How technology helped me optimize my brain

I recently participated in 40 Years of Zen in Seattle for five days of brain performance optimization. My Facebook posts generated a large number of inquiries, so I thought I would share the story. 

It is a fully immersive, very intense, five-day experience utilizing state-of-the-art neurofeedback equipment and programs, combined with expert guidance and coaching, to harness the brain’s full potential and teach the brain to work coherently with itself. 

There is really an outstanding expert team there, including a functional medicine doctor, acupuncturist, neuroscientist and a doctor of neurology to ensure that the program is executed in the absolute best and safest way possible. 

The goal is to increase alpha brain waves (you can read more about our brain waves here). Neuroscientists recently made a correlation between an increase of alpha brain waves either through electrical stimulation (quick) or mindfulness and meditation (slower), and the ability to reduce depressive symptoms and increase creative thinking.

We are electrical and magnetic beings and our brains are a powerhouse of electricity. Every time we have a thought we produce electricity. In this type of neurofeedback, the electricity is measured, turns into sound, plays back to the brain and sends information if we are able to produce alpha waves or not. After many, many hours in the pod (below) learning how to produce alpha brain waves, I now have incredible knowledge so that at any time during the day I am able to generate alpha brain waves. They are also associated with the flow state that we all want to be in, something that is well known in athletes when they outperform. 

My brain performance was also measured, and for 20 minutes per day I had direct electrical stimulation to train the brain where it is weak (I did this with the device pictured below). You cannot do it for any longer, as it is too strong and the brain would shut down the body to compensate. So having experts around is key. 

While doing this, we had a private chef who cooked us the most nutritious food, acupuncture and nootropics, and we learned breathing techniques coupled with heart rate variability to see where we are in our most calm state and how breath can help us get there. All of this is to make sure that the body is in optimum shape to support the advancements in the brain. 

There is a lot more to it than I’ve described and I had to do some real work, and access and discard memories, trauma and behavioral patterns that did not serve me. 

The program is beyond the most profound work I have ever done and I focused on quite a lot of stuff. I feel that I have eliminated several unproductive behavioral patterns. I feel a greater sense of love for all things and people, feel calmer and have greater clarity. I have to say it was well worth the huge expense and that the return on investment is incalculable.