Invented by C. Maxwell Cade in 1974 to explore and map consciousness, the Mind Mirror is still the most efficient, effective electro-encephalographic (EEG) biofeedback device in existence. This spectrum analyzer picks up and depicts the electrical activities (brainwaves) of the mind in frequency bands that pulse horizontally. The instrument's unique pass band filters screen out electromagnetic interference and allow for real-time accuracy.
In EEG biofeedback sessions with a Mind Mirror, the consciousness trainer ushers people into deep, profound meditations to access inner imagery in the subconscious mind of creativity, insight and healing.
Expanding awareness from the conscious to the subconscious opens the mind to itself and stimulates inner transformation. The result is a quiet, relaxed equanimity and presence of mind that resolves issues to maintain an awakened awareness. The brainwaves shown here represent two peak states of awareness: the awakened mind (shaped like a human) shifting into the apex of consciousness: the circle of the evolved mind.
Judith Pennington, meditation teacher and consciousness trainer, opens private sessions with a visual explanation of the brainwave biofeedback map of the mind developed by Cade and used today by virtually all consciousness researchers. The Mind Mirror depicts four brainwave categories including, from the highest to the lowest frequencies, beta, alpha, theta and delta. By the end of the session, the client is thoroughly familiar with how the mind works and how to navigate into deep-state meditation.
The hook-up is easy: Judith wraps a headband around the client's head, parts the hair in five locations to expose bare scalp, and places on each site a gel-filled electrode (sensor) connected to a braided-wire harness that plugs into the Mind Mirror. The electrical current traveling from the brain into the electrode and the battery-operated EEG projects brainwave frequencies onto a computer screen in real time. No current is ever sent into the brain. Watch a slideshow
After testing the Mind Mirror hook-up, Judith places two ESR electrodes in the palm of the client's hand to measure relaxation and arousal levels. The ESR tracks the physical descent into relaxation, while the Mind Mirror reflects deepening states of awareness. These two indicators enable Judith, an integral part of the biofeedback loop, to monitor and guide the meditator to optimal awareness with peak access to the content of consciousness.
Once the equipment is set up, Judith asks what the client wants to accomplish in the session. There are two basic choices.
1) For a brainwave profile, one performs a series of mental tasks designed to evoke specific brainwave patterns; these patterns show what brainwave categories need development;
2) Working with a self-discovery, healing or transformation meditation to resolve a question, issue or challenge provides that brainwave development.
Meditations last 20 to 45 minutes, depending on the client's needs. In the depths of the subconscious mind the meditator finds insights, solutions, and the inner certainty needed to access and use information. Sometimes a belief or fear blocks access to subconscious creativity and insight. In this case, Judith helps the client address and clear the obstacle to reach the open, flowing awareness of deep, profound meditation.
With the removal of one or more blocks in consciousness, the client's brainwave patterns change dramatically as freed-up energy surges through the bodymind to produce an "aha" understanding. With the release of suppressed creativity, creative thought-flows well up with fresh, new solutions for work projects, relationships, or life in general.
This "awakening" process in the mind stimulates a constant flow of creativity, insight, physical healing, and, ultimately, awareness of the spiritual aspects of life.
Meditation and hypnosis have a great deal in common, since both deepen the mind into subconscious awareness. The brainwaves of meditation and hypnosis are similar, but non-meditators report that hypnosis feels like a deeper and more stable state of consciousness. Conversely, seasoned practitioners find meditation very stable and prefer it. Both bypass the ego to gain accessible insights into the problem at hand.
For people experiencing extreme duress in the body, mind or spirit, gentle hypnosis can be a better initial approach to inner transformation work. While hypnosis does not produce any greater truths or better outcomes than meditation, it does help highly aroused non-meditators relax deeply enough to unerringly reach and maintain the stability and continuity of consciousness needed for effective healing.
Once we reach and experience the calm peacefulness of a deep, profound state of consciousness, that state is easier to access in self-hypnosis, guided meditation and silent, self-guided reverie.
Hypnosis offers one other advantage. The hypnotist can easily deepen the client into the unconscious mind, which controls the involuntary nervous system. Suggestions to the unconscious mind that the body balance and heal itself are extremely effective with everything from insomnia and pain control to understanding and dealing with illness and injury.
The use of EEG equipment gives the hypnotist an important advantage. By being able to essentially look into the mind, the consciousness trainer-hypnotist can see where blocks exist, when to make a suggestion, and when the work is done. As in meditation, clearing blocks in consciousness makes brainwaves more organized, symmetrical and stronger in amplitude. Cleared of impedances, the mind grows stronger, more efficient, and more open and intelligent.
