An Insight From Bio-Feedback Brain Training

It was November 6, 2007. I’d been trying to get in “the chamber” for almost a year by then. And I was finally about to do it.

I’d read the research.

My head was swabbed with alcohol. Sites prepped.

The reports of spiritual, mental and emotional transformations were undeniable.

Conductive paste carefully applied.

Awakening. Enlightenment.

Just seconds away now.

Could this be the ‘direct line’ to the Universe?

Electrodes.

To god?

Darkness. Silence.

Excitement washes over me. I would never be the same again.

Bio-Feedback Brain Training – Session 1

Time: 9:24 a.m.

Subject: Jim Hudson / Bio-Feedback Brain Training

Excerpt from session journal entry: “You are not who you think you are.”

After each session I scrambled to put my insights down into the laptop. I knew by doing so there was a chance of interfering with the work that I was doing. Trying to stay conscious enough to remember details was not the state we were going for. But I knew I needed to do it.

I knew someday I was going to need to tell someone what happened to me. The time is now. And that someone…

is you.

Flash forward 17 sessions:

Conscious Theta

Date: December 12, 2007.

Journal entry subject: “The grass beneath my feet.”

[Note: This is lifted directly from my journal. There are terms that I do not explain in the body of the text. I have starred them, and have written explanations at the end for you 🙂 Click this link for more background on bio-feedback brain training]

Today’s session was amazing. I feel incredible: a beautiful feeling of joy has overtaken me. I had been editing on a TV show all morning, so I wondered what effect that might have on my training. In the past editing television had negatively effected my creativity when it came to writing film. Or perhaps it was a lot of factors that contributed, but the editing didn’t help at the time. It would turn out, that I’d have nothing to be concerned about.

I began with the old sounds of alpha, the babbling brook*. I existed there of a few minutes before falling lower and hearing the beach gently lapping at my awareness*. There was something different though, today, I was really at the beach. I found myself on a west-coast shore, sun setting magic on the horizon.

Behind me, the dunes, and beyond them was great looking house. I walked up, feeling the sand and then the beach grass underfoot. It felt so real, so vivid, it was hard to tell that I was not there in reality. The house was warm and light, beautifully appointed, in just my tastes. I strolled through the open slider and into the wide living area. I saw a hallway inside, with hanging mirrors on the walls. I approached, and my own image reflected back at me.

A little fear… a thought… some anxiety… and the sounds of the alpha brook* took over. I was judging, analyzing, scrutinizing. I could feel the vivid reality of the beach house melting away, so I quickly returned to the front where I could just notice the grass beneath my feet. So real, fresh and satisfying, grounding me. And with that, the beach sounds of theta* confirmed the reality of the mindscape once again.

So I returned. As I approached the mirrored hallway for the second time, I could hear a voice, or maybe it was just a knowing, that everything was okay, that I was okay, and that there was nothing to fear. I stood in front of the mirror and stared for a long time. It was me staring back – but this time with loving eyes – no judgment, just acceptance. I could continue…

And as a relieving feeling swept through me, I noticed for the first time a closed door at the end of the hall. I was drawn to it. Is that a star on the door? It was like those old-time movie star dressing room stars. The knowing informed me that, “I am king.”

The door opened up to a beautiful room, book shelves stacked with all the knowledge of the world… and beyond, comfortable chairs, desks for writing, perhaps even editing. This was a room of beauty, or pure creating. The windows overlooked the still setting sun and sandy expanse before it. Such beauty. I had found a creative sanctuary – the ultimate producing space within myself where all ideas coagulate from what the great artists and inventors might call infinite intelligence. Peace.

I do not remember much after this. Only that something happened, some thing that I don’t need to remember. I came to – back into the “real world” – with a start. The session was over.

As my trainer took the electrodes off my scalp, I reacclimatized to my surroundings. It felt like I was gone for only five minutes – and yet, a long time in my sanctuary. The session was 45 minutes in real-time. A longer session by over ten minutes. Perhaps my trainer wanted to see what would happen. I’m glad for the extra time. Bliss.

Looking at the graph,* I could see that it took me a good five minutes to get into a cross-over state*. Pretty good. I was almost 20 minutes in and out of this crossing. Then, I was in theta for a good 10 minutes solid. A spike in alpha brought me back out to a cross-over for another few minutes (could this have been when I looked in the mirror the first time?). Then I dove into a deep theta state for the remaining ten minutes. That’s when I “woke,” having noticed the feedback tones had gone.

My trainer and I talked about what I had experienced. It was different today because this was a place I’d not consciously constructed with my imagination. It had just sprung up spontaneously, and perfectly formed, with a lucid reality so convincing it had activated every sense in my awareness. It felt like a real place.

We discussed my being in the “flow state,” lately. I told him about how when I needed money, I would get a phone call asking me to work, before I would even get a chance to look for work myself. I also told him of the wonderful synchronicities my girlfriend and I had been experiencing, and the blossoming of our relationship on a pure and clear level.

