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Brain Frequencies

a mini-course

  1. Overview

What You Get From This Course on Brain Frequencies​

Consciousness doesn’t start with awareness, it starts with frequencies; before there can be light, there must be rhythm. The Brain Frequencies course center on simple, basic ideas about awareness and perception. You will find it unusual.

Your awareness is rhythmic. You are aware of the movement of things in terms of their pace and rate. You can perceive stimulus unconsciously. There are different levels of awareness and conscious awareness is only one of them.

The degree to which you’re consciously aware is determined by the degree to which your perceptions are in agreement with you mind’s filters. These filters apply many criteria to eliminate information. Important aspects of this filtering depend on the amplitude and duration of what is perceived, and upon a process of repeated impressions.

Every living thing is cyclic and all events in nature have rhythms: clouds, mountains, trees, and seasons. Even the ground has rhythms. Most of these are either too slow or too fast for you to see, but you can feel them vibrationally or electrically. You can be aware of the harmonics, the higher or lower repeated impressions that these events generate.

You can be unconsciously aware of events that fail to rise to conscious awareness but leave perceptual traces at lower levels. For example, you’re sensitive to the slow changes in sunlight and the fast frequencies in the wind. You’re aware of subtle and brief inflections in a person’s speech and movement even though you do not recognize or recall these events. These interactions set your mood and direct your attention.

  • Insight. With a wider sense of time and greater sensitivity to texture, you’ll develop a wider appreciation of what you perceive.
  • Results. Frequencies are a foundation for understanding. By becoming more attuned to the frequencies of your perception you will perceive more. This course is practical.
  • Content. You will find it valuable to return to this material as you develop subtle perception.

How to Get the Most Out of This Course

Understanding frequencies is a perceptual skill. As you learn to recognize frequencies in thought and language you become more fluent in using and controlling them. The following video (transcript) tells you something about me and my background, which has taken me from physics into neurophysiology and beyond.

2. Brainwaves: What They Are

General Character

  • Brainwaves are electric fields generated by the collective behavior of brain cells, they are both the consequence and generators of mental coordination.
  • Not clearly differentiated: Brainwaves are not measured as localized, and are not local in origin.
  • There is no single organ or organelle that generates “waves” in the brain.
  • Brainwaves do not have movement or direction, rather they are a local variation in the amplitude of the electric field. This may not be true in all respects, as there are some electrical phenomena that move across the brain, but what we refer to as “brainwaves” do not travel.
  • Wave action is not evident in the behavior of any individual cell. We are not seeing “waves of current” flowing down axons.
  • Different areas in the brain generate a different mix of rhythms.
  • It is more accurate to think of brainwaves in different areas of the brain as resonances responding to some driving force, similar to how different musical instruments have unique resonances.
  • We don’t know the source of the wave signals, but we expect they are built from the collective action of synaptic discharges.
  • Good brains are quiet. Signals of high electrical amplitude indicate dysfunction reflecting situations where the brain must “shout.” Consciousness requires minimal activity.
  • Little of what you’ll read will tell you anything fundamental about brainwaves; These “waves” are largely a theoretical construct.
  • The concept of brainwaves correlates with certain gross features of cognitive states. Their origin, mechanism, and function are unknown.

Specific Aspects

Brain waves are discussed according to four basic properties:

  • Frequency: the rate, expressed as a length of time, over which the wave repeats its structure. For brainwaves corresponding to active awareness this ranges from one quarter of a second to one sixtieth of a second. It is likely that signals of these frequencies interact and are affected by signals of higher and lower frequencies.
  • Amplitude: the strength of the electrical signal recorded by an EEG (electro-encephalogram) is measured in millivolts at one’s scalp. This is roughly the amplitude of the radiation emitted by a cell phone at its surface.
  • Coherence: The nature of a wave is to vary over time. Coherence is the degree to which different waves match each other’s alternating motion. That is, whether they have the same tempo.
  • Synchrony: the degree to which two waves of the same frequency are synchronized. That is, assuming they do have the same tempo, the degree to which they have the same beat.

