The training is conducted on 7 consecutive days, usually long days of 8-12 hours each. When people first arrive at the training center, they are given an introduction, and a tour that features the big free-standing training chambers, which are very dark and quiet inside when the door is closed, and the lights are off. Each chamber is a large free-standing metal cube, the likes of which you will find in most University Psychology departments, where they are used for research studies. The metal walled interiors are softened with various fabrics. Each chamber has a thick blue carpet on the floor, soft blue velvet on the walls, and a shiny blue fabric on the ceiling. There is one highly adjustable, wheeled, ergonomic chair for comfortable erect sitting in each chamber, a small wheeled table holding one or two computer monitors and one or two keyboards, and an intercom for instant communications with the technicians or Trainer in the adjacent control room. There are also small speakers
hung from mounts in the walls or ceiling that can be moved very close to the right and left ears of the person doing EEG feedback in the chamber. These suspended
speakers offer all the advantages of earphones without the disadvantages of weight and pressure on the head.
Participants are also shown the control room, where there are 5 monitors and keyboards to control the main system computers for each five training modules. There are 5 printers for the Mood Scales and 5 more, one for each computer [10 printers in all]. There are also 5 sets of EEG amplifiers in the control room, each having 8 channels of EEG amplification. The amplified EEG signals from each of the 5 chambers are then processed through either analog or digital filters and fed into a system of 3 powerful computers that process the EEG activity and the mood data for feedback to the trainee in that chamber. The amplified raw EEG is also fed to one of three 16-channel polygraphs that write out 8 channels
of brain waves for each of the participants. These polygraphs run during the entire session, whenever EEG baselines or brain wave feedback are occurring, and the
system computers are reading and analyzing the brain waves. Each chamber can be operated independently from its local station using its local monitor, mouse, and
keyboard. During calibrations and targeting, each system is operated independently by the technicians setting up or closing down the system.
There is also a centralized control system within the Control Room that we call the Bridge or the Main Station. This Main Station centralizes the control functions of
all 5 systems and has its own separate 5 monitors and keyboards grouped closely together so that the technicians can quickly and efficiently operate all 5 chambers
When trainees are in their chambers, switches are thrown to divert all the local control functions of each chamber’s local control station to the centralized Main Station. At the Bridge or this Main Station, all 5 chambers can be operated simultaneously. Here at the Bridge or the Main Station, there is also a sound system for playing instruction tapes to the trainees to help guide them through the many stages of a Biocybernaut training program. The Bridge also has 5 intercoms for communicating with one or more of the chambers when the trainees are in the chambers. Participants are also shown in the kitchen and the bathrooms, and the canopy room. The canopy room has 5 canopied beds in which the participants may sit or lie down and stretch out during their interviews that follow their time in the feedback chambers each day. As soon as they finish their adventures in the feedback chambers, they come out, maybe stopping first at the restroom, and then they go to their canopied bed and lie down with their soft blankets and a pile of pillows. They will give their reports of their chamber experiences to the Trainer, who will tape-record these amazing reports and descriptions of their adventures in the chambers.
The Group Room has a big oval conference table and comfortable, wheeled armchairs. The table is heaped high with fresh fruits and a large assortment of nuts for snacking. Feedback participants gather around this table each morning, speak about their dreams or insights, ask questions, or receive orientation and coaching from their Trainer. Simultaneously, their heads are carefully measured for the placement of 8 gold electrodes over bi-lateral sites in four regions of the head: Occipital, Central, Temporal, and Frontal. The placement sites are designated in the International 10-20 electrode placement system as O1, O2, C3, C4, T3, T4, F3, F4. Recordings are monopolar and thus are referenced to linked ears. This means that a gold ear clip electrode is placed on each ear, and a gold ground electrode goes on the forehead, held on with cloth or paper tape.
After the electrodes are placed and tested for suitably low impedance, the participants take a bathroom break and then return to the Group Room for a short video, a visually lovely and often inspiring way to set some themes for the day. For example, there may be some instructions in progressive relaxation or some suggestions for ways to practice forgiveness toward oneself and one’s parents. And the Day 4 video has Alan Watts speaking about the nature of mind, against some beautiful images of clouds and water with a Japanese flute playing softly in the background.
