All the Time in the World
Tami Simon: Welcome to Insights at the Edge produced by Sounds True. My name’s Tami Simon, I’m the founder of Sounds True. I’d love to take a moment to introduce you to the new Sounds True Foundation. The Sounds True Foundation is dedicated to creating a wiser and kinder world by making transformational education widely available. We want everyone to have access to transformational tools such as mindfulness, emotional awareness, and self-compassion regardless of financial, social or physical challenges. The Sounds True Foundation is a nonprofit dedicated to providing these transformational tools to communities in need, including at-risk youth, prisoners, veterans, and those in developing countries. If you’d like to learn more or feel inspired to become a supporter, please visit SoundsTruefoundation.org.
You’re listening to Insights at the Edge. Today, my guest is Lisa Broderick. Lisa Broderick is an accomplished senior executive whose career has been defined by understanding how technology impacts society and changes behavior. For over four decades, Lisa has worked with entrepreneurs and established companies to create lives of presence and purpose. Lisa earned a BA from Stanford University and an MBA from Duke. She’s a Transcendental Meditation Siddha, attended The Monroe Institute for the exploration of expanded states of consciousness. And she studied imagery and dream reading at the American Institute for Mental Imagery for more than 15 years. With Sounds True, Lisa Broderick has written a new book. It’s called All the Time in the World: Learn to Control Your Experience of Time to Live a Life Without Limitations. In the book, she writes about new scientific literature that is revolutionizing our understanding of what time is and also how we can affect it.
Entering this conversation with Lisa, I have to admit, I was skeptical, skeptical about some of the stories Lisa tells about how people have slowed down time and even stopped time. The conversation gave me a deep appreciation of our interconnectedness, how our brainwave states are actually interpenetrating with the physical world—eye-opening. Take a listen. Here’s my conversation with Lisa Broderick.
To begin with, Lisa, and as a way for our listeners to get to know you a bit, tell me a little bit about what happened in your own personal life, what led up to you writing a book about the stretchable nature of time?
Lisa Broderick: Well, thank you, Tami, I do get that question a bit. That is, of all the things that people would think about, time seems an unusual one. With that said, it’s something that people are most aware of yet possibly think the least about. When I was very young, as the story goes, I was living in Arizona with my parents, where I was born. We had a cabin, which was to the east of Phoenix where we lived. One summer I was jumping on a bed in the cabin and the bed rolled away and I went through a plate glass window and was impaled on the window. We were very far from a hospital, and I had a death experience, where the bleeding was excessive—I was on the window. I was taken to a country facility. My parents were told at the time that I wouldn’t make it. But I remember the entire experience.
After that, a little girl full of life, I was in a body cast for a while, I began to see the world as different. It was more alive. And I can’t tell you whether before that I wouldn’t have seen the world as alive and different anyway. But I now know from studying these experiences that that is often the case; one sees the world differently. But later on, as I grew and I began to do sports, I realized that I had a perception of time, which I found very useful. I could slow down the field. If we were running or jumping, jumping over hurdles and track or doing things, I could literally slow down the field and slow down balls with my mind, I supposed, so that I could hit them better and jump higher and aim a little clearer.
I began to use this in my life. I went through my life as I grew and used it in other ways. Then when I got to be in my 20s and 30s and began to meditate, I realized that it was probably a state of mind, and it was related to meditation. Because when we meditate, we can go away in our minds for a very long time, not be asleep, not fall over and have a very long time pass. Or I could meditate sitting up for an hour, not feel uncomfortable, completely lose time and not be asleep. What was the relationship between our mind and where we went in our mind and physical reality which allowed me to see the ball as slower? Otherwise, why was I hitting it if it was only in my mind that allowed me to slow down time?
That was the beginning of the book that was decades and decades ago. But most recently in the last few years, science has caught up with a lot of the theories that I had about time. It has to do with quantum mechanics and new theories about time, block theory of time and string theory and all these other theories of how time works where I was able to put it together. There’s a physical reality, and there’s a perception reality that allows us to have a lot more control over time than we think.
TS: OK. So here you are, you’re a young person and you’re discovering when it comes to sports that you can slow things down so you can perform better. What are you doing to slow things down? What’s happening internally?
LB: I go into a place of calm, which I now know is a meditative state. In the book, I describe the difference, my theory about the difference between fear and danger. I believe danger is an innate sense that’s felt somewhere probably in the part of the brain, a reptilian part of the brain. We know very ancient parts of the brain exist and certain very unusual brain waves emanate from such as gamma waves. And looking around me, being able to do these types of things, I would apply this brainwave state, not descend into fear, and simply think, “Slow,” so that I’m up and I’m at bat and it’s softball, slowing down the ball. I’m not afraid that I’m not going to hit it, that it’s going to hit me, that I’m going to miss and be embarrassed; I simply slow down the field.
What I now know and what we know because many books have been written about it from Michael Jordan and famous athletes, athletes who are in the Olympics and in professional sports, many of them do it if not all of them do it. They learn to do it, and it’s taught now so we can slow down the field with our minds. What this book explores is, how do you make that practical in your life? How do you do that on purpose and apply it to your daily life so that you can live a life that is more fulfilling and more complete and less harried and more full of joy?
TS: You mentioned that you have a sense that this meditative state in which time is slowed down has something to do with brainwave states. Can you explain that?
LB: Yes, the brainwave states, I think that’s really where it starts. When I began to meditate in my 20s, of course one meditates—and either people take to it or they don’t; I was a natural meditator. I would love it. It was like diving into a deep pool of cool water every morning and every evening when I would meditate. It was a brainwave state. I could feel it, because as I settled down into a meditative state having learned and then gotten better at it—and this is Indian mantra meditation, by the way—that something would take over as though a flywheel would go off in my brain where thoughts would cease, and time was nonexistent. I could sit there for an hour upright and not fall asleep while meditating. I then studied the brainwave states which occur. So, of course, we have theta and we have alpha and beta, and then we have other sorts of brainwave states. And then we have gamma brainwave states typically associated with samadhi and these unity experiences.