I now realized that I had no fear in “being myself” around new people I only just met. A huge new and exciting thing for me. I told him of my ability now, to simply observe when trivial arguments form, instead of getting mixed up in them and adding to the suffering, I could be detached in a healthy way and just be. I would be completely present.

Another huge thing for me that had been happening – or rather not happening anymore was the negative self-talk. I used to have the compulsive habit of running a negative mental “rehearsal” over and over in my head before a meeting or some other event with people. Now that was largely gone, or I’d be able to stop it in it’s tracks now, just by noticing it. Now my interactions with people were more spontaneous and natural – more successful and genuine. A direct result of deeper connection with source, unfiltered by the negative bull-shit of self-talk.

It would be great to write about my experiences, my trainer suggested. I told him about this journal and the ease at which it had been flowing, increasing every day. Some days I’d begin writing not expecting anything to flow and being completely surprised by the buried gold that I would unearth, words pouring onto the screen of my mind quicker than I could type. Not to mention it was becoming a pleasure. I had rediscovered what it used to be like to write: a pleasure.

Same with work. Still high-pressure, deadlines and the like, but now it was fun with far less anxiety about getting it done. Now I could have fun with it, not hurry, and still complete it in time.

I feel like I’m now able to just go for it – ideas able to flow freely and frequently. All I need do is get into the state! Relax into theta for half an hour or so, then reemerge to write, create.

I left the room wishing my trainer well, buzzing from the excitement and passion I was feeling for life. There has been a switch thrown inside me – where I was now seeing the world around me in terms of possibility again (reminding me of being a kid again), instead of being closed off, and thinking in terms of “necessity” or “have-to’s.” My life looks brighter and I feel so happy.

Funny, I thought contentment would stop me from wanting to achieve anything – but it seems the exact opposite is true – feel the feelings first, and the motivation takes care of itself. I face a highway of infinite possibilities, happy, peaceful, and excited about the joy of it all. And all because of remembering to feel the grass beneath my feet.

… end journal entry.

Notes:

  1. This bio-feedback brain training protocol is called Alpha-Theta. The aim is to allow your brain (not mind) to unconsciously learn to go into a deep theta-brainwave-dominant state. This is a very emotionally healing super-conscious state which many great people have used to gain access to Infinite Intelligence (a.k.a. the Akashic Records).
  2. Your brainwaves are monitored through electrodes, via computer, interpreted and then “played” as sounds through headphones. Different sounds play for different states, so your brain becomes aware of what it is doing by this sophisticated feedback loop.
  3. In this particular protocol, when my brain was generating a certain percentage of alpha waves, the sound of a babbling brook would play.
  4. When theta would begin to arise, the sounds of the ocean would take over.
  5. Your brainwaves are graphed on an electro-encephalogram (EEG), so your trainer can see what your brain is “doing,” and for your reference later.
  6. “Crossover” refers to when your theta brainwaves become more powerful (higher amplitude) than your alpha waves. You can see the two lines on the graph cross over each other.

You don’t need to know any of the tech to benefit from biofeedback. Your brain does the work. You just have to get out of the way, and let it be.

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Jim Hudson

Meditator and image-maker. Silencer of monkey-minds. From illness and depression, Jim has clambered his way through to health and fulfillment using diet & meditation. Read about his experiences, and watch his videos right here on the site.

Show 2 Comments
  • John Muldoon January 9, 2013, 4:06 pm

    Hey Jim, I stumbled across your site via Fizzle, and I really like your blog.

    This post in particular was really interesting to me because I just met one of the most prolific researchers in the field of neurofeedback. I met him yesterday. So, kind of weird to stumble across your post today.

    Anyway, I’m planning to do some neurofeedback and I just wondered if you had any thoughts about it that you didn’t include in this post. Do you still do it? Do you feel like it changed you? Basically looking for the good, bad, etc. from someone who is further down the road than I am.

    Cheers!

    • Jim January 9, 2013, 5:30 pm

      Hey John. Funny, I recognized your name from Fizzle right away, though I’ve hardly been on there (it’s great tho). Good to have you here.

      I can highly recommend doing neurofeedback with a professional. I would budget for 20 sessions minimum in a row. That’s what I did spread out over about 2 months.

      There is huge experiential value in the training itself, but also in the discussions after each session with the trainer. They’re usually PhD level therapists, researchers etc. One anecdote I heard I quite enjoyed: When a prominent Buddhist monk did a few sessions in the 70s he remarked how it could speed up one’s spiritual journey by about 20 years. High praise! I can certainly understand why, although it’s not something I can explain.

      Now, I have my own set up at home for myself, partner, and some clients. I also use it to develop my own brainwave entrainment audio technology, so I can get as much efficiency out of them as possible.

      I also belong to a group of neurofeedback practitioners, so can ask around for someone in your area (unless you’re going to work with the researcher you met yesterday). Let me know.

      So, to answer your question did it change me? No, it didn’t. Rather, it gave me the conscious awareness to affect change in myself naturally. The experience is like a flowering, an unfolding of consciousness. To see one’s place in the universe, as the universe.

      It’s been the single most effective tool in my personal growth journey thus far.

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