Clients can awaken from hypnosis and meditation at any time.
Whether Judith and the client choose biofeedback meditation, hypnosis, or a combination of the two, creating a landmark is one of the most important goals of the session. This shortcut back to relaxation, meditation, the awakened mind, or spiritual awareness gives us mastery over emotions and the stability of mind that enables us to self-evolve.
A landmark is a word, image, concept or body sensation that represents the felt sense of a specific state of consciousness. When Judith sees a peak brainwave pattern on the Mind Mirror, she cues the client to find a landmark that represents that state.
Later on, the client uses this landmark to reaccess the peak pattern. Since the brain can't tell the difference between a real and an imagined event, bringing a landmark to mind reproduces the same brainwaves, memories, insights and experiences.
Every event in space-time is a landmark, since it creates a memory. Remembering a stressful experience in the past reinvokes it in the body, mind and spirit. Unplugging old neural circuitry (stress, hurtful memories, destructive patterns of thinking) frees the mind to plug in to happier, more joyful states of awareness.
Insight, healing and transformation meditations shift the vibrations of consciousness. The change shows up on the Mind Mirror as increased symmetry and organization in the brain. This produces the mental clarity that is characteristic of the meditation state and the awakened mind.
Once we landmark a new, higher state of awareness, we can easily shift back to it by remembering how it feels. Landmarks give us mastery over our brainwave states and quality of life.
The processing period after the session forms the basis for Judith's recommendations for further development. First, the client shares his/her inner experience to anchor it in conscious memory; this also allows Judith to match subjective experience to measurements on the ESR and Mind Mirror. The client selects from the Lesh scale the best description of the state reached in order to check the accuracy of the instruments.
The match is always infallible. This is the beauty of the Mind Mirror: Just like the smooth, glassy surface of a lake, it reflects without distortion exactly what is happening in consciousness.
Next, Judith shows the client her sketches. These easy-to-read drawings include the most interesting brainwave patterns with notations of when they occurred in the meditation and at precisely what time, down to the second. Correlated to the computer recording, these vignettes of information help the client relate subjective to objective experience.
By now, the client experientially grasps how to navigate through the layers of the mind. Using the same meditation structures, landmarks, and the brainwave map to descend into the depths of the subconscious and unconscious, the client is able to meditate, access guiding imagery, and clear inner blocks causing self-separation and disharmony.
Seeing patterns in the computer recording increases the client's trust in, understanding of, and feel for how consciousness works. Taken together, the ESR, Mind Mirror and Lesh scale measurements enable the client to fully understand Judith's recommendations for continued development.
Brainwave training with an adept practitioner takes the guesswork out of meditation and helps people reach goals of great importance to them. It is also an opportunity to attain a deep, profound meditation state that unites the inner being as nothing else can.
It takes discipline – the core of self-mastery – to commit to regular meditation. But it is also true that meditation draws us back to it for the sheer pleasure of its calm, peaceful mental clarity. The creativity arising in meditation can last for hours or days afterward. This makes work and relationships easier, and it increases one's life span.
In each practice of meditation, we gain mastery by entering a peak state faster, always going deeper along well-known, familiar, thoroughly landmarked paths.
Brainwaves are measured in amplitude (the strength of the electrical signal, measured in microvolts) and frequency, the speed of the electrical undulations, measured in cycles per second (cps), or hertz (hz).
The four brainwave categories shown here range in frequency from 44 to .75 hertz (cycles per second): from highest to lowest, beta, alpha, theta, and delta. Each category is animated by specific types of brain activity, explained below.
BETA – The conscious thinking mind of external awareness (about 44-14 hz.) which logically thinks, reasons and plans. Multi- tasking, list-making and decision-making speed up beta to form the high-frequency, high-amplitude pattern shown here. A person experiencing stress, anxiety and panic would show greater amplitude, asymmetry and a disorganized pulsation of thought.
ALPHA – The brainwaves of relaxed, detached awareness (about 14-8 hz.). Daydreaming and visuo-spatial, sensory experience in nature (or guided meditation) animate alpha, the frequency bridge between conscious and sub-conscious awareness.
THETA – The subconscious mind (about 8-4 hz.). These brainwaves, also present in dreaming sleep, are where we access our memories, insights, creativity, and spiritual awareness. Inner wisdom is found here, along with what needs to be healed and the means of healing or transforming it.
