Mapping Higher Consciousness

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This series of articles show common approaches to higher states of consciousness, and how they are related to transcendence.   To summarize, most world traditions target two brain states that help people with their inner journey.  Here they are, presented graphically in this Map of Transcendence …

Map of Transcendence
So, what are these brain states, and how do we get there?

Normal ConsciousnessNormal Consciousness

In ordinary consciousness, there are many things competing for our attention.  We have five senses, telling us what we are seeing, hearing, tasting, smelling and feeling.  We have thoughts about our family, work and other obligations.  We have emotions …

From this list and more, our awareness typically jumps from one “attention seeker” to another, resulting in a stream of consciousness that we experience as “normal.”

The Harmony Point (THP)The Harmony Point (THP)

The opposite of normal consciousness is The Harmony Point.  It’s where all of the competing attention seekers are quieted, making higher states of consciousness more easily accessible.  (Notice that each green line represents a different attention seeker, which can be of a physical, mental, emotional, or spiritual nature.)

So how does someone attain THP?  Many traditions approach it directly, through meditation, prayer, and/or other ritual.  An example from my Catholic tradition is centering prayer.  Other traditions approach it indirectly, often by targeting the other common brain state …

Single Point Awareness (SPA)Single Point Awareness (SPA)

Single Point Awareness is THP plus a single point of focus for your awareness.  This focused awareness can occur with any of the green lines, meaning that it can be of a physical, mental, emotional, or spiritual nature.

SPA can also vary by intensity (how big the line is).  Many  traditions, for example, teach low intensity approaches like staring at a candle or mirror, focusing on your breath, chanting, rocking, or spinning.  Initially, focusing on something boring quiets all of the other attention seekers.  Eventually, your mind gets bored and stops focusing all together, leaving all attention seekers quieted (aka The Harmony Point).

SPA can also be more intense, resulting in higher states of consciousness.  Arguably, most human progress occurs within this type of Single Point Awareness.   Our most celebrated sports heroes, our most famous artists, musicians, writers, and scientists, and our most respected spiritual and emotional leaders, report that SPA-like conditions led to their most significant achievements.


The most intense form of SPA is Transcendence.  That’s when SPA “breaks through” to something outside of normal awareness.  Some say it’s a connection to source, or to God, or to the Akashic records.  Whatever it is, it’s unusual, profound, and life changing.

In closing, it’s important to recognize that these higher brain states can occur at any time, with or without preparation.  However, those who pursue a regular meditation practice are more likely to attain these states, and benefit as a result.

Until next time …


What is Transcendence?

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What does Christianity share with Native American traditions?  What does the Kabbalah share with ancient Sumerian traditions?

As different as our many world traditions are, they all share some approach to higher states of consciousness.  While their approaches may vary, their ultimate destination is the same.  To reach this common destination, they target similar brain states that are conducive to the transcendent experience.

Last time, we defined the most commonly targeted brain state as The Harmony Point.  Today, we’ll define the second most targeted brain state, and explain how these two states are related to transcendence.

Single Point Awareness

If The Harmony Point (THP) is the launching pad to higher states of consciousness, then Single Point Awareness is the gateway.  Single Point Awareness (SPA) is the total immersion in a single object of your attention, without regard to any other distractions.  It is in effect, THP plus a single point of focus.

So what do these interim brain states have to do with transcendence?

This question highlights another difficulty in writing about this topic.  Not only are some terms and concepts yet to be defined, but some commonly used terms have such varied definitions that the term itself is no longer useful in conveying a concept.  So it is with “transcendence.”

What is Transcendence?

World traditions seem to have very different definitions of transcendence.  Some claim that it’s a way to connect with God, or a specific prophet or angel.  Older traditions are more likely to claim it’s a connection to spirits, or pagan gods or other worldly beings.

If we remove references to the assorted deities involved and compare what remains, we end up with the common experience of transcendence.  People who have had a transcendent experience describe it as a connection to something outside themselves, with total awareness of the subject of their transcendence, and a complete lack of awareness of anything else.   In other words …

Transcendence = THP + SPA + “Connection to Source”

  • Awareness of nothing else (THP)
  • Total immersion in the experience (SPA)
  • Connecting to something bigger/beyond themselves (Connection to Source)

When defined this way, many artist, musicians, and scientists have also had transcendent experiences.  Just listen to how they describe the moment they get their creative spark, or see something no one has every seen before.  You’ll be amazed at how similar their descriptions align.  They are all describing transcendent experiences.

I always get excited when I hear or read about someone describing a transcendent experience.  Most recently, it was Gregg Allman describing how he came to write one of his songs.  I’ve heard similar stories about Albert Einstein, Nicholas Tesla, and even Steve Jobs.

Bottom line – transcendence is a good thing for people and society, which is why I’m so passionate about this topic.

Until next time …


The Harmony Point

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Base Camp to Higher Consciousness

In my last article, I wrote about Transcending Consciousness, and how the experience of its highest state is shared by many world traditions.  I also described the techniques these traditions follow to prepare for transcendence, and how they align in their goal of a common receptive brain state.

