Awakened Mind Training

Sequential Awakened Mind Presentation Sunday, January 26, 2003

Sequential Awakened Mind

By Anna Wise

   History of the Awakened Mind

We owe the original discovery of the awakened mind brain wave pattern to the brilliant British psychobiologist and biophysicist C. Maxwell Cade 30 years ago in the early 1970s. Cade measured the brain wave patterns of many healers, spiritual teachers and advanced meditators as well as 300 of his own students. He found a pattern that he identified as a step beyond meditation that exhibits the "lucid awareness" of meditation "coexistent with thought processes". Cade presented his remarkable breakthrough discovery in his book The Awakened Mind: Biofeedback and the Development of Higher States of Awareness, which he co-authored with Nona  Coxhead (Dell, 1979).

Here he stated that the awakened mind state "shows high amplitude alpha accompanied by two side bands of about 30 to 60 percent of the alpha amplitude, continuous and of steady frequency -- one at usually 16 to 18 hertz in the beta spectrum, the other usually at 4 to 6 hertz in the theta spectrum."  Of the then current research in alpha he observed, "It seemed that most researchers in this area had failed to note the simultaneous presence of other relevant frequencies... namely theta, beta or even delta waves."

And so the birth of the understanding of the awakened mind occurred.  As often happens when initial discoveries are made, there was an absolutism about this pattern.  It was presented and thought of as a very stable, almost static pattern that, if it was being produced in the right way, would always be the same.

I had the great good fortune to be very close to Max Cade for most of his early research period.  I worked closely with him from 1973 to 1981, and had the opportunity to be part of his early research and discoveries.  I developed a complete understanding of the awakened mind both as he saw it through his research and as I learned to experience it within myself. 

In 1981, I returned to the United States with Max's blessingsand a Mind Mirror, to develop my own work with the awakened mind.  I began expanding the research into areas other than spirituality and healing.  I measured artists, composers, dancers, inventors, mathematicians, and scientists.  I measured CEOs in the boardroom and  presidents of corporations.  I found that the brain wave patterns of high performance, of creativity, the bursts of peak experience, were the same patterns that the yogis and swamis lived in. I measured the "ah-ha" or the "eureka" experience and found that the brain waves flared into an awakened mind at the exact moment of insight. 

I spent from 1981 to 1989 in Boulder, Colorado developing courses, seminars, and a large private practice, working with the state and content of consciousness and training the awakened mind.  I spent more than 6000 hours looking at people's brain waves and understanding how they relate to the individual's state of consciousness. From this work I created a specific protocol to teach people to develop an awakened mind. 

The State and Content of Consciousness

I worked in a way that was very different from Max Cade.  I worked with both the state and the content of consciousness and how they interrelate, using content to develop and train the brainwave state and using the state to access and transform content.  The state of consciousness is the actual brain wave pattern as measured on the Mind Mirror, while the content of consciousness includes the thoughts, feelings, emotions, and all of the material of the mind. The range of content work includes accessing repressed psychological material and suppressed creativity, using visualization or what I call sensualization for improving health and well-being, and deepening meditation and spiritual practice.

Watching the interplay between the state and content of consciousness for many thousands of hours on many hundreds of people greatly heightened as well as deepened my understanding of the awakened mind -- how it developed, how it was used, what it was used for, how to help to develop it more quickly and efficiently, and how to use it more effectively.  I learned that there were manyvarieties of awakened mind patterns, and through looking at the variety of styles of awakened mind that occurred on many different types of people with many different kinds of content, I saw the inherent truth behind the awakened mind.

It was the ability of the state to allow the flow of information (content) from the conscious mind to the unconscious mind and vice versa that identified whether this state was truly an awakened mind.  The many varieties and forms of the awakened mind, depend on the individual's own personal development, on his or her intention or need at the time, and on his or her normal signature pattern.  In my book, The High-Performance Mind (Tarcher/Putnam 1995), I identified many of these varieties of awakened mind as well as identifying a number of brain wave patterns that were often and easily mistaken for an awakened mind brain wave pattern.  Patterns that were mistaken for an awakened mind invariably had subtle forms of bottlenecks or blockages in the flow of information between the conscious, subconscious, and the unconscious mind. 

Therefore I determined that:
1.  It is the interrelationship of the peak frequencies of each of the four categories of brain waves (beta, alpha, theta, and delta) that actually identifies whether the individual has an awakened mind.

2.  This correct interrelationship of peak frequencies of the awakened mind allows the flow of information to occur between the conscious, subconscious and unconscious mind.

3.  Alpha is the bridge between the conscious and the subconscious mind.  Without alpha the individual will not be able to remember with his or her beta brain waves what occurred in the theta (subconscious) state -- whether it is dreaming, meditating, dealing with repressed psychological material, dealing with suppressed creativity, or even retrieving a lost memory.

4.  There is a "line of consciousness" that occurs in alpha and is specific to each individual at any given time.  The content that resides above the frequency of the line of consciousness is available for the normal (beta) conscious thought process of the individual.  The content that resides below the line of consciousness at any given time is "subconscious" or even "unconscious" and unavailable to the conscious mind.  This subconscious content can be made available to the conscious mind by activating the line of consciousness and having the individual develop an awakened mind brainwave state with the appropriate intervals in between the peak frequencies that allows the content to be retrieved from the subconscious.

5.  For the purposes of consciousness training using the spectral analysis of the Mind Mirror, the frequency identification of the brainwave categories of beta, alpha, theta and delta is variable depending on each one's relationship to the other, and the specific content purpose of the particular category. For example, theta at 7.5 might contain subconscious content if the line of consciousness is at 10 or 12 hz. (or even as high as 15) in one individual, while in another individual the frequency of 7.5 hz. might be the line of consciousness, itself, and, therefore, be acting as an alpha wave with the subconscious access in the range of 4 hz.