Both synchrony and coherence are defined only with respect to two separate waves. If you’re talking only about a particular brainwave, observed at a particular location, then it’s completely defined in terms of its frequency and amplitude.

In this course we’ll focus on frequency and amplitude. These are the two aspects that apply to separate frequency bands. These are the concepts that are most intuitive, most easily trained, and most widely applied.

3. Brainwaves: What They Do

General Character

  • Brainwaves are electric fields generated by the collective behavior of brain cells, they are both the consequence and generators of mental coordination.
  • It is presumed that certain combinations of amplitudes of brainwaves at different frequencies corresponds to certain states of mind.
  • The brain is coordinating more than mind; it’s also involved in physical, electrical, chemical activities throughout the body.
  • To extract any particular brainwave profile and assign to it some specific mental ability is incorrect. The brain does not segregate its affair in this manner. Nevertheless, the presence and character of certain wave forms does generally support certain types of awareness.
  • The character of any person’s brainwaves is constantly change in response to changing circumstances. The act of thinking changes one’s brainwaves, and different kinds of thinking, or different states of thought, significantly change one’s brainwave profile.
  • Some brainwave rhythms enable us to coordinate movement, while others relate to qualities like balance, clarity, anxiety, or relaxation. Frequencies relate to function, though it’s generally unclear the range of functions that are affected.
  • Certain aspects of brainwave profiles associate with general or particular abilities.
  • In some cases, brain injuries can be diagnosed by examining a carefully recorded brainwave profile.
  • Brain injury displays a strong signature in one’s brainwaves, but this does not reflect on what the brainwaves do, rather, it can indicate a cognitive, circulatory, or neurological problem.
  • Certain brain areas are associated with particular cognitive abilities, such as vision, language, organization, and emotion.
  • The brainwave patterns emanating from these areas can be “tuned” through training in a way that can change the function and effectiveness of those areas.
  • There is no brainwave signature that it unique to any one person, and a person’s brainwaves change dramatically over short periods of time. Yet, each person does appear to have a range of flexibility that is unique to them, and can be changed with training to various effects.
  • These rhythms coordinate the functions of different brain areas, such as linking planning with emotion, or sensation with reaction.
  • Some general, cognitive or physical abilities can be changed with brain training. A person can be made more sensitive, flexible, balanced, and responsive in areas of thought or performance.
  • One can think of brainwaves as signals that coordinate one’s focus. That focus can be narrow or broad, highly sensitive or slow to respond.
  • Different kinds of focus can lead to different patterns of thought. For example, focusing one’s thoughts one way can lead to broad and integrated thinking, while another way leads to narrow and specific thinking. Both can be used to positive or negative effect.
  • A person who undergoes brain training is often unaware of the effect on their thinking, thoughts, behavior, or point of view. The effects are overlooked or denied because they are not changes in what you recognize to be self-awareness.
  • The external world to which you ascribe reality is seen as something that is separate from you. Like the way one’s moods can change without you noticing it, so also, your mental abilities can change without you feeling it.
  • People consider the external world as independent, so that if events in the external world change they are reluctant to accept that this is a change in the reality they create,. Instead, they believe they remain the same and the world changes.

The result of brain training is measured—aside from the change in brainwaves themselves—by cognitive performance tests, external assessment, or the subjective opinions of observers.

  • Such tests include memory, reflex speed, cognitive speed, coordination, verbal, lexical, mathematical, musical, social, or artistic measures.
  • The result of brain training can be immediate and dramatic, or subtle and long-term. With practice, the effects can be long-lasting.
  • In most cases, brain training has a significant and beneficial effect on anyone, but the lack of subjective sense of change, and the unresponsive nature of most people’s environment makes it difficult for a person to appreciate how much they may have accomplished.
  • Brainwave training effectively turns ducks into swans, but the newly formed swans only know how to act like ducks, and all the ducks around them only recognize duck-like behavior. Lacking some objective measure or reward, the newly made swans continue to live their lives thinking they’re still ducks.
  • In the absence of opportunity or reward, changes in behavior happen slowly.
  • Most brain training has been focused on remediating problems. In these situations, the problems and the improvements are measurable.

