Consciousness Hacking is a hands-on approach to making new tools for self-exploration, in order to change the way we think, feel, and live. Its an inside out perspective on how technology can serve us by changing our relationship to the world, rather than the world itself. (note: This is NOT about unauthorized or forced influence over anyone or anything.) Meetings will focus more on sharing existing projects, and receiving community support for new ideas, and less on philosophy or theory. Have an idea for a cool EEG + meditation app? Maybe you're interested in a new way of creating sound to alter the way the brain works? This is the place to explore or present your idea. In the spirit of the Maker Movement or Quantified Self but with the pragmatic spiritual influence of Buddhist Geeks or Dharma Overground, the ultimate purpose of the group is to empower YOU to develop new tools for changing the way you feel and live. You do not need a technology background, and you are absolutely welcome to join if you have no interest in ever developing your own tools, but there will definitely be a heavy focus on modern technology as the hacking medium.
Science is increasingly recognizing what spiritual and religious traditions have been advocating for thousands of years: through focused self-awareness we can fundamentally change our conscious experience. The keys to accessing profound joy and contentment in this world lie not in our external circumstances, but in our relationship to ourselves. Its impossible to deny the profound benefits reaped by long time meditation practitioners, living in solitude or intentional communities. Is there a modern enlightenment, in harmony with the media and technology that seems to constantly externalize our attention, and increase our sense of separation from ourselves and others? Can we create new forms of technology that bring us back to ourselves? Can we leverage existing technologies to help us cultivate calm minds, lower stress, and rediscover our sense of connectedness and the simple joy of being alive here and now?
Consumer EEG headsets are beginning to flood the market enabling inexpensive access to brain activity. Bio sensing technology capable of measuring signals such as pulse, skin conductivity, or physical movement are readily available as commercial products. Computation is no longer a limiting factor, and massive amounts of data can be scoured for patterns no human mind could identify. New methods of neural-stimulation, such as tDCS, TMS and pulsed ultrasound, are being explored and are available to the pioneering hacker. Neuroscience research is beginning to deeply explore the nature of not only meditation, but of mystical and enlightened states. And these examples are just the tip of the iceberg.