Powerful techniques to optimize your emotions, beliefs, and behaviors

Altered States Exploration

Using left nasal dominance breathwork, space making, vagal response tongue submergence, and evocative music, this combination is a powerful technique for inner exploration.


For one to three hours, this altered states method is done either in small groups or individually while reclining on a padded floor. Evocative music or white noise is used to explore diverse altered and emotional states

Warning: Folks with a history of mental illness, PTSD, or panic are urged not to use these techniques without a therapist. If you decide to do these processes you will agree to absolve the webmaster, the webhost,, and Steve Mensing of any responsibility for the application or misapplication of these processes. There is always in any process the possibility that someone could experience some discomfort.

Steps for Exploring Altered States

Here are the basic steps for altered states making & music:

1. Decide in advance how long you desire your session to go. Ninety minutes to 3 hours appear to be optimum lengths.

2. If you want to have a sitter (good for neophytes), choose someone you trust and basically feel good around. Hopefully this person has experienced altered states work so they will understand what is happening for you. Your sitter better be accepting and attentive.

3. Find a cool quiet place indoors where the room is darkened. Choose a place where you will absolutely not be disturbed. Street noise is best kept to a minimum.

4. If music is played, use CD's, mp3's arranged specifically for this program. Keep in mind many free synthesizer and drum machine apps are available. More on this music program later.

5. Altered states can be done with a white noise generator; an FM receiver tuned loudly between stations so you can hear a distinct hiss; or white noise mp3's.

6. Leave any music adjustments during the session to either your sitter or a third party.

7. Lay down on a padded floor. Sleeping bags, foam mattresses, pillows, or even layers of heavy blankets work here.

8. Prior to starting the altered states methods of Left nasal dominance breathwork, space making, vagal response tongue submergence, and music, relax and get focused.

9. Cue up the music or white noise and get it comfortably loud. Hopefully you can feel a bit of bass in the floor. Begin your altered states methods of left nasal dominance, space making, vagal response tongue submergence, and music:

Left Nasal Dominance Breathing. Breathe 12 inhalations and exhalations through your left nostril only. Gently pinch your right nostril shut and keep your mouth closed during this breathing. Remove your hand and resume breathing. This will stimulate your right hemisphere for trance work. Return to normal breathing after the 12th inhalation and exhalation.

Vagal Response Tongue Immersion. Fill your mouth with warm saliva. You may start salivation by briefly imagining biting into a juicy tart lemon. You can also fill your mouth with warm water--just enough to cover your tongue). Recline with your arms slightly away from your body and your fingers slightly separated. Maintain this comfortable position for the remainder of the exercise. If you wish you can lightly relax your body.

Either visualize spaces, wide vistas, sliding down long tubes into darkness or chant visualize spaces, wide vistas, sliding down long tubes into darkness or space. A few minutes of this activity should drop you into a solid trance. Keep practicing these three steps until trance comes easily and you become comfortable with dream states.

10. A sitter better not interfere with their partner's process unless invited.

11. Allow your unconscious do the work. The key here is to: allow & permit.

12. Close your eyes and enjoy the journey.

13. Use an Emoclear integrator for working with any emotional challenges or blocks.


Part II


Altered states work is intensified by emotionally evocative music. Altered states music is seldom chosen for beauty or enjoyment. Some altered states music is gut wrenching, concussive, and overwhelming because the primary function of this work is to evoke emotions, imagery, and unconscious processes. This music can also assist in creating a structure and in bringing feelings to the surface where they can be fully experienced and integrated.

The music and sounds are played comfortably loud to facilitate emotions and imagery. The music comes from diverse origins: electronica, space, trance drumming from so-called primitive societies, classical Indian, Asian, western classical, and machine sounds. In choosing altered states music, make sure it is clearly recorded and avoids singing or chanting in any recognizable language. Your sound system better be excellent and speakers on the floor. Bass sounds work well. Your amp better be 100 watts or more when working with groups of above 10 participants.

How do you know if you have good music? Participants are active, feeling emotions, and generally having experiences if your music is on target. Unless your music is evoking emotions in the majority of participants, then the music isn't right. Remember the focus is here is not taste or beauty, it is on emotional evocation. Some participants will complain about the music. This may be due to matters of taste, sensitivity to certain sounds, or the music draws participants to emotionally uncomfortable places. Do your best in arranging your music, yet recognize no perfect music programs exist that will please everybody.

