Harmonizing with Hemi-Sync

Just got back from Mount Shasta with my partner, where I took an Excursion Workshop with a group of twelve others. How to explain this work without  getting bogged down in detail?  I have been meditating for many years and recently hit a plateau. Wanting to deepen my daily experience, I signed up for this workshop given by Kathryn Streletzky, a fantastic facilitator with the Monroe Institute. Let me put it this way: We spent a lot of time lying on blow-up mattresses and listening to Hemi-sync on our Ipods!  Hemi-sync are tones introduced into each ear that result in the right and left hemispheres harmonizing or achieving greater unity or synchronicity. After listening to one CD titled Inner Journey at the Middle Falls of the McCloud River, I gained insight into something that happened to me in the 1970’s.

The years 1974-1980 were very difficult for me. I was struggling to understand my emotional self, but my clarity was blurred by an addiction to food and to cigarettes. During these years, I quit smoking several times and tried to get my eating under control by attending food addiction groups and by writing about my cravings. I was unhappy with my job, and friendships seemed to come and go–I couldn’t keep anyone in my life for very long.

At one point, I became quite depressed and left a note for my roommate that I was going to end my life. I took the Bart and then a bus to the Pacific Ocean near the Cliff House in San Francisco. By that time, it was late in the evening, so I settled into the roots of a cypress tree for the night, figuring that I would take care of business in the morning. When I awoke, however, morning mist suffused the sky with light and hope. I felt refreshed and ready to return to my apartment in Berkeley. What had happened?  Without realizing it, I had accomplished two things:  one, I had taken a mini-vacation, just what my stress-ridden self needed; and two, the wave-crashing had likely harmonized my brain, not the same way Hemi-sync does, but its own way.

At the beginning of each recording that we listened to at the workshop in Mount Shasta,  the sound of ocean waves soothed us.  The Hemi-sync tones followed the ocean waves, which allow the brain to reach a new level of concentration. Consciousness expanded, inviting new levels of awareness. As I sat experiencing the majestic Middle Falls while listening to Hemi-Sync, I remembered those earlier years of struggle and wondered if the ocean waves that night near the Cliff House achieved a type of hemispheric synchronization–enough so that I felt more focussed and able to take on the difficulties of my chaotic life once again. 

Associating ocean waves with  family vacations on Sandy Hook at the New Jersey Shore also helped.  As I lay in my bed each night as a little girl, the waves of the Atlantic Ocean crashed, a deep boom sounding when the wave hit the rocks. This childhood time was simpler and happier than the tumultuous days of my twenties. I’m sure this pleasant association played a part in my returning to Berkeley that day. 

I’m looking forward to all the insights that Hemi-Sync is going to bring my way and to sharing my discoveries with you.  Tomorrow morning for my early meditation,
I’ll be listening to CD The “SO” Chord with Hemi-Sync. Will keep you posted.

p.s. Check out the newly posted excerpt from Chapter Five of  The Autobiography of a Sea Creature on My Memoir Pages.

0 Responses to Harmonizing with Hemi-Sync

  1. Hi Wendy,

    Wow! What a surprize to be googling around and find that you had blogged about our Excursion in Mount Shasta. I’m so happy you participated, and thank you for sending me your feedback sheet. The work/play we do just keeps getting better and better.

    I agree with you that ocean surf is natural hemi-sync, and I think that’s why Bob Monroe started his exercises that way. So is chanting or drumming, especially in caves. The indigenous peoples of the world had something going on with their shamanic rites.

    Julian Jaynes was on to something when he wrote The Origins of Consciousness and the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind. Though I think the late Leonard Schlain really nailed it. Have you read any of his books? They all deal with left-brain/right-brain issues, but especially Alphabet and the Goddess. Personally, I think it’s a question of being in coherent mind versus being scatter-brained.

    Thanks again for being you. I really love your artwork – very Jungian. I’ve got my copy of the Red Book on order, and I’m going to NYC over Christmas to view the original at the Rubin Museum. Jung’s “active imagination” is very much what the Monroe Institute work is about!

    Please give my regards to Griffin.

    With love and appreciation,


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