My favourite session…

I’m not enjoying myself quite as much as I’d like to be at the moment. Enough codeine to make the ribs tolerable through the working day is also enough to have distinctly adverse effects on my thinking. Feeling a generous proportion of the physical effects of anxiety and depression, whilst knowing fully and completely that nothing bad is happening is a great opportunity to practice the “thought control” that so fascinates me.

“Though control” is a pretty good description of most of my AVS use these days. I look forward to my time in that special place, and I go in with anticipation. I ask myself what I want to be different after the session. I spend a little while thinking about what would have to happen to make it so. I choose a frequency for the session that is conducive to the type of thought required – beta if it’s a matter that can be tackled logically, alpha if it needs to be thought through carefully and dispassionately, theta if it really needs something out of the ordinary, delta if the thinking is done and time is needed for a solution to surface. I give a little bit of thought to what sort of state I’m in now, and how I’d like to be when the session ends – that determines my start and end frequencies.

There are elements of whimsy to the choice of frequency within a range. Apart from gut feeling as to whether high- low- or mid- range would serve me best, I might find myself drawn to the imagery of a mythical/magickal frequency, or I might decide to ride on the wave of belief associated with such “specials” as 7.83Hz (Schumann). The reality is that it seems to make stunningly little difference. There’s what might be called “gross” effects of entrainment, and then there’s all the subtleties that vary so much from individual to individual. There is, within reason, nothing more empowering than intuiting your own “therapy”.

I can then prepare a perfect three-stage session. Start where I am (12-14Hz if I’m thinking about session design), ramp to the target thinking frequency, stay there as long as time permits (30 minutes is good, an hour is luxury), ramp to where I want to end (10Hz usually – plenty of leeway to see what’s happening and respond appropriately).

I find a 10 minute ramp in and 5 minutes out is ideal. Longer wastes target time, shorter doesn’t seem much better than just jumping straight in and out of the target frequency.

As for session content, I just haven’t found anything better than a plain isochronic beat well wrapped in a cloud of noise. I used to like nice soft noise, but I’m now totally into good, hissy white noise. There’s a bunch of studies suggesting that noise enhances cognitive processes – that would be nice, but I mostly just like it. Pitch for the beat doesn’t seem to matter much to me – anything in the 100-200Hz range will suit me fine.

No frills required for the AudioStrobe either – it can just flash along with the beat. I’ll admit, this is where having colour options is nice – I’m currently very much enjoying the Procyon set up with green/blue AS mapping. Red is ever so flashy and impressive, but it’s hard work, demanding. Just now green is my favourite for monocolour use. That’s probably because I’m spending more than usual time with theta and delta sessions – blues and greens are much less jarring than red/white/amber at lower flash rates.

Background music? Not so much. The more I use AVS, the more grateful I am for having it as a private place, just for me. Even the most innocuous of music contains traces of another personality. Outside noises bother me less and less – they are beyond my control.

When I settle down for a session, I know what the intrinsic benefits of the chosen frequency are, but above all I have primed myself to make the best use of the session. Peace and freedom are among the ideals I hold high. I’m not overly optimistic about there being any lasting degree of either in the outside world, so I do my best to find them within. Keeping my inner world in decent shape, I’ve at least got a chance of not making the outside world any worse.

So there it is, my favourite session, the one that is plainly and simply just what I want at the time.


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