Since we've had the ability to make decisions and interact with our environment, humans have always held sacred those things that strongly influenced their mind. Every culture has their own form of this, and it ranges in everything from the spiritual leaders promoting fasting and prayer to the shaman ritual of ingesting ayahuasca in the jungles of Peru.
In the modern world, these examples have mostly been relegated to the sidelines and are not a part of peoples every day lives. What we do see is an interest in using new technologies to achieve spiritual states of mind and one area in which this has been successful is in the development of audio visual equipment bundled together in what's known as a "mind machine".
How to use a Mind Machine
Popular mind machines include the Procyon, Sirius, or David Pal 36. For a look at the most popular of these, please see this page of light and sound machine reviews. (This one in particular focuses on the Sirius, but should be relevant to anyone looking at any machine as most models are based on the technology and even the same programs from the original Sirius.)
Whatever mind machine you have, the basics of using it are very simple. Find a chair that's relaxing but not too relaxing (you don't want to fall asleep on your first try) or even lie down on the floor, if you find that to be less distracting. Choose whatever program sounds the most interesting to you, or just select one at random. Place the headphones on and be sure you're using stereo headphones, as this effects the imperceptible tones that make up binaural beats. Place the LED glasses over your face and this is critical: you need to keep your eyes closed for the session. All mind machines are designed for closed eyed wearing, and with the eyes open the bright lights will be painful and could possible cause damage to your eyes if you're exposed to this habitually.
Once you're comfortable and good to go with your light frames and headphones, turn it on.
What Happens Next
What happens next is a descent into the awesome world of mind machines! I find the experience to very psychedelic. The LED lights flash using different primary colors and dozens of shades of those primary colors, creaing a whirlwind of complex geometric patterns and tunnels of different colors on the back of the eyelids. The experience is amazing. At the same time, strange beeps and sounds come into your ears via the headphones, adding to the surrealness of the experience.
You may see full scenes develop in front of you or it may remain abstract. Some describe it as flying in outer space, others see farms and houses, and others just fancy lights.
Ultimately you won't know unless you try it!
The ability to achieve altered states quickly and safely with a mind machine is enormous, and if you're interested in personal exploration of this sort, this is a fantastic way to get started for only a small investment, being that mind machines start at around $100 to $150.
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(Read more posts by Betty)