4. Slow Frequencies: Expansion

Slow delta and theta brainwaves support distinctions over longer time frames and larger experiences.


Delta brainwaves range from a period of 1.0 to 0.3 second duration. That means that these waves repeat their pattern one to three times per second. It is unclear if there is a wavelength of consciousness that is slower than this. There are aspects of brainwaves at slower frequencies, but these do not show up as distinct bands in a person’s brainwave spectrum.

Delta brainwaves predominate in deep sleep. Deep sleep, which is physiologically necessary for health, requires robust and stable delta brainwaves. Attempts at enhancing delta brainwaves using direct brainwave feedback have little success: the feedback process requires high frequencies of attention, and the enhancement of delta requires the elimination of these high frequencies. Indirect feedback, using hypnosis and cognitive behavior training does seem to strength deep sleep and, one would expect, delta brainwaves.

This leads us to suspect that while delta brainwaves cannot be consciously trained using feedback when a person is in an alert state, delta brainwaves can be hypnotically trained when a person is in a trance state. This is a state in which delta brainwaves predominate, and in which theta frequency brainwaves are present and sustain a weak form of conscious awareness.

At frequencies slower than delta, in the infra-slow region, the phenomena seen as a “wave” is more a measure of changes in state, as one’s brainwave profile is generally in constant flux. There are also issues of signal detection and signal processing that complicate the interpretation of what appear as brainwaves with frequencies slower than delta.

Most clinicians do not understand the mathematical and engineering limits of the brainwave concept. As a result clinicians and the clinical literature fails to distinguish between brainwaves as a reflection of a neural state, an engineering artifact, and measure of slow or collective changes throughout the brain.

A consequence of this is that while it is difficult to train a person’s brainwaves in the delta region, it is possible to train what appear as sub-delta brainwaves using neurofeedback. This is not training brainwaves per se, but the training of an artifact generated by the electronics. What is being trained at these “infra-low” frequencies is the nature of how higher frequency waves change, not the existence of actual, infra-low frequency wave forms. This is a disputed area of research.


Oscillations in the electric field between the rates of 4 to 8 per second (1/4 of a second to 1/8 of a second per cycle) are referred to as theta waves. The category is general—as all brainwave categories are general—and is sometimes shifted to 3.5 to 7.5 cycles per second. It is not objectively important because there is no clear cutoff. Everyone manifests their own brainwave patterns which do not always fall within any assigned range.

For some people, waves in this region appear to be separated by a lack of activity at higher or lower frequencies. The clarity of this separation between bands of brainwaves differs by person and their state of mind. This is not clearly or immediately reflected in a person’s consciousness, but a person can be trained to enhance or diminish this feature. Over time, the result of this sort of training can become evident subjectively or through testing, but what this result is can differ with the individual.

Theta oscillations are associated with open and creative thinking. In different brain regions this could refer to different cognitive processes, and the meaning of the term “open” could vary. For example, “open” in reference to memory could mean flexible and imprecise, while “open,” with regard to movement could mean fluid and expressive.

While the notion of brainwaves is often considered constant or representative of a person’s state, brainwaves typically vary in amplitude over short time intervals, repeatedly cycling, growing stronger and weaker every few seconds. We are aware of this in our cognitive focus, which similarly ebbs and flows, though over periods of longer duration.

An excess of theta waves typically corresponds to a dreamy or unfocused character, which can be good or bad depending on the circumstance. A person who is persistently dreamy is usually unaware that they could be any other way, and might prefer this familiar state.

A deficit of theta could correspond to a character that is too rigid, too attentive, or too constantly engaged. This could also work to one’s benefit or detriment, and this, too, could be a person’s preferred normal state.

