History of the Awakened Mind, by Anna

1970 – 1980: Early Research

We owe the original discovery of the Awakened Mind brain wave pattern to the brilliant British psychobiologist and biophysicist C. Maxwell Cade 40 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.

1980 – 1990: Research Expansion & Practical Application

In 1981, I returned to the United States, where I originally came from, with Max’s blessings and 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.

1990 – 2008: The Wise ProtocolTM

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. 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 and deepened my understanding of the Awakened Mind — how it developed, how it was used, what it was used for, how to help to accelerate its development, and how to use it more effectively. I learned that there were many varieties 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 a step-by-step protocol for training the awakened mind, which can then be individualized in accordance with the client’s signature pattern and specific needs.

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.

Anna Wise

The Awakened Mind Practitioners Directory – Resources and Possibilities

Given that Anna is no longer with us we have created the Awakened Mind Directory (1305 downloads ) . It contains names and contact information of people who trained with Anna. Please refer to that for further resources and possibilities.

The High Performance Mind – Audio CD Collection

Anna developed this 4-CD set of ten brainwave development meditations and exercises based on the Wise Protocol. All meditations are backed by specifically designed frequency scores and music to help stimulate the appropriate brainwaves. This CD is available through CD Baby.