DELTA – The personal unconscious present in dreamless sleep (about 4-.75 hz.) In waking states, delta is our personal radar. It reaches out to sense intuitive, or psychic, information that is otherwise unknowable. Empathy and hypervigilance stimulate delta brainwaves. Psychics and healers typically have expansive delta, for sending and receiving energy.
Everyone produces some or all four brainwave categories in pulsing patterns that shift and change, depending on what we are doing. The focused awareness and sustained attention of deep meditation quiet thought and generate an alpha bridge that opens the mind to itself. The awakened mind, an open flow of awareness, orchestrates access to all frequency layers and their content: memory, insight, intuition, creativity and spiritual awareness.
While meditation does the best job of opening awareness, the awakened mind is also produced by creative endeavor and spiritual practice.
In the meditation state, beta is quiet. The alpha bridge is open to the memories, insights, creativity, and spiritual awareness available in theta. The combination of alpha and theta brainwaves defines meditation, with or without the presence of delta. Delta, the unconscious connection to Universal Mind, is present in most people.
The meditation pattern, with the external awareness of beta, defines the awakened mind: a combination of inner and outer awareness, with a free flow of information between the layers of the mind. The awakened mind is open and receptive to itself, others and the world. Ready access to creativity and insights makes the awakened mind an "aha!" experience of ideas, solutions and self-actualization.
The self-aware, awakened mind recognizes its unlimited potential. It can resolve and heal anything in the subconscious and personal unconscious. Connected through its lowest, slowest brainwaves to the universal awareness of the Collective Unconscious, its intuition can access any information.
For the awakened mind, introspection is a way of life. The quiet, disciplined conscious mind, awake and asleep, looks within itself for guiding insights and imagery, dreams and synchronicity. Looking into the mirrors of life, the awakened mind interprets lessons and constantly clears blocks to stay open to self, others and the Field. This is enlightened self-mastery.
Sometimes right away, more often with disciplined practice, the awakened awareness of meditation generalizes into ordinary life as the high-performance mind of creative, successful people. With spiritual awareness, this is the awakened mind of the masters, seeking the light of transcendence.
Self-mastery, inner transformation, and the resultant high-voltage brainpower of the awakened mind are amplifying consciousness into the next stage of human evolution, the evolved mind.
The Evolved Mind brainwave pattern is the light-filled awareness at the apex of human consciousness. It is an evolutionary leap beyond the awakened mind.
The evolved mind shows up on the Mind Mirror as a circle of high-amplitude brainwaves. Beta and alpha merge, with delta lifting up into theta as what was unconscious becomes conscious. However briefly, all blocks and boundaries disappear in this open flow of awareness, both within self and as delta's personal unconscious merges with the Collective Unconscious.
The meditator experiences joy, bliss, pure awareness, and union with all of reality. Intense sensations of light at the crown of the head and the third eye area of the forehead bring physical healing, higher perspectives, self-realization, and the transcendent awareness of enlightenment.
While in past decades the Evolved Mind showed up only once in awhile, it appears far more often today. Judith has seen flares of the evolved mind circle in private sessions and group brainwave trainings, both in her home and during seminars at the Esalen Institute.
Partial evolved mind patterns appear fairly often in seasoned meditators, spiritually advanced people, and during group trainings designed to incrementally expand the mind. Consciousness moves naturally toward transcendence during advanced meditations and on any other occasion that meditators reach for universal awareness.
The awakened mind of the master and the evolved mind of enlightened mastery are available to anyone willing to do the work to develop them. These expanded states are our birthright as sentient beings living on a rapidly evolving planet.
Cade, C. Maxwell and Nona Coxhead. The Awakened Mind: Biofeedback and the Development of Higher States of Awareness. Element Books, Shaftesbury, Dorset, England, 1989.
Pennington, Judith. The Meditation Experience: A Guide to Higher States of Awareness. Soon to be published as a downloadable ebook.
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.
* www.mindmirroreeg.com Read the People section for stories about Max Cade and other early awakened mind researchers. Some of the information on this page comes from this authoritative website.
* www.annawise.com Visit this site to learn more about Anna Wise and her ongoing work to awaken awareness. The only other person offering group brainwave trainings in America, Wise teaches exclusively at the Esalen Institute in Big Sur, California.
* www.eaglelife.com Judith Pennington's primary website opens to two free e-publications, The Still, Small Voice and OneWorld Spirit, dedicated to personal healing and consciousness expansion through meditation, brainwave mastery, sound and self-awareness.