Computerized Mood Scales [1st administration]
After the video, the participants go into their own private chamber and plugin to record their brain waves. Then the first thing they do is to take the first
of two sets of computerized Mood Scales. In these Mood Scales, hundreds of feeling words, adjectives appear one at a time on the computer screen, and the participants
respond to them using the keyboard in front of them. The participants are rating themselves on each of the moods indicated by each of the displayed adjectives. In both the morning and the afternoon sets of Mood Scales, there are three different Mood Scales, each with different sets of words and different allowable responses. The first mood scale allows the responses of 0 – 4 where ‘0’ means Not at All and ‘1’ means A Little, and ‘2’ means Moderately, and ‘3’ means Quite a Bit, and ‘4’ means Extremely. The second mood scale still has a range of 0-4, but it drops out the ‘2’ response, which means ‘moderately’ cannot be used as an answer. And the third and last mood scale allows only Yes/No answers to each of the words in the lists of adjectives displayed on the screen.
In addition to scoring these Mood Scales in the traditional ways, the computer also does subtle analyses that result in an assessment by the computer of the accuracy of the person’s response to each of the words. These computerized reports are given to the Trainer of the group, with the net effect of allowing the Trainer to function a little bit as though he or she were psychic- i.e., knowing what the person really is feeling, not just what they are consciously aware of the feeling, and not just what they report feeling by the answer they give to each mood word. The computer identifies some of the person’s responses as suggestive of latent negative emotions, of which the participant may be entirely or largely unaware. At the end of the day, these highlighted moods are reviewed carefully by the Trainer with each participant. This is usually done at the end of each day during the Review of the Results section, but this is getting a little bit ahead of the story.
After the 1st set of Mood Scales is completed, each participant is asked if they are comfortable, do they wish a bottle of water, warm enough, do they want a
blanket, etc. Tape-recorded instructions are played into each chamber to announce, first the Eyes Open Baseline, during which people focus on a white circle on the wall
in front of them, while the lights are on and the door is open. After that is over, the chamber’s door is closed, and the lights are turned out. Tape-recorded instructions are played into each chamber to announce, next to the Eyes Closed Baseline, and then the White Noise Baseline. During the White Noise Baseline, the participants listen to a beautiful sound-scape of White Noise. Some say it sounds like a downpour in a rain forest. You will hear a lovely ‘beep’ signal echoing through this forest rainfall from time to time. And you will be asked to count these non-periodic beep signals that are interpolated into the White Noise. Counting is done purely in your mind without using your fingers. At the end of the White Noise, each participant reports their count to the technician who calls in on the intercom. The technician tells the participant if their count was correct. Then the brain wave feedback begins.
The first feedback task of each day is Alpha Suppression [unless it is one of the advanced training pieces, like a Theta training, in which case it would be Theta Suppression].
The feedback is presented in two forms: Musical tones [flutes and oboes], which get louder when alpha amplitudes increase and get softer when alpha
amplitudes decrease. This auditory feedback continues for 2 minutes. The tones shut down to a shallow resting level, and one [or two, in the advanced
pieces of training] of the computer monitors lights up with the second form of feedback: numerical scores, in big BLUE numbers. On the monitor in front of them, there is a
3-4 digit number displayed for each of 4 places on the head from which the feedback is derived: O1, O2, C3, C4. These numbers are proportional to the energy’s square root in the alpha brain waves at each head site. The numbers are illuminated for 8 seconds and then disappear, and the screen goes black again. The
musical tones are immediately turned back on and wax and wane for another 2 minutes in response to the waxing and waning of the person’s alpha activity. At the end of that next 2 minutes of auditory feedback, there is another scoring period with the illuminated numbers being turned on again for 8 seconds. If one or more of the head sites has produced a new low for that day’s Alpha Suppression, that entire number turns GREEN to provide an easy marker of success. This eliminates the need for the
participant to keep close track of his or her scores. After a short sequence of these 2-minute epochs, the feedback stops, and the instruction tape announces the end of
Alpha Suppression. If the scores are lower (better) than last time, but not quite a new low for the day, then the scores are dark BLUE in color.
Each day’s second feedback task is Alpha Enhancement [or Theta enhancement or Delta enhancement in some of the advanced pieces of training]. Here the musical and numerical feedback works almost the same. The only difference is that now the scores turn GREEN to indicate new HIGH scores for the day. If the scores are higher (better) than last time, but not quite a new high for the day, then the scores are dark BLUE in color. The same flute notes of 4 different pitches are used to indicate alpha activity at each of the 4 cortical feedback sites: O1, O2, C3, C4; if one or more of the sites produces a huge burst of alpha, the flute notes at that/those sites changes to an oboe note or oboe notes.
We have found that feedback is effective because it is: Accurate, Immediate, and Aesthetic.
