Binaural Beats Meditation
Do binaural beats help you to meditate without spending years learning?
What are Binaural Beats?
Is binaural beats meditation safe to use?
Binaural beats are a high tech way to meditate.
They work by playing a slightly different frequency into each of your ears. The difference is subtle and that means your brain tries to resolve the difference because it thinks it shouldn't be there.
The process that takes place in resolving the binaural beats you'll be using to meditate is subtle and doesn't take any effort on your part - so there's no "brain ache". All that happens is that you put on a pair of headphones and press Play.
The binaural beats meditation track then does all the hard work.
What happens when you meditate with binaural beats?
The process is simple - you just listen to a pre-recorded track that's designed to get you from a wakeful state to a meditative state.
The beats sound a bit like white noise but they're normally disguised with a backing track so that you can relax fast.
The backing track is usually natural sounds (maybe noises you'd hear in a forest or waves gently crashing), quite often rainfall (that's surprisingly soothing and makes for an easy way to meditate) or new age electronic music.
The backing tracks are only part of the meditative process in as much as they help you to relax. Personally, I've used rainfall and new age music in the meditation tracks I've listened to and I pick and choose according to my mood at the time.
Once you start the track, your brainwaves are changed (the posh phrase is brainwave entrainment) so that they reach the state that's been measured in people such as Zen monks who've been learning how to meditate for years, even decades.
The biggest plus point is that you don't need any training to use binaural beats meditation. So long as you're capable of downloading an MP3 file, donning a set of stereo headphones and pressing the "play" button on your MP3 player, you're set to go.
It really is that simple!
Most binaural beats meditation programs come with a bunch of files that are desinged to take you into deeper and deeper meditative states. The number of files varies according to the different programs you choose and the time you spend on each "level" also varies.
Older binaural beat systems like Centerpointe Holosync expect you to spend months on each level and can take a decade or more to complete the whole program.
Newer systems recognise that isn't really why you chose to use binaural beats in the first place - it's because you want to get results fast - and they take a handful of weeks or a few months to get you to the highest level of the system where you'll get the most benefits.
Newer systems are also a lot cheaper because (like all technology) they reflect the fact that prices have come down. So it's not uncommon for a new binaural beats system to be priced at well under $100 and be just as effective as one that's priced at ten times that.
Brainwave Entrainment States
The delta brainwave state is the deepest level we go to - it's measured at between 0.1 to 4 Hz which is a technical way of saying "not much is happening".
It's the state we reach when we're sleeping but the higher end of it can also be reached when we're in meditation. That's the sort of level that a Zen monk would be ecstatic to get to but is often achievable at the deeper end of a binaural beats meditation course.
The theta state is where you'll be taken to around half way through your binaural beats journey.
It's usually a few levels into the program because it takes time for your mind to adjust - if you go too fast, it's like running before you walk.
Theta brainwave frequencies are between 4 to 8 Hz. When you reach them, you'll be deeply relaxed and will start to experience all the benefits that come from meditating on a regular basis.
The alpha brainwave state is the first level that you'll be taken to.
It measures in at between 8 and 14 Hz.
You'll start to notice that you're more relaxed - not just while you're listening to the meditation tracks but also generally in your life.
It's a great place to be and you'll be automatically taken to it the very first time you play a binaural beats meditation track.
Benefits of Meditation
What can meditation (binaural beats or otherwise) do for you?
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Stress is a major problem in our hectic Western lives.
There's just so much to do and not enough time in the day to do it all.
Plus there are all the pressures we're put in at work.
They all lead to stress.
Meditating regularly - even as little as 12 minutes per day - can help to reduce the stress levels you're experiencing, helping to make you a calmer person who handles life better.
If I had to choose only one benefit of meditation, the reduction in stress levels would be that choice.
Get rid of emotional baggage
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We all carry emotional baggage - it's part of what makes us human.
But too much of it can drag us down and make us less pleasant to be around.
Meditating on a regular basis can make all the difference here: it helps our minds to deal with the emotional baggage that otherwise just builds up and eventually overwhelms us.
Quiet your mind
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Our minds buzz.
Often too much for our own good.
That's why things like mindfulness meditation have become popular.
Almost any form of meditation helps to quiet your mind and get rid of some of the numerous distractions that form part of our daily lives.
If you're subject to more mind chatter than you'd like, it's well worth investigating using meditation to help quell some of the noise that's going on inside your mind.
Since I've been using binaural beats meditations on a near daily basis, I've found that my mind is a quieter, more focused, place and that's a nice place for it to be!
Find out more about Binaural Beats Meditation
Wikipedia is probably the first port of call to find out more about almost any new topic and, unsurprisingly, they have a page about binaural beats.
It goes into the history of binaural beats as well as the testing that's been done on them.
So if you want to know more about binaural beats then this is probably the best place to look.
Pre-recorded Binaural Beats Meditations
Unless you're a real techie and enjoy playing around with software that could affect your mind (not something I'd recommend for most people) then it's best to use a pre-recorded binaural beats meditation program from a reputable company.
I've mentioned Centerpointe Holosync before - they are the company that brought binaural beats meditations to the mass market. But they're incredibly expensive (each "level" costs more than a complete course from most of their competitors) and the whole program takes years to complete. So it's not an approach I'd recommend.
The Meditation Program is one that I've personally used since 2007. There are 8 levels in total and it's professionally designed and recorded. The only drawback is that the binaural beats meditation tracks are an hour long. For me, that's not an issue as I play the track to myself at the end of the day and let myself fall asleep while I'm listening.
But a lot of people find it difficult to find an hour spare in their day (remember I've had years to get into the habit)...
Which is where the Zen 12 Meditation system comes into its own.
Each track is only 12 minutes and does exactly the same as an hour of the older-style binaural beats programs (that's technology for you - it condenses everything!).
Each meditation track also comes with variants in the backing track - music, natural sounds, a guided meditation and white noise - so you can choose what fits your mood on any given day.
It's also the most affordable of the various binaural beats meditations I've come across, so that's an extra benefit.
Overview of Binaural Beats Meditation
Probably the quickest, easiest way to meditate
Binaural Beats Meditation
Using science to quickly get your brainwaves into the state that works best for meditation.
Perfectly safe, almost inaudible (you may notice a slight clicking noise depending on the backing track).
The best programs are designed to fit into your daily schedule and let you meditate deeply in just 12 minutes.
The scientific term used to describe what happens to your brainwaves when you allow binaural beats to change them.
Just a quick, simple, effective way to reach the deep meditative states that would otherwise take years of practice to even get close to.
Health Benefits of Meditation
Lots of people find that meditating regularly helps them to reduce their level of stress, quieten their mind and generally relax.
Stress is a major component of our lives and whilst meditation won't get rid of it completely, research has shown that it can help you to deal with stress in a way that doesn't harm your health and that generally helps you to relax and deal with life's ups and downs more easily.