Legally Mindful is a passion of mine. As I approach my 60th birthday, I decided it was time to share my knowledge and experiences to help other attorneys and professionals benefit in a practical way from meditation.
I started meditating 14 years ago but never really developed a consistent practice. That changed in 2008 when I started using audio-assisted meditation exercises from The Monroe Institute® (“TMI”). My focus at the time was understanding issues surrounding life and death and other aspects of spirituality. Along the way, I learned and adapted different meditation techniques and ideas into tools I could use in my professional life.
My sister Kathy died from breast cancer on April 20, 2008. I had always been curious about death, and my family experienced several deaths of close family members in a relatively short period of time. About a week before Kathy’s death, I asked her to send me a sign after she passed so I would know she was OK. We didn’t talk about what the sign would be, but I had a feeling that it would be a white bird. Shortly after she passed, I was looking outside and saw something white up in a tree across a small pond; it was a hawk with a white breast. There was no doubt in my mind that the white-breasted bird was my sign from Kathy.
I had heard about TMI briefly before Kathy died and was intrigued by its use of sound technology (binaural beats) to assist in the meditation process. Following Kathy’s death, and seeing what I knew was a sign from her, I decided to attend a week-long workshop, The Gateway Voyage, at TMI in July 2008.
During the first few meditation exercises I did at The Gateway Voyage, I experienced deep meditative states, much deeper than anything I had experienced before. I had numerous powerful experiences and gained interesting insights into myself and life in general. After that exciting week, I wanted to experience more. I attended additional week-long workshops in 2009 (Heartline) and 2010 (Timeline) and used the binaural beat sound technology, Hemi-Sync®, at home and work.
In January 2011, I attended the Outreach Facilitator Training Program, where I became a TMI-certified Outreach Trainer. This certification allowed me to conduct certain Monroe Excursion programs on my own or with other trainers. I did this to share the benefits of using sound-assisted meditation exercises with others in Cincinnati, including attorneys and other professionals.
While meditation is more openly discussed in business settings and law firms today, in 2011 I was reluctant to let co-workers know that I meditated regularly and didn’t want to share with them that I was going to week-long meditation workshops.
For a variety of reasons, some of which included my fear of admitting to my peers that I meditated and possibly putting myself out there for ridicule or questioning, I did not immediately pursue putting together my own programs for attorneys, but I continued to attend at least one TMI workshop each year and helped facilitate Monroe Excursion workshops in the Cincinnati area.
In 2013, I attended my first week-long meditation workshop at TMI which used the Spatial Angle Modulation, or SAM, sound technology. SAM was a new sound-assisted meditation technology invented by TMI to complement the existing Hemi-Sync technology used in its programs. From my understanding of the technology, SAM was able to utilize the higher gamma wave frequencies, whereas binaural beat technologies are not able to generate those higher frequencies. The ability to skillfully combine gamma frequencies with other brain wave frequencies is seen as a very important feature of SAM. The use of properly timed gamma brain waves is seen as more quickly enabling synchronization of the brain’s two hemispheres in different mental states, and eventually enabling higher mental functioning even when not in a meditative state because of the way the brain’s connections are improved through meditation. EEG research during a recent TMI program using SAM showed all participants “responded to the SAM audio frequencies by producing consistent surges of gamma in the 35-45 hertz range and some in much higher frequencies.” At the end of the program, “Everyone reported feeling more balanced, coherent, grounded, and/or happier.”
It was during that November 2013 Conscious Presence program, that I realized the impact the SAM technology would have on my meditative practice. Not only was I able to achieve deep meditative states more quickly than ever before, my experiences while in those states were some of the most vivid and impactful I had ever encountered. It was then that it became clear that I needed to start moving forward on my plans to bring meditation tools to lawyers. Those experiences, combined with increasing feelings of being in touch with Kathy and all that entailed, were ultimately the impetus behind Legally Mindful®.
As time went on, I was more open with fellow lawyers and coworkers about my meditation practice and how it helped me, and I joined the Cincinnati Bar Association’s Health and Well Being Committee. In October 2015, my first article about meditation appeared in the Cincinnati Bar Association’s monthly magazine, the CBA Report.
While attending a TMI workshop in 2016, I decided to create and market my own audio-assisted meditation exercises, focusing on the practical uses of meditation tools for lawyers and other professionals. In late 2016, I licensed the SAM technology from TMI for use in my own Legally Mindful exercises. My second article on meditation appeared in the June 2017 CBA Report, followed later that month by an hour-long presentation about using audio-assisted meditation.
Through my meditation practice, I have gotten to the point where I feel like I am able to access different mental states effortlessly during my waking life. In meetings and one-on-one conversations, I draw on a more focused and creative mental state to listen better and respond more effectively.
While I cannot promise that you will benefit in the same way as I have, I want to provide you with exercises and some guidance so that you can find your own benefits from meditation.
If you choose to use the Legally Mindful method, I hope you find the exercises and my input helpful. If you choose to go a different way, I wish you all the best on your chosen path.
Legally Mindful is a registered trademark of 4-20-08 Productions LLC, dba Legally Mindful, Cincinnati, Ohio.
The Monroe Institute is a registered trademark of The Monroe Institute, a non-profit, charitable corporation, Faber, Virginia.
Spatial-Angle Modulation is a trademark of The Monroe Institute.
Hemi-Sync is a registered trademark of Interstate Industries, Inc., Lovingston, Virginia.