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Awakened Mind Workshops

Judith Pennington has presented Anna Wise’s
"map of the mind" in coast-to-coast meditation
and consciousness workshops
since 2001.

To schedule an Awakened Mind workshop or private session, contact us by e-mail or telephone (610) 837-4166. These workshops are tailored to the specific needs of groups and organizations.

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Introduction
Overview
How It Works
Awakened Mind Workshops
The Healing History of EEG Biofeedback
Consciousness Development
The Awakened Mind
The Evolved Mind
Brain Waves and Behavior
Brain Waves and the Body
Select Bibliography and Web Sites
 

Introduction

EEG biofeedback, or neurofeedback, is a revolutionary breakthrough in the exploration of meditation and consciousness, and is reportedly the single fastest-growing field in health care today. Since the 1950s, practitioners have used biofeedback to reverse brain anomalies like epilepsy, panic disorder, anxiety, depression, and Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD).

One type of neurofeedback is brain wave (EEG) biofeedback meditation, a psychospiritual tool for consciousness development that awakens and connects the frequencies of the brain/mind and consequently enhances brain function, intelligence, sensitivity and awareness, intuition and overall health.

In terms of mind expansion, EEG biofeedback has no equal. Brainwave mastery enables meditators to deepen into profound meditation states for self-discovery, healing and transformation, and as a result of this inner work, to steadily expand awareness into the distinctive frequencies of the Awakened and Evolved Mind patterns (images shown below).

Brain wave biofeedback has produced a remarkable body of research on human psychophysiology and consciousness. It confirms without a doubt that the body and mind are so closely linked as to be one and the same: heal the body, heal the mind, and vice-versa.



 

Overview

Brainwave biofeedback meditation is the scientific way to deepen your meditations, awaken your mind, and evolve into the best that you can be. Invented in London during the 1970s by the late C. Maxwell Cade and further developed by humanistic psychologist Anna Wise, this technology enhances mental clarity, creativity, insight, intuition, and spiritual awareness, thus producing what is known as the awakened mind of the masters. The Awakened Mind expands into its fullest potential, heals its body and soul, and typically embarks on an adventurous life journey of personal mastery and spiritual growth.

Judith Pennington, certified by Wise as an EEG consciousness trainer, is one of only 15 to 20 practitioners in the world using biofeedback meditation to help people master their brain waves and awaken their minds. The founder of Eagle Life Communications, Judith teaches meditation and mind expansion across America; produces guided meditations; and offers private sessions of meditation and awakened mind training.

In her own practice, and while assisting Anna Wise at her five-day seminars at Esalen Institute, the leading growth center in the United States, Judith has watched the brain waves of hundreds of people steadily progress into awakened mind patterns and, in many cases, an even more advanced state: the Evolved Mind pattern. The expansion of consciousness into higher states is consistent, tangible, and lasting. Over time, self-awareness and regular meditation continue to stabilize the awakened mind pattern until it becomes a way of life.

Judith points out that this is how the masters attain the self-discipline and spiritual intuition that lead to enlightenment.

 
 
 
Book a Session New! Group Brainwave Trainings
 
Note: Telephone Judith at (610) 837-4166 to schedule a private EEG
biofeedback session or to host a group brainwave training. Revisit us
soon to see our new dedicated brainwave training website.
 

How It Works

 
 

The Mind Mirror invented by Cade is a spectrum analyzer that receives the electrical current generated by thought and splits these brain waves into frequencies showing up on a computer screen as moving horizontal bands. The moving bands comprise patterns of consciousness.

The biofeedback therapist, while observing these brain wave patterns, is able to guide the client into a deep, profound meditation geared to self-discovery, healing or transformation, in accordance with the client’s stated needs. The meditator usually experiences an expansion of creativity, insight and healing in the course of a 90-minute session, some 30 minutes of which are the guided meditation. Fifteen minutes are dedicated to hooking up the client to the Mind Mirror; the remainder, to processing what the client experienced and recommending a plan of action for further mind expansion. 

At the close of the session, the consciousness trainer shows the client a series of brain wave drawings made at different stages during the meditation and may refer to the real-time patterns stored in a computer record of the session. The therapist also reports on the stages of physical arousal or relaxation measured by an Electrical Skin Response (ESR) meter manufactured in England as a complement to the Mind Mirror. These measurements of the body and mind, and the client’s reported states of consciousness, almost always agree and clearly indicate what brain wave categories, if any, need development. The therapist suggests ways to do this.

