It was a match made in heaven, considering our mutual devotion to the exploration of consciousness through the alteration of brainwave frequencies.
Baselines and SAM
Newly certified Awakened Mind Coach Laura Eichman and I arrived there in mid-afternoon on Saturday, June 17. The beauty of TMI's vast property, nestled in the rolling green foothills of Virginia's Blue Ridge Mountains, made us feel like we'd landed in heaven.
We enjoyed the stunning scenery all week, but most of the time found ourselves trotting through it at a fast clip! On the first evening, after I presented a Power Point program on the Awakened Mind and Mind Mirror, we hooked up eight of the 14 program participants to do baseline EEG measurements.
Never before had a study of this size been undertaken with the Mind Mirror. So we were cautious and thorough. Charlottesville neurofeedback therapist and Mind Mirror Practitioner Robin Bernhard had tested signal quality in the huge training room two weeks before. She followed up with a second test: compatibility between her Bluetooth digital sampling unit and TMI's Bluetooth headphones. I'd bought USB Emission Filters for three USB DSUs we would also use, and all of our sensors had been carefully tested. We were as ready as we could be.
Still, while setting up the equipment that first night we hustled, and that headlong pace continued for a couple of days until we streamlined operations and caught our stride.
The baseline measurements were what you might expect: one minute with eyes open and three minutes with eyes closed in silent, self-guided contemplation then an alpha-theta Animal Sensualization followed by content processing. We conducted baselines for the remaining six people the next morning.
For the next few days we zoomed around hooking people up and processing two 30- to 40-minute SAM meditations per day. Between sessions, we tested batteries, cleaned sensors, organized brainwave drawings, showed people their brainwave patterns, and started on the data analysis.
Laura and Robin by the TMI Crystal
Laura and Robin drawing patterns
SSAM refers to "spatial angle modulation," a method of delivering sound to the brain which involves 3-D movement in an arc of sound. As program presenter and SAM innovator Bob Holbrook put it,
"The brain contains a lot of water, so the conductivity (of SAM frequencies) is great."
Bob, an anthropologist by vocation and musician/music innovator by avocation, has spent years creating audio protocols for the SAM technology, which artistically interweaves layers of supporting frequencies blended harmonically with music and beats.
His audio mixes keep people awake as they descend into 7.83 and 0.4-hertz frequencies. Unlike other systems, they do not cause headaches or adverse effects.
Orchestrating a New Music in the Brain
In a very real way, SAM technology is orchestrating a new music in the brain. Holbrook uses it in Chicago, where he lives, in his work with addicts and veterans with PTSD. Typically, he drops the tones into deep delta to "defragment and clean up the circuits" then returns to alpha-theta. Other frequency patternings are involved, but essentially, he is "rebooting the computer" to the brain's default mode, which promotes healing and neuroplasticity.
At TMI he uses SAM in the "Happiness" program and "The Event Horizon" to lift people into higher dimensions of awareness.
The "Happiness" program participants came from all walks in life, and most signed up for the program specifically to learn about their brainwave patterns.
They were as excited as we were, and several of them helped us with the hookups, most useful when we were monitoring all 14 people simultaneously.
We were beautifully organized, with sufficient equipment and the vast stores of energy needed to monitor and process the meditations of that many people twice a day. And what experiences they had!
Laura and Felice having fun during the hookup
Ross Dunseath in a TMI sound lab
Our feedback about the participants' steadily evolving brainwave patterns was music to the ears of Bob Holbrook, his South African wife Marinda, who co-presented with him, and Dr. Ross Dunseath. Ross is a TMI research coordinator who is also co-director of the Westphal Neuroimaging Lab of the Division of Perceptual Studies at the University of Virginia, where he is engaged in physiological studies of psi phenomena.
Ross kindly monitored our fourth DSU and quickly learned to recognize brainwave patterns. He was especially interested in the possibility of brainwave synchronization among participants.
Robin, Laura and I are still processing the data, but we generally agreed on what the Mind Mirror reflected over the course of our five days at TMI.
Preliminary results show:
Tremendous synchronization in people's brainwave patterns as they listened via Bluetooth headphones to the SAM meditations in pods of four people lying back in gravity chairs and on air mattresses. We used four DSUs for the 14 people, ten of whom were hooked up to the new 0.5-100Hz EEG sensors.
Extraordinary subjective experiences ranging from angelic encounters and powerful, life-changing insights to unprecedented levels of inner peace, happiness and clarity.
Progressive brainwave evolution into the Awakened Mind pattern and partial and full Evolved Mind patterns, all the way into the high-gamma amplitudes of the Superconscious and Universal Consciousness patterns, of which we saw many. The latter pattern is extremely rare.
Robin (at front) sets up to record a session
Laura tests the hookup (foreground), while Marinda (at back) watches over the group
The training room. Far left: Beth Vaughan. Robin (front, right) shows pattern drawings to a meditator
One man held a strong Evolved Mind pattern for more than three minutes, which was startling to see, as the pattern usually flares for one or two seconds at a time. At least two people showed eyes-open Awakened Mind patterns at the time of the Opening Baselines, a clear tribute to the effectiveness of TMI's Hemi-Sync and the SAM technology. Some 95 percent of the meditations experienced during the "Happiness" program involved SAM.
A majority of the participants reported voyaging into greater happiness during the program. In general, these were highly educated professionals who voyage frequently at TMI as part of their commitment to consciousness development.
Quite a few of them applauded our linkage of their brainwave patterns to their most powerful inner experiences and said they would use their Mind Mirror landmarks to help dock their lives in happiness.
More to Come
Robin, Laura and I are still analyzing the sessions and writing up our findings. We expect to provide TMI with our final results by mid-to-late July. Ross will process the raw data and very possibly author a study for a professional journal.
On our last evening there, we met with Ross, Bob, Marinda, and Beth Vaughan, a "Happiness" participant who also presents programs at TMI. They enthusiastically invited us to return with the Mind Mirror to monitor people attending a program on out-of-body travel set for December 2-8. We are going!
A closing note from Bob Holbrook, who read this feature before its release:
"This article is the first chapter of an amazing story that has just begun. Thank you all for being present and doing the work."