Judith Pennington shares her extensive knowledge of gamma brain waves with John Dupuy, co-founder of iAwake Technologies. Judith is the founder of the Institute for the Awakened Mind, where practitioners from all over the world use the Mind Mirror EEG to map, monitor, train, and research advanced states of consciousness.
Judith: I fell in love with gamma in 2005. I had started seeing extended amplitudes up in the high beta range, which normally describe states of stress, anxiety, and panic. But people were saying to me, “No. I was meeting with my dead husband and resolving all the difficulties we had,” or “I was in unity consciousness,” things like that. That’s when I fell in love in with gamma.
At the time, I was training with Anna Wise, a mind researcher following in the footsteps of C. Maxwell Cade, who invented the Mind Mirror EEG in 1976. The Mind Mirror is completely unique because it measures both sides of the brain across an array of frequencies, which in Max and Anna’s time went from 0 – 44 Hz, but now goes from 0 – 100 Hz. When you look at this array of frequencies, you’re not only looking at the frequencies within a bandwidth like beta, alpha, theta, delta, or gamma, but also the interrelationships between these categories, all of which have meaning according to our 40-year database.
So, in 2011, a year after Anna Wise died, I met up with a UK manufacturer named Vilistus, and the first thing I had them do was add two gamma bands to the Mind Mirror. Back when I was training with Anna, and we saw all these amplitudes, Anna said, “Well, they’re energetics.” She was right, but there was more to it than that. Still, it certainly is energetics. It’s an increase in the frequencies and often the amplitude in the brain. Sometimes it’s related to the life force arising. At that time, lots of studies were coming out that were saying some extraordinary things; hence my interest in adding gamma brain waves monitoring to the Mind Mirror.
The high-voltage brain power of the mega mind
The most important thing to remember is that gamma is a governing agent in the brain, so when you move up into 40 Hz gamma, it synchronizes the brain across frequencies and across the lobes: the brain becomes more coherent and efficient, and there is less noise. The results are that the brain is:
more able to accommodate the flow of information across the hemispheres;
it powers up and coordinates from both front and back with the central nervous system;
and it coordinates with the peripheral nervous system also.
So, there’s the physiological benefit of powering up your body (as well as your brain), and part of that is owing to the fact that gamma produces new neurons like crazy. Theta frequencies do, too, and physical activity that you especially enjoy will also promote neurogenesis for the formation of new brain cells. But gamma certainly does—it’s known for that.
Gamma forms new brain cells in the frontal cortex, thus increasing our capacity for intelligence. It also forms new brain cells in the hippocampus, thus increasing our capacity for memory storage and retrieval—and for learning. It’s quite literally a powering-up of the brain.
Oddly enough, when you get into frequencies that are higher than the stress, anxiety, and panic levels of beta, you move into a transpersonal state—what I call a superconscious state—where there is this arousal that is somehow relaxed, and is associated (through studies of Tibetan monks, Carmelite, and Franciscan nuns) with a mystical union, with access to a spontaneous flow of creative insights, and overall, a more superconscious way of functioning.
Gamma brain waves: a quantum leap in consciousness
The really nice thing about it is that after you entrain to gamma in meditation, you can actually bring it with you into everyday life so you’re functioning in a superconscious way. You have access to everything that the awakened mind (which we generally entrain in lower frequencies) stands for: mental lucidity, clarity, creativity, insight, a relaxed sensory awareness, and access to delta’s psychic awareness and empathy.
And, you can have all of these awakened mind qualities plus the more transcendent, very often spiritually-associated frequencies and their associated energy and information all at the same time! I call it a quantum leap, where people are developing an intelligence that is moving in the direction of spirituality. It’s like the lights are going on.
As a matter of fact, if you look at it from the level of everything in this universe being composed of photons, of light, it’s a powering up of electricity in the brain—through the light. This is why people say they have experienced sensations of light in meditation—they really have. They have amplified their sensitivity to, their awareness of, and their access to greater levels of light and awareness.
I was reading a study this morning that said gamma waves, by synchronizing the brain, are actually increasing your ability to respond to events. It’s not just that you’re speeding up the brain, your processing power is enhanced. Your reaction time is faster.
Switched On and Tuned In
If everything (as the studies are showing) is more coherent and more synchronized when you’re developing and producing these gamma waves, you’re more switched on and tuned in to the full spectrum of your awareness—that’s from the highest frequencies to the lowest frequencies. So you can draw on information you might not even have known you had. And maybe you didn’t have it! Maybe it’s flowing in from the field itself.
Think about the concept of synchronization across the two hemispheres, so thought flows more freely. If you’ve got this coordination with your nervous system, then your voluntary and involuntary nervous systems are working together, so you’re more coherent—literally more in a state of flow—and you have an inner peace, a sense of who you are and what you’re doing. You’re able to prioritize. You’re able to see what it is that you need and want to accomplish and how to do that; that’s a peak performance state.
You certainly get that with the awakened mind, but when you add gamma frequencies on top of that, with the faster reaction time, the greater ability to understand and perceive, and the inflow of information on different levels, intuition, instinct, and intellect all working together, then that’s truly a superconscious state.
Healing with gamma brain waves: neurogenesis, neuroplasticity, coherence
John: Judith, what can you tell us about gamma and healing states? Like with PTSD or other traumas.
Judith: I haven’t studied a lot about it, but I know of a medical doctor in upstate New York who is using gamma to heal PTSD because of the amount of neurogenesis that occurs. The other main thing is neuroplasticity—it’s literally rewiring the circuits. If you look at all the studies and want to synthesize them down into a general statement, gamma is powering up the brain; it’s powering up the body; it’s sending increased voltages of coherent light into every single cell and atom of the body. So there’s definitely healing taking place.