At home and work, the client uses landmarks (words or images) created during the session to enter meditation quicker and more easily, and to recreate peaceful, expanded states of mind. Regular meditation practice using these brain wave mastery techniques conditions the awakened mind pattern of clarity, creativity, insight, intuition, and spiritual awareness.

The “aha” understanding of the Awakened Mind comes from an open, flowing state of consciousness that is self-aware and connected to its spirit, others, and the world. The awakened mind creatively solves problems with the infinite wisdom of its subconscious and unconscious, and steadily shifts its locus of control from outer to inner authority.

Each session of biofeedback meditation yields profound, life-changing insights that steadily evolve the mind, heart, body and soul. 




The Healing History of EEG Biofeedback

This revolutionary technology dates back to the 1950s, when University of Chicago psychology professor Joe Kamiya hooked up graduate student Richard Bach to see what the brain waves of introspection looked like. Kamiya discovered that introspection and dreaming produce different brain wave frequencies. More importantly, he learned that the relaxed awareness of the alpha bandwidth of frequencies (8-14 hertz) were "felt" by Bach as a specific state and could be reproduced by him at will.

In the 1960s biomedical pioneer Barry Sterman (now professor emeritus of neurobiology and psychiatry at UCLA) used brain wave biofeedback to successfully treat epilepsy. Sterman’s remarkable successes began with his discovery that producing beta frequencies (12-15 hertz) over the sensorimotor cortex of a cat’s brain created a rhythm that enabled the cat to sleep better. Then Sterman taught more than a dozen cats to produce these beta frequencies in return for a shot of broth and milk.

The cats trained by Sterman in 12-15 hertz sensorimotor response (SMR) were inadvertently used in a U.S. Defense Department study designed to decrease the effects of a dangerously toxic rocket fuel on military pilots. Sterman found that the brains of the SMR-trained cats had been strengthened, which lowered their susceptibility threshold to the rocket fuel and induced specific, measurable physiological changes in their bodies: shifts in neural circuitry (that is, the electrical pathways of thought) and deeper levels of relaxation which reduced heart rate, respiration, reflex time and muscle tone.

Sterman’s study demonstrated a clear connection
between mind and physiology.

Other studies followed and in subsequent decades brain wave training proved successful in resolving a wide array of mental, emotional and physical ills including:

Epilepsy
Closed head injuries
Sleep disturbances
Stress
Anxiety
Depression
Post-traumatic stress syndrome
Attention deficit disorder (ADD)
Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
Memory problems
Learning disorders
Chronic fatigue syndrome
Fibromyalgia
Immune system dysfunction
Chronic pain
Addictions
Repressed memories
Unresolved emotional and physical trauma

While Sterman’s SMR and other site-specific brain wave training methods are direct and physiological in approach, the alpha, theta and delta ("deep state" meditation) training methods are a generalized approach that more closely resembles the psychotherapeutic model.

Essentially, the physiological and psychotherapeutic approaches to healing treat the same problems, only from different perspectives.


Consciousness Development

Neurofeedback was applied to consciousness research in the 1950s with Joe Kamiya in the United States and with C. Maxwell Cade in 1960s England. Cade, an electronics wizard and Zen meditation master, invented a unique EEG biofeedback device, the Mind Mirror, and took a more unrestrained approach to consciousness research than did Kamiya.

Cade wanted to trace the development of consciousness, so he measured the brain waves of spiritually advanced yogis in meditation and ordinary waking states. He discovered a common brain wave pattern and the key characteristics of the Awakened Mind: heightened mental clarity, creativity, insight, intuition and spiritual connection. Cade found that people with an Awakened Mind enjoy an open, flowing and highly creative state that is the hallmark of success in business and in everyday life.

In 1973, humanistic psychologist Anna Wise began to work with Cade in London. Over the next 30 years Wise conducted people into meditative states while they were hooked up to the Mind Mirror. Her discoveries profoundly advanced our understanding of consciousness, how it works and its direct influence on the body-mind.

In 1981, recognizing the ability of biofeedback meditation to awaken and evolve the mind and body, Wise returned to the United States and expanded beyond Cade’s focus on spirituality and consciousness. Over the next 20-odd years she measured the brain waves of artists, composers, dancers, inventors, mathematicians, scientists, CEOs and presidents of corporations.

