TEC – Mind Matters Summary – Steven Synder
Mind Matters: Brilliance, Passion and the Nature of Mastery
The purpose of this presentation is to teach how to:
- Totally focus your concentration.
- Release stress and tension.
- Gain instant access to your genius at will.
- Change habits.
The corporate world is the end user, or consumer, of the school system. Our current school system is completely inadequate. School is designed to mold our children, whereas education is about allowing everyone to find their gift. It is the corporate world which will eventually force the creation of a true educational system.
The basics of education are not reading, writing, and arithmetic. The basics are how to think and how to feel. We have to learn how to learn before we can start learning.
People are energy. Other cultures have words to describe the human energy, but there is no word in English. This energy is what animates us. George Lucas called it “the Force.”
This force has three essential functions:
- When it flows through the body, its function is healing. The life force tears down the old standard, builds it up again, then makes it better.
- When it flows through the mind, it is called intelligence.
- When it flows through the other part of the human that we call the soul or the heart, it is called love or self-esteem.
This energy is measurable on an electro-encephalograph as brain wave activity. The nature of brain wave activity is the key to understanding the utilization of this energy. It is possible to control brain wave energy. By doing so, you can learn to become an accelerated learner or healer, or turn your energy towards several other areas of learning.
There are four different levels of brain wave activity: delta, theta, alpha, and beta.
DELTA: This the state we call deep sleep. Delta is anything above zero to about four cycles per second on the electroencephalograph. One cycle per second is coma. At approximately four cycles per second we are on the threshold of dreaming, but are still in deep sleep.
THETA: Theta is dreaming. It measures at about 4-7 cycles per second. Everyone needs to sleep so they can dream. There are three kinds of dreams.
- Wishful thinking dreams: These happen when we “fall” asleep, it sometimes manifests as a falling sensation. This dream puts us in the right frame of mind to sleep. These dreams always end right before you get what you want. This provides an important lesson: happiness comes from moving toward getting what you want, not from getting it. This does not mean don’t try to get what you want. It means you’ll be happy if you’re moving toward your goal, unhappy if you’re moving away from it, and bored once you’ve reached it because you will soon want something else.
- Precognitive dreams: These dreams come in the middle of the night, and may come true.
- Morning dreams: These are the most important kinds of dreams, we require them to heal our emotions. These dreams are like an emotional inventory. The mind takes stock of our tensions and fears, and then dreams and releases them. The morning dreams are venting dreams, they release emotions we have too much of.
ALPHA: Alpha is 7-14 cycles per second. When you are fading from theta to alpha you are just drowsily waking up out of a dream. Ten cycles per second is television watching. Fourteen cycles per second is the most intense thing a great person could possibly imagine doing without dividing their attention. Alpha is all about undivided attention. With focus, you can open the filter of your brain and absorb so much more. You can create a state of hyper-suggestibility in alpha.
BETA: As soon as your attention is divided, you are in beta state, which measures at 14-28 cycles per second. Rush hour traffic will put you at 18-20 cycles per second. Panic, anxiety, confusion, and terror measure at 28-30. Being this high in beta temporarily will give someone a nervous breakdown. Too much chronic high in beta and you have disease you can’t heal yourself. Beta is a dangerous place, but we need this state, it is what makes us human. As humans we can meta-think, or think about our thoughts. We can think and judge our thoughts simultaneously.
“Fight or flight syndrome” occurs in beta. It is a state of superhuman feats in life-threatening situations. It makes us strong, but we lose intelligence, memory and creativity. In these high-stress states, we never say anything intelligent. We access the core of the brain, the primal part, but we give up the outer, evolved part of the brain. This is our survival mechanism.
In the 20th century, however, beta is killing us, because we spend too much time in this stage. We don’t need to have a less stressful lifestyle, we need to learn to live in the alpha state, which is the state of focus and peacefulness. By learning how to take a few minutes to focus the mind, we can relax ourselves and learn a tremendous amount more.
