attention span

Brain wave activity has been divided by scientists into four categories, or Brainwave States. They call them Delta, Theta, Alpha and Beta. So what you are about to learn is Delta, Theta, Alpha, Beta, Data.

Delta is a state that is anything above zero to four cycles per second on the electroencephalograph or EEG. We have a name for it, we call it deep sleep. Cycles per second or hertz is the way we measure brainwave activity and also other forces of energy as well. For example, radio waves are transmitted through the airways in cycles per second. FM radio waves are measured in millions of cycles per second. If I tune it to 95.5 on the FM dial, I'm picking up a frequency being broadcast at 95,500,000 cycles per second. If I tune to the AM dial, which is a lower frequency dial, then I'm tuning in to say 640 on the AM dial, I'm tuning into 640,000 cycles per second. Audible sound is anything from about 60 cycles per second to about 20,000 cycles per second.

What we bounce off satellites can be gigahertz, or billions of cycles per second. But of all the energy in the universe, light, heat, color, sound, x-rays, microwaves; human brain waves are the lowest frequency of them all.

Brain waves are the only form of energy where the frequency begins at zero. We call this birth and death. Actually it is the birth of brain wave activity, which begins late in the second trimester of pregnancy and continues until we die.

Hopefully none of us will experience the state above zero but below a half a cycle per second, this is comatose or coma. But all of us experience virtually every day, that starts from a half a cycle per second up to four cycles per second, that state we call deep sleep.
Sleep is a fantastic thing. The most amazing thing about sleep is, nobody has any idea what happens when they were there, and yet everybody wants to go back. It's like, I know it was good, I don't remember a thing about it, but I know it must have been good.

For adults, there are two primary reasons we sleep: One of them is to heal the body, and the other is to regulate brain chemistry. Most healthy uninjured adults only require five or six hours of sleep, but we all need at least eight hours of complete rest. The problem is that many people have no idea how to rest unless they are sleeping.

These hyper Type A Personalities have only two speeds FULL and OFF. These people need at least eight hours of sleep as they never get any other rest. With enough effective rest most can do well with much less sleep. Rest means we are free of physical tension and free of emotional anxiety. If you want to sleep less you can but you have to do it in a way that works for your mind/heart/spirit. You can't just go from eight hours of sleep each night, all of a sudden down to four hours of sleep. You would wake up feeling like a zombie. That doesn't work.

What you have to do is go from eight hours of sleep to seven and a half hours of sleep for three months. Then down to seven hours for three months. Then down to six and a half hours for about three more months. And it may take a year or two to get from eight hours down to four hours. But then again, you got that much time.

It's like the story of this eighty year old man that enrolls in the University for the first time. Someone asked “Do you realize that you'll be eighty four years old by the time you graduate from the University?” The old man thinks for a while and then replies, “So how old will I be in four years, if I don't go to the University?”

It may take you a year or two to optimize your sleep cycle but then, you've got that time. So the Delta state is about deep sleep, about healing the body, about regulating brain chemistry. We need to sleep effectively if we're going to learn.

As we move up from Delta the deep sleep state toward awake we move into Theta. This is a state we still consider to be asleep, but is really quite different from deep sleep. Theta is where we dream.

Dreams are fascinating because they tell us about the part of us that we really aren't normally in touch with. The part of us that is that other mind. There are essentially three kind of dreams that we have each night, and these dreams are chronological.

First there's a kind of dream you have as you are about to fall asleep, and you know, you do in fact fall asleep. When you feel that falling feeling, what is happening is that your brain wave activity drops real suddenly, down into this dream sleep state. There's another kind of dream we have toward the middle of the night and a third kind we have in the morning just before we come fully awake.

The falling asleep dream has as its basic purpose putting you into the best frame of mind, the most positive attitude, so that you can do your most effective healing when you drop off to sleep. These dreams are called wishful thinking dreams. Sometimes about money or power or fame or glory or happiness and often sexual.

