Thursday, December 18, 2008

Integral Recovery - John Speaks with Bill Harris on Addiction & Recovery

Interesting podcast, even though I am more than a little skeptical about Harris's holosync thing.

John speaks with Bill Harris on addiction & recovery

Bill Harris & John Dupuy discuss Holosync’s role in Integral Recovery

For those unaware, holosync is Bill Harris's system of meditation that can "transform" your brain with one little CD. The hype is pretty intense:

The lazy man's way to meditate

Listening to this amazing, scientifically proven brain technology gives you all the benefits of meditation—in a fraction of the time—easily and effortlessly

Try it yourself, FREE!

Did you know that people who meditate everyday are many times happier than those who don't?

They're also healthier, and live longer. And, their sense of well-being is much higher than that of non-meditators. In fact, meditators are so much healthier that some insurance companies charge lower premiums for meditators than for the rest of the general population.

Meditators' minds are also sharper, and their problem-solving abilities are better.
That's one reason why many high-powered executives, and even CEOs of Fortune 500 companies, meditate.

Did you also know that meditators make a LOT more pleasurable brain chemicals—the ones you feel on those days when you feel REALLY good—and, they make these feel-good brain chemicals pretty much ALL THE TIME?

Did you know that meditators have dramatically better mental health? They have less anxiety, anger, depression, and fear, and they have better human relationships, more friends, and feel much more fulfilled in their lives?

So with all these benefits, why isn't everyone meditating?

You know why. To get these results, you have to meditate four or five hours a day, often for decades, and few people are willing to do this. And, meditation, especially at first, isn't much fun. The initial experience is somewhere between boring and frustrating. Finally, it takes quite a long time to notice any significant results, much less to experience the benefits I just mentioned.

But what if I told you that you could meditate as deeply as a Zen monk, literally at the touch of a button, and do it the very first time, and every time and also make all those happy brain chemicals the first time and every time?

Not only that, within a very short period of time—days or weeks instead of years or decades—you could begin receiving all the benefits I just mentioned—the physical health benefits, the mental health benefits, the clarity-of-mind benefits, the relationship benefits, and the overall sense of well-being benefits.

And, you don't have to learn
any complex mental gymnastics, or
spend hours a day to get all of this.

Instead, you'll be using a scientifically-proven audio technology called Holosync®, that will easily and effortlessly place you in the electrical brain wave patterns of deep meditation, every time.

Over the last 20 years, Hundreds of thousands of people in over 172 countries have used Holosync® to make dramatic improvements in their lives. You can, too.

It's easy, it's inexpensive, it feels VERY good it's 100% guaranteed.

Skeptical? I don't blame you. I was too, until I tried it for myself.

Yeah . . . . sure, you betcha. Yes, I am skeptical, but then I haven't tried this "guaranteed" method, so what do I know. But we rarely get a free ride or real short cut to deeper consciousness, so I'll wait and see. If it's THAT good, it'll be the next BIG thing, bigger than the Big Mind BS that Genpo Roshi sells.

Note, the key word is "sells."


Anonymous said...

Bill Harris offers a free cd to give a person a taste of his holosync technology. I ordered the free cd.

I gave it a listen. It's 20 minutes of holosync stuff in the background with Bill Harris giving his sales pitch in the foreground. Very annoying.

The contents of the rest of the cd are testimonials. Very annoying.

And, now my yahoo account gets Bill Harris spam on a regular basis. Very annoying.

Bill Harris, the new age huckster.

Anonymous said...

Dear Friends, Bill has his stuff (as we all do), but Holosync works as advertised for most people. most binural technology works very well Bill Harris has just worked out a version that is progressive and very good. If Bill bugs you too much try Insight meditation or the tracks on Psitimax, or LifeFlow. For my money Holosync is still the best overall product (and very expensive.) but all this stuff... "I tried it for twenty minuests and didn't do anything!" just doesn't cut it. it's like saying "I tried meditation once and it didn't work." or "yea I went to the Gym once and I didn't get stronger." Ridiculous.
If you use it for six weeks as instructed and don't feel a profound shift, you will be the first in my experience. Yes, I agree there is plenty of bullshit out there, but not everything is bullshit and this stuff isn't, and it is helping to change lives. It is not the whole puzzle, but a huge piece of it. The science is solid. But these sweeping dismissals based on cynicism and no knowledge are silly at best, and negligent at worst. If Bill's tone bugs you 1. Get over it. I give him a pass because it works just like he says.
2. Try another less successful company's binaural product. Use as instructed! Dabblers in anything don't see results and then they whine! Drives me nuts! Much love to all, But get off the shore and jump on in the ocean. The water is fine.
john dupuy

Anonymous said...

I tried the first level for a few months.

Some of the claims I can, to some extent, confirm - It was often pretty pleasurable while listening, and I did experience some pretty potent emotional upheaval (and headaches).

However, I was rather sceptical from the start. I'm particularly uneasy about letting anything or anybody 'run' my brain or do my contemplative work for me.

One of the primary reasons I decided to give it a go was that I was pretty ill when I was a young child (I had a bone tumour), and have had a lot of headaches of varying severity for as long as I can remember and I hoped that removing deep set emotional material might help me out with my headaches (perhaps rather foolish I know).

I have stopped using holosync for several reasons, including:

1) Bill Harris has sent me enough leaflets and 'promotional offers' to build a small house, and enough spam that if I printed it all off I could build a handsome extension to that paper house.