The adult human only requires about four or five hours of sleep to survive. However, he absolutely requires a minimum of eight hours of REST. Some people only rest if they sleep. These people need eight or ten hours of sleep. But if you learn to spend time during the day to relax, to rest, then you will find you can spend less of your time sleeping. Alpha will help you do this.
To understand how learning takes place, we have to realize that we have two minds. One mind is practical, the other is compulsive. One is logic, reasoning, and deduction; the other is creativity, imagination, and intuition. We are born with only the subconscious mind. The conscious mind forms outside of it and surrounds it. The subconscious is about 88% of your mind. The conscious mind is 12%. Because of this, logic cannot beat creativity. Eighty-eight percent of your mind cannot tell the difference between what is make believe and what is real.
We function most effectively in our alpha state because we have access to both minds. We don’t learn well when we feel stress. We lean best when in alpha. Alpha state is outlawed in school. It’s called daydreaming. Daydreaming is by far the most brilliant of learning states. Ideas come in the rumination states. Unfortunately, school is mostly boredom punctuated by moments of stress and panic.
It is important to learn how to reach the alpha state and use it. In the past, the methods of learning this – meditation, biofeedback, etc. – were things we wouldn’t do, because they took a large investment of energy, which is too much of a hassle in modern society.
It takes only 20 seconds to totally focus your concentration before you do something. Once you are familiar with getting into that stat; it will happen even faster. Take 20 seconds when you are done with a task, so you can relax before you go on to something else. It will also only take 20 seconds to reprogram your mind.
The most common experiences we have in the alpha state are watching television and daydreaming. Television exists in alpha state. The purpose of the television show is to create alpha so that the commercial comes on when your filter is open and you are in a state of hyper-suggestibility. The message that enters your mind during alpha is eight to eight hundred times more powerful than that which you hear in the normal wakeful state.
HOW TO GET INTO ALPHA
Everyone has to create their own way to get into alpha. The objective is to induce your mind to be focused entirely on one thing. You have to learn to focus on that one specific thing over and over again. Once you are in that focused state, you use that focus on whatever you are doing at that moment.
Use your imagination. Imagine you are in a peaceful, calm, serene, and tranquil place. Imagine that if you are there, you are at peace.
People imagine differently. Some people hear, visualize, feel, or know when they imagine. You want something that will really work for your non-logical mind. The logical mind is not the target. Don’t let your logical mind pick your place. Pick your place by an inductive thinking process. When you close your eyes, and start to daydream, that is the place you pick. It can be anyplace, as long as it’s tranquil. You should go there alone. You can invite someone else once you are there, but don’t take anyone with you.
The common conception is that to focus like this you have to go into theta. Theta is a wonderful place, it is where you go to pray, to heal yourself from deadly diseases, and to focus on things above daily life. This is not where you go to affect your daily life, which is what you are trying to do here. We need alpha for this. This is the state where you normally space out, but now you are going to use it to space in.
The technical name of the alpha brain wave state with your eyes open is staring. The process works better with your eyes closed, but if you want your eyes open, you need to fix them on a certain point and see your peaceful place.
Get comfortable in your chair. Take a deep breath, and close your eyes. Imagine a peaceful, calm, serene, and tranquil scene. Hear the sounds, the quiet place inside. As you see this place, feel the tranquility and focus it creates. Then take a deep breath and open your eyes.
The way to tell if you got to alpha, is by your eyes. As we move down into alpha we stare, then we move into rapid eye movement (REM). When you close your eyes and begin to visualize, your eyes will go into REM. You can usually feel this.
There are four words you must obey to program the subconscious mind:
- Positive: The subconscious mind only understands when you tell it what to do, not when you tell it what not to do. The conscious mind can differentiate, but not the subconscious. (This is really important with children. If you tell them what not to do, they will at least think of doing it. Whereas, if you tell them what to do instead, they won’t.)
- Present: All suggestions must be in the present tense. If you program your mind by saying “I will start to exercise tomorrow,” when the next day comes your mind will ask is it tomorrow yet? Instead, program by saying, “I will start to exercise now,” because now is always here.
- Practice: You must practice your suggestions. How many repetitions does it take to create a habit? It depends on the language of the subconscious mind – emotion.