Mine tend to go something like this. I'm somewhere and there she is. She and I are immersed in some kind of adventure, we're being chased by somebody or we have to go save somebody, and we're running and running and running and finally we escape or we save the world, and then she's in my arms. We start hugging and kissing, and kissing and hugging, and its getting more and more intimate and more and more passionate, and just as we are about to you know, right when we are going to,... the dream ends. It took me years to figure out what these dreams were about and once I figured it out I came in touch with one of the most important things I've ever learned. One of life's most important lessons, a lesson in fact that is so very important that our mind re-teaches it to us every single night of our life. A lesson most people never do learn.

The powerful lesson of these beginning of the night dreams is that happiness comes from moving toward getting what you want, not from getting it. People think, I'll be happy when I get a great job, or I'll be happy when I'm rich, or I'll be happy when I meet the right person. It's just doesn't work like that.

Happiness comes from moving toward getting what you want, not from getting it

If you decide on what you want, you appoint that as your goal. You are happy moving towards it, and unhappy moving away from it. But if you get it, and you stop there, what you appointed as your goal, you now have to disappoint, and you will be disappointed.

It can no longer be what you want, because it's what you've got. It is human nature. Nobody wants what they've already got. Everyone wants what they haven't got. So what you appointed as your goal, if you stop there, will leave you disappointed.
The key is, before you get what you want, decide what you want next, and celebrate the first goal on your way through it. Happiness is the road, not the place, the journey not the destination, so when you get close to getting what you want, make sure you decide what you want next.

In addition to counting your blessings, happiness comes from moving toward getting what you want, and every night we have a dream that takes us to that place just before we get what we most want and leaves us there. This is the most powerful place there is, that place right before we get what we want, and then we drop quickly off into healing sleep..

In the middle of the night we come back up toward awake, and have a different kind of dream. These dreams are the psychic dreams, they're the pre-cognitive dreams, the predicting the future dreams. These are the ones that sometimes come true. I think that this type of dream may also be an explanation of that phenomena we call "Deja vu." You know about Deja vu. George Carlin had a great line. He said “Everybody knows about Deja vu. But have you ever experienced Vuja De? Vuja De is where you know that you've never been there before and you know that you never want to be there again.

Just as the deep sleep state heals our bodies, morning dreams heal our emotions. It works something like this. Let's say you've got a respectable amount of fear (caution, carefulness, defensiveness) about being in an accident. If you didn't have any fear of being in a car accident you'd drive like a maniac, but you realize that this is a dangerous thing you're doing. So you are driving along the highway and you look off to the side and see this really bad car accident, with broken bodies and blood and brains spattered across the highway and ugh, it's horrible but we look. Everybody looks. Its like everybody looks back before they flush. People say they don't but I don't believe them, it is a primitive response, everybody looks.

So you see this horrible car accident and you think/feel “that could have been me”. Now, because of this emotional experience, you've got twice as much fear inside of yourself, of being in a car accident then you actually require.

Toward the morning each morning your brain does this emotional inventory, it checks you out, and says, “well look at this. We've got twice as much fear of being in a car accident than we actually need. So our mind/spirit/heart says, “let's have a dream.” So in your dream, you are driving along the highway and all of a sudden this other car jumps the center divider and he's coming right at you and you get frightened, and release your excess fear.

Unfortunately many people wake up from dreams like that and think, “Oh My God I'm going to be in a car accident” and then the fear recycles back in again. This is where reoccurring or repetitive dreams come from. Reoccurring dreams are your mind/spirit/heart telling you “you didn't get it, we're going to have to play this one again.” And it will play it again and again and again. Bad dreams in the morning are good. If you wake from a bad dream feel glad you got the negativity out of your system. Good dreams in the morning are also good. If you dream you win the lottery, your mind/heart/spirit is saying “get that out of your system, you're not going to win the lottery, don't waste all of your money.”