I began to study the brainwave states, and I actually went to two brainwave state institutes, The Monroe Institute and the Biocybernaut Institute for brainwave studies. I had electrodes on my head while meditating and while slowing down time to see what brainwave states they were. And those are the brainwave states I talk about. I believe that it matches the state of flow and the zone and the now, which so many authors talk about over so many decades. We all stand on the shoulders of those giants to understand where the brain goes when we are in this meditative place and how we can access it at any time at will.
TS: You mentioned the gamma state and how that’s associated with samadhi. Are you positing that the gamma brainwave state is the state that we need to move into in order to be in this slowed-down time state?
LB: No. In studying it both at The Monroe Institute and the Biocybernaut Institute—the Biocybernaut Institute was research and Monroe does its own research. In The Monroe Institute research, they theorized, and I would agree with them, that it’s a multitude of states. It’s moving from phonetic beta into alpha, into theta. And delta in the daytime, which is very rare, although delta waves do appear in people in the daytime. And then there can be gamma brainwave states where we go into this flywheel. I believe that’s the flywheel when I’m meditating that I feel. But it’s the same flywheel in my brain I’ll talk about. And the flywheel is a freeing state of non-fear, of ease in action, ease in grace, the ability to slow down time so that if I drop a wine glass, I can catch it by its stem in slow motion before it hits the ground. That is a combination brainwave state that we talk about in the book.
TS: In the book All the Time in the World, you teach a practice that you call focused perception. And it’s this practice that allows us to enter this—at least it’s an opening to this slowing down of time. Can you talk more about out that? And can we actually do this practice of focused perception together here?
LB: Sure, we can. I would describe focused perception as the heightened state of awareness. And it can happen to people in a lot of different contexts. So, we talked about playing a sport, talked about experiencing grave danger. For instance, Don Miguel Ruiz so generously wrote the forward for the book and explains his own experience of slowed-down time in which he saved his own life during medical school in Mexico City in a car accident or bringing it on or intentionally using it. The practices in the book are designed to bring that on. While it’s best experienced in a relaxed state, it’s not meditation, but it is meditative. People who survive car crashes regularly describe slowed down time, why? I believe their brain entered into this brainwave state we’ve talked about that I also call the state of focused perception.
It is also a lot like hypnotism. Hypnotism is often called focused awareness. And so focused perception is a term that I’d come upon not knowing that about hypnotism. It’s the focusing of our perceptive abilities in a meditative state, in a calm state, triggering brainwave states—which we can’t tell because we don’t have electrodes on our head. But if they were, I think that they would show a combination of theta and even delta brainwave states in a very relaxed meditative state, almost a trance, and occasionally gamma brainwave states. That is the state of flow, and that is what I also call focused perception.
TS: Let’s do it.
LB: All right. While not driving, all of our listeners out there, we can, and so many of us are meditators and we know what that’s like. I’ve been told I have a quite soothing, soporific voice. We’ll try to do this for people, setting aside time in their day. First thing we would do is be in a relaxed pose. And I’ll talk a little bit about a pose. While I was at the Biocybernaut Institute, I practiced this meditative practice both in Lotus position and straight arms, straight legs. And those are two different lineages, of course. So Lotus is India; straight arms and straight legs is China. It’s also Kabbalah. And so either you want your energy going straight up and down on your body or you want your energy in a Lotus position. They are equal in terms of the effect they have. So, either if you’re sitting, you could be in a comfortable Lotus position or King’s Pose in a chair, straight arm, straight legs, and feet on the ground and back straight and hands on your thighs. Think King Tut.
In one of these positions, we’re comfortable in a very intentional way. First thing we do, let’s lift up our shoulders up into the back and then just drop them. And we relax with our breath because this is all about breath. So many meditative practices are all about breathing and focus on breathing.
Then slowly our close eyes as we’re able to just relax with the intention that this is going to be fun and freeing and maybe something new or maybe something that’s so innate to you that you’ve done it so many times before. And the first thing we will do is we will focus on our breath. Breathing in through your nose, a regular exhalation. But start breathing out through your mouth a long, slow exhalation as though it were twice as long as your inhale. Why? In the brain, back to brainwave states, this triggers a state of the parasympathetic nervous system to relax.
We are not in any sort of danger or fight or flight, we are relaxing. We’re triggering the brainwave states of theta by doing this. Breathing in through our nose, a regular inhalation and a long slow exhalation out through our mouth. Again, regular inhalation through our nose, a long slow exhalation out of our mouth. Seeing the breath coming out of our mouth as smoke, a color that delights us, white for purity or blue for power and Shiva, or orange for creativity, whatever we like. The smoke is coming out of our mouth as a color. And one more time, in through our nose and out through our mouth a long, slow exhalation.
Now, with the next in-breath through our nose—and we’re about to breathe out through our mouth—see the number three in our mind’s eye anywhere in front of us, closed eyes. And any way we see that or imagine it is right for us. As we’re seeing the number three, we breathe in through our nose again and out through our mouth, the number dissolves into the number two on the exhalation. And in through our nose, a regular exhalation out through our mouth, that number dissolves from two to the number one in our mind’s eye. And in through our nose and out through our mouth, that number dissolves into the number one.
