Sirius Mind Machine Review (Light and Sound Machine)

20 May

 

 

Using a 20 or 30 minute session with the Sirius Mind Machine puts me in what I can only describe as a trance state. I’ll experience the rhythm of the beats in my ears and the fantastic lights merging and transforming throughout my entire field of vision and find myself overwhelmed with it, even merging with it, and losing the sensation of my body.

 

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Take me directly to the reviews at Amazon.

My first experience with brainwave entrainment technology is a distant one.

I was 12 or 13 years old the first time I put on a “mind machine” AKA a Light and Sound Machine. Although at the time, none of these terms, including the phrase “brainwave entrainment”, were familiar to me. I didn’t know what this device was and I certainly didn’t have a name for it.

I was in Indiana at my Dad’s girlfriends house. Somewhere between bored and intrigued, I saw a gadget that looked like headphones – you know, the old kind with a cassette player and big ugly padded headphones you wore over your head. (Remember, this is in 1993.)

Except these also had glasses you put over your eyes!

What the hell, right?

Good question.

Curious, I asked my Dad’s girlfriend about it, and she had me lie down on a reclining chair and put it on.

Now, the sensationalist writer in me wishes I could indulge you with a fantastic tale of transformation, a riveting first person account of the first time I ever used a mind machine and how it changed my life at the ripe age of 12, setting me on the path of becoming an ordained Zen Buddhist preacher by age 14.

The truth is a bit more…down to earth.

Specifically, here’s what I remember from that session:

nothing.

Fantastic eh?

Actually, I’m lying. I do remember something.

I remember thinking wow, this is really cool!

But I have no memory of the sounds or visuals from the glasses at all. Yet something about the experience stuck with me.

Fast forward a decade, and somewhere in my early 20’s I became familiar with the concept of Brainwave Entrainment and Light and Sound Machines. I learned about these devices from sites like Erowid and from discussions in lucid dreaming forums where people talked about using brainwave entrainment as a tool to induce or promote lucid dreaming. This sounded pretty much – oh, I don’t know – awesome as hell to me, you could say! So as soon as I could afford to do so, I scraped together $99 and bought the cheapest mind machine I could afford: A Sirius Light & Sound Mind Machine.

 

Sirius Mind Machine Review: My Experiences Using The Sirius Light and Sound Machine

I can’t lie – I haven’t used the Sirius Machine in many of the ways it’s often advertised for.

For instance, I’m not trying to prep my mind up before an exam or before a basketball game, nor am I trying to revive my mind with a quick 10 minute break of brainwave entrainment.

Instead, for this Sirius Light and Sound Machine review, I will review what I’ve used my Sirius primarily for in this order:

1. For fun, curiosity, and relaxation.

2. To overcome problems falling asleep.

3. To experience altered and ecstatic states of consciousness, including Out of Body Experiences (OOBEs), Lucid Dreaming / Conscious Dreaming.

4. To promote the sensation of tripping and closed eye hallucinations without the use of drugs.

5. To use in combination with entheogens or other drugs. But not like some dipshit. Read on.

Bonus Reason: To freak out my friends by getting them to try my “Mind Machine.”

Let’s look at these one by one.

1. For fun, curiosity, and relaxation.

I love the experience of wearing the Sirius mind machine. Things get weird real quick. Without a doubt, there are 2 or 3 sessions out of the 21 sessions that I use most of the time, as I really like their visuals and the effects and find their lengths convenient for my goals. I often just put it on without any intention in mind other than to relax and enjoy the show.

2. To overcome problems falling asleep.

The application of Light and Sound technology to assist with sleep problems has been for me the most practical usage of my Sirius mind machine.

Ironically, it seems not to matter what session I use – they all seem to help me fall asleep. I’ve always found this troubling, because technically, certain sessions should “hype” my brain up. For instance, if the session is intended to synchronize my brain’s waves to a state associated with concentration and creativity, then why does it help me fall asleep in the same way a session intended to help me fall asleep works? I believe it’s because my desire and need to sleep overrides everything else. Combine this need with the fact that wearing the headphones and glasses for my Sirius effectively cuts out all other sensory input, replacing it with a repetitive rhythm of light and sound, and you’ve got a good formula for falling asleep, no matter what the session is intended to be used for.

At some point I’d like to spend more time carefully using different sessions and noting their effects on sleep induction. It’s something I’ve always used it for, typically without insomnia tablets or any kind of sleep aid, save for maybe melatonin.