Vocal music is best avoided where words are understood or an implied message exists. Chanting in foreign tongues is okay. Some Indian and Middle Eastern classical music is excellent because the voices serve more as musical instruments.

Powerful driving drums are excellent for entrainment. Since earliest man, chanting and drumming have been utilized by shamen and healers in various cultures across the globe. Chanting and drumming are well known for their ability to alter consciousness.

Often overlooked sound forms, useful in altered states work, are white noise, sound walls, and machine sounds. These sound forms create nonspecific patterns on which altered states participants can project their own internal processes.

White noise is often a simple amplified hiss or nonspecific sound pattern. We can create white noise by tuning between FM stations or with white noise generators. Sound walls may be produced with synthesizers or music stations. Simply create plenty of nonspecific sound patterns out of clicking or various percussion. These sound patterns can be sped up to around 210 beats per minute. Sound walls are entrancing.

In using white noise or sound walls, we will hear sound and tend to weave music or even voices out of what is heard. Recording short-wave radio sounds set between stations will also generate nonspecific sound patterns as does machinery producing a complex and repetitive beat pattern.

Altered states sessions, done with nonspecific sound patterns, are best kept to two hours maximum. Short sessions, with these sounds, are done because hearing these sounds makes folks immediately go to their issues and feel them intensely. Some folks will feel overwhelmed by these sounds so pay attention to your participants closely if you are conducting one of these sessions.

Nonspecific sound patterns are best used with folks who have already done altered states work with traditional altered states music. Some nonspecific sound patterns can be integrated for 5 to 8 minute periods into a regular session. Participants will report a wide range of differing emotions and imagery during the time of nonspecific sound patterns.

Music can evoke feelings of aggression, cosmic unity, ecstasy, emotional and physical pain, sensuality, rapture, and love. Music can assist us past blocks and defenses. Here we allow the music to resonate our entire being.

Altered states music must sound loud enough to overwhelm its listeners, yet not hurt their ears or be physically uncomfortable.

In creating music programs, it's recommended they follow a six stage pattern. The six stages are: 1) Primary stage: driving and up-tempo with a pronounced beat. 2) Powerful evocation stage: driving, passionate, and primitive. 3) Potent shifting stage: spirited and overwhelming. 4) Emotionally chaotic stage: emotionally overwhelming and fuse blowing. 5) Opening stage: cosmic, transforming, ecstatic. 6) Quiet meditative stage: peaceful and reflective.

In creating altered states music and sound programs, use 77 minute CD's or mp3's. Record your music from CD or mp3 sources when possible and with quality audio equipment. _________________________

Emoclear Altered States Exploration III


The primary stage contains driving and up-tempo music with a pronounced beat. This stage is designed to assist folks in getting focused and in starting the process. Experience says electronica and up-tempo space music works well here. Also fast marimba music does a good job. Remember: Instrumental only.

The primary stage asks us to employ individual pieces between 5 and 7 minutes in length. Some excellent 3 minute pieces may be repeated or doubled over. Feel free to edit out voices or stretches of useless music. When programming music in this or any other stages, make sure the pieces flow smoothly into each other. Pieces, too different in style, tempo, and volume can temporarily jar the altered states worker out of their journey. Choose music and sounds letting the energy build prior to release. Like a wave. Recording altered states music asks us to be creative and innovative. Think of your music program as a 3 hour composition.

It's best to start your music program with an upbeat piece because this helps the participants to form a rapport with the music. People, new to altered states music, are very excited and anxious about the process and what will happen. An initial upbeat or happy piece will assist folks in being less fearful about Altered States Exploration. Here are some primary stage music sources:

J.S. Bach--Concerto for 4 Harpsichords--1st movement

"Amazonia: Cult Music of Northern Brazil"--cuts 1, 2, 5.

G. Johns--Bakongo Dance Party--cut 4

Planet Drum--cuts 2, 4, 6, 9

A Brief History of Ambient--disc 1) cuts 2, 6, 7

Bacher Attar--The Next Dream--cut 4

Ravi Shankar--The Sounds of India--cuts 4, 5

Bismillah Khan--"Shanai D'Ustad Bismillah Khan--cuts 1, 2, 3.

Phillippine Gong Music--any selection.

Klaus Schulze--X--all cuts.
Creation Rebel--"Historic Moments" Vol.2--cut 10.

Bismillah Khan--"Soothing sounds of Shenai"--cuts 1, 2.

