What is the secret to the peaceful bliss of the Buddha, a swami, a yogi or healer or that annoyingly joyous person? It is partly due to finding the perfect wave or combination of brain waves, that is. Regardless of theology, belief system, technique or methodology, a common brain wave pattern is found among those who have states of consciousness worth emulating. In her book, The Awakened Mind, Anna Wise refers to this as the awakened mind and anyone can learn how to produce a similar brain wave pattern.
She measured the brain wave activity of artists, composers, dancers, inventors, mathematicians, scientists, and CEOs and presidents of corporations and found that the brain wave patterns during bursts of high performance or peak experience were the same patterns that the yogis and swamis lived in. When in the awakened state, the mind is clearer, sharper, quicker, and more flexible with information flowing easily between the conscious, sub conscious and unconscious increasing intuition, insight, and self healing. The brain state of the awakened mind can be learned and, according tio Wise, the quickest and easiest way to do this is through meditation.
There are four types of brain waves:
Beta - These are the fastest and the most common brain waves for a waking, conscious state produced by your thinking mind. This activity can include the anxiety, panic, list making, judging, and critiquing thoughts present in an overactive mind. However, beta waves can also indicate creative, clear, alert, or attentive thinking.
Alpha - Alpha waves denote a relaxed, detached awareness that would be present, for instance, in a day dreaming mind. Alpha is the light reverie that provides the gateway to meditation. It’s the link between the conscious and subconscious mind.
Theta -Theta waves are produced by the unconscious mind which holds our long term memory, suppressed creativity and repressed psychological “stuff.” The subconscious mind is also the key to bliss, deep insight, intuition, and profundity. Wise says “Theta is the ‘peak’ in peak performance.”
Delta - These are the waves of the unconscious mind most common during sleep, but occurring while awake too. This brain activity performs the unconscious scanning behind intuition and instinctual action. Delta has been called the “orienting response” because it positions us in time and space. Whereas theta waves connect us deeply within ourselves, delta waves are thought to connect us to the collective consciousness.
Wise sees “meditation as a state of consciousness – a specific brain wave pattern – not a technique.” The brain wave pattern of the awakened mind, found in the masters, is a combination of all four brain wave categories. Because beta is thinking, she recommends learning to meditate without beta. Then, a person can add beta back into the mind in very specific ways. But, one must first learn how to get rid of it which is not an easy task, let me tell you!
The eventual goal is to achieve an awakened mind where a meditation-like state is the normal constant with a person being able to turn thoughts on and off at will. I am not there yet, by any means, but I am a heck of a lot closer than I was!