Every effort is made to make the feedback all of three of these properties, including beautiful. And if someone does not like flutes or oboes, we can give them different
instruments for their feedback.
Mood Scales [2nd administration]
When the Alpha Enhancement for each day has finished, a soft clear bell rings out, and the instruction tape is played announcing the end of the Alpha Enhancement. This tape also announces that now is the time for the second Mood Scale of the day. Whereas the first Mood Scale was done with instructions ‘How do you feel right now?’, this second Mood Scale has the instructions to describe ‘How did you feel when your alpha was the highest,- when the tones were the loudest, and you were getting the highest scores?’
The door is opened slightly, and the lights are turned on if the participant wishes the lights on during the 2nd mood scale.
Following the 2nd Mood Scale, there are three more short baselines: a White Noise and an Eyes Closed and an Eyes Open, just like the first 3 baselines. Then the technicians gently enter each chamber, remove the electrodes, and the trainees gather in the canopy room, after a bathroom break, if desired. The canopy room has 5 comfortable canopied beds with pale blue sheer curtains drawn for a cozy semi-privacy. There are soft blue blankets and almost a dozen blue pillows so the participant can sit or lie down and stretch out during the tape-recorded interviews that follow the feedback chambers’ time. There is a lot of time spent sitting during the training, but this is one time that participants can lie down and stretch out and relax after their adventures in the chambers.
The Trainer looks around and may ask a particular person to speak first if they seem to have had a particularly moving or inspiring experience. Otherwise, the Trainer asks who wants to go first. The participants then take turns describing their experiences- what they tried, what that led to, how they felt about it, etc. The Trainer does active listening. When the person has finished, the Trainer asks questions that lead the participant to deeper levels and more profound implications of their experiences and reported. Often details that were forgotten in the first telling of the chamber report will now be remembered and described in richer detail. Each person shares and takes a turn in telling about their work and their play and their adventures in the feedback chambers. When everyone has
finished, and before going on to the Reviews of Results, the Trainer rings the Dinner Bell, and everyone gets up and goes to the kitchen for the Dinner Break.
Healthy fresh salads, pieces of bread, and soups from a nearby Fresh Choice Restaurant are catered in, so participants do not have to leave the building or deal with outside people during their training process. There is a full kitchen with a stove, microwave, sink, and refrigerator so people can heat their soups or get out of the refrigerator salad dressings that are free of onions and garlic. And there are always fresh fruits and nuts available for snacking.
4.10.3 Reviews of Results
The brain wave tracings on the polygraph paper [measuring an inch thick pack of paper for each day are prepared for each trainee. Each polygraph has 16 channels [plus a 17th timer channel], so each polygraph writes out the tracings from the 8 channels of brain waves from each of the two participants. Up to five people can be in a training group. This review of the polygraph tracing is done before, or after, or in concert with viewing computerized graphs of their alpha scores over time, where each head site is graphed in a different color. There are also computerized logs of performance for each day that summarize the highs and lows for each of the different baselines and the Alpha Suppression And Alpha Enhancement. The computer prints little pluses or minuses in the training log wherever the person has achieved a new high or a new low, measured across all prior days of their training. All of this is fascinating for most participants, who are delighted to receive accurate information about formerly hidden parts of themselves. People seem to have an almost unlimited capacity to pay rapt attention to, be absorbed by, and remember accurate information about themselves. This applies to everyone, even to people who might think that they have trouble paying attention. Even 8-year-old
children with ADD have the ability to pay attention to the feedback and these reviews of their performance. Children must be at least 8 years old to participate in
the Alpha One Training. Many people find that the most powerful part of the reviews of results often involves reviews of the Mood Scales. The Mood Scales are used in
3 completely different ways.
This process produces greater awareness of their unconscious negative emotions. It provides a way to clear the negative emotion, forgive it, and then develop non-attachment about the people or topic associated with that negative emotion. There is a profound ethical cleansing that results from this process. The process is done by the participant, at their own pace and in their own way, using insights suggested by their own mind during their use of the feedback technology. The Trainer provides support, encouragement, and coaching through this entire process, celebrating each participant’s insight and breakthrough. And it turns out that the process of having insights occurs preferentially in an alpha state. Hence, the alpha enhancement training offers each person the opportunity to spend time each day in a state highly productive of insights and creativity. At the end of the day, people are urged to get a good night’s sleep, and the training adjourns for that day. Each day is quite similar in structure, with some notable exceptions. Alpha Suppression is much easier to learn for most people since it is closer to focused intellectual awareness. Usually, after 4 days, everyone has learned Suppression, so it is dropped out of the
protocol. Also, people usually do not find Suppression to be very much fun. It is hard work, so they are happy to get rid of it, and then they can spend more time in Alpha Enhancement. Suppression is useful in the beginning and compares to the brakes in a car when learning to drive. You want gas and steering AND brakes on driving successfully, even though you may not use the brakes as much as you use the gas pedal. But when you want to break, you need to know how to do it!