J.S. Bach--concerto no. 7 for Harpsichord--1st movement.

K. Schulze--Timewind-cut 2


The powerful evocation stage contains driving and passionate movement. This stage serves as a bridge between stage one and stage three. Stage two assists the deepening process and will facilitate emotion, rich imagery, and trance. This music can come from a variety of sources: the final minutes of a fast raga; African, Caribbean, South American, and American Indian drumming and chanting; machine sounds; electronic sounds; shamanic sounds. Classical Indian and Moslem singers, accompanied by drums, are useful here as are large group chants.

Individual pieces at this stage better be no longer than 5 to 6 minutes. The rule can be broken if the piece offers a few complex changes. Shorter pieces can be doubled or repeated. Be prepared to edit out music portions halting the flow. Let the energy build and build because this can help produce spontaneous releases.

Here are some sources of powerful evocation stage music:

Excursions in Ambience Vol.1)--cuts 1, 5, 7, 8.

Excursions in Ambience vol. 2)--cuts 4, 6.

Excursions in Ambience Vol. 3)--cuts 2.

K. Schulze--Irrlicht-cut 1.

Baraka-- cuts 1, 4, 8, 9, 10, 11.

The Big Bang vol.1) cuts 2, 3, 5, 6, 7, 11, 12, 15.

The Big Bang vol.2) cuts 2, 4, 12, 13.

The Big Bang vol.3) cuts 3, 4, 9.

Klaus Schlze The Essential 72-93-dic 1) cuts 1-7.

Cosmic Couriers 1--Other Places--cut 1

M. Stearns--Sacred Site--cuts 1, 2, 4, 6, 9, 10.

Global Celebration: Dancing with the Gods--cuts 1, 2, 5, 6, 7, 10, 11, 13.

Global Meditation: The Pulse of Life.--cuts 1, 3, 4, 7, 9, 10, 11.


The Potent Shifting Stage contains powerful drumming from various cultures, street passions, machine sounds, classical Indian vocal music, space music, gong music from S.E. Asia. The music is complex, pounding, and flows. Keep the music pieces here between 5 and 7 minutes in length.

Here are some sources containing Potent Shifting Stage music:

"Golden Rain: Balinese Gamelan Music"--cut 2.

"Voodoo Trance Music: Ritual Drums of Hati"--all cuts.

"Olatunji: Drums of Passion"--cut 2.

Prem Das et al--"Sonado Tambores"--cuts 1, 3.

Prem Das et al--"Journey of Drums"--cut 6

"Phillipine Gong Music" Vol. 1 & 2)--all cuts.

"Maruga"--cuts 1, 3.

M. Uyttebrock--"Drums of Passion"--all cuts.

M. Uyttebrock--"Distant Drums Approach"

Spirit Drummers--"Magic"--all cuts.

"Guem"--cuts 1, 3, and 5,9,10.

Maruga & Big Black--"Sangoma Drums"--cuts 1, 2, 4.


Part IV


The emotionally chaotic stage may contain gong music, powerful classical music, movie soundtracks, chanting, electronica, and experimental music. These pieces are aimed at evoking powerful emotions such as fear, sadness, ecstasy, rage, guilt, engulfment, and the like. The music builds and then lands hard on the nerve fibers. It can be violent and jarring at times. The timpani and other bass percussion instruments dominate as do brass.

When creating stage 4 music sections, be prepared to edit heavily. Focus on the gut wrenching and nerve frazzling. Go for the throat! The object here is to overwhelm the participant until powerful emotions are brought to the surface. Keep pieces about 4 to 7 minutes in length. Let the tension build and go. The music has the structure of a volcano.

Here are some sources of emotionally chaotic stage music:

Balinese Monkey (Chant Ketjak).

Mussorgski/Ravel--"Great Gate of Kiev" from "Pictures at an Exibition".

Stravinski--Rite of Spring--movements 8, 14.

Bach/Stokowski--Toccata and Fugue in D Minor.

Max Steiner--King Kong--cuts 1, 2, 4, 10, 12.

Tchaikovsky--Violin Concerto in D--1st movement.

Rachmaninoff--Isle of the Dead.

Beethoven--Symphony No.6--4th movement.

Scriabin--Poem of Ectasy

Bruckner--Symphony no. 8--3rd movement.

Liszt--Les Preludes



Shostakovitch--Symphony No. 10--4th movement.

Strauss-Death and Transfiguration.