It is more useful to consider theta as a dynamic state whose role is to interact with other states. This is in contrast to seeing it as an absolute level to be enhanced or depressed in without regard to the levels of other frequencies.
Fortifying theta waves, and theta-related phenomena like openness and creativity, is done in coordination with oscillations in the alpha band. Activity in the alpha channel is associated with a higher level of focus and alertness. Alpha is the next band and is considered in the next section on middle frequencies.

5. Middle Frequencies: Automation

Alpha and SMR

The rhythms of thinking and movement—of which we are most aware—are built on our central or middle frequencies. These are the alpha and sensory motor rhythm (SMR) brain frequencies. Alpha and SMR frequencies span the range from 7.5 to 15 cycles per second.

We spend most of our time resonating with and aware of each other and our environment using these rhythms. That is to say, our awareness of our volitional, awake-state environment is linked to the presence of these brainwave rhythms.

This resonance is self-reinforcing and becomes habitual. Those times when our attention is most organized and focused on sequencing events and the passage of time are times when our brains are experiencing more alpha waves. The process of learning involves changing frequencies and changing how we use frequencies. A too rigid adherence to established brainwave patterns can impede learning.

As different parts of our brains focus on different tasks, the effect of training waves of these frequencies differs depending on the area in the brain whose frequencies are being trained. Most brain training is done with areas in the cortex, or the outer brain areas. Four cortical areas where alpha training has easily sensed or measurable effect are the frontal, temporal, medial, and posterior areas.

Deeper brain structure training is more complex. Deep brain training is being attempted using LORETA technology (an extension of electroencephalography). This has been explored less, and is less consciously noticeable. Also, because this technology records more localized electrical behavior it generates a different definition of brainwave.

When training brainwaves, we focus on the shape, distinction, and variation over time of the brainwave band. The result of training does not depend on a single parameter, such as amplitude at a particular frequency, although that is often used as a target. In much the way that lifting a tablecloth at a point will lift the tablecloth around it, training one frequency or amplitude will affect those around it.

High amplitudes of wave forms may not equate with greater skill or higher function as amplitude is more generally an indicator of agitation or arousal. It is generally the case that lower amplitudes correspond to improved function, but this is relative to the average amplitudes for that person.

One can use the mnemonic device that lower amplitudes mean less effort is required, and higher amplitudes are the equivalent of the brain needing to shout. Areas of traumatic brain injury typically display greatly elevate brainwave amplitudes. Encouraging a more normal brainwave pattern can result in dramatic cognitive improvements in people with traumatic brain injury such as is caused by stroke, lesions, or concussion.

The levels of what are considered high or low are taken from population averages. These averages are determined by taking the average of measurements of people distinguished by age, gender, and health. This means that you can evaluate a person’s brainwave levels in relation to the average, or you can evaluate their levels in relation to the amplitudes of the other frequencies that they produce. Generally, in training or in therapy, one considers both.

Frontal: These areas behind the forehead are involved with reflex action on the right, and task planning on the left. High levels of right, prefrontal (behind the forehead) alpha are associated with reactive states of fear and anger. High levels of left prefrontal alpha relate to cognitive organization and executive function.

The ratio of the amplitudes between the left and right prefrontal areas correlates with chronic depression, and chronic depression sufferers have experienced quick and lasting relief from depression through training an alteration in this ratio.

Temporal: These are the areas around the ears, with the left and right areas being associated with different functions. The left temporal area involves language and speech, both in terms of focus and organization. The right temporal area is associated with form and prosody, or the ability to imbue and extract meaning from form.

Prosody is typically the ability to read intentions from intonation, facial, and postural cues. Alpha levels can correlate with these abilities, but training to alter these abilities is not simply a matter of raising or lowering alpha amplitudes as these skills involve coordination with other brain areas.

Medial: The sensory motor strip is the area that runs from ear to ear, passing beneath the crown of the skull. Incoming and outgoing motor neurons extend their axons down through the spinal cord to relay information about touch and to activate motion. Motor skills reside along the sensory motor strip, and they can be affected by SMR brainwave training.