That's Theta, except it's not quite all. Theta is something like an iceberg, with most of it below the level of consciousness with a tip of the iceberg floating above. There is this half awake/half asleep place, where you are dreaming, but you know that you are dreaming while you are dreaming it. Where you are having a "lucid" dream

We have this very powerful trance-like state in between awake and asleep. This is the place that the Maharishies, Yogis, Fakhirs, and Zen Masters all go to when they do those amazing things they do. Like walking on burning hot coals or laying on beds of sharp nails. In this half awake/half asleep, “tip of the iceberg” part of the Theta State, we have the potential to exert tremendous control over our physical bodies. Theta, however takes a long time to master. We're talking about deep trance meditation where you have to sit and quiet your mind for twenty or thirty minutes every morning and twenty or thirty minutes every evening, with an investment of months and months for gifted naturals and years for most of people, to be able to get significant results. Ultimately meditation is a great thing to do, but in many people’s very busy lives, it's incredibly inconvenient. If we lived in a cave in Tibet or a mountain top in the Andes, this would be easier, but in most of our lives it's really challenging to find the time to invest twenty minutes every morning and twenty minutes every evening and then have to wait months or even years for the rewards.

So, we are not going to focus on the Theta State because most people won't do it. In fact I believe that the best way to master the Theta trance state is to do so with the assistance of a teacher who can help guide you into the deeper states while making sure that you don't fall off to sleep. The challenge of the Theta trance is to get as close to sleep as possible without going over the suggested retail price. So the technique that you are about to learn doesn't take twenty minutes. In fact the technique that you are about to learn takes twenty seconds. Now in twenty seconds you can't master Theta but what you can master is Alpha, the state of total focused concentration on one thing. While it's hard to find twenty minutes to do Theta, it is easy to find twenty seconds to do Alpha. Every time you get in the car before you turn the key you've got twenty seconds, even if you are late, in fact especially if you are late, that's when you most need Alpha. Every time you go to the bathroom or when you hang up the phone or before you have to do the next thing. You have time before you start anything and time when you finish, to create those twenty seconds. There are a lot of opportunities in the course of your day, and you don't even have to take out your Daytimer calendar and schedule it in. It's very easy to get into Alpha. Any time you daydream you go to Alpha. Any time you remember something or fantasize about something, that's Alpha. In fact the scientific name of the Alpha Brainwave State, with your eyes open, is called staring. Any time you're staring at something or staring at nothing that's Alpha.

We go in and out of Alpha all day long, it's the easiest thing in the world to do. As a matter of fact two of our favorite pastimes happen in the Alpha State, watching television and spacing out. It is very easy to get into Alpha, but the problem is that most people use Alpha primarily, if not exclusively to "space out". You’re about to learn how to use that state to in addition, "space in".
Remember, brainwave activity is divided into four basic levels as measured on an electroencephalograph.

Level Cycles Per Second Description

Beta 14 - 28 Scattered - Panic

Alpha 7 – 14 Daydreaming - Focus

Theta 4 - 7 Dreaming - Trance

Delta +0 - 4 Comatose - Deep Sleep

Beta: This is the brainwave state that we associate with being awake. It can be categorized by divided attention. Conversation usually takes place in the lower beta range. Confusion, anxiety, and terror occur in the higher beta range.

Alpha: This is the state of focused concentration and hyper-suggestibility experienced in daydreaming, watching television, and listening to music; as well as in states of light hypnosis and meditation. Artists, athletes, musicians and others who achieve greatness also experience it.

Theta: This state includes the sleep dreams and that state in between awake and asleep when we are dreaming and know that we are dreaming at the same time. Deep hypnosis and trance meditation is part of the Theta State.

Delta: This is the deep sleep state. In this state of healing and regeneration, the metabolic rate slows and our bodies repair themselves. Our conscious mind is turned off and there is no thinking or dreaming taking place. The physical body is totally at rest.


The lowest range of brainwave activity, the Delta Brainwave State, goes from comatose states up through ordinary sleep. The Theta State begins with dream sleep, and takes us up through the half awake state of deep trance. The Alpha Brainwave State begins when we are barely awake and goes up through focused peak performance states. Beta is the state that begins with simple divided attention and goes all the way up through panic, anxiety, confusion, and terror.