 

I felt as if the scene unfolding before me was something I was catapulting into as it enveloped me completely. I felt as if I were about to jump out of my body. It was very, very intense – scary even, and absolutely riveting. This experience had a lasting impact on me and I’m very intrigued at the possibility of using Light and Sound machines to experience sensations of astral travel and leaving ones body.

 

3. To experience altered and ecstatic states of consciousness, including Out of Body Experiences (OOBEs), Lucid Dreaming / Conscious Dreaming.

> Brainwave Entrainment and Lucid Dreaming

This one is a biggie.

Every day, it seems people on lucid dreaming forums ask about using brainwave entrainment to assist in lucid dreaming. For me, it was one of the biggest reasons I wanted to get a Light and Sound Machine, as I love the idea of using tools to assist in attaining such states of mind.

What did I learn?

First of all, there are no shortcuts and no magic bullets. There is no such thing as “lucid dreaming at the push of a button”, at least not yet. Using binaural beats, mind machines, and other brainwave entrainment devices in general are not a magical solution.

BUT – they can be useful in getting you to the lucid dream state. How so?

In my experience, the benefit of using the Sirius in relation to remaining conscious in the dream state is that it helps focus on and getting habituated with certain states of mind related to lucid dreaming and to have those states to “practice” in, so to speak.

For example, using a 20 or 30 minute session with the Sirius puts me in what I can describe as a trance state. I’ll experience the rhythm of the beats in my ears and the fantastic lights merging and transforming throughout my entire field of vision and find myself overwhelmed with it, even merging with it, and losing the sensation of my body.

At the same time, I can still easily “find” my conscious mind, the part of me that’s retaining an awareness of what’s going on, that knows my body is lying in my bed with the Sirius on and can observe myself experiencing these two worlds at once.

This parallels the ability of retaining awareness in the dream state from within the dream state, knowing your body is asleep and that what you’re experiencing is a dream.

From my own experiences with brainwave entrainment, this is its greatest contribution in helping me attain lucid, or conscious, states of awareness from within the dream state.

> Brainwave Entrainment and the OOBE

About 5 years ago I had an amazing session using the Sirius wherein which I felt as if the scene unfolding before me was something I was catapulting into as it enveloped me completely. I felt as if I were about to jump out of my body. It was very, very intense – scary even, and absolutely riveting. This experience had a lasting impact on me and I’m very intrigued at the possibility of using Light and Sound machines to experience sensations of astral travel and leaving ones body. As to the reality of OOBE, I have mixed feeling on and lean towards a materialist or reductionist view. But this doesn’t detract from the experience as being amazing and of meaning in and of itself, despite if it’s “really real” or just “ontologically real.”

This is subject I hope to explore more in the future, both in the sense of experience OOBE’s with my mind machine and in the sense of trying to understand the true nature of those experiences.

 

For example, I’ll sometime see entire scenes unfolding before my eyes. It’s really quite strange and amazing. Once I saw distinctive grey and black outlines of people moving about, often repeating the same movements (patterns) over and over.

 

4. To promote the sensation of tripping and closed eye hallucinations without the use of drugs.

This is closely related to lucid dreaming and OOBE. Without a doubt, there is a level of similarity you can experience in using Light and Sound that parallels some of the sensations of tripping on psychedelics. This includes closed eye hallucinations and auditory hallucinations – two things that are quite common for me when using the Sirius.

For example, I’ll sometime see entire scenes unfolding before my eyes. It’s really quite strange and amazing. Once I saw distinctive grey and black outlines of people moving about, often repeating the same movements (patterns) over and over. (One time the figure began moving towards me, getting closer and closer – it was scary, and I ended the session.)

The auditory hallucinations are very strange to me and always take on the same experience – I hear these high pitched bell sounds. They are not part of the program. It’s very strange to me. Do other people experience this, too? Is this an extension of the brain being tricked into hearing sounds that aren’t there through the mixing and matching of different beats per ear? The “bells” are very distinctive and clear and will repeat themselves without any discernable pattern. I would love to know if others hear this type of auditory hallucination too through brainwave entrainment/binaural beats.

 

If I smoke marijuana and then immediately put on Sirius Mind Machine, the results are nothing short of mind blowing….often mimicking the sensation of blasting through color changing tunnels at warp speeds

 

5. To use in combination with entheogens or other drugs.

Combining mind altering substances with Light and Sound Technology has immediate and powerful effects.