Parietal: Almost half of your cortex is involved with vision, which is located in the rear (parietal) area of your cranium. Alpha frequencies are especially strong and dominate your brainwave profile when you close your eyes. Note that visual perception, which is done with your eyes, is different from visual processing, which is done in your brain. Understanding what you see, and thinking visually are not perceptual skills they’re cognitive skills.

Throughout your cortex, alpha frequencies are associated with alertness and response both conceptually and kinesthetically. Hypersensitivity and hyper-vigilance can be associated with excessive amounts (i.e. elevated amplitudes) of alpha waves.

People differ greatly in their optimal alpha band amplitudes and optimal levels differ in different areas. In spite of this, everyone generates greatly elevated levels of alpha wave power when they close their eyes.

Because alpha frequencies underlie attention, they are particularly easy to train through awareness training (neurofeedback). To the extent that such training provides improvement, the results of this training are long-lasting.

Because it’s easy to notice, and because it’s enduring in its effect, alpha brainwave training is common and typically relates to issues of focus and attention. The sensory motor rhythms, which reside in the higher alpha range, are associated specifically with sensory motor training performed over (which is to say target training the neurons in) the sensory motor strip.

6. Fast Frequencies: Discrimination


A range of things happen at faster frequencies. In general, we find faster frequencies disturbing as they interfere with our recognition of patterns. These high frequencies are dislocating; they put us on edge. We engage in them and they are necessary for recognizing fine distinctions, but we find them acceptable only in small amounts at specific time.

Beta frequencies span a wide range from 15 to 30 cycles per second. Their amplitude diminishes significantly in the upper range—or it should—and, consequently, these frequencies become difficult to measure or train. Beta frequencies are generally associated with irritation, but it would be an error to conclude that their effect is negative. They play a crucial role in supporting cognition.

Training of beta amplitudes, like the training of all amplitudes, is done selectively. One does not encourage or discourage frequencies across the whole band, but rather one trains small intervals within a band.

Beta frequencies are linked to highly energetic, narrow focus of the kind that we typically engage in through many frequent, short bursts. The irritation that often results from training an increase in the amplitude of beta oscillations reflects the unnaturalness of extended attention at these frequencies.

Under normal circumstances, we generate bursts of beta frequencies and this matches our experience of focused awareness, which also occurs in bursts. Focusing on amplifying these frequencies over extended times corresponds to putting a person in a state of hyper-arousal. We experience this as anxiety when it persists for longer than short periods of time.

On the other hand, these bursts of focused attention occur in our awareness several times a second, under normal circumstances, and this does not disturb us. This is similar to the behavior exhibited by birds at a feeder who execute short, rapid movements followed by periods of watchfulness. As humans, we don’t move our limbs in this fashion—our limbs move much more slowly—but our eyes do move with this rapidity.

These burst of attention—these spikes in beta activity—are essential for our situational awareness. They’re also essential for our perception of events of short duration which we critically embed in the phonics of our language and our microsecond changes in posture and facial expression. The majority of our interpersonal communication is embedded in these largely invisible signals. A person lacking in beta frequency awareness will miss these subtle cues and fail to exhibit them in their communication.

The role of training beta frequencies is different from that of lower frequencies. Because most people have become hyper-vigilant in their Brainwaves and their behavior, one is usually trying to calm and integrate beta brainwaves.

Elevated beta activity could be associated with chronic hypertension, cognitive fatigue, and paranoia. Insufficient beta levels would be associated with the opposite effects: dulled cognition, physical clumsiness, and poor executive function.

Beta is easy to train using neurofeedback. Simple and uncomplicated changes often bring noticeable relief from chronic tension. In some people things are not simple and focusing on changing a person’s beta wave activity at the wrong location, or out of the larger context, may not have positive results. That being said, in most cases, down-training beta levels usually leads to relaxation.

For people with chronically high amplitude beta waves, down-training beta may have the same result as taking amphetamines away from an exhausted person: it may cause them to fall asleep. Down-training beta is probably the single-most one-size-fits-all protocol that can alleviate problems of insomnia in hyper-vigilant people.