In the Alpha Brainwave State, the Conscious BrainMind (the mind of logic and reasoning), and the Subconscious HeartMind (the mind of creativity and imagination) work together in harmony. As we focus our concentration in the Alpha Brainwave State, certain neurological pathways in the brain become stimulated, allowing greater electro-chemical connections between our conscious and our subconscious minds. With the filter (the reticular activating system) open, we have access to far more of our creative intelligence. Everything becomes much easier to learn.
In today’s complex world, we spend a lot of time in the Beta Brainwave State, where our attention is divided when we are thinking about several ideas at the same time. The busier our lives get, the more time we tend to spend in Beta. Sometimes it is appropriate for us to be in the Beta State. There are many occasions in our daily lives, such as driving, caring for children, or meeting important deadlines, that involve multi-tasking, and demand divided or split attention.

There are; however, many more occasions that benefit from the focused concentration and undivided intensity of the Alpha Brainwave State. It is the athlete’s peak performance state and the inventor’s creativity. It is the surgeon’s focus and the stamp collector’s concentration. It is every child’s state of fascination, wonder and awe.

The Alpha Brainwave State is the state for greatness at any endeavor because only in Alpha can we focus concentration, and thus accomplish whatever we most desire. Beta is a stressful state. The more time we spend feeling anxious, nervous, frightened, or confused, the harder it is on our minds and our bodies.

When we get very stressed, or endangered, we utilize the primitive portion of our brain for our survival. We gain access to strength and speed. This is best known as “the fight or flight syndrome”.
At the same time; however, we tend to lose access to the more evolved parts of our brain; and to our intelligence, creativity, and recall. In the Beta State, we can get fast and strong, but also stupid and forgetful.

We are much smarter in Alpha. We can quickly master a very powerful technique to put ourselves into the Alpha State anytime we choose, in less than twenty seconds. In Alpha we amplify interest in any subject, and focus both our conscious and subconscious minds on enjoying the process of understanding and learning. We can read even the most technical of material several times faster than we ever could have before while significantly improving our comprehension, retention, and recall. In addition to enhanced logic and reasoning skills, we have access to our imagination, intuition, inspiration, and ingenuity as well. AlphaLearners have learned to control their own brainwave activity. The connection between peak performance, and accelerated learning, is the effective use of Focused Passion while in the Alpha Brainwave State.

So Delta and Theta, sleep and dreaming, are mostly for you, said BrainMind, and Beta, divided attention and multi-tasking, is for me. The Alpha State is where we can both play together.

Alpha, said HeartMind, is powerful and fun. Alpha is the state where we both can be as one.

Controlling your own brainwave activity and bringing yourself into Alpha allows you gain access and bring passion to both your logical deductive intelligence, and also the emotional creative intelligence that is found in the mind that dreams at night. We are in each of the four brainwave states most every day. Going toward sleep is what brings our brainwave activity down; waking up brings it back up. It happens automatically, but it can be controlled intentionally. Developing this conscious control is a primary tool of AlphaLearners.

There are many techniques for lowering brainwave activity from, yoga, the martial arts, self-hypnosis, meditation, biofeedback, creative visualization, and practical daydreaming. It is best however, to have one very familiar technique that allows you instant access to the Alpha Brainwave State.

Here is a quick way to get into Alpha:

1. Close your eyes. Alpha can be easily reached with eyes open as in watching television or in daydreaming, or staring off into space. However, closing your eyes helps cut out many of the more obvious distractions. About 86% of all sensory input comes in through the eyes. Just closing your eyes, all by itself, is often enough to create the Alpha State.

2. Take a slow deep breath and focus on your heart.
Deep breathing is the most basic technique known to begin a process of relaxing the mind/body into the Alpha Brainwave State. Inhale slowly, a little beyond the point where you would usually stop, in order to fill up your lungs and expand the are around your heart. Hold the breath for a moment or two, focusing on the feelings of self confidence and self esteem, then slowly release the breath.

3. As you release, imagine your heart slowly drifting up into your head.
Imagine a red valentine heart rising from the center of your chest up to the center of your head.

4. Focus on any area you choose. Take a minute or less and either choose from among the topics in this book, or any other area of your life you wish to improve. If you don’t know where to begin, then you begin, with the question: “What do I want?”