2) Bill Harris is presumably further along on the Holosync program than anybody else and aside from the pitbull marketing techniques, he doesn't seem to have the brilliance or wisdom of someone who has been "meditating as deep as a Zen monk at the touch of a button" for years.

3. Despite statements clarifying his involvement in "The Secret", he *was* still involved with that gibberish, and to my knowledge, this is still mentioned on his blog.

4. He seems quite invested in The II inner circle and frequently raves about Genpo Roshi and Big Mind and Wilber.

5. He says some (to my mind) pretty questionable and illogical things - If I remember correctly, on a set of CDs I was sent - a recording of a Centerpointe retreat - a H'sync user asked him something like "Is it alright to have a drink of water while listening to the CD?" to which Harris replied "Sure, but I don't see why you'd need to" Because he was thirsty Bill?

6. Centerpointe's use and enthuasiasm for "silent-affirmations". Planting words into my subconscious mind seems contrary to understanding and controlling my mind. What if an imperfectly wise person like me decides on recording an affirmation which is fallacious or dangerous?

7. (This is a petty one) Devotional comments from long-time users on his blog, often noticeably misspelled.

8. The price. I shudder to think how much money I would have paid if I had gone through the whole program.

9. My emotional upheaval may possibly have ultimately been beneficial to my mental health, but my outbursts and feelings were often incredibly difficult just to 'witness' and were causing tension with my friends and family.

trustinspace said...

I just ordered the free CD as well but I must tell you the way the site is laid out is extremely horrible. Testimonials are great if that is what you are looking for but that entire website is overloaded with testimonials. But no mention of what it is. (Binaural beats?)

If the seller is talking on that CD I would never put money on this product. What a waste if you cannot try it. It's sad because this is something that I would love to buy... or even create myself but it is marketed like a cheap weight loss product or a dream.

If someone selling a product cannot state what they are selling they are hiding something.

I might be critical about this because I am in advertising but it is a pet peeve of mine for companies to say "this is great, this is great but I'm going to overfeed you information and never tell you what it really is."

I recommend simplification to make it a classy product rather than a cheap, over marketed, cold, money sucking, business. That is just not something I can meditate on. =)

A brand needs to create a relationship of meaning for the brand in order to remain successful and pretending to give something of value to try a product out is mean and a waste of money. At least make the messages subliminal.

Umguy said...

I always feel a little tug of sadness for what seems to come up for so many people around holosync and big mind. I've used both and had very interesting experiences with both, experiences that match those I've had from more prolonged meditation.

I know Bill Harris can be obnoxious but that overenthusiastic, overexplaining quality feels quite simply like his personality (I've listened to a few talks of his). And even if he was the most enlightened guy on earth he'd still have to work through his personality. It just doesn't seem like such a big deal. It's not like anyone is forced to do any of this stuff.

And it really can be beneficial if you give it the time. I had to do Big Mind a couple times before my natural self-consciousness and resistance dropped enough to get anywhere with it. But once it did, what happened was impressive.

That said. Man, I love this blog.

Recovering Integral said...

I agree with pretty much everything Umguy has said. I find the marketing quite obnoxious but appreciate the support Holosync provides me in my meditation. I am someone who has struggled with addictions for years, and with the support of John Dupuy and Integral Recovery, I have begun to finally address these issues. Binaural beat technology plays an important role in Integral Recovery, and I am grateful for John's insistence on my using it as a key ingredient to my ILP.

I am also curious as to why you would describe Big Mind as bullshit. Maybe you have already written about this previously, but I would like to know your personal experience with Big Mind. It has totally shifted my understanding of what zazen is and has profoundly affected my meditation practice.

Anonymous said...

This is one of those conversations that arises over and over again in the three years I've been witness to the online integral/buddhist community. And it always stirs controversy, which is fascinating itself to witness.

My take: The TM-ing and repetitive marketing, while annoying, don't say anything about whether the techniques actually work. My experience suggests both BM and HS can add value to a regular practice and even to a non-regular a seed.

There are lots of binaural beats with a variety of overlay sounds to be found out there, and I've stayed away from HS simply due to the exorbitant (and I think absolutely ridiculous) cost. I have Perfect Meditation and Neuro Programmer 2, and I've found each of them helpful towards focusing an occasionally rather obstinant monkey mind.

trustinspace said...

Thank you Colin for your response. Cost is pretty important to me as well. I meditate very well naturally and have been for years but I am interested in trying different things with it.

"The psychology of the mature human being is an unfolding, emergent, oscillating, spiraling process marked by progressive subordination of older, lower-order behavioral systems as mans existential problems change."
-Clare W. Graves

I am definitely going to check out the two CD's that you mentioned. I suppose I am somewhere on the spiral.

Music is everything to me. We are working on a project to change the world with music. Creating a global dialogue with other nations that will be free to starving masses. They will in turn sell their music to us that we will record to make money for themselves. Write back and I can give you the information on where to vote for this idea.

"Music makes a coherent mass out of a mob of individuals. Music is a coordinator that seduces the rowdy segments of the brain into cooperative harmony."
-Howard Bloom

william harryman said...

Thanks for the conversation everyone! I appreciate the various takes on this.

I have to withhold judgment on Holosync, though I certainly don't like Harris's approach to marketing and selling this approach. Maybe it works, if so, best to those who use it.

As far as the Big Mind issue, I'll post a critique of this and why I think it's an issue -- bottom line is safety on this one, while the marketing (instant enlightenment) is also HIGHLY suspect.