Now in through our nose and out through our mouth, dissolving into the number zero in our mind’s eye. This is the time of no time, we’re in a place of suspended time. This is a meditative state even though we’re in our day, we’re relaxed, we’re aware, we have perception. Now, we can focus. What should we focus on? Let’s create something wonderful. Everyone imagines something that we would really like to happen for ourselves, something that would be delightful. It could be mundane, it could be wonderful in a way that’s much more important. Thinking of this wonderful thing. And now expand it, think about the way that it benefits everyone involved. It’s not just you, this wonderful thing that you would like to see happen for yourself, imagine all of the other people related to it and animals and all of the other parts of your world which would benefit if this thing came to pass. Holding that in our minds, thinking about this, now taking it to a new level of focus. Now, imagine it happened. How do you feel?
You’re joyous. Revel in the moment of sending the email because you finished the proposal. Revel in the moment of reading the email because your grant was approved. Revel in the moment of reuniting with your friend whom you’ve lost or had an argument with. Whatever it is for each of us, we’re living the experience. We’re perceiving and we’re focusing at the same time in this wonderful state of relaxation. Now, don’t just imagine it in our minds. What we want to do is we want to viscerally experience it. We’re seeing it in our mind’s eye, we’re holding the person, we’re touching it. We’re smelling the smells; we’re hearing the sounds. In every sense, we’re feeling the emotion.
Now, taking that up, we’re going to take that up just a notch. Imagine that you’re expanding that feeling out through the top of your head, you’re growing infinitely large, larger, larger than the Earth, larger, larger than the galaxy into the universe. Expanding it up and up, and up, and up, and up, and up. And now just release it, exhale. Now, for me when I do these exercises, and I do them daily with something I would like to happen, I leave myself in no time. I leave myself in a state of flow for my entire day. If you need to return to your day, if you need to drive, if you need to do something, which is a little more involved with other people, we can come back out of this remaining closed with our eyes, breathing out through our mouth and seeing the number zero turn into the number one in our mind’s eye. We’re going to come back to now.
In through our nose and out through our mouth, the number one dissolves into the number two. We’re coming forward in time from no time. And now out through our nose, out through our mouth, breathing out, we see the number two dissolve into the number three. And when you’re ready, you can slowly open your eyes.
TS: Lisa, this is a beautiful and powerful and direct way to go to zero, to go to no time. One of the things I’m curious though is when you’re not meditating, how do you invoke this state? Like you mentioned, the wine glass falls, and things slow down, and you can pick it up, or you’re engaged in a sporting event. I think of times when I feel under so much pressure to get something done, and I feel I don’t have very much time. I’m not in a timeless zone, I’m in a high-pressure cooker. How do I bring in this vast sense of no time when I’m under pressure?
LB: There are three ways that I do that. First of all, in the book, it describes a practice for your day so that this exercise, which I’ve done, I do every single day of my life for decades where I go into a place of no time. In Kabbalah, it’s called the time of the prophets, around 5:00 AM. And in India, the time after 3:00 AM is a wonderful time. So sometime very early in the morning every day I do this practice, I imagine that wonderful thing. In fact, I imagine multiple wonderful things. One of them speaking to you, Tami, how this would be spectacularly fun and wonderful for both of us. I did this exercise for that early this morning.
I set up my day by doing this every day, number one. And then if you know that you might be in a pressure cooker—for example, I work in the nonprofit world, I have a charity I operate, in social justice and policing. And tomorrow is International Peace Day, quite a busy day for me, as I’m back-to-back booked speaking at press conferences and other speaking engagements around the country. So that morning, tomorrow morning, I will slow down my entire day to have it not be a pressure cooker, to instead have it be a ballet. Number one is we set up our day correctly.
Number two, when it actually happens, or if you find yourself in a pressure cooker, sit yourself down wherever you are, close your eyes. I have done it in a lady’s room. I’ve done it in a closet. I’ve done it in public, where people have pushed me to see if I was meditating or alive because my eyes were closed and I was so still or I went inward. It takes 30 seconds to get to the time of no time where we imagine it done, we settle ourselves down.
Number three, if we do this enough, it becomes easier. The brain wave state where you’re startled or you could be startled into fear such as dropping the wine glass becomes a muscle memory. The muscle memory is, “Oh, I know what this is, I can slow this down. I can slow down this conversation. I can see this conversation with a friend is spinning out of control with emotion, I’m going to slow this down right now.” I didn’t anticipate it. I didn’t set it up for my day. But because I have muscle memory, having done this every day as a practice, I remember. And I could put myself together in the moment to immediately go to the place of no time. When we do these three things, I think we live a life which is a little bit different in terms of purpose and fulfillment and joy and unlimited time.
TS: Now, one of the interesting things in the way you introduced the practice to us was you said when we’re imagining this wonderful thing that we want to have happen from that no-time space to think of all the ways it will benefit and be positive for other people. Why is that so important? Often when I hear people talk about create something in the future, they don’t include that piece.
LB: What I’ve learned, I think it boils down again to fear. There’s so many, again, so many wonderful books on manifestation. I think of fear as ringing the loudest bell imaginable from whatever is conscious about us that might co-create reality on any field, quantum realm, the creation field. In any event, if we do something for only ourselves, we would be afraid that it wouldn’t happen. But if we’re doing it for other people, then it’s simply a joy. And we release ourselves. This is why I suggest that I release myself, we release ourselves from the fear that it wouldn’t happen for us. Instead, we’re creating for world. And it’s like, well, this is part of the ballet of life that I want this to happen for so many, and I’m going to be joyous for them. And I’m never going to be afraid that it’s not going to happen for me.
Whatever there is about the universe, and this is quite a common principle where we think about the benefit to all as being part of manifestation or prayer or intentions for the world, I think that’s what it is. We release ourselves from any possibility of fear by simply wishing good for all. And I think when we do that, then we don’t descend into fear. You can’t go to the time of no time if you’re in fear. Time will speed up for you, all of your sympathetic nervous system will kick in. Your pulse will race, your mind will race. Your body will tense, your blood will flow. That is not the time of no time. I think that’s what it might be.
