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How brain entrainment technology will rock your world!
A few years ago, a young meditator turned me onto a technique for inducing deep meditative states within minutes. The technique referred to as brain entrainment was something she was introduced to a few months after having learned Raja Yoga Meditation. And while she loved the practice and the effect it had on her mind, she wanted to fast track her progress and discovered that brain entrainment technology would aid her tremendously.
In the simplest terms, brain entrainment describes any practice that facilitates one’s brain wave frequency to synch up to external stimuli whether it be in the form of light, sound or vibrations. Our brains can entrain to essentially anything with a repetitive pulse- from a steady flickering candle or a drum beat to the din of machines in our environment. And when our brains do entrain…it feels a lot like meditation. I think of brain entrainment as a way to induce a trance like state where the underlying feeling, regardless of the frequency our brain is entraining to, is that of being centered, focused, steady and relaxed.
You may be wondering what the point of brain entrainment technology or synching up to an external rhythm or frequency might be. It turns out that when both hemispheres of the brain synch up to one external source there are a whole lot of benefits including what scientists refer to as “whole brain functioning.” In other words, brain entrainment increases the neural connections, communication and blood flow between the left and right hemispheres of the brain. Whole brain synchronization is something the world’s greatest thinkers, inventors and artists all share.
From a vibrational science perspective and for all practical purposes, brain entrainment can help us in our meditation and our daily lives by giving us more control over the speed of our thoughts, focus, peace of mind as well as stimulate our memory, intelligence, creativity and intuition.
There are 5 predominant brain wave frequencies or electrical patterns that can be observed in humans, usually with an electroencephalograph- commonly referred to as an EEG. And although throughout the day we emit frequencies from each of these 5 categories, at any given time, one brain wave frequency will dominate. It’s also important to note here that there is no brain wave frequency that is “better” than another, but some will certainly make you feel better than others as they represent different states of consciousness and it depends on what an individual might need or want. It’s all relative as well. A shortage or surplus in one category will have different side effects for different people. A particular frequency might rock my world, but do less for someone else.
A Quick Brain Wave Breakdown
- Alpha waves range from 8 Hz to 12 Hz and we experience them when we are relaxed. Too little alpha experience and anxiousness results.
- Beta waves are faster than alpha waves. They range from 12 Hz to 40 Hz and are great for focus, attention, learning and critical thinking. Too much beta can be experienced from stimulants like caffeine. If someone is ‘wired’, the upper beta wave frequencies are most likely dominant.
- Gamma waves range even higher from 40 Hz to 100 Hz. They are associated with learning, information processing and REM sleep.
On the opposite end of the spectrum are theta and delta waves.
- Theta waves range from 4 Hz to 8 Hz. They are slow and optimal for restorative sleep, creativity, emotional connection and intuition. Too much theta during the day could make someone highly suggestible. Hypnosis, NLP and theta healing are most effective when a person’s dominant brain wave is in theta.
- Beyond theta waves are delta waves, which are the slowest of human brain waves. They range from 0 Hz to 4 Hz and are experienced most amongst infants, very experienced meditators or when we are in deep sleep. Too little delta and the body and brain are unable to fully rejuvenate.
The purpose of my meditation practice is to be able to achieve any state of mind I want at will. If I am feeling anxious, I want to be able calm myself down. If I am in search of a creative solution, it’s helpful for me to be able bring forth a theta state which is optimal for creative problem solving. For most of us, the only way to achieve anything is with some combination of visualization, study, practice and experience.
Instead of spending years in order be able to enter theta and delta at will through traditional meditation methods, anyone can now entrain their brain within minutes and experience their mind and thoughts fall into synch. I think of brain entrainment as training wheels for the brain. It helps you get to where you want to be and once you become accustomed to a certain state of mind, it becomes easier to get their on your own if and when you so choose to.
My First Time
I remember the first time I downloaded a brain entrainment technology audio track and listened to it. The experience was phenomenal. I had done some research and downloaded a theta track called Creative Flow from a site called ProjectMeditation.org. Creative Flow runs about 40 minutes and is a free track offered in the LifeFlow Brain Entrainment Series.
Waves of peace ran through my mind and body. To say it felt heavenly would be an understatement. It felt like I was bathing in a magnesium epsom salt bath for my mind, body and spirit. I had been meditating for 15 years prior to this experience and thought I had at one time or another experienced at least the majority of deep meditative states while awake, but this was truly unique. My mind slowed down as theta waves washed over me. I was lucid and able to focus on what I wanted like I do in meditation, but it was deeper and easier to remain there because the brain entrainment track was holding me in place. My brain was locked in and in synch.
Being hooked almost instantly, I downloaded the entire LifeFlow program. I went with LifeFlow because they use 3 types of brain entrainment technology that allowed me to listen with or without headphones and they were very affordable compared to the competition. In time, I learned how to make my own brain entrainment tracks for free. But to this day, I often listen to my LifeFlow tracks.
There are essentially a dozen tracks ranging in time from 20-60 minutes and the program consists of listening to a given frequency on a daily basis for one to two months after which point one can step down to a lower frequency. Not all of the tracks stimulated the euphoria I felt with Creative Flow. Some were even more euphoric like the 3 Hz delta track! On the other hand some made me feel a bit uncomfortable at first. As I have come to understand it, as unique individuals we all spend different amounts of time in different frequency ranges. So it’s about what feels familiar and what a person needs.
I followed the LifeFlow program for one year religiously. I started out at 10 Hz and listened for 30 days before dropping to the next level at 9 Hz. I did this until I reached the deepest delta state they offer at 1 Hz. By the end of the year, I was entering deep meditative delta states where my thoughts were almost nil and only the experience of the space between my thoughts remained. As taught in Raja Yoga meditation, the silent spaces were not empty but defined by the thoughts surrounding them. If I thought I am a peaceful being of love and light- that is what I felt. It was a meditation experience, just more stable and I was able to access such a state more easily because of the brain entrainment technology I was using.
Like most facilities, brain entrainment allowed me to experience deeper states more easily, and I found that now I can access those states on my own with greater ease as well. I know what to look for, I know how it feels and I’m more experienced because of it. It has also helped me beyond just facilitating my meditation practice- my memory, skills and agility have all gone to the next level. My brain fires faster and I really believe it’s because there is greater communication between both sides of my brain.
*Update as of Nov 13, 2017: I’m still listening to brain entrainment tracks on a daily basis. I have however since discovered a few equally worthy options that I feel obliged to share with you. David Foley from Unify Cosmos reached out to me and introduced me to Mind Valley’s ‘Om Harmonics.’ They are super affordable and some of their tunes are noteworthy for sure. They also have a great support program that you might want to check out if you are looking for insta-community and like minded folks along with plenty of tips on meditation. Nevertheless, as far as I’m concerned nothing holds a candle to Sacred Acoustics. Co-developed by neurosurgeon Eben Alexander (who’s near death experience altered his entire perspective on neuroscience and reality), Sacred Acoustics offers a variety of super high quality brain entrainment tracks with mind blowing, body reverberating acoustics. As of now, they are offering their 20 minute Om track for free! They are also really affordable and use a lot of natural sounds including chanting, percussion, sound bowls and chimes. My absolute favorite is Lotus which offers delta and theta entrainment and was recorded with Tibetan monks in a sacred cave. Check it out and if you enjoy it even half as much as me, then you’re in for a real treat!
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Till next time!