She saw what Cade saw and more: People with the awakened, high-performance mind were high achievers often at the top of their professions. They are excited, enthusiastic and successful people enjoying an "aha" experience of life. No matter what their spiritual orientation, they know how to quiet the mind, go within and master their brain waves for insight, healing, creativity and a happy, satisfying life.

These awakened Westerners possessed the same qualities of mastery as the yogis and swamis measured by Max Cade.

The Qualities of Mastery

Compassion

Detachment

Nonjudgment

Clarity

Equanimity

Service

Love

As Wise explains in her books, people enjoying the qualities of mastery are compassionate, empathetic and helpful. They are warm, kind, peaceful and balanced people who are perceptive, insightful and do not criticize, judge or blame others. Nor does the awakened person attempt to control the thoughts or actions of other people. A person with an awakened mind is naturally devoted to love and service arising from a deep, heartfelt devotion to humanity and God, or divine consciousness.

Over the past 30 years, Wise has used biofeedback meditation training to research and develop in people this advanced state of consciousness. Her work and the Awakened Mind are more fully explained below and in The High-Performance Mind, the title of Wise’s ground-breaking book published by Jeremy Tarcher/Putnam in 1995. Its experiential followup, Awakening the Mind, was published by Tarcher in 2002.

Rather than develop a "one-size-fits-all" protocol for Awakened Mind training, Wise pioneered relaxation and mind-expansion techniques that enable people to experience biofeedback’s "felt sense of state" to recreate the state of consciousness that is optimal for the moment.


The Awakened Mind

If you wish to sharpen your mental acuity, creativity, insight and intuition to benefit your life and work, then biofeedback meditation will help you access and amplify the brain waves of the Awakened MindTM. This mental state opens to the deeper, core self and its instinctual development of our peak potential.
Connecting with the deeper self induces in us feelings of peace and a free-flowing connection to all that we are and can be. When our minds are awakened we know and better understand our needs, see and resolve challenges in creative, positive ways, and are clear about what we want in life and how to get it–at every step on the path to mastery. For most people, this self-directed approach to life is deeply fulfilling and translates into a sense of unbounded freedom and joy.

This is the life of evolutionary self-healing, creative problem-solving, heightened intuition, inventive leadership and interpersonal success.

The Evolved Mind

The Awakened Mind, while doing the work of inner transformation, naturally expands its brain waves into the transcendence of the Evolved Mind: a state of cosmic consciousness involving self-realization, spiritual connection, and psychic awareness. This is the enlightened master who heals and transforms the world. People who reach the Evolved Mind during biofeedback meditation describe it as “light-filled bliss and oneness.”

On the Mind Mirror the Evolved state shows up as a circle of very high-amplitude brain waves. This is experienced as oneness with the Quantum Field of universal energy. The Evolved Mind typically produces the joyful sensations of spiritual ecstasy.

While in past decades the Evolved Mind showed up on the Mind Mirror only once in awhile, it appears far more often today. Wise reports—and Judith also has observed—that increasing numbers of people are reaching this enlightened state in meditation and wish to train themselves to bring it out to the world.

As Wise points out, the Evolved Mind is an act of grace, a gift of consciousness. Nevertheless, Judith has developed techniques that tend to induce the Evolved Mind experience in seasoned meditators and, on occasion, in non-meditators involved in the healing arts. This expanded state of intuitive awareness can only be stimulated by someone who is awake, aware, and in touch with the light of higher consciousness. Once the mind awakens and begins to self-evolve, it draws closer to this transcendent state until it is perpetual.


Brain Waves and Behavior

A pivotal study conducted by Eugene Peniston, PhD. and psychologist, showed that the alpha-theta brain waves produced in Awakened Mind training promote healing states used to treat many things: from alcoholism and drug addiction to depression and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Using techniques learned at the Menninger Clinic, home to the earliest alpha-theta "deep-states" research, Peniston did brain wave training with chronic alcoholics at the Fort Lyon, Colorado, Veterans Hospital. His patients steadily grew more relaxed and became less depressed, their endorphin levels stabilized, and their MMPI personality profiles shifted in more desirable directions. They also quit drinking and three years later were still alcohol free.