On Day 4, we begin to phase in the hemicoherence tones. These are deep rich organ notes that tell the participants when they are ‘getting their heads together.’ In other words, when alpha production becomes synchronized in both the left and the right brain, these organ notes come on as feedback. There are also two extra scores which tell people what percentage of the time, during each 2-minute epoch, that they had their left and right brains synchronized in simultaneous alpha production.
This harmony between the left and right brain can be increased by attending to the feelings associated with the organ notes’ occurrence.
Something profoundly healing and unifying seems to occur during hemicoherence. There is much that could be said about this. There is a 20-year story about this phenomenon beginning with brain wave recordings made of a Zen master, a very famous Zen Roshi, and 30 of his students, whom he had rated from Beginner to Intermediate to Advanced, based on his perception of their level of spiritual development. The analysis of their brain wave records was a major piece of the puzzle.
In fact, during those 20 years, 7 years after the Zen brain wave recordings were made, this famous Roshi died. It was a conscious passing in a room filled with friends invited for the occasion, and as he died, the Roshi gave ‘transmission’ to one of those original 30 students, whose brain waves we had also recorded 7 years before. That man became the new Roshi. At the time of the Roshi’s death, people in the room felt a palpable sense of something move from the dying Roshi to the new Roshi designate. The ‘transmission’ was sensed by many.
In our earlier power and coherence spectral analysis of this group’s tape-recorded brain waves, we had found a most unusual bi-modal coherence pattern in the Roshi- and only one other person. That one other person was the one who, 7 years later, received ‘transmission.’ At that point, we knew this amazing bi- modal coherence pattern was a marker for Zen Roshi-hood [one out of 30 is statistically significant]. Still, we did not have a clue as to the deeper meaning.
Still more years later, in the Spring of 1991, at a conference on chaos theory as applied to the analysis of brain waves, I finally discovered that this bi-modal coherence brain wave pattern might be associated with the spiritual phenomenon known as a halo. Given that brain wave frequencies follow Fibonacci scaling mathematics, a torus is present over the head, in phase space, of anyone who produces this bi-modal coherence pattern. The torus’ size and orientation are dependent upon the frequencies and spatial distribution of the underlying coherent brain waves so that halos will have various orientations. Visionary artists, and those who see auras, may well see this torus and paint halos over saints and sages or describe seeing a halo. And, even more exciting, this EEG pattern is entirely trainable. The pattern is complex, and it is likely to take 60-80 days of training to install the halo
pattern in the brain and install the halo over your head. This, of course, suggests that the state of awareness associated with a halo is trainable. Halos are a cross-culturally understood symbol of spiritual advancement and ethical purity. Halos are seen in paintings and statues of Jesus and the Apostles in Christianity. In paintings and statues of Krishna and Arjuna in Hinduism, and paintings and statues of the Buddha in Buddhism. Using the brain wave feedback technology, such as a halo training process, could be used, in consultation and collaboration with spiritual teachers, which would allow a high proportion of trainees to develop this pattern in two to three months of intensive training. Can you imagine the benefits that will flow from having larger numbers of such people on this planet?
In October of 1995, we began including feedback on the halo pattern [the alpha hemicoherence portion] in the Introductory 7-day Alpha One training. That addition caused the rate of profound spiritual experiences to increase dramatically. When I first began this work in University research, I found that about 1 person in 20 had a profound spiritual experience in the course of their first week of Alpha Training. Then over the course of 15 years of University research, where I improved both the technology and the training methodologies (and became a better Trainer myself), I doubled that initial rate of profound spiritual experiences from 1 person in 20 to about 1 in 10. But then, in October of 1995, when I first introduced the Alpha Hemicoherence function into the Alpha One Training, there was a huge step function increase in the rates of profound spiritual experiences from that 1 person in 10 to about 3 out of 5. So I know we are on the right track. Additional hardware and software developments will be required to refine and perfect the training for the full halo pattern, but we know what to do and what to implement, and we will soon be doing it.