TS: You introduced this skill of focused perception not only as a tool for influencing future events, but you write about how we can even use this to impact the past. And that gets into some I think interesting areas where people might say, “What, really? I mean, it could influence how I perceive the past, but is it actually influencing the past?”
LB: Well, that is an interesting question, and that’s what I wanted to tackle with this book. The truth is time is the biggest problem in physics—it is, what is time? Besides God and life and the universe, time is the biggest problem. So, I can’t say that anyone could answer for sure, but I will say that science supports time travel. It is theoretically possible in certain general relativity—space, time, geometry as we’ll call them—that permit time travel. It is certainly possible. In science, it’s long been known that the laws of physics work just as well in either time, direction forward or backwards. So there is evidence in physics that-
TS: OK, Lisa, you’re going to have to help me understand first of all what do you mean by time travel, and how does science support time travel?
LB: All right. Many of our listeners will know about quantum mechanics, quantum theory, and wave–particle duality. I’ll just introduce that, and we can go over it briefly where observation determines whether light will behave either as a photon or a wave. The reason it does that—and this is in physics on the quantum realm where it’s all mathematics—but until observation, the particle could have been either a particle or a wave. A thought experiment was done originally in the 1970s, it was called a delayed choice quantum eraser experiment, and it works like this. The classic double slit experiment is scientists, physicists are shooting photons through two slits. And whether they observe the slits or not determines what happens to the light on the other side of the slit. There’s a screen on the other side of the slit.
If the photons pass through both slits and research are observing the experiment, then they would see a pattern and their thoughts, their observation has actually affected the consummation, we’ll call it, the photon determining whether it would be a particle or a wave on the other side of the split. What if that delayed choice quantum eraser happened and the choice about whether or not to observe the photon happened at a different time than the photon was going through the slit? What if it happened later? So what if the scientists did the experiment of shooting the photons through the double slits and no one observed it and they didn’t know what happened? And then later they came back, and they thought, “Oh, we’re going to observe it.”
That’s called the delayed choice thought experiment, quantum eraser where the delayed choice of something that happened in the future affected the past where the photons have already been through the slits. I know this is a lot to wrap our heads around, and of course, no one has ever seen quanta on the quantum realm, this is all mathematics. But the idea that the observation, meaning our thoughts, our perception, are somehow intermingling in the physical realm with matter so that things occur that we think about not only exists for the present, which has been proven, but it also exists for things that happened in the past. To take this away from science and take it back to our life, I can’t guarantee, or I can’t even suggest that someone could say, “Well, I’d really like that glass not to have broken, I’m going to think about it.” Of course, that’s never going to happen.
What we could do though is we could think about the emotion of our experiences in the past as they affect our future experience or our present life. Imagine we’ve had a terrible interaction, an argument with someone we love or an interaction with someone that we don’t know very well, and there’s a charge to it, there’s an emotional charge, as there would be. We’re going through our life, and there’s this emotional charge, and we’re going to see that person. What I do, and these experiences are, “Don’t be trapped by the past,” that’s what it’s called in the book, where I would sit myself down and go into focused perception. I would relive the experience of what happened with the interaction with either my friend or the person I had a difficult interaction with, and I would change the ending, I simply change it.
I live it as a movie in my life as we just did to create that wonderful thing. But imagine you’re not going through the wonderful thing in no time, you’re going through an experience which was quite challenging except you say to yourself, “Oh, it didn’t happen that way, that’s not what happened.” So I’m going back and I’m actually changing my experience of the past for this for a very particular purpose. And again, I can only apply it to my life and who I am with my interaction and my perception and my consciousness. But I do know that when I do that and I encounter that person again, the charge is gone so that in some sense, maybe not the quantum realm of quantum eraser, let’s talk about it as an emotionally eraser. I’ve emotionally erased my experience which was challenging in the past.
So I’m not bringing it forward to the present or the future so that the charge is gone and I’m living a different reality having lived an experience where the argument with my loved one didn’t happen, where the uncomfortable interaction with someone I knew or didn’t know didn’t go to down that way or I wasn’t harmed or I didn’t harm them, or I didn’t do that thing that I’m not very proud of. So I’m taking that forward into my life for the present in the future. Tami, that’s really the only way I think that we can apply it for now until science takes it further out of a thought experiment into a practical reality where we might somehow be able to time travel into the past.
TS: I just want to ask you a question about how this works for you. Do you ever have the feeling that you are, one, erasing something truthful and replacing it with something that’s not truthful, and does that bother you?
LB: I am asked that quite a bit. I would say the emotional charge around something is not truth, it’s something else. An emotional charge is like an electrical charge, it’s either there or it’s not. And if I have a negative emotional charge, making it not emotional does not erase that I did something I might not be proud of, or someone harmed me or I harmed them. But it simply reverses the trauma, which is the emotional charge. And this is used in trauma reversal and trauma therapy treatment of course in clinical settings all the time where they take people who’ve been through terrible experiences to relive different versions of that as a third party to release the emotional trauma, so they don’t keep reliving it.
Instead of truth, I think of it as removing emotional charge which holds us back, which harms us. I know that I did that or that person did that; I’m just not emotionally charged, and I’m not angry about it, I’m not sad, I’m not vengeful, I’m not revengeful. I’m not going to approach them in a way in the future where I seek to harm them back because they harmed me. It’s simply become unimportant to me. And I think that’s how we can use it practically in our lives and live in truth.
TS: Hope, it can be found, lost, misunderstood, nurtured, and luckily it’s contagious. And there’s little argument that we need hope now more than ever. Please join Sounds True for a seven-day online summit on activating hope, together, we can, together, we will featuring Jane Goodall, author of the new Book of Hope. Please visit hopesummit2021.com to register and learn more.
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TS: How do we make sure that the muck that has made us the unique and interesting and soulful person that we are, that we’re not doing some erasure of that when we go back and reverse or rewrite the past?