The functional role of frequencies above the beta range is poorly understood. That’s not to say these frequencies are unimportant. There are suggestions that frequencies in the gamma range, roughly 40 to 120 cycles per second, are important for the elevation of consciousness. So far, however, research has shown correlation only between gamma and short-term memory in animal studies and with musical (auditory) memory in humans.

7. Summary

Frequencies underlie awareness

We are not simply aware or unaware, we’re aware at different levels. The notion of the timing of awareness, which is to say our own frequency response, plays a key role. It is useful to understand the world we experience as being composed of events that are dominated by one or more frequencies, and that our appreciation of these events is determined by our sensitivity to them.

Rhythms underlie thought

Frequencies also form the foundation of our thinking, both our thinking process and the products of our thought. That is to say that as we think we’re enlisting our own frequency-specific skills, mixing broad and narrow bands of focus and attention.

We cannot present our thoughts entirely accurately in our words and actions, but we use our skills as best we can. Many of our thoughts involve the complex relations of ideas some of which we cannot express. What we do express is a combination of definitions, cues, and references that direct those with whom we interact to synchronize with the frequencies in the messages we’re trying to convey.

Putting frequencies together creates rhythms

Music is the combination of frequencies, amplitudes, and correlations. Tone is created by a combination of harmonics, rhythm by a repetition of sounds, and melody by their combination. We do this when we’re creating meaning too. It is not enough to look only at content; you can’t get the meaning of music by reading notation any more than you can get the meaning of a text by making lists of words. There is a music-like structure to our expressions that combines timing, rhythm, and content.

Consciousness is a resonance

Awareness is an interplay between what’s on your mind and the elements of our environment. We could not sustain awareness without feedback from our environment. When we experience people or systems whose frequencies are too different from our own, we cannot understand them. Consider dogs with whom we share many common frequencies, and whales with whom we do not.

Life is a melody

To think of awareness as the creation of a melody is an exercise in expanding one’s thinking. We imagine that our experience is limited to what we see and intend, but if you envision your experience as riding on frequencies, then you can imagine what an expanded existence might be. You must imagine what you cannot yet experience before you can experience it. Then, if you’re careful, you can create it.


Brainwaves are a key concept in the understanding of thought as governed by frequency. The effect of the training of brainwaves can be understood from this perspective. Brainwaves provide tempos that synchronize the various operations of our minds, and which results in both our external connection and our internal homeostasis.

To learn more about my use of brain waves, neurofeedback, hypnosis, and therapy see my posts on the topic of neurofeedback on the ARTICLES page of this website.

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8. Applying This To You


Focus is not an action it’s a state, and we shift between different states of focus. As when we listen, what we hear depends on what we listen to. Similarly, what we perceive depends on what we focus on.

You focus by harmonizing your brain frequencies with the frequencies around you. A musician is in focus when they feel the music around them. A thinker is in focus when their thoughts resonate with the problems they’re considering.

To have focus, first control the frequencies of your attention. Second, tune these frequencies to match what you are focusing on. You must be able to control your frequencies and tune your attention.

A person who has achieved the ability to focus will appear patient and insightful, but what they’re really doing is listening. They’re engaged in a sympathetic resonance. You can improve your ability to focus by “hearing,” recognizing, and tuning your brainwaves.


Insight is not the same as knowledge. Insight is a personal experience, while knowledge is information. Knowing things does not mean you understand them, but having insight means you understand more than you know. Having insight means you understand to such and extent that you learn new things just by watching. You see new relationships without being told.

Relationships are naturally expressed in terms of frequencies. Only unique, single, or solitary events are otherwise. Insight applies to events that are ongoing and circumstances that repeat themselves. Understanding frequency generates deeper insight.

The behavior of individuals, natural patterns, and ordered systems are best understood by locking into their frequencies and appreciating their rhythms.