One of the difficulties in writing about this topic, is that we don’t have a common language to describe many of these concepts.  For example, the receptive brain state that these traditions target as a starting point, doesn’t have a common name.  And until something has a name, it is difficult to talk to about.  So let’s give it a name …

The Harmony Point

One of the results of floating is a state where you are completely passive, where every cell and muscle in your body is in balance with its surroundings, where every thought in your head is silent, or observed without reaction or judgement.  In other words, you are one with the universe, completely passive to all the forces around you.

This is “The Harmony Point” – the launching pad to higher states of consciousness.

There are many ways to reach The Harmony Point.  When you are not floating, The Harmony Point becomes that state where you counter the additional forces aligned against you, with the minimal amount of effort required to maintain your stasis.

Adding this to our map of higher consciousness, The Harmony Point becomes an easy interim destination to reach.  Getting to the mountain top, however, sometimes requires more than just a map.

Imagine if you wanted to climb Mount Everest.  Not only would you need a map, you’d also need a guide, special equipment and special training.  And even that would not be enough — you’d also need to acclimate to your new environment before attempting to move up the mountain.

Mt Everest Base Camps – via

Base Camp to Higher Consciousness

And so it is with meditation.  Entering The Harmony Point is just a starting point.  Every transcendent experience elevates you to a higher level of consciousness.  And at each of these levels, you’ll need to acclimate to your new reality before you’ll be ready for your next transcendent experience.

That’s why transcendent experiences are not available on demand, and may only occur a few times over the course of a lifetime.  It also confirms that there are many levels of consciousness between where we start, and the ultimate destination of union that so many seek.

Until next time, best wishes on your continuing journey …


Transcending Consciousness

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Whenever you want to get to a destination, it is often helpful to have a map that can lead the way. Especially if you’ve never been there before.

While numerous maps of consciousness exist, what I find interesting is that they all share a common description of their highest state. Whether you call it Nirvana, connecting with Source, or being one with the Holy Spirit, the experience of it is the same.

All of the major world religions align on this point, especially within their mystical traditions. While it’s more openly embraced within the eastern traditions, it also exists within Judaism (the Kabbalah), within Islam (Sufism), and within the Christian traditions (Contemplative Prayer).

These transcendent experiences are unusual, profound, and life-changing. Many people never have this experience. Those that do often find their lives change drastically after the event.

While the experience of transcendence is the same, the way each of these religions introduces people to the state varies quite dramatically. Unfortunately, there are no techniques you can follow that will guarantee you a transcendent experience.

There are, however, some that consistently help. One common technique is to quiet your mind to the point of silence—a very difficult thing to do. Those that are successful, however, are only prepared for transcendence, not guaranteed access to it.

Floating as a Vehicle

One of the easiest ways to quiet your mind is to completely eliminate distractions. And floating in a sensory depravation tank is one of the easiest ways to eliminate distractions.

When you enter one of these tanks, you enter a world that is completely pitch black, utterly silent, with no tastes and no smells. And because the water is Epsom salt rich and heated to the same temperature as your body, you float in an environment where you don’t even feel sensations on your skin.

When people float, they quickly enter an altered state of consciousness—a state where higher levels of consciousness become more accessible. Once attained, people can use this state to improve mindfulness, or to remain passive in their pursuit of transcendence.

Frequent Flyers

Just like any other traveler, the more often you visit an exotic location, the easier it is for you to find your way there. And that’s a good thing, because floating is both expensive and inconvenient.

Luckily, there are other approaches to transcending consciousness. Most are based on repetitive activities designed to distract the mind, or focused activities designed to quiet the mind. Examples include:

  • meditation
  • dancing, spinning, rocking
  • prayer (chanting, contemplative)
  • light and sound machines, ganzfelds
  • gazing into mirrors, candles, obsidian

To summarize, your journey to transcendence begins with quieting the mind toward a receptive brain state. One of the easiest ways to achieve this state is through floating. Once you reach this destination, revisit it often using the most convenient technique that works for you.

Frequent travelers benefit from increasing mindfulness and, if lucky, a transcendent experience or two over the course of a lifetime.

Happy travels, and best wishes on your journey.


Welcome to the MindVizor Blog

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Hello Everyone,

My name is Jay Fenello, founder of the MindVizor.  On these pages, I’ll be sharing with you what I’ve learned about meditation, and how the MindVizor can help you on your inner journey.  Please know that my purpose here is not to sell you a MindVizor, but to help you experience a real meditative state as quickly as possible.

Why?  Because meditation is good for you.  It’s good for your physical health, it’s good for your mental health, and it’s good for your spiritual health.  But don’t take my word for it– check out these recently published articles and research that confirms all of this.

To kick things off, I’ve written an article titled “Transcending Consciousness” which was published in the Conscious Life Journal.  It’s a good foundation for those interested in meditation, and will be referenced and built upon in future postings.  (a copy of this article will be added as the next post, and more articles will be published soon.)

Don’t miss out on the fun —  make sure to subscribe to our mailing list and/or RSS feed, or like us on Facebook to keep in touch (links in the right column).

And as always, comments welcome.