LB: Well, again, we’re back to emotional charge. I would say spiritual masters of all lineages would say that for us to rise above and become our higher self—the “big I” versus the “little I”—the “big I” holds no grudges and has no accounts receivable, but it knows what it did and it learns from it. The “little I” is seeking revenge and running around and still with the emotional charge. I think this is a way to get to our higher self where we’re actually more than we are becoming more and becoming more whole. Not erasing or eliminating something but seeing it within the context of a greater perfection of our lives and our interactions with people. And not carrying it forward to be detrimental to ourselves or others in the future. That’s the most important aspect of it that I like.
TS: Lisa, I’m curious, can you give me an example of how you’ve used this effectively in your life, this reversal of the past?
LB: Well, I mentioned, so imagine I have had a difficult conversation with someone that I didn’t expect. And while I was slowing down the field in the conversation, it spiraled out of control.
TS: I hope you’re not going to have to erase this conversation we’re having right now.
LB: No, I think it’s wonderful, of course.
TS: OK, good. Just checking.
LB: This happens to all of us, so it doesn’t need to be a specific conversation, but it certainly happens, and it happened to me recently. I was caught off guard, and I may have descended into fear a little bit and not remained in the other sense which is focused perception during the conversation. I said some things that I regret and I can’t take back. I’m going to see this person again because I love them, and I interact with them. And I need them in my life, and I want them, and I want to be whole for them. So, in the very early morning practice, which I do, that I set up my day because I know that I’m going to be seeing them. Or even if I don’t, I might do it immediately after the conversation so that I’m not still roiling from it, roiling from the emotion of having been in a fight or flight with a person, in a bit of a fight. Roiling from embarrassment or regret about what I may have said, roiling from being startled into anger or an emotion which I wouldn’t normally feel.
In any event, I can either sit myself down at the moment or do it early in the morning where I relive the conversation to the point where it spun out of control. And then as we talked about earlier, I change it. I say, ‘I love you.” I use an ancient practice instead in my mind’s eye, which is, “I’m sorry, please forgive me, thank you, I love you.” Any number of approaches in order to change the ending so that my emotions going forward are not carried forward.
That may not always work, because sometimes things happen which are so traumatizing, physical trauma where people have gone through things. I have many stories of this in the book where deaths have occurred and someone has felt responsible, where physical violation has occurred of young people, and they’ve recounted these stories in the book where they’ve used this practice to remove the emotional charge for themself.
It may not happen right away if it’s very deeply seated and extremely traumatic. But as we continue to do it, we can peel away the excess emotion, the charge and get back to the truth of ourself, which I believe is a loving, giving, whole being, which just not broken or missing or lost in any way. To remove that and come back to a present reality and a present way of being where that emotional charge does not guide our life, it does not have us stuck in the past. So those are the two ways I would use it, and I use it literally every day to this day.
TS: A very interesting, and I would say challenging (for me) part of All the Time in the World, part of the book had to do with people who needed to get someplace seemingly in a hurry. Like “I’m supposed to be somewhere, an appointment, and it’s supposed to happen in five minutes, when the appointment starts, but this drive, I just checked my phone with all the traffic, supposedly going to take me 15 minutes to get there.” And you tell some remarkable stories about how people are able to use focused perception so that they have all the time in the world, and they arrive on time. And quite honestly, I have to say this brought up my question mark. I was like, “I don’t get this, I don’t get how this works.” Lisa, help me understand this.
LB: You must be a very type A personality as so many of us are.
TS: I am, and I really like to get to places on time. So, I was a little bit like, “I don’t get this.”
LB: Again, we’re talking about one of the biggest problems in physics today, time, how time works, how time interacts with human beings. Is there a place in our minds that we can go to where we can slow down the field? I believe so; we’ve described what that is. And so where does our psychology and our control of our own thoughts meet physical reality? That’s the quantum field which I explained. We do now know that in scientific experiments, in physics and in quantum mechanics that thought does have an influence on reality in terms of collapsing the wave function, etc., the double slit experiment. So when we use this to slow down time for our lives, it’s the interaction between thoughts and physics, between psychology and physical reality. What I do is I need to be someplace, or as we’ve talked about, I have a very hectic day where I’m slowing down the field.
But let’s say I need to get across town, and it’s 30 minutes and I’m leaving with not enough “time” in order to get there, but there’s so many variables. I call it the quantum ballet. The variables are, the lights are green or the lights are red. There’s a fire truck, there isn’t a fire truck. The person [in front of] you has pulled over; you are able to go faster. Whatever all these variables are, we can’t control those. We can only control our state of mind, our focused perception. What I would do with that is I would get in my car, and of course we have clocks in our cars. And old-fashioned clocks are a little more effective at this, I would say, going into focused perception than digital clocks. And in the book, I talk about an experiment of slowing down time, slowing down the second hand of a clock by going into a meditative state.
But let’s say you have to jump in your car, and you have 30 minutes to get there and you think that that might not be enough time. And I have a story of my own where I was taking the SAT when I was in high school. And this somehow happened for me, I still don’t know how. I would focus on the experience of arriving on time. What that does is we sit in our car and we can go own into a state of focused perception not in a way that would impair driving, but in a way that’s relaxed. And by the way, driving tends to elicit theta brainwaves which are very meditative anyway. Driving is very meditative for people unless there’s something happening on the road that’s quite alarming. So, we get in our car and we’re doing something that’s already conducive to a theta brainwave state, which is a meditative state.