Strauss--Alpine Symphony--movement 19

Verdi-Requiem-Des Irae.

Sibelius-Prelude to the Tempest.

Liszt--Battle of the Huns

Berlioz--Royal Hunt and Storm from the Trojans.

Rimsky-Korsakoff--Massacre at Kershentz from "The Legend of the Invisible City of Kitzeh.

Gluck--Dance of the Furies from "Orphee Et Eurydice".

Tchaikovsky--Manfred Symphony--2nd movement.

Tchaikovsky--The Voyvode.



The opening stage contains music that is uplifting, cosmic, and transforming. The music can be drawn from classical music, electronica, and space. Often this music is heavy on choruses and strings. Here we are opening up to resources and unitive states.

With the spiritual opening stage, we should focus on the blissful and the uplifting and keep our pieces between 5 and 7 minutes in duration.

Here are some sources containing spiritual opening stage music:

J.S. Bach.--St. Matthew Passion"--movements 1, 68.

J.S. Bach--Mass in B Minor--Gloria, Ossana.

Beethoven--Missa Solemnis--Gloria, Kyrie.

Mozart--Great Mass--Kyrie, Gloria.

Cherubini--Requiem in D Minor--Agnus Dei.

Bruckner--F Minor Mass--Gloria, Agnus Dei.


The quiet meditative stage contains peaceful and selective music. This music comes from very slow classical, classical Indian ragas, electronic music, and Japanese koto music. Quiet meditative stage music may possess up to 10 minute pieces. This music is simple and slow. Cellos, flutes, harps, Indian sarangis, Japanese kotos, violins, and pianos work well here.

Here are some examples of good quiet meditative stage music:

Pachabel--Canon in D for Strings and Continuo

Michael Stearns--Encounter-cuts 1-6-10.

Ram Narayan--Rag Shankara/Rag Mala in Jogia


Mascagni--Intermezzo from Cavalleria Rusticana

Massanet--Thais: Meditation

Kalliwoda--Romance from Oboe Concerto

Handel--Largo from Xerxes

Beethoven--Larghetto from Violin Concerto in D

Mozart--Adagio from Violin Concerto No. 5

Beethoven--Romance for Violin & Orchestra No. 1

Beethoven/Stokowski--Moonlight Sonata

Bach/Stokowski--Come Sweet Death


Sibelius--Swan of Tuonela

Mahler--5th Symphony--4th movement

Barber--Adagio for Strings

Albinoni--Adagio in G Minor for Strings & Organ

Vaughn Williams--Fantasia on a Theme from Thomas Tallis

Vivaldi--Largo from the Spring from Four Seasons.

Bach--Air on a G string

Tchaikovsky--Waltz from Swan Lake

Tchaikovsky--Waltz from Serenade for Strings

Shubert--Ave Maria

Tips on Altered States Exploration

When strong emotions begin to emerge, employ either an integrator or just feel what comes up until it desensitizes.

If you suddenly go into strong overwhelm mode, simply employ the Shrunken Head. This is where you suck in your lips and cheeks hard and briskly rub your palms and fingers together. Fill your mouth with saliva and let your tongue relax.

 Keep your right palm over your heartbeat area as this tends to better integrate feelings and keep them in the body. We're less likely to dissociate out of our body with this palm to heart position.

After the 12 left nasal dominance in and out breaths--breathe normally.

Remain aware of what you're experiencing. Emotions are a good focus. Watch them emerge and fully feel them.

 When the body is fully relaxed, tense areas come to awareness.

Stay away from scratching itchy spots during altered states work--these areas may be feelings oriented in nature.

 Keep in one comfortable position.

 Tightening muscles, jiggling, altering position can defend us against feeling.

 If you feel "too relaxed", just let go further.

Relax at the point of emotional integration. Fully feel it with no intention of getting rid of it or keeping it

 A fetal position can help integrate strong fear or sadness.

Feelings can change. They are sometimes suppressed into layers. When feelings integrate they cease to be important.

 Parts of an emotion may get activated separately. These are the aspects. You may recall different parts in a timely order. The first time it happened may pop up for you.

 Keep your attention on your entire body during altered states work. Some feelings come easily and others come slowly. Take whatever comes first.

 Avoid trying to keep out noise and sound. Distractions and the feelings they elicit are grist for the mill. Keep your attention on the distraction. Observe the detail. This can bring up more.

Focus on tiredness and fatigue. This can soon bring up other feelings. See what happens.