A wealth of physiological research on alpha-theta (meditation) training confirms that brainwave mastery is the key to healing the body and mind. In a subsequent Peniston study, deep-states alpha-theta training with veterans suffering post-traumatic panic attacks, anxiety, depression, phobias, nightmares and flashbacks cured 12 of the 15 men trained over the course of a month. Thirty months later, they were living normal lives, while all 14 in the control group had relapsed.

The explanation is simple: Biofeedback meditation accesses deep states in which the brain shifts its chemistry and neural pathways. The brain and central nervous system heal themselves and then begin to heal the consciousness flowing through every cell of the body-mind.

Change your mind, change your life.


Healing brain waves

Who does not need a frequency tune-up? According to the latest research in psychology, only those people who grew up in a consistently safe, secure and nurturing family environment and have since led relatively stress- and trauma-free lives. Or people who did not have perfect families, but have since healed their wounds by pursuing self-healing paths such as Alcoholics Anonymous, yoga, meditation, psychotherapy and spiritual or religious studies.

Researchers say that a great many children—the majority of us, in fact—develop “attachment disorders” from parenting that was 1) inconsistent in significant ways; 2) cold and uncaring; or 3) cruelly punishing and abusive. These situations create in us:

Low self-esteem
Shame
The need to be right
Co-dependency with abusers
Overachieving workaholism
Addiction to drugs, alcohol, food, sex and fame
Dissociation from the body
Emotional problems
The inability to form happy, healthy relationships

People with attachment disorder are literally unable to make real connection with themselves and others. Right-brain feelings (emotions) are disconnected from left-brain thinking (reason), which impairs the human ability to regulate emotions and self-soothe. The result is pain, personal problems and potentially ill health.

People who do not normalize the personality’s damaged neural networks by instinctively self-healing with awareness programs and/or direct connection with a higher power attempt to self-medicate with drugs and alcohol, prostitution, suicide and crime. Sadly, it is now known that the majority of people in mental hospitals and jails were abused and neglected in childhood.

This writer and many researchers believe that brain wave training speeds up the self-healing process by conducting people into meditative alpha-theta states that:

Balance left-brain thinking with right-brain emotion
Reconnect us with the core self and
Awaken us to the love, trust, faith and light-filled hope within us
and our higher power

This body-mind awakening works so well because a capable practitioner is able to objectively facilitate the healing process by watching brain wave changes on the EEG monitor. The EEG is an electronic map that guides people back to health.

Peniston’s research proved this definitively, as have dozens of similar studies repeated over the past few decades.

Brain waves and violence

Brain wave training done with violent criminals provides yet stronger proof and illustrates the extraordinary ability of consciousness development to heal the human brain and nervous system.

Postmortem work and MRI studies have shown that some people who are cruelly abused and neglected as infants and children develop 20 percent fewer neurons in the prefrontal cortex of the brain, where rational thought is processed; as a result, they are unable to make reasoned decisions or grasp the consequences of their actions.

Mentally and physically “deadened” by the lack of love, they are unable to empathize, trust or attach; process their emotions in the right prefrontal cortex, the seat of negative feelings like rage, jealousy, hatred, vengeance and depression; and become aggressive, antisocial and cold-blooded criminals "hard-wired" for trouble.

Deep-states brain wave training reverses these conditions.

In research carried out by Douglas Quirk, a Ph.D. psychologist at the Ontario Correctional Institute near Toronto, criminals trained to produce the alpha-theta frequencies of meditation (the threshold of the Awakened Mind) shifted their brain wave activity to the more positive left prefrontal cortex where we experience love, joy, peace and compassion.

In another study, Quirk did brain wave training with 77 convicts using Barry Sterman’s 12-15 hertz SMR protocol and galvanic skin response (see History) to teach the offenders to relax. Quirk believed all of the subjects to be victims of head injury or abuse that created in them, as in epileptics, an electrical "seizure" in the drive centers of the brain. They exhibited sudden rages, violent or addictive behavior, and uncontrolled acts.

A year and a half after the offenders were released from prison, Quirk found that those who had received zero to four sessions of brain wave training had a 65 percent rate of rearrests for violent offenses, a figure in keeping with the national recidivism rate. But those who received thirty-four or more sessions from Quirk had an astonishingly low 20 percent rate of rearrest.

