What is Binaural Beats Meditation?
The aim of binaural beats meditation is to get you into a state of consciousness like that of meditation by influencing the frequency of your brainwaves. Technically this process is known as brain entrainment. You achieve the desired state of consciousness by listening to binaural beats(usually accompanied by soothing music) through stereo headphones.
How do Binaural Beats work?
Two sounds of almost equal frequencies are played one in each ear by means of headphones or speakers. On hearing them, the brain integrates the two signals and causes the sensation of a third sound which is called the binaural beat.
The frequency of the binaural beat is the difference between the frequencies of the two sounds that are played. So, if a sound of frequency 100 Hz is played to one ear and a sound of frequency 110 Hz is played to the other ear, the brain creates a binaural beat of 10Hz.
When the beat frequency falls within the range of human brain wave frequencies( i.e. 0.5 – 40 Hz), the brainwaves entrain to or move towards the beat frequency.
Brainwaves and the State of Consciousness
There are a variety of human brain wave frequencies.They’re classified by letters of the Greek alphabet. Each one produces a corresponding state of consciousness.
Gamma Waves(over 40 Hz) are associated with higher mental activity(perception, problem solving) and fear
Beta Waves (13-40 Hz) are associated with active concentration and busy or anxious thinking
Alpha Waves((7 -13 Hz) are associated with deep conscious relaxation, pre-sleep drowsiness, rapid eye movement sleep and dreams
Theta Waves(4-7 Hz) are associated with deep relaxation and non rapid eye movement sleep
Delta Waves(less than 4 Hz) are associated with deep dreamless sleep and loss of consciousness.
Alpha Waves are the ideal frequency range for meditation. A frequency of 10 Hz is ideal.
How to Meditate with Binaural Beats
If you haven’t already got any, get yourself a pair of stereo headphones.
Download some meditation music into which binaural beats have been embedded.There’s a wide variety of music out there. Choose some which you find pleasant and relaxing. Make sure that the music you’ve chosen is designed to entrain your brain to an alpha wave frequency.
Sit upright in a high-backed chair. Place both feet flat on the ground and place your palms face down on your thighs. Close your eyes and follow your breath in and out of your nose. Feel it on the bottom of your nostrils as it goes in and on your top lip as it goes out. Don’t attempt to control your breathing in any way. Just let it happen. If thoughts come into your mind don’t try to engage with them. Simply let them come and go like passing clouds. Do this for about five minutes.
The rest is easy. Put on your headphones, plug them in and play your music.
Again, if thoughts come into your mind, don’t engage with them. Let them come and go, then gently return your attention to the music.
It’s possible to listen to binaural beats without music(you can find them on the internet). Indeed there are those who say that this is the only way to do it. However I feel that most people would find it rather boring.
It normally takes about seven minutes for human brainwaves to entrain to the required frequency. An ideal session of binaural beats meditation lasts about 30 minutes.
The Advantages of Binaural Beats Meditation
I’ve included a preliminary breathing exercise in my version of this meditation. It’s to help you forget about the cares of the day and relax a bit.
But, other than this, with binaural beats meditation you don’t have to work hard to attain a desired state of consciousness.You just relax and listen. For this reason it’s useful for people who find breathing , counting, concentrating and so on difficult.
Most forms of meditation have a sort of “religious” feel about them. That’s because a lot of meditation procedures are secularized versions of Eastern religious practices. This puts some people off. Binaural beats meditation is more “technical” in nature and might appeal to those people.