Expressing an emotion will stop integration. Feel it.

Warm water tubs are great for those persons who have difficulty feeling their feelings. These are the persons who generally know their emotional status by examining their thoughts.

If you notice feelings you hate or don't like--thank them for being there. They are useful feedback for what's going on in our life.

 Let go of attempting to hurry up and force a feeling through. Just accept it's being there and fully feel it. Hurrying an emotion will quickly block it.

Do whatever you can to accept all parts of yourself whether you dislike them or find them painful, strange, or ugly. Remember its all energy. You're just calling it something negative.

Trying to make something go away will block it and create tension. Don't "try" to integrate. Struggling to integrate tenses us up and defeats the natural process.

When you integrate something, you accept it. It's no longer a negative experience for you.

Avoid ending your session if you still feel you're still overwhelmed or experiencing an intense and enduring emotional response. If you activated it--allow it to integrate. Be prepared to take a little extra time.

 Common blocks to altered states work: 1) Not wanting to be alone. 2) Not knowing how to do this process well enough. 3) Fearing errors. 4) Not knowing if we processed something all the way through. 5) Not making time to do this work.

 Do you yearn to adventure alone? I do my altered states work this way, yet doing it alone is not best for everyone at first. Some folks get bogged down and frightened and never really let go. They give up. If someone was present for them, their difficulties might not seem so large.

Before you do altered states work alone, ask yourself if you are basically positive about your life and have faith in your ability to stick through the rapids until you come out the other side. If yes, then do this exploration knowing your resources are with you.

"This isn't working" is a familiar chant for persons just starting altered states work. Over and over they repeat: "This isn't working." Gradually this phrase becomes an experience of deep frustration. Get into the frustration and really feel it. Pay full attention to it. When it eventually blips out, you will likely have an unusual experience.

Some folks find altered states making difficult when nothing is happening or they are experiencing quiet and uneventful periods. These are periods of r & r. Our energies are building. Enjoy these periods while you can. Demandingness can slow the process or if you're lucky become a feeling to fully experience. In short your frustrations can be an opening for you. Feel them. This is where your unconscious is giving you a toehold.

Always stay with your negative experiences in and they will transform. Images and feelings always change. Painful trances will pop up if you stay with them, breathe into them, and give them full awareness with no intention of getting rid of them or keeping them.

Sometimes the base of the spine might feel like it was on fire or as if a powerful energy was snaking upward through it. This feeling of intense vibrating energy may surge to the cranium prior to an intense sense of ecstasy. Watch for some powerful alterations in consciousness here.

Lots of questions and mental chatter during the start of altered states work can keep us from feeling and experiencing. Bring your attention back to your feeling.

You will notice sensations flowing in your body and tingling sensations.

Altered states work can reopen traumas and tensions in your body.

Some persons, new to altered states work, may fear going crazy. This common fear has no basis. Going crazy or psychotic is an ability most people lack. Anyone can become very upset, but hardly any of us can become psychotic.

Staying with the fear of going crazy will assist you in moving past the block in the path to ego dissolution and rebirth. Letting go of the smaller self or feeling very upset is not the same as real death or really going crazy.

Sometimes people notice the following cues just prior to ego loss. They are tingling, weighty feelings, lightness or heaviness, sense of body dissolving, ear pressure, experience of being tiny or gigantic, nausea, spasms, trembling, and shaking. Some or all of these cues may be present. If you experience these cues, merge with them and pay full attention to them.

At times our internal biological flow may sound extremely loud. Gurgling. Stomach sounds. Heart beating. Blood flowing. If you find this distracting, bring your attention to the sound and listen closely.

Let your thinking continue when it appears. Thinking subsides when you leave it be. Bring your attention back to your breathing or your feelings.

Flashbacks, where we relive parts of your lives, can occur. We also may experience lives outside our general experience. Whether they are actual lives or vivid fantasies, it does not matter. Pay attention to them and feel them.

In altered states it is easy to create false memories. Studies on hypnosis bear this out. Our minds are quite capable of creating false memories of events that never happened. Read the studies on confabulation by Martin Orne.

Mental chatter is not fully experiencing your feelings. Tensing up or halting your breathing is not fully experiencing your feelings. Believing you can't stand something is resisting your feelings.

If you have thoughts or feelings about death, give them your full attention. A sense of rebirth can arise from paying full attention to death. Abandon yourself and trust the process to help you emerge from the other side.

Have fun, Steve

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