We might do the focused perception down three, two, one, zero to get to a time of no time. What I do is I live the experience of arriving on time, whatever that means for me. I’m arriving at the doctor’s office, and I know I’ll lose my appointment if I’m late, or the test site, or walking in with people, or needing to be somewhere. Here’s the trick though, Tami. If we know of this in advance, in the great ballet of life, where you’re making your choices and I’m making my choices, and there’s the quantum realm, if I’m aware of this and I’ve thought about time, I first of all—and this is not a cop out, but it’s really the muscle memory—I might leave earlier, number one, I’ll just put that out there. If you’re focused on time and you know that you can use these time exercises and you know that you might not have enough time, you might in the quantum ballet choose to leave earlier, that’s number one.
Number two, by doing focused perception, you wouldn’t descend into a place of fear. A place of fear could do all types of things in this scenario. It could cause you to make a wrong turn, hit somebody, be in a car accident, have a misstep in your car, park in the wrong place, go to the wrong place. None of that would happen because when we start our journey ahead of time, we see ourselves arriving on time. And then is there something in the quantum realm, quantum mechanics as we’ve described where thought really does affect reality? The truth is we don’t know yet. But considering the amazing complexity of the universe, I believe that our existence goes way beyond physics and Galileo and even Einstein. And we’re part of a reality beyond which we can see, a quantum realm or a spiritual realm where that everyday life is beyond what we understand is reality. And that’s where those stories come from.
And you hear them all the time. You hear of the young person picking up the car off their father, the grandmother picking [up] the car off her grandchild, the slowed down time. There’s a story of slowed down bullets in a gun fight that a friend of mine who was a police chief gave me when he was a narcotics agent in Los Angeles in the 80s. These strange experiences, can we have them all the time on command? No, not yet. Could we develop our brains to have them more often to affect time to get some place on time? Absolutely. And so that’s what the book is about.
TS: You told me you had an interesting story about taking the SAT and time, what was that?
LB: I did. After living in Phoenix, my family moved to the Bay Area. My father was in the computer science industry. I was living in Santa Cruz at the time, for people who know the Bay Area. And it’s called going over the hill, there’s a mountain pass. And my school was in Cupertino, which is where Apple was located. It was a Saturday morning and there was an SAT test. Tami, I did what you did—I was leaving with not enough time. But I had slowed down the field for a while; I was in my teens. I had had experiences where I’ve bowled in slow motion, nearly a perfect game at the age of eight, and I was terrible. Slowing down the field, and I decided instead of descending into fear of missing the SAT, which I really needed to make. And over the mountain pass was 25 or 30 miles, which you can’t do in 30 minutes. You can’t really do that.
You don’t want to be going over the hill, Santa Cruz to San Jose, at a rate of speed where you would make that, at 60 miles an hour. In any event, I got in my car and I did this exact perception, the focused perception exercise, which I didn’t call it back then. I simply imagined the clock being the time I needed to be. I forget if it was 8:00 or 8:30 or 9:00 AM at the time I arrived. And I got in my car, and I had a clock face in my car. It was a Datsun convertible which had an old-fashioned clock face with a second hand and a minute hand right there on my dashboard. And I focused on that, and I simply focused on it being the time when I arrived. And darned if it wasn’t the case, Tami, that I did arrive.
Can I explain how? No. Was I in a bit of a trance driving over the hill that morning? Yes, I was. I was so focused on arriving in a way where I would have an experience of taking the test and doing well on the test and all the sorts of things I wanted for my life, that it simply happened. Do I do that on command these days? Pretty much. With that said with my focus on time, I don’t leave with so little time in order to force myself into a place where I would be harried and not be able to make it. Could I do it if I really needed to? Do I believe I could? Absolutely, because of the muscle memory that we get in this meditative state of focused perception where we live the experience of it already happening. It’s already occurred, it’s done, it’s complete, we’re complete, contributing to our experience.
TS: I just want to check something out with you. What I hear you saying is that when you visualize in your mind’s eye, “I’m showing up right on time,” time has slowed down the clock face, it’s frozen, the second hand is not moving anymore, “I see myself arriving right when I’m supposed to be. I’m supposed to meet a friend, I’m right there at the time, I’m supposed to be there,” that you believe, and it sounds this way, that that not only puts me in a place of being a better driver, more centered, more relaxed with all, I’m changing lanes in the right way, I’m able to find a parking space. That’s all true. But you also believe that somehow the physical world is also collaborating with me in some sense.
LB: I do, and I do based on science, which we can’t explain right now. Of course, the quantum realm is mathematics, so it’s a mathematical discipline in physics suggesting that thoughts have an impact on reality and the wave function. We don’t know enough about a brainwave state that people can access when they experience slowed down time. But there’s a lot of research going on about that. What is that brainwave state? And if it was a brainwave state that was only our perception, then why is Jim the police chief able to step out of the way of the bullet? Why was Don Miguel Ruiz able to see the steering wheel column so that he moved out of the way and wasn’t impaled by it?
There is a reality where we do interact with physical matter with our brainwave state. Can it be captured on demand? No, it’s certainly being studied as the flow right now, but I believe we can access it. And there’s something about the amazing complexity of the universe and our existence that we do not yet know, but this book explores that we could access on a daily basis. Do I know the answer for sure? No. Can we practice doing it? Absolutely.
TS: You mentioned this idea of, first of all, finding a clock face. I don’t think that’s that easy to find; I assume almost everything is digital. How else could I practice this kind of stopping of time, if you will, with a physical object if it’s hard to find a clock face if I’m in my car or at home?
LB: You wanted to practice just for yourself stopping the second hand?
LB: Well, as we talked about, what is the nature of time? Time is change and things moving around in some sense. So clock faces are the most ancient mechanism by which we gauge time and are used to gauge time. And the movement of the hands of a clock face is sort of universal. So if you want to do this experiment for yourself, I do highly recommend that you get a clock with a second hand, an old-fashioned clock or a watch face. And a lot of watches still actually do have those unless you’re using a very new age, a new watch which is a fit watch or something like that. That’s to prove for yourself, but that’s not needed. When I need to go somewhere, when I need to slow down the field, when I need to slow down my day or have things happen for me that I would like to have happen or not have an emotional charge from the past, I don’t need the clock face. I don’t need a physical proof that this works, I’ve already experienced it for myself.