EEG biofeedback meditation and self-healing programs connect left-brain reason with right-brain emotion; amp-up the left prefrontal cortex to shift from negative to positive emotional processing; increase blood flow to grow new neurons; and enhance body-mind awareness as the brain and central nervous system build and improve their circuitry.

In these studies we see the same trend as in Awakened Mind training: Once people experience peaceful, meditative states and expanded perspectives, neural pathways shift, brain cells grow and the result is a new start in life.


Brain Waves and the Body

Many scientists believe that neurofeedback heals epilepsy, brain injury and other neurological disorders by flooding the dendrites (thought-impulse receptors) in the area of the brain being trained. The blood flow reorganizes and strengthens existing connections so that cells can self-regulate.

Brain wave training is widely believed to increase the stability and flexibility of the brain, or its ability to move between mental states. The healthier the neurons, the healthier the systems they govern.

While most brain wave research comes out of studies on epilepsy, ADD and alcoholism, the anecdotal evidence, stories and data gathered by thousands of well-trained, intelligent professionals is compelling, according to Jim Robbins, author of A Symphony in the Brain: The Evolution of the New Brain Wave Biofeedback. Of particular interest is a theory posed by EEG biofeedback practitioners who believe that the health of the body derives from the health of the brain and/or central nervous system. The theory goes like this:

A chronically overaroused nervous system produces physical and mental stress, anxiety, agitation, impulsivity and anger. Hyperarousal is thought to be the cause of nervous system burnout and physical conditions like chronic fatigue syndrome and fibromyalgia, among others.

A chronically underaroused nervous system produces some types of depression, lack of motivation and spaciness.

Brain instability produces bipolar disorder, migraines, PMS, panic attacks, motor and vocal tics, vertigo, teeth grinding, epilepsy and other problems. An analogy used to explain brain instability is an automobile with loose lug nuts and a wobbly front end. Sometimes the car drives well, but at other times it veers off in one direction or another and there is nothing the driver can do.

In the above model nearly all health problems flow from overarousal, underarousal or instability in the central nervous system. When any of these conditions causes too much stress in the brain and body, predisposed conditions flare up: joint pain, sleeplessness, migraines, panic attacks, depression, anxiety, attentional problems and so forth.

This theory could conceivably hold the secret to the body-mind connection: 1) A stressed central nervous system "shorts out" and causes problems. 2) Neurofeedback corrects them by relaxing the body and rebalancing the brain, which reconnects and heals the central nervous system; the CNS can then work to re-coordinate a large number of interconnected systems within the body and mind.

Every researcher would agree that neurofeedback is all about restoring the body-mind balance that creates health.

Select Bibliography

Cade, C. Maxwell and Nona Coxhead. The Awakened Mind: Biofeedback and the Development of Higher States of Awareness. Element Books, Shaftesbury, Dorset, England, 1989.

Green, Elmer & Alyce. Beyond Biofeedback. Delacorte Press, San Francisco, 1977.

Muktenanda, Swami. Play of Consciousness: A Spiritual Autobiography. The Syda Foundation, A Siddha Yoga Publication. Fallsburg, New York, 1994.

Robbins, Jim. A Symphony in the Brain: The Evolution of the New Brain Wave Biofeedback.

Sannella, Lee M.D. The Kundalini Experience. Integral Publishing, Lower Lake, California, 1976.

Saraswati, Swami Satyananda. Meditation From the Tantras. Yoga Publications Trust, Munger, Bihar, India, 2000.

Wise, Anna. Awakening the Mind: A Guide to Mastering the Power of Your Brain Waves. Jeremy P. Tarcher/Putnam. New York, 2002.

Wise, Anna. The High-Performance Mind: Mastering Brainwaves for Insight, Healing and Creativity. Jeremy P. Tarcher/Putnam. New York, 1995.

Web Sites

* www.annawise.com Visit this site to learn more about Anna Wise and to see the brain wave patterns and frequencies of the Awakened and Evolved Mind patterns. Also shown are particulars on the Mind Mirror.

* www.futurehealth.org The most informative biofeedback research organization on the web. Contains information on the annual Winter Brain even and abstracts by leaders in this field.

* www.aapb.org (Association of Applied Psychophysiological Biofeedback). A professional organization for all kinds of biofeedback research. The largest group within the organization is that of EEG practitioners.

 
 
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