kotler and Wheal (2017) evaluate the analysis on the efficiency good points produced by these mind wave states. These embrace a 490 p.c enchancment in psychological focus, a doubling of creativity, and a 500 p.c enhance in productiveness.

Commonalities in Mystical Expertise

The neuroscientists I’ve labored with have instructed skilled meditators to offer prearranged indicators throughout meditation, reminiscent of tapping their forefinger 3 times once they really feel the expertise of oneness. We are able to time-stamp this spot on the EEG readout. This has allowed us to correlate their inner expertise with mind states.

Throughout ecstasis, whether or not discovered within the historic accounts of Tukaram or the fashionable experiences of the Navy SEALs, individuals have widespread experiences. These are linked to neurotransmitters: coming into a state of bliss (anandamide), a way of detachment from the physique that encapsulates the native self (endorphins), the native self bonding with the nonlocal universe (oxytocin), serenity (serotonin), and the reward of being modified by the expertise (dopamine).

These are the traits of upgraded minds, and we now have EEGs and neurotransmitter assays to measure the adjustments they produce in matter. Prior to now, ecstatic states had been attainable solely by mystics, and it took a long time of examine, rigorous observe, ascetic self-discipline, and non secular initiation. At present, “we now know the exact changes to physique and mind that permit us recreate them for ourselves” at will; expertise is offering us with “a Cliff Notes model of… tips on how to encounter the divine” (Kotler & Wheal, 2017). At present, the highest-performing people within the fields of sports activities, enterprise, fight, science, meditation, and artwork are inducing them routinely. Tomorrow, as we map the physiology of those states and switch ecstasis right into a learnable ability, they are going to be accessible to everybody.

Excerpted with permission from Thoughts to Matter: The Astonishing Science of How Your Mind Creates Materials Actuality by Dawson Church, Ph.D. Obtainable on-line at and

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