But in the book is an experiment which is from the 70s, a quite well-known scientist Itzhak Bentov who pioneered this experiment in the 1970s of slowing down the second hand on a clock face, which I’ve done with groups as large as eight. Hanging a watch face in front of each of them and going in our minds to a time of no time and coming back out of that, and each individual reporting that they experienced the same slowed down time. And that was in a group of eight. In order to prove that to yourself, if that’s what you would like, it’s really highly suggested that you have a clock or a watch with a second hand.
TS: Let’s say I have a watch; it has a second hand. I want to prove this to myself because, Lisa, I’m A type a person, as you picked up, and also, I want to have personal evidence. How do I practice with the second hand on the watch? What do I do?
LB: Well as described in the book, we start with focused perception. And so we’re sitting in a comfortable way and we are either in Lotus position or we’re sitting straight arm, straight legs, and we close our eyes. Darkness is always nice; it changes the brainwave state—melatonin versus serotonin. We have brainwave states and we close our eyes. Using focused perception, we count back to a time of no time. We’re triggering the parasympathetic nervous system.
Before you do all of that, have the clock or watch face visible, have it in front of you. Be sitting so that when you close or open your eyes it’s directly in front of you. Position it so that you wouldn’t have to move out of this meditative state in order to see it. It’s on something that’s about eye level, you can see it, and you can see it pretty closely. And then as you count back into the time of no time, you get back to zero, you live a wonderful memory in your mind, so sensory, so visceral: holding your child at the moment of their birth; your first kiss, a wonderful kiss; being on the beach, your favorite place; living this visceral, wonderful memory for as long and with as much sensory additions as you possibly can; the smell of the sand, the smell of the baby, the feel of the kiss, touching the other person. Living this, and living this for as long as you would like while the clock or watch hand is in front of your face. And before you’ve done that, you’ve noted the time. Let’s say it’s three o’clock and the second hand is right at 3:00. You would do that and slowly closing your eyes, and you’re blurring your vision a little bit going off in this memory.
You go off in your mind, and you’re basically in a meditative state, which is certainly likely to have theta brainwaves, probably delta, and possibly even gamma depending upon if you’re a practiced meditator. Going back in that memory, and what you do is you pull yourself out of the memory and you look back at the clock or watch face. What I’ve seen, what happens to me, and what I’ve brought groups through, and which has been done over and over, is that depending upon the depth of the memory, your ability to immerse yourself in that and the triggering of the brainwave states, the second hand may not or will not have moved. You will have done all of that in a split second.
But here’s the real kicker: I’ve seen the second hand go backwards. And I’m not the only one doing this experiment; it’s actually quite well known. So that if we do this and we practice this and we’re doing it for fun, but also we’re doing it for muscle memory. We talked about that, right?
Diving into this deep pool, this clear blue, cool pool of water, which is this brainwave state of focused perception is a muscle memory which we can access at any time. The more you do this, the more access you would have to it. And that is when I have heard reported, and I myself have been able to see the second hand go backwards, which is really a trip. It’s one thing to have it be stopped and you’re looking at it and it stopped. And you’re wondering why it stopped because you’re looking at it. It’s quite another to see something in physical world go backwards, and that’s not explained. In my book, I talk about chronostasis and the eyeball and the explanations for why this may be true and eliminating our memories and how the brain works. But truly, there’s no explanation for why that would be an experience that someone would have. Try it for yourself.
TS: But it sounds to me, Lisa, if I’m understanding correctly, and once again, I want to check this out that your working hypothesis here is that our brainwave states are in an interactive relationship, a dynamic relationship with the physical world that we’re a part of—we’re impacting the physical world?
TS: OK. Towards the end of the book, you write, “Loop quantum gravity is the theory I like best to describe time. I have long had the sense that the real universe occurs in individual instants on a moment-to-moment basis.” And I pulled out this quote because I thought this is really interesting to me. First of all, I’d like to understand more—what is loop quantum gravity?
LB: Of course. What I wanted to do is I wanted to dive into the latest theories in time. When I was experiencing this many decades ago, there really weren’t these theories about time. Of course, quantum physics and quantum mechanics existed, but it wasn’t so publicized. And these theories about time were not so out in consciousness and in books, such as with Brian Greene and Stephen Hawking. So may theories of time exist today. Do we live in a block universe where everything exists all at once? That’s basically loop quantum gravity, and I’ll get to that in a moment. Is there a chronology protection idea out there where you can’t go back and kill your parents because then you wouldn’t exist if you came forward in time because they would be dead? Or can you go back and kill your parents if you could time travel?
TS: Now this is getting really interesting.
LB: Or does time branch with every passing moment called the multiverse? Meaning every moment and every decision of every conscious being in the universe creates a new timeline for an infinite number of timelines, so that our conversation and what you say and how I respond generates a new timeline—which are infinite. And there’s an infinite number of timelines—or is there only a single timeline? And somehow time, the universe, is intelligent in a way that it corrects everybody to always be a single timeframe and a single timeline where we’re all living in the same timeline. These are three theories of time which are out there. So loop quantum gravity, Carlo Rovelli, it’s a theory where everything exists all at once, and they’re discrete.
We’ve heard about the now moment; the now moment is very interesting. When we counted back and we went to the time of no time, I call that the now. Of course, there is only the now. In every spiritual tradition, the past is a memory, and the future is unformed; there is only now. My personal theory of time is that time exists in discrete moments, discrete now moments. And these discrete now moments are like blocks you’re looking down on or loop quantum gravity where the loops connect with the fabric of the universe literally. I mean, it’s a far-out theory, wonderful. The loops connect with the blocks of the universe so that everything exists all at once. In the now moment, everything exists all at once. That’s a mind bender, but, that is, if there’s not the past—
TS: I think I’m still stuck on can I go back and kill my parents.