If the gamma wave is coherent with the rest of the pattern, then the brain is coherent, the body is coherent, and that’s going to heal disease. But if the gamma is out there operating on its own, it can cause problems for people, because when it’s not integrated, then they’re more vulnerable to electrical frequencies. Some people have problems with that.
John: I’m wondering if you’ve ever done any experiments with somebody who is in an awakened mind state, where you have them hooked up and then you bring other people in who maybe aren’t, and find out what happens to their brain just being in the presence of the awakened mind person. Is there any kind of transfer or mirror neuron thing going on?
Judith: Absolutely! As a matter of fact, the very first studies that Max Cade did back in the 1970s were all on healers. In his book, The Awakened Mind: Biofeedback and the Development of Higher States of Awareness, he talks about how healers would work with recipients, who would have incoherent brain waves due to their physical conditions. The healer would be in an awakened mind state—which is the pattern of the psychic and the healer, as well as the advanced meditator—the pattern of spiritually conscious and highly developed people. When the healer was not in an awakened mind state, invariably the recipient would say, “Well, I just didn’t feel anything happen today,” and they wouldn’t get any better.
The Mind Mirror has such advanced data analysis tools now that we can see the moment someone goes from being incoherent and having their brain waves all over the place, disconnected, and the moment the healing occurs. I just monitored a healer and a woman who had a knee problem. As is typical, the healer was producing high gamma, in this case I think it was high left-brain gamma, and he transferred the gamma to her. Her brain waves went completely coherent, she moved into high gamma—and now she’s becoming a Mind Mirror practitioner and trainer. Not only did the high gamma transfer for the healing and the issue with the knee went away, she maintained the gamma on an ongoing basis—she’s producing a ton of it now. And it wasn’t there before, because I had mapped her before this healing.
She and others training to become Mind Mirror practitioners, all with high gamma, are all so calm, you know? They are not like people who have outflung gamma that’s not integrated with the rest of their brain waves—people like that would be nervous and talkative; they don’t know what to do with all that energy in their body. They need to ground it down in theta.
Resetting Your Brain in the Super Low Frequencies Readies You for Gamma
Judith: There are a lot of studies these days—especially Siegfried Othmer, neurofeedback pioneer and Chief Scientist of the EEG Institute, has talked a lot about this—about how the brain resets down in the super low frequencies; it resets from illness, from disease, from being incoherent. When the brain is down there, it heaves a big sigh of relief and says, “Oh… we just took all the stress off. Now, I can reset to where I know I was together.” Then it’s ready to go up into gamma. The same thing happens when you meditate with lower frequencies like delta or epsilon. You come back recharged.
If anybody has trouble with the gamma frequencies, they literally ground by going out into nature, by swimming or walking, or just spending time in the alpha frequencies, reflecting on their lives. Then the gamma waves reduce, stabilize, and integrate with the rest of the pattern. So there’s not really any danger entraining to gamma, because if people start feeling nervous and jittery, the antidote is simply to go out in nature. Do something sensory to bring the frequencies down.
John: So, when you’re doing gamma, you said it actually affects the lower frequencies?
Judith: Yes. The awakened mind is about an open flow of consciousness from the highest frequencies to the lowest frequencies and then back up. Information flows up from the unconscious mind all the way to the conscious mind and then becomes a superconscious awareness. The gamma is informing the entire brain, and the entire brain is informing the gamma. It’s a two-way street—or actually it’s probably a multi-dimensional, many-leveled highway.
A Natural Way to Increase Gamma Brain Waves: Meditation
The most natural and most beautiful way to increase gamma is simply to meditate in all the states that iAwake tracks take people down into—alpha, theta, delta—and it will develop naturally. The gamma brain wave will develop because it rides like a carrier wave on the delta. Some people see theta, some people see delta—I see it mostly riding on the delta. It’s like a tourist! The low frequencies lead to the high frequencies, which travel down into the low frequencies. It’s a biofeedback loop.
John: What would it be like to have an educational system that would allow one hour a day to developing the human brain and the capacity to understand these things? It would change the world.
Judith: Well, John, it may happen because there are an increasing number of studies that are coming out about this. A lot of schools, especially in California, are adding meditation to the curriculum. They have seen that the dropout rate (mostly among high school students) decreases enormously, and the students’ ability to learn increases. That’s the main thing gamma is known for: by synchronizing everything, it increases learning.
John: Experientially (from feedback from iAwake practitioners over the years), we’ve found that young people’s brains are so sensitive, they respond powerfully to this technology, maybe more than a mature adult brain. So, this can do tremendous things for young people, like breaking down a lot of the issues that cause self-destructive behaviors or addiction—things that are so dangerous and so often plague our young people today.
Judith: Yes. The key to the development of consciousness is to get in touch with your issues and use that wellspring of wisdom to heal those issues. Gamma really helps with that because of the neuroplasticity.
John: And if you don’t deal with the shadow stuff, if you don’t deal with those dark and wounded places, nothing good comes of it—all kinds of pathologies arise, in your interiors, physically and behaviorally, and with how you treat other people and yourself. Shadow work has to be included in any ongoing process of maximizing ourselves as human beings—and gamma is our ally in helping us do that.
Judith: It is. Gamma is a natural wave that we all have access to, either through deep meditation or through resonance with your brainwave entrainment tracks.
The other natural way is for people to get in touch with their spirit. To feel a connection with that field down on the level of delta that will connect them with the higher frequencies in the field, which will flow right into their brain as gamma.
We have so many ways to awaken—all we need to do is do it.