- Passion: The amount of passion in each repetition will determine how long it takes to create a habit. You have to create passion to create a habit. Nothing will change without adding emotion to your suggestions.
Don’t ever say what you don’t want. When you think of what you want to create as a habit, you need to say what you want as if you already have it, and say it with a lot of emotion. It can be any emotion, but anger, and hatred are not recommended. It doesn’t matter if it is high quality emotion, it just has to be a lot of emotion.
Reading is an amazing example of how alpha can help you change your habits. The single most wasteful use of time in the corporate world is reading. The average reader reads at the same speed as they talk. What you need to do is read the way you think, which is must faster. When you learn to read as you think, you can triple your reading time and increase your productivity.
We are taught to read one word at a time. This is a lot of work. It takes just as long to read “in” as it does “psychologist.” By eliminating the stop signs between each word, you will increase speed. Traditional speed reading has one major flaw–you are taught to concentrate on both the process and the meaning. But when you divide your attention, you are in beta and you have lost the focus, as well as the pleasure of reading. You need to program your mind to read faster so that you don’t have to think about the process and will do it automatically.
At this point, Snyder directs the members in an exercise to change their reading speed. First, he divides the group into pairs. Each pair has a partner “A” and a partner “B”. Partner B then reads silently from a book he holds up in front of him for a few minutes. Partner A watches his eyes move as he reads. Partner A then reads from the book. Each member is told how many times per line their eyes moved. Usually it was about as many movements as words per line.
To reprogram your eyes to read faster, you must train them to read in tn-focus. Your eyes must read each line in thirds; first the left third, then the center third, and finally the right third. After you master this, you should move to reading a whole line at a time. It is even possible to read a third of a page at a time.
To begin, go into your alpha state. When you arrive there, imagine a book. The secret to the exercise is how much you can feel love for this book. Then open the book. Imagine the page has three lines without words. Then begin to move your eyes left, center, right, for each line. While doing this, feel thrilled and joyous. The mind will get the idea that reading this way feels great, then when you pick up a real book and read normally, your mind won’t like or accept it. It will automatically begin to read left, center, right.
After reading your imaginary book in rri-focus, say to yourself, “Every time I read I read in tri-focus.” Insist on it in your mind. Then think about the book again. Move your eyes left, center, right for about one minute longer. Then rest your eyes and come back to the room.
At this point, the members join their partners again and repeat the earlier reading exercise. Members realized two things: they had automatically read without stopping at every word, and they had lost a lot of their comprehension.
Simply by reprogramming your mind, you automatically read differently. After five hours of practice the change would be permanent. Each practice session is eight to eight hundred times more powerful than the last session. Comprehension will go far beyond what it ever was before, because you have also reprogrammed your mind to be excited by reading. Usually people are so bored with reading, they begin to daydream or fall asleep.
When we go into the alpha state we really don’t do anything except move into a state of potential. When you have to do something important, or when you are done doing something important and need to relax, follow these steps:
- Stop what you are doing.
- Take twenty seconds.
- Focus your mind by going to your special place.
- Once focused, shift your focus to what you are about to do.
- Imagine yourself doing it.
- Then move into doing it.
Whenever you have a problem to solve, go into your peaceful state and open up your filter. Remember:
- People are energy. The body is just a package.
- The energy flows through the body as healing, through the mind as intelligence, and through the spirit as love or interest or self-esteem.
- As we move up through alpha, we shift from being barely awake, to day dreaming, to peak performance.
- As we move up into beta we get divided attention through panic, anxiety, or terror. We need this state, but too much of it exposes us to danger.
- We need to spend more time in alpha.
You can do four things in alpha:
- Before doing something important, go to your special place and imagine yourself doing it, then do it.
- When you’re finished doing something, go back into your special place for 15-20 seconds to release any tension, so you start fresh with the next activity. You need to let this tension go or it will kill you.
- When you need to solve problems or be creative, go to your peaceful state, and get in touch with the power of “I”: imagination, illumination, ingenuity, etc. Open up your filter, then ask for those powers to help you.
- Go to your alpha state to “change your mind and keep the change.”