I specifically joined Mindvalley for Vishen’s course Silva Ultramind. But while on the platform, another course struck my interest.
Dawson Church’s course Mystic Brain was all about learning to train your brain to produce all those “feel good” chemicals through meditation–no drugs or thousands of hours of meditation required! I watched the course preview and was instantly sucked in.
I’ve been doing meditation consistently for about a year, since I did my first Plum Village Online Retreat in 2023. Could this meditation help with my mood and stress levels as well?
Keep reading my Mystic Brain course review to determine if this is something you might benefit from.
Review Values and Priorities
Before we go any further, I’m going to pause here and explain that I believe in a healthy dose of curiosity and skepticism. So many of these online programs and courses present their information as mind-blowing, and it really works to suck people in.
So what’s the deal? Is this legit? Does it have any scientific proof?
I love taking courses and trying new things, but I try not to buy into the hype! So you’ll get both evidence for, as well as against, this course so that you can decide if a Mindvalley membership is right for you!
Mindvalley Mystic Brain Course Premise
The premise of this course is that our brain can send out all those “feel good” chemicals at will, and when we do specific meditations, we can hack our brain chemistry to increase feelings like joy, peace, clarity, and even ecstacy in our lives.
Who is Dawson Church?
The course is taught by Dawson Church, who is a scientist and writer of many books about the power of the brain. From a biography:
Dr. Church has conducted dozens of clinical trials and founded the National Institute for Integrative Healthcare to study and implement promising evidence-based psychological and medical techniques.EFT Universe
You can read more about his credentials and experience at EFT Universe at the link above. He has certainly lead a very interesting and dynamic career. When it says that he is a science writer… how much is science, and how much is just a writer? I don’t know that real scientists need to prove in their bios that they are, in fact, a scientist…
Just posing the question. Take it for what you will.
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Dawson Church says that there are seven chemicals in our brains that contribute to our so-called “Mystic Brain.” These chemicals include: dopamine, oxytocin, norepinephrine, serotonin, nitric oxide, beta-endorphin, and anandamide.
There are a few introduction lessons that you can take before you dive into the meditations. Each different chemical gets 3 days of meditation before moving onto the next chemical. The idea is that you then build upon each last one, so by the end of the course, you’re working with all seven of those chemicals.
Preparation and EFT
One of the things that really blew me away with this course was one of the preparation videos. In the third preparation video, Dawson explains how acupuncture/acupressure points work. This is how EFT works, by stimulating those acupuncture points.
He says that acupuncture points are scientifically measurable. The electrical resistance of acupuncture points is 1/2000th of the resistance of the surrounding skin. If this is true, it’s pretty cool that something established 2000 years ago has just now been scientifically proven.
But some (many) question the validity of the study and device that measures these acupuncture points, claiming that it is not a reliable device for measuring these points.
(Personally, I love acupuncture and I do believe there must be some science to it, but whether this research is proof of its validity remains to be seen.)
There are seven chemicals that Church focuses on, and each one gets three days of meditation. I’ll talk briefly about the different meditations.
Dawson Church explains that each meditation should be done upon waking–literally just sit up in bed, plug in your headphones, and do the meditation before you do anything else. That way, we’re utilizing the alpha brain waves that are still heightened from when you were asleep. This helps to anchor in those feelings and molecules.
It’s also worth noting that I did not watch the video that previews each day’s meditation. I went straight to the meditation itself. These preview videos were between 3 and 7 minutes and I didn’t think it was important (in fact, Dawson Church says so).
The First Meditation: Dopamine
After the first meditation, I can honestly say that I already felt happier! My muscles felt more relaxed, and I wasn’t reacting to upsetting things in my environment. (To drive this point home, we potty trained my youngest the same weekend that I started this course, and I never once felt anger or frustration at the pee and poop that inevitably ended up all over our family room!)
Unfortunately though, by the third day (Tuesday), I had come down with a stomach bug and cold simultaneously. I skipped a few days of meditation. I could hardly bring myself to get out of bed, and I was feeling extra tired, so I opted for more sleep rather than doing the meditation.
I was still not feeling my greatest when I got back into the meditations, and I do believe my cold inhibited my ability to feel those strongly desired feelings.
It’s also worth it to note that Dopamine is all about anticipation and desire. So during the dopamine meditation, I also used my 5 Core Desired Feelings from Danielle LaPorte’s Desire Map Course. I’m not certain if this helped or hindered, but I did feel more connected with those 5 feelings I wished to cultivate in my life.
Second Meditation: Oxytocin
Oxytocin is that chemical that we feel when we have sex or breastfeed our baby. It’s what helps us feel connected to another person.
The structure was very similar to the dopamine meditation with tapping and visualization, but it focused more on the feelings of unconditional love.
Perhaps I already have high levels of oxytocin (which would make sense, considering my high levels of empathy and unconditional love I feel on a regular basis), because I didn’t feel much during this meditation.
If you’re someone who struggles with connection, this might very much benefit you. But if you’re like me, you might be feeling like you’ve maxed out your oxytocin on a regular day anyway!
Third through Seventh Meditations:
Here were the rest of the meditations and their associated chemicals:
5. Nitric Oxide
By the third or fourth meditation, I was starting to get burnt out, believe it or not! I’ll talk more about this below.
But there were very few differences between the meditations for each chemical, especially in the aspect of tapping. Now, I don’t know a lot about tapping/EFT, but the repetition of tapping in the exact same acupressure points for every single meditation got a little overworked.
However, I have never been someone for whom tapping every day has had much benefit. While exercise and meditation are everyday activities, tapping is something to do every now and then, or when I’m stressed.
Issues with the Mystic Brain course
Admittedly, I got pretty far in the course (molecule 5 or 6) and then just stopped. I lost interest. Here’s why:
Meditating First Thing In the Morning
I’ve heard from many sources that meditating first thing in the morning is a wildly beneficial practice. But I struggle to do it. When I wake up, I’m ready to go and I want to dive into my day. Part of this is because I have young kids.
Sure, I practice lots of self-care in my morning routine, and I make sure I’m being healthy, but the thought of sitting up in bed and putting my headphones on to do a pre-recorded meditation is not exactly what I desire to be doing at 4:00 in the morning.
In fact, after this course I’ve been doing my meditation at the end of my day, to wind down, put my brain in a good state before sleep, let go of anxiety, and prepare for the next day. There are still plenty of benefits and reasons to do it this way, but when Dawson Church and Vishen Lahkiani of Mindvalley tell you to do it in the morning, you really want to listen to them!
Alas, meditating first thing in the morning at this point in my life isn’t working for me.
I found the EFT in the same places every day to be over-stimulating. I certainly wouldn’t want to get acupuncture every day! Why stimulate those same places through tapping every day?
I was unable to corroborate my experience through any sites or personal blogs, or even reddit or quora articles. But I simply cannot tap for extended periods of time or do it every day. It’s just a technique that doesn’t work for me.
You may LOVE tapping, and if that’s your thing, you’ll probably love this course! I truly enjoyed the first couple sessions in Mystic Brain, but I think I would have had better luck if I had either skipped the tapping every few days, or simply taken a few days between sessions.
Mystic Brain Course Review Conclusion
Simply put: this Mystic Brain was a great course with a very intriguing premise, but it’s not going to work for everyone.
Yes, I did see benefits, especially after the first couple sessions! But you may have to tweak things so that it works for you. Don’t be afraid to question or be be skeptical of a course. If it doesn’t work for you, that’s okay!
I do highly recommend Danielle LaPorte’s Desire Map course on Mindvalley!
What do you think? Would you try this course?
Drop a comment below and let me know what you thought!