Binaural Beats for Meditation – Does It Really Work?
If you are someone who is interested in spiritual growth, then there are chances that you might be highly inclined towards the use of binaural beats for meditation because nowadays these tones have gained a lot of attention due to the claims made by people that it could help a person to achieve deeper levels of relaxation.
Binaural beats are an illusory continuous beat sounds that one perceives as a result of two different frequency waves being played on his/her right and left ears. (For a detailed information on this, read the post – Binaural Beats)
The beats heard is often of a frequency that is equal to the difference between the frequency of the primary waves, that indeed is an interesting phenomenon, but how does it help you achieve various brain states? – It is believed that these audios can alter your brainwaves frequencies and induce mind states associated to those specific frequencies. Thus, it enables you to create the right conditions for better meditation.
The 4 Brainwave States
Based on the brainwave frequency of various mind states they are divided as follows:-
Beta State – This happens when you are fully awake and your brainwave frequency is above 14 Hz like when we do various tasks that requires our conscious attention.
Alpha State – This is the relaxed condition that we experience a few moments before falling asleep, here our subconscious mind is open to receive suggestions and this situation is adequate for meditation. Brainwave frequency here goes below 14 Hz.
Theta State – When your brainwave ranges 4-7 Hz you are less conscious but still alert. This is what people expect from brainwave entrainment technologies, to take them into the Theta state of mind because most of the interesting stuff like lucid dreaming or deep meditation happens when your brainwave falls below 7 Hz, but if it goes below 4 Hz you will lose the little awareness you had earlier. You can receive insights or creative solutions by reaching to this level of relaxation.
Delta State – When your brainwave frequency goes below 4Hz, you lose your awareness completely, this happens when you are having a deep dreamless sleep.
Role of Binaural Beats in Deep Meditation
So, as we have seen there are different states of mind which has a corresponding brain wave pattern, based on this fact some of the producers of binaural beats tracks claim to take you into the alpha or theta state so that you could experience the desired level of relaxation.
Usually we want to be at the alpha level for a nice rejuvenating meditation, so when two tones of frequency difference 8-13 Hz is played in the right and left channels of the headphone you will hear binaural beats which will induce the alpha state. As a result of this your mind becomes calm and you will find it easy to focus.
Further, it is said that these audios can also help one to experience the altered states of consciousness like that of Zen monks. Theta state which occurs during the small frequency difference between alpha and delta state is where the Zen like meditation happens, hence the brainwave entrainment audios that allows you to reach the brainwave frequency of 4-7 Hz can be very effective to enable you to experience a deep insightful meditation.
My Take on Binaural Beats
I don’t like these audios much; they are irritating, annoying and disturbing to me. I know that many studies have backed up the utility of brainwave entrainment. I am also aware that some people find it very effective.
Makers of the brainwave entrainment products now use various types of soothing music in the background to make it less irritating, but my experience has never been good with it.
I prefer simple meditation like insight meditation or I use my favorite guided meditation tracks for this purpose, and it works fine for me.
One other good tool I found for deep meditation and relaxation was Omharmonics which is an advanced technology that takes brainwave entrainment to a level where it stops being so annoying whereas the positive effects increases.
Brainwave entrainment do have various disadvantages, you can read about it in detail here – The Harmful Effects and Dangers of Using Binaural Beats.
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