How Brainwave Entrainment Can Deepen Your Meditation
We are all practitioners. Whether we are just beginning to meditate or getting deeply into our meditation practice, we look for ways in which we can transform conflicts, wounds, stories, and beliefs that limit our capacity to function at our best.
You may be familiar with practices in which the object of meditation is sound itself: perhaps you have become very mindful of the sonic environment you are immersed in, or you’ve been fortunate enough to attend a sound bath, or have experienced the power and benefits of brainwave entrainment meditation.
What is brainwave entrainment and what can it do for me?
Brainwave entrainment is generally considered any method by which the brain can be induced into non-ordinary states of consciousness by exposing it to controlled stimuli. Despite its modern sounding name, it dates back to ancient cultures: think bonfires, shamanic drumming, rhythmic prayers.
Nowadays, it’s a widely used form of spiritual technology with which to fully relax, access deeper meditative states, heal and optimize our energy reservoir, and bring inner wisdom and insight into our lives.
There are various entrainment methods from light to touch to specially arranged sounds to combinations of all three. Because sound is such a powerful tool to guide our brainwaves, psychoacoustic compositions have become one of the most common methods used today.
The technology is relatively cheap and easy to use: you need only some spare time, a pair of headphones (for binaural entrainment), and a player. Simply sit, press play, and let the technology underlying and infusing the soundtrack lead your brain to the desired brainwave state.
Different bandwidths correspond to various subjective experiences so, depending on what you’re after, you could play an alpha track to enter a state of light relaxation, a theta track before or during a healing session, a delta track for a deep meditative state or before sleep, or a gamma track to enter a high energy state of super focus and creativity.
When did brainwave entrainment become an efficient aid in meditation practice?
We have come a long way since the 1950s when Robert Monroe first started experimenting with brainwave entrainment tools. Michael Hutchison, another great pioneer in this field and author of the classic MegaBrain published in 1991, reported exhaustively on the astounding breakthroughs that early versions of this technology generated.
Hutchison was amazed by the results he was seeing—both in the research and in himself. He was sure this technology would take the world by storm.
Since then, the field of brainwave entrainment has sprung a generation of creators who have expanded the use of these technologies to effectively aid us in our daily practice.
Isn’t it “cheating”?
People are frequently concerned that if they use brainwave entrainment to meditate with, they will be “cheating.” That using technology is not fair or okay. It feels unethical to reap the benefits of something without going through the necessary hard work.
Even though this technology has the capacity to “meditate you,” in the end, it’s you who has to do the work. There are NO shortcuts to becoming more mindful, more creative, more passionate and compassionate, more loving, and to positively transforming aspects of your life and contributing to our world, as this is not something that gets done on autopilot.
Insight that allows us to act in ways that are wiser and kinder comes with a lot of rearranging and reconsidering—and after many slight or profound changes of perspective. And this is where brainwave entrainment can indeed strengthen and deepen our practice, because with its help, we find we can sit longer without getting restless, and our chattering mind slides more readily into a state of quiet.
We look forward to our practice and feel a depth to our inner world we did not feel before. The pull of the tracks can take us to states that might take years to experience otherwise and, over time, we find our stress threshold is higher and that we are able to bring up, confront, and release limiting emotions more gracefully.
Where are brainwave entrainment technologies heading?
Since the beginning of recorded history, countless individuals across many cultures have relied on meditation practice for health, healing, increased purpose, and spiritual growth. Science is also an ancient discipline, that has been key in giving us a greater understanding of our bodies, minds, and the world in which we live.
That is why we at iAwake Technologies believe so much in the science of spirituality and rigorously try, test, and research the various tools available to enhance our daily practice.
Over the years, we have had our own share of breakthroughs in advancing brainwave entrainment by integrating with it different principles such as natural psychoacoustic methodologies, fractal soundscapes, and energy medicine.
Meditation is a proven means of changing and adapting our stance so we can fully occupy our place in the world. And if you are like us, you want to be in the most fertile place you can be, with a perspective that does not limit but lifts you toward living your dreams.
That’s what growth and change are really about, and they are both what nature specializes in. There are countless ways of getting there of course—“there” being a state of natural resonance in which we welcome the cycles of life and use them to our advantage, whether it’s time to ebb or to flow.