Technology and Meditation Part 1 – Binaural Beats

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One of the biggest pains I found in returning to meditation was that I had to play the patience game.  To take myself into the meditative state was getting to be a bit of a chore.

In fact, it was turning me off meditation and I gave a up so many times before completing a meditation because rather than relaxing, I was getting frustrated and impatient, and this was making me tense.

I had come across this sound wave technology that claimed it could help me enter the meditative state faster, however I was fairly skeptical that this could actually happen.

Here’s why – it was a bit of an ego thing – I wanted to do it myself, without any help of some new technology…

Honestly, I had no idea I could be so closed-minded sometimes!

So, after I got over myself and decided to find out more, I did some research on this technology and found out that it utilised “binaural beats”.

So let me explain what binaural beats are.

Imagine you’re listening to something that sounds like white noise.  Let’s say that the frequency of this sound was 100 hertz.

Now lets make some modifications.  Let’s get you to imagine that you’re putting on stereo headphones, and the 100 hertz beat is playing in your right ear.

Now lets play a frequency of 110 hertz in your left ear.

What is actually happening is that you’ve got two different frequencies being played, but your brain notices the difference of 10 hertz and creates it’s own tone to compensate for the difference, and this is heard as a pulsating beat.  So what you’re hearing in your brain, is a pulse that sounds like it has been created externally, not internally.

When charted, the binaural beat looks like this:

Binaural Beats - Sourced from Wikipedia

It’s this pulsating beat, which induces the mind to enter the meditative state, and apparently it’s quite rapid.

When I found this out, I thought it was pretty cool, and I wanted to hear it, so I did some searching for binaural beat tracks – and there was so much out there on the internet, that I didn’t know which one to pick.

Now there are some options to buy these binaural beats, and the prices range from $5 each to $200 for a complete 3 month training program.

If you’re looking for a couple of good quality but cheap options, I’d recommend you try either:

The Unexplainable Store

or

Pure Binaural Beats

These are both affiliate links and I recommend them as I think they have a good selection of binaural beat meditations to offer, and they are also well priced, so you don’t have to break the bank.

My first binaural beats didn’t come from either of these sites, and I have to say that my very first impression of binaural beats was reflected by an anguished look on my face.

Rather than making me feel I was meditating, I felt as though I was in the middle of a science experiment – it was one pulsating humming sound that was not very pleasant, and I was actually very conscious of wanting to finish this meditation early.

Now, that sound was a raw binaural beat, and one that I don’t recommend highly for anyone to listen to, unless you really want to. It’s not pleasant and it can be rather an annoying sound.

After giving it a second shot, this time knowing what to expect, I did notice that after 15 minutes or so, I was in a different state.  Calmer, more relaxed – chilled out and reflective… just like a meditation.

The binaural beats from The Unexplainable Store or Pure Binaural Beats are not raw, but have some music playing with the pulsating beats.  Now while they’re not what you call melodious, and they’re obviously evident frequencies, compared to the buzzing of a raw binaural beat, these audio tracks are more conducive to meditation.

Different frequencies will produce different results, some of which are:

  • healing
  • heightened psychic awareness
  • rapid relaxation
  • lowering anxiety
  • reducing depression

There are a bunch more different results that one can achieve.  I remember reading one review that described listening to binaural beats as being similar to the effect of narcotics.  While I don’t have any experience with narcotics, it does make me curious as to whether binaural beats can be used to rehabilitate someone who has a drug addiction.  I’d be interested if anyone has conducted tests down that path, and to know what the results were.

The more melodious these binaural beats tracks are, the easier it is to enter the meditative state.  On it’s own, music is a distraction for the conscious mind, and on it’s own, binaural beats are too gruesome, so while I generally don’t recommend music, in this case I think a meld of the two will provide a more pleasant and deeper meditative experience.

It’s interesting how science and technology can actually aid esoteric, spiritual and psychic development, and another technology that produces similar results, are isochronic tones, which I’ll in cover in part 2 of this article.

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