My Honda “daily driver” brain upgrade technology

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I’ve been a guinea pig for every technology I can find that will change (or upgrade) my brain and mind. The only brain hacking technology on my list that I haven’t tried requires a 10 ton magnet.  I’m talking smart drugs, meditation, breathing, EEG, MCT oil, sound, light, whole body vibration, electrical stimulation, infrared lasers shining through the skull, shamanic drumming, yoga postures, even fasting in a cave.  I’ve tried almost everything I could find, no matter how weird it sounded, as long as I didn’t think it would permanently cook me.  I didn’t expect any of it to really work but hoped some of it would.

The results have been fantastic – freaking awesome actually.  They have been life-changing, performance-enhancing, need-for-sleep reducing, intelligence-building, creativity-enhancing, stress-reducing.I’m lazy. Why did I have to I work on this stuff since the late 90’s?  Why did I need to spend $250,000 of my own money to figure out what worked?  So lately, I’ve turned my eye towards how to get the most “self-upgrading” (biohacking) achieved in the least amount of time and effort.  I’m doing a cost/benefit analysis across all the domains I care about – weight loss, muscle, brain function, creativity, immune function, aging, sleep, and even pregnancy.  More bang, less buck.

Let’s use cars as an analogy.  Being an optimization-focused kind of guy who values time, my ideal is the fastest, best handling, safest, most comfortable, sexiest looking car that I can afford. Someone else who probably doesn’t know how to drive might value fuel efficiency more than their own life and pick a car that gets the best mileage and is adequate in the other categories.  They don’t sell very many of my kind of cars because they’re pricey.  People buy tons more Hondas and Fords, or even that crappy Toyota Prius, because the average person wants most of the benefits of an uber-car for a lot less money.

Biohacking is the same way.  I spent $20,000 doing 40 years of advanced Zen meditation in 7 very long days, which bought me 12 IQ points and a different response to stress.  That’s the uber-car of biohacking and brain upgrading.  It’s not accessible to most people without a lot of sacrifice.  Hell, I’d like my $20,000 back too (but I wouldn’t unlearn what I learned in exchange for that money back either).

So the question for me in the last few years has been, “How can people get most of the benefits of $20,000 of advanced brain training for $2000? For $200? For $20?”  There are options at each of those levels.  Think of it like this:

$20,000 brain training = Bentley

$2,000 brain training = Lexus

$200 = Honda

$20 = bicycle

For years, I didn’t think there was a way to get most of the stress-reducing, performance-increasing effects for less than $2,000 because of the cost of EEG equipment.  But there’s a neurological “hack” that lets you use less expensive heart monitoring equipment to influence the brain.  80% of the nerves between the heart and brain are used for the heart to send information TO the brain, not the other way around.  If you get the math right, you can use the heart to radically transform the way the brain works. That’s way cool.

I am a certified trainer the combination of this technique and technology, and I carry the HeartMath emWave2, the HeartMath Inner Ballence (for iOS – 30 pin), and the HeartMath Inner Ballence (for iOS – lightning) on Upgraded Self™.  This technology is the the highest return for your time and money.

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By Dave Asprey

  • Peter S. K. Lynch

    For more information on the relationship between the brain and the heart, you might want to consider checking out Joseph Chilton Pearce’s “The Biology of Transcendence.” It’s a fantastic read.

  • Dave Asprey

    Thanks Peter! Ordered it just now – what a fantastic title. Can’t wait to read it. I’m surprised I haven’t come across his work except on parenting. Lots of his titles look amazing.

    • Cameron Boehmer

      Along similar lines is “Power Up Your Brain: The Neuroscience of Enlightenment”, which is co-authored by a shaman and a neuroanatomist, and focuses on techniques that increase your brain’s neuroplastic constant. Main points are: bodily exercise, once-a-month fasting & restricted calorie diets, brain exercise (e.g., meditation), and some specific dietary supplements like turmeric and DHA.

      Dave, any chance you’ll share more details on the $20k Zen/EEG retreat?