By watching this process over and over again on the Mind Mirror with many different clients under many different circumstances, the individualized nature of the awakened mind state became apparent.  I also saw the step-by-step developmental process as the awakened mind emerged in each individual.  I developed this step-by-step process into the following generic protocol for training the awakened mind.  This protocol can be individualized in accordance with the client's signature pattern and specific needs.

The Gradual Discovery of a New Pattern

In 1996, I first began to recognize a subtle but identifiable series of brain waves that occurred sequentially over time. I had seen the pattern before and been uncertain of the meaning. In the past I had chosen to dismiss it as disorganized or unstable.  (Disorganized is the random flaring of distinct and stable categories of brainwaves.  Unstable is the random flaring of individual frequencies within distinct and organized categories.)  Normally, when a student has a disorganized or unstable pattern there is a correlation of subjective experience. Likewise, when a student has an organized, stable awakened mind pattern, there is also usually a correlation of subjective experience.

In fact, I have two ways of verifying whether a client has an awakened mind:

1) The brain wave pattern contains all four categories of beta, alpha, theta, and delta with the appropriate interrelationship of peak frequencies; and

2) The client reports at least some of the subjective experiences listed in the Table of Subjective Landmarks, which correlate with the awakened mind and/or the evolved mind brain wave patterns (states 5 and/or 6 of the Table of Subjective Landmarks).

  Perla's Pattern

Perla was a student who invariably had the subjective experiences of an awakened mind while her brain waves depicted a pattern that was a constantly-moving, low-amplitude, unstable and disorganized-appearing series of progressive brainwaves. I didn't understand it, but I couldn't ignore it!  How could someone have such an experience of illumination while the pattern, on first appearance, seemed so chaotic?  I began to call it "Perla's Pattern" and started talking about it in my training program and studying it as much as possible.  I went to Argentina where Perla lived and measured her many times.  Meanwhile I began to recognize similar approximations of the same pattern in a few other students.  While their subjective reports were not as stellar as Perla's, they certainly had enough references to the awakened mind state in the table of subjective landmarks to make me begin to see the similarity.

Over the next few years I saw this pattern repeated in a number of other clients and students who reported similar subjective experiences.  Because of the complex nature of the pattern, it took me some time to actually attune my eyes to see that the brainwaves, themselves, were behaving in a way that was "snaking" or passing information down from the conscious mind to the subconscious or unconscious mind, or up in the other direction.  This required the frequencies to flare, in very quick succession, one right after the other, drawing the information or the content through all four categories of brain waves, thus instigating the awakened mind experience.  This sequential awakened mind pattern can be the sequential flaring of each category, as a complete distinct whole, one after the other, or it can be the sequential flaring of successive frequencies within each category that creates the "snaking" effect.

Therefore, Perla's pattern contained all of the frequencies necessary for the awakened mind -- beta, alpha, theta and delta -- flaring in succession with the interrelationship that  allowed the flow of information which defines the awakened mind to occur. I had discovered a new form of the awakened mind that I named the Sequential Awakened Mind. It met all of the criteria for tawakened mind that I had established above. 

Like the awakened mind itself, this sequential awakened mind can be produced in a variety of styles, amplitudes, speeds, and clusters of frequencies.  Once I knew what to look for, I was able to identify it much more frequently and have seen it in more subtle ways.  Because of the complexity of the Sequential Awakened Mind pattern, it remains vital to correlate the relationship between the state as seen on the Mind Mirror and the content as experienced by the student.

Tommy Boy

In 1998, I spent some time in New York City working for a recording company, Tommy Boy.  I did individual sessions with many of the recording company's employees.  The issues that the individuals wanted to work on ranged in both content and state -- some needing to learn to still their minds while working, others needing to break through creative blocks, still others wanting to work on personal and health issues, and yet others simply wanting to learn to relax and meditate.  I had one hour with each individual to give them a complete session and bring them to resolution, while accomplishing something important and/or inspirational for the state and/or content of their consciousness.

I developed a meditation to accommodate their needs. It works contiguously with the contents of beta, alpha, theta, and delta to create flow of information.  Each category of brain waves contributes its own form of content to the progression:

Beta provides the conceptual framework and the descriptive words that define and render precise intellectual delineation of the situation.

Alpha provides sensory input and illustrates the content through imagery and sensualization.  It also links the conscious mind to the subconscious. 

Theta provides the subconscious, inner information or wisdom.  In its pure form, this is not experienced with clear imagery, rather having the hazy, dream-like qualities of deep internal reverie.  When alpha and theta are experienced together, the theta provides the depth and profundity of the material and the alpha provides the clarity and lucidity of vivid imagery. 

Deltawhich can be seen as access to the universal mind, the collective, or the unconscious, provides the most instinctual and intuitive input. 


Each category of brain wave has its own contribution and part to play in the totality of the awakened mind experience.  Each is necessary and none is more important than the others.  They must all work in concert to promote high performance, true mental clarity, and emotional and spiritual awakening.  But they don't all have to work simultaneously to be effective.  It is possible for each brain wave category to play its proper and effective role almost independently, one approaching the content fully through its appropriate modality and then, in essence, passing the material along to the next category to be dealt with in its way.  In this way, the flow of information moves sequentially from the conscious to the unconscious mind and back.


The purpose of my work in training the awakened mind is to help people master both the state and the content of consciousness. I define mastery as being in the state you want to be in, when you want to be there, knowing what to do with that state, and being able to accomplish it. The discovery of the Sequential Awakened Mind is a major step in understanding and training this mastery. 

The Awakened Mind: by Maxwell C. Cade



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