If I smoke marijuana and then immediately put on Sirius Mind Machine, the results are nothing short of mind blowing.

It’s everything it normally is but it’s like it unlocks an intensity gauge and shoots it up to the 10th setting. The patterns and movement created by the light and sound become fuller, more connected, and more fluid. I end up seeing more richly details scenes, often mimicking the sensation of blasting through color changing tunnels at warp speeds. It’s a fantastic experience. I think there is a lot of room for exploring ecstatic states of consciousness by combining potent marijuana and other mind altering substances with light and sound technology.

A word of caution: if you’re going to use strong psychedelics with your Mind Machine, do yourself a favor and have a friend with you for “moral support.” This is no fake suggestion – this is how I’ve always done it, too.


Bonus Reason: To freak out my friends by getting them to try my “Mind Machine.”

It’s great fun to share this type of experiential brainwave entrainment technology with other people. The great majority of the population has never heard of a brainwave entrainment or Light and Sound Mind Machines.

When approaching others on using a mind machine, the common response lies between fear and curiosity. The idea of strapping on headphones and glasses and “going somewhere else” with nods to a colorful psychedelic light show and weird sounds in your ears; well, you can see how this creates a blend of “Just what in the hell is this device going to do to me?” followed with “Can I try it?”. But curiosity always wins – I don’t believe anyone who ever had the chance to use my Sirius turned down the offer.

That’s where the fun begins: watching their reaction. Most people dig it. Few seem to want to use it for the whole session. Most immediately make references to psychedelics and all the crazy things they saw, how they couldn’t believe it, and so on. Yet some people don’t enjoy it. My brother immediately disliked it – his reason is a common one I’ve heard from others; the lights are too bright and they hurt his eyes! The lights are actually adjustable and you can dim them greatly (me personally, I tend to put them on the upper settings), but at this point, first impressions stick.

Anyway, owning a Sirius or any mind machine is really fun in the sense of being able to share it with others. (The Sirius has double inputs for both the LED goggles and headphones – if you buy a second pair of each you can do a session in unison with someone else. Sounds like a blast and an interesting way to connect with someone else. Unfortunately while I do have a second pair of LED glasses from another mind machine, they’re broken, so this is a feature I’ve not yet experienced with someone else.)

 

This illustrates what I find so fascinating about brainwave entrainment technology – the wide array of applications is staggering. From reducing migraines to cuing the mind for a lucid dream to prepping your brain to better absorb study materials for an exam; there are a ton of applications you can use the Sirius and other brainwave entrainment devices for.

Considering the Sirius is one of the least expensive Light and Sound tools on the market, the future is ripe for exploration.

 

Final Thoughts

So where does this leave us?

Depending on your goals with brainwave entrainment and light & sound technology, I hope you’ve found something of use by learning about my personal experiences with these technologies. They certainly slant to a certain type of experience, one of which is just a small segment of what brainwave entrainment can be used for.

That being said, there is a lot of room left to explore in this field, and much of it is of a personal, first person nature. For me personally, I’m interested in learning about and applying brainwave entrainment to promote positive visualization, affirmations, and goal setting. In short, I’m interested in ramping it up as a personal development tool to help achieve specific goals.

This illustrates what I find so fascinating about brainwave entrainment technology – the wide array of applications is staggering. From reducing migraines to cuing the mind for a lucid dream to prepping your brain to better absorb study materials for an exam; there are a ton of applications you can use the Sirius and other brainwave entrainment devices for.

Considering the Sirius is one of the least expensive Light and Sound tools on the market, the future is ripe for exploration.

Where to Buy a Sirius Light and Sound Mind Machine

The Sirius is one of the cheapest mind machines on the market as far as price goes, but it is very feature rich. Some vendors sell it for $150, but it’s easy to find it for under $150.

For the value I’ve gotten from my Sirius Light and Sound Machine, paying just $99 (note: this was in 2006) for it is a very fair price. Below you can find a few different vendors selling the Sirius at a good price. Just to open about it, these are affiliate links and if you buy them from these vendors, I will earn a small percentage that helps me run this site.

If you found this article helpful and want to buy a Sirius or other Light and Sound Machine or it’s cousin, the Proteus Mind Machine, you should find a competitive price for this mind machine below.

 

 

 

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What Are Your Thoughts, Questions, and Experiences in Regards to Brainwave Entrainment or the Sirius Light and Sound Machine?

Please leave your comments and questions below, guys (and gals). I would love to hear how you use your Sirius Light and Sound Machine!

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