Creativity is finding the key elements required for something new. Creativity is not wholesale creation of novelty, but rather finding the missing elements that allow novelty to unfold. The creative person does not create the seed, they find and nourish it. They do not build nature, they release it. Whereas a woodworker makes blocks, a sculptor puts them together. Working in stone, a sculptor sees the form inside and releases it.

Creativity builds on insight, and insight builds on experience. Creative people understand that you don’t wait for creative inspiration, you work for it like an archeologist who digs for fossils.

Creative art resides in the feeling it generates. A healthy business is the relationship between what some need and what others have. The entrepreneur sees as an enduring relationship between the two.


Anxiety is almost the opposite of creativity. Not its negation, but its opposite. The negative of creativity is stasis and decay, its opposite is conflict, explosion, or implosion.

Anxiety is conflict that seems unavoidable, and chronic anxiety generates the feeling of continuous conflict. There are wise anxieties that one should recognize, but not all anxieties are wise. Anxiety can be a signal for action or it can be a debilitating state. The two are quite different.

You’re anxious when your rhythms conflict with events around you. Anxiety tells you to speed up or slow down, and you need the ability to do this. If you cannot see or control your rhythms, then these anxieties may seem unavoidable, as if they are not under your control. In some cases, this is built into the situation, it’s not under your control and it can’t be changed. The anxiety you experience may be part of the system and not simply a feeling.

Being able to recognize and adjust your frequencies at will helps you avoid anxiety. It may enable you to control the situations, but that may not be in your power. What it will do is ensure that you can recognize your role and either change your frequency, or see the inevitable error in your role and avoid becoming entangled.

Executive Function

Problem solving is like tunnel digging: you don’t know what you’ll come upon. You need a variety of tools and powers. The powers of machines are frequency based. They are mostly driven by motors or engines, or else by power stored by some other means. The whole notion controlling power involves shifting from one frequency to another.

Problem solving is the realm of executive function. Your brain needs to understand different situations, apply the right tools, and adapt to the situation. This is a process—as with a mechanical transmission—of recognizing the right rhythm for the task at hand. Executive function does not mean that you know all the answers, it means that you know what force to apply.

If you can’t recognize what a problem requires, then your strategy will fail. Recognizing the frequencies of each tool and matching these with the frequencies of the problems is a neural skill. Just recognizing this, even if you lack the tools you needs, improves your position.


Our body is an assembly of rhythmic systems. Every organ, bone, and tissue has a natural frequency. When a system operates at its natural frequency we say that it is relaxed.

Frequency is not the same as music, and, in some internal sense, our bodies are musical. This isn’t music as we know it, it’s a harmony of electrical, chemical, and mechanical rhythms. Soothing music makes us feel good because we resonate with it.

If you can’t sense your body’s rhythms, then you can’t maintain your health. With more awareness of our internal systems, we can better tune these systems and meet our needs.

Drinkers, smokers, and junk food eaters are not attuned with their bodies, but they engage in these habits because they gain benefits from them. The mystery of coping strategies—such as drinking, smoking, and junk food eating—is that it’s oftentimes worth engaging one injury in order to endure another. It is worth learning for oneself what the consequences of your coping strategies are. Your ill health may not be worth the benefits it serves.


Your states of mind are frequencies, and it’s on top of these that your thoughts ride. Sleep is rhythm, and if you don’t recognize this, you’ve lost control of your mental state and you cannot manage sleep.

If you think changing your thoughts you will move yourself toward sleep, then you have put the cart before the horse. You do not need to coral your thoughts in order to improve your sleep, and it won’t do you any good to try. Sleep is a non-thought process; sleep requires that you stop your thoughts.

My insomnia clients are over-thinkers. They would be lost without their thoughts. If you have insomnia, then you need to learn to live without thinking. That does not mean having a blank mind, it means having a direct awareness of the world.

When you can become aware of the world without thoughts, then you will have the experience of a whole range of states that you thought were brought on by thinking but, in fact, are its foundation. When you learn to experience your mind as frequency, you can fall asleep at will.

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