Biofeedback archives

Alpha-Mindless vs Meditative?

Posted by Jim Marconnet on October 09, 1998 at 22:55:23:

At Intro to EEG machines, talks about the different brainwaves. Here is a few snippets of what it says about ALPHA:

Alpha alone seems to indicate an empty mind rather than a relaxed one, a mindless state rather than a passive one, and requires the presence of other frequencies, beta and theta before the usual description of alpha becomes true. Alpha, per se, is not associated with inwardly directed attention, relaxed awareness, or feelings of well being.

In 'alpha' training we are not in fact primarily interested in learning to produce an alpha rhythm ( despite the immense amount that has been written about it ) rather what we are interested in experiencing is the particular calm detached
state which happens to be accompanied by the alpha rhythm.

Training to produce alpha on a biofeedback machine might therefore produce alpha without the sidebands beta and theta and therefore be experienced as a mindless and rather boring state.

However, if the alpha state was produced by a meditative exercise, a Sufi teaching story, or by contact with a master, then there will be a long term effect on the subject's alpha because he has changed as a result of the experience.

Finally my question: for skilled relaxation, do we want a mindless state?? or a passive one?? or a calm detached state, whatever that is?? I thought they were all (just about) one and the same.

RocketHealer Jim++

Follow Ups:

Re: Alpha-Mindless vs Meditative?

Posted by Walt Stoll on October 10, 1998 at 11:37:45:

In Reply to: Alpha-Mindless vs Meditative? posted by Jim Marconnet on October 09, 1998 at 22:55:23:

Hi, Jim.

The reason I have focussed on alpha, theta (or even delta) is that I am trying to do whatever will reverse the storage of stress-effect in the hypothalamus. ANY of these states will do that. If one is trying to do some spiritual trip, they will need to become a student of the process like your note describes.

Remember: "The journey of a thousand miles begins with a simgle step!"

"The Awakened Mind" by Maxwell Cade & Nona Coxhead,
which I have recommended to so many people on this bb, describes the Mind Mirror biofeedback machine research that pretty much contradicts the findings you are describing here.

Since I know you have read this, I would be interested in any thoughts you might have in this regard.


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