    • Michael

      You want to know all abt your brain. But…WOULD YOU LIKE TO KNOW GOD PERSONALLY? It’s for free. Except investing in the search.

  • Peter S. K. Lynch

    I should warn you that some might find the Saga of Unconflicted Behavior bit in the beginning to be the ravings of a delusional pseudoscientist, but keep reading–it gets pretty convincing thereafter.

  • Sena

    Hi Dave,Thanks for helping us all improve our minds and bodies. I am wondering if you can tell me the name of the safe and legal mental enhancer drug that you mentioned at your BIL talk. It sounded like paracitam but I can’t find anything similar on google. Also, what are some good academic references that describe the drug and its effects?Thanks!

    • Kitty De’Winter

      Sena – it is Piracetam. 🙂

  • Sena:
    My bet is Dave mentioned piracetam, it is the granddaddy of Nootropics. Check out the longecity forums for more info (formerly imminst)


  • Fudomyo22

    Love your site and what you’re doing, but “ain’t nothing wrong with a bicycle!”

  • Jason

    What’s the Lexus?

  • James

    What was the thing you spent $20 G’s on to get in a zen like state.

    • Dave Asprey

      I don’t usually link to them directly; prefer to make referrals after talking with someone. Small place…

  • Great website.I just want to add that bulletproofing isn’t complete without being aware of the interpersonal environment and the ideas presented by others. I have serious upset the under-culture and the medicos that IMO cover their actions by medical misinformation. They’ve been trying to kill me for more than 10 years now and can’t even make me sick.. LMAO! Watch your thoughts and realize that thoughts are nothing more than perception/ awareness. They may be presented by others in relationship and if those others are toxic and have an agenda, then the thoughts can be harmful if taken to be true. Know what games can be played using the mind and real, but potential conditions that can be created. You have it in your power to over come them all, to mentally combat toxic others AND through the application of mental prescriptions provide all the necessary “data” that keeps your body in top condition. If you add these to your program you will see an even greater improvement. You can read about it on my blog at

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  • Its all good getting the Physical benefits of the 40 years meditation, but by shifting your brain to this state in 9 days you miss out on all the mental benefits that meditation brings.

    Its similar to poor people wining the lottery and becoming millionaires, they usually become poor again in a few years, they have gotten the benefit of the money that say someone who has spent years working hard to get, but the lottery winner didnt spend years working hard to get it, thus they don’t accumulate the lessons learn in acquiring the money, ie, they don’t know how to spend it wisely, if they loose it they don’t know how to make more.

    May I ask if you still practice meditation daily to help acquire the missing mental knowledge actual meditation brings?

    • Garrett K

      I’d agree that actually meditating is very beneficial. But what if a person is meditating whilst doing this? What if this allows a person to take a better look at their life than simply meditating does? If I can shortcut the regular meditation benefits, and gain additional INCREASED benefits, why wouldn’t I? Maximum benefit for minimum FOCUSED, and selected, effort. Very much 80/20.

      What’s interesting… when I started biohacking, I actually became significantly more interested in both regular meditation, as well as biohacked meditation. Both are enjoyable. Both have their benefits.

      Personally, I’d rather release blockages / move past stuff in the span of a few days or weeks, using biohacks, than have to take years to do the same thing. But that’s also because I’d rather not sit around for hours, meditating. 🙂

      That being said, Vipassana is a great way to create a foundation. I’d recommend that, PLUS biohacked meditation.

    • John Schumacher

      Heart Math isn’t a free ride to a blissful lottery. It’s a specific type of meditation with a bio-feedback loop. I’ve used it for sometime and my “score” sucks. I purchased the highest price one which comes with lots of guidance; and boy do I need the help. Most days I desperately try to keep the score out of the red, but once in a while I just make it to the green zone for a moment during a 20 minute session.
      Have faith – Nothing is easy…

  • Great writeup Dave.

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  • Stefan fG

    Hey there,
    the EEG and two following links don’t work.
    “discount that I can share” also doesn’t


    feel free to delete this comment