LB: That’s the grandfather paradox. Einstein would suggest with wormholes that time travel is possible in theory. Absolutely. It is possible because in general relativity you could go back. Einstein himself, the Einstein–Rosen bridge was a wormhole where time-travel was theoretically possible. Has anyone done it? We don’t know. We don’t know if you went back—and it’s a horrible example of killing your parents— but anything you might change in the past. If you went back five seconds or five minutes and changed whether you moved that clock or drove your car or said something, would it change everything going forward? It probably would, like the butterfly effect. But time travel theoretically is possible, and I think we will unlock that as we move forward in science.
TS: I wanted to ask you a question, Lisa, what does it mean to you for someone to be a master of time? “Oh, that person, they’re a master of time,” what does that mean?
LB: Well, I think about master and mastery. So mastery is let’s say a wholeness of self. And of course, spiritual masters are around the world in every lineage. When you encounter them, they may look ordinary. But when you speak to them, there’s something about them—let’s call it a presence. I would say that a master of any ilk is always in the now, they’re always in the present. Because in every spiritual lineage, the present is all there is when you think about that. So whether it’s Vedic science, Hinduism, Buddhism, Christianity, Judaism, Kabbalah, all of them. The present was where the masters, their power or their center came from. So a master is someone who is in the present, a master is someone who is unflustered by fears of the future and regrets of the past. A master is someone who is able to command their own self as though they’re in a universe consisting solely of themselves. Not in a selfish way, but in a way that they are aware of their impact on everything around them, so that the Buddhist moves the worm, so that the harsh word isn’t said even when harsh words are said to one, so that another cheek is turned.
That’s a master, in general. That master and a master of time come to a place where they’re the same where each of us becomes so whole that we can live our lives in a way that we are our higher self, that we don’t live in […] regret of the past or fear of the future. That we’re aware of the present moment at every moment, we’re aware of our interaction and the interrelatedness and the connectedness and the unity of our existence with every other existence. Where if we want something to occur, we will live it in the wonderful sensory memory or creation that we did earlier when we were speaking. Where we live this wonderful experience and then wishing it for the benefit of everyone involved. That’s a master, and that’s a master of time. What this book does is it has practices and exercises and science for the skeptics to prove that it might be possible that anyone can do this. Anyone can become this for their own life, whatever it means for them.
TS: Well, and I have to say, Lisa, you’ve done a great job of addressing the skeptic in me in this conversation, I really appreciate it. You’ve deepened my understanding of your perspective and the time-stretching, time-bending work that you teach. I just have one final question for you. You’ve come up with this really powerful question that you ask yourself and that you encourage other people to ask, which is, “What is mine to do now?” And I’m curious how you came to this self-inquiry question, “What is mine to do now?”
LB: That is a wonderful question, it explains some of my work in the charitable field. And that is when we are able to, let’s say, brush away the regret of the past and fear of the future and we’re able to live more fully and present now, the real question is when I thought about this, “Why do people care what time it is at all?” And in some sense, the only reason anybody cares what time it is, is because they’re asking themselves the question, “What do I do now?” Otherwise, why would you care what time it is if you didn’t care what you need to do now? What I did is I applied that question to my life. And that is, “What is it that’s mine to do in my wholeness, in my awareness of my interaction with people and with things and with my environment around me?” And I asked this question, “What is it that’s mine to do now?”
Years ago, I was working in business, and I was helping small companies, conscious entrepreneurs, as I do. But I was interested in giving back. I had an experience where I saw the words “police” on a police car vehicle transform in a moment in a vision into the words “peace officer.” And I was quite struck by this, because I had never seen “peace officer” on a vehicle. Now, this was 2016, before the days of so much consternation and harm that’s been done and fear of harm and so many people coming forward, and our interactions with the police and really needing to heal I believe as a country. But still, it was on the horizon. It wasn’t on my mind, but it came on my mind so that in that moment because I had swept away the mush from the past and the fear of the future, I was living in the present.
I had this experience, this vision. I said to myself, “This is something that’s mine to do now. If I don’t do this now, who will? If not me, who? If not now, when?” as has been famously said. So that I asked the question, which came naturally to me. And my answer was quite literally magically in front of me, that I would begin a national effort to create an identity for police in their communities as peace officers. To this day, three years later, Police2Peace exists. It’s a nonprofit 501(c)(3) doing this work in communities torn by violence around the country. I was able to answer that question, “What is it that’s mine to do now?” because I had cleared away the regret of the past and the fear of the future using so many tools and techniques creating a life that I desire and wishing benefit for so many. I hope that answers your question.
TS: It does. It’s a beautiful question, as you say, why do we need to know what time it is—because I need to know what is mine to do now. Lisa, I want to thank you so much for this conversation. You really deepened my understanding of your work that you present in your new book All the Time in the World: Learn to Control Your Experience of Time to Live a Life Without Limitations. It’s a book that’s filled with dozens and dozens of practical exercises where you can develop this skill of focused perception and start to apply it to different parts of your life. Thank you, Lisa, for the great conversation, thank you.
LB: Tami, thank you so much for having me.
TS: Thank you for listening to Insights at the Edge. You can read a full transcript of today’s interview at SoundsTrue.com/podcast. And if you’re interested, hit the Subscribe button in your podcast app. Also, if you feel inspired, head to iTunes and leave Insights at the Edge or review. I love getting your feedback, being in connection with you, and learning how we can continue to evolve and improve our program. Working together I believe we can create a kinder and wiser world. SoundsTrue.com: waking up the world.