Tune in to yourself and just see what’s in there, or listen to yourself and hear what’s in there, or get in touch with yourself and feel what’s in there. Choose the area of your life where you would like to focus first. Whenever you don’t know what to do, your first task is always to determine the answer to that exact question: “what do I want?” If you already know what you want, then ask yourself “what do I do to get it?”, then imagine yourself doing it.

After you have chosen an area where you want to begin your work, you next determine what you would like to discover or develop. Choose a goal, but realize that the purpose of a goal is not to achieve it, but rather to give you a direction to take your next step. You can begin to pursue a goal and then change your mind along the way. The point is to get yourself moving. Once you have chosen a goal (a potential destination), imagine that you have successfully achieved your goal and get in touch with just how wonderful it feels to have done so. See it or pretend to see it. If it isn’t easy to actually visualize it, that is see pictures with your mind's eye, simply imagine what it would look like if you could see it. If you imagine an umbrella, whether you see it or not, you know if it is opened or closed.

Amplify the intensity of these positive emotions and let them become the magnets that will draw you towards your self discovery or your personal development. Decide your next step. Determine what is the first thing you have to do to get started. You can make it a little thing, an easy thing, a baby step, something that you know you can do. The laws of physics state “an object in motion tends to stay in motion”, take a baby step and get moving.

Focus brings to bear the power of the conscious mind, and Passion brings to bear the power of the subconscious mind. When the two minds come together in harmony, something magical happens. They create a third mind; a higher consciousness. This is literally a second level of thinking. With Focused Passion, all the power is in the second level of thinking. You get to think about your individual thoughts and feelings, and choose to empower the positive ones, and choose to release the negative ones. In this way you come to enjoy all of your thoughts and all of your feelings. Do this and you will discover that there is a side effect. It is called happiness. Happiness is not about your particular circumstances. Happiness is not about your initial thoughts. Happiness comes from what you think, about what you think.

Here is a simple and powerful technique for creating the state of Focused Passion. Focus comes when you move away from stress, just a little of the way toward sleep. Passion comes when you enjoy what you are doing.

Focus Passion is moving from divided attention (multi-tasking) to paying attention to just one special thing. Do this and you slow down your mind. You move toward stress when you feel endangered. To move into Focused Passion you need to feel safe.

Close your eyes.

Most of the input that comes in through your five senses comes in through your eyes. Close your eyes and you slow down your mind. It’s the first thing you do when you want to fall asleep. Focused Passion can be reached with your eyes open, but closing your eyes cuts out many of the potential distractions.

Take a deep breath and imagine that you are in a very safe and peaceful place.

By making this safe place, a place that you love to be, you add passion to your state of focus. When you feel stressed you tighten your muscles and hold your breath. Release your muscle tension and let go of your breath and you will begin to feel safe. Choose this place with your intuition. Let it be the first safe place that comes in to your mind. Imagine that you can see this place, or that you can hear the surrounding sounds. Simply pretend and get the feeling that you are there. If your mind goes off to a different place, just notice this and then bring yourself back to your first place. Always return to this same place each time you wish to re-create this state of Focused Passion.

With Focused Passion you can solve the only two problems that you face. One problem is that you know what you want, but you don’t know how to get it, and the only other problem is that you don’t know what you want.

When you don’t know what you want, you go to your place of Focused Passion and you ask. Then you listen for the answer. This is called meditation, introspection, reflection, or prayer. If you believe in a higher power then you might believe that the answer comes through you. If you don’t believe in a higher power then you might believe that the answer comes from you. Either way the process is the same. You ask, and then you listen for the answer.

If you do know what you want, then you tell. You imagine what you do want, as if you already have it, over and over again, with GREAT PASSION! This is called mental programming, visualization, self-hypnosis, or auto-suggestion. It is an application of the amazingly powerful law of attraction.

How would you like to become better, faster, smarter, and happier,
with far less stress, and much more passion?

With Finding your Self in Paridise, you will.

Listen to these podcasts, and experience Focused Passion.
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Michael Benner and Steven Snyder's
- focused passion -

Focus brings to bear the power of the conscious mind, and Passion brings to bear the power of the subconscious mind.
When the two minds come together in harmony, something magical happens.
They create a third mind, a higher consciousness.
This is literally a second level of thinking.