A few years ago, a young meditator turned me onto a technique for inducing deep meditative states within minutes. The technique referred to as brain entrainment was something she was introduced to a few months after having learned Raja Yoga Meditation. And while she loved the practice and the effect it had on her mind, she wanted to fast track her progress and discovered that brain entrainment technology would aid her tremendously.
In the simplest terms, brain entrainment describes any practice that facilitates one’s brain wave frequency to synch up to external stimuli whether it be in the form of light, sound or vibrations. Our brains can entrain to essentially anything with a repetitive pulse- from a steady flickering candle or a drum beat to the din of machines in our environment. And when our brains do entrain…it feels a lot like meditation. I think of brain entrainment as a way to induce a trance like state where the underlying feeling, regardless of the frequency our brain is entraining to, is that of being centered, focused, steady and relaxed.
You may be wondering what the point of brain entrainment technology or synching up to an external rhythm or frequency might be. It turns out that when both hemispheres of the brain synch up to one external source there are a whole lot of benefits including what scientists refer to as “whole brain functioning.” In other words, brain entrainment increases the neural connections, communication and blood flow between the left and right hemispheres of the brain. Whole brain synchronization is something the world’s greatest thinkers, inventors and artists all share.
For all practical purposes, brain entrainment can help us in our meditation and our daily lives by giving us more control over the speed of our thoughts, focus, peace of mind as well as stimulate our memory, intelligence, creativity and intuition.
There are 5 predominant brain wave frequencies or electrical patterns that can be observed in humans, usually with an electroencephalograph- commonly referred to as an EEG. And although throughout the day we emit frequencies from each of these 5 categories, at any given time, one brain wave frequency will dominate. It’s also important to note here that there is no brain wave frequency that is “better” than another, but some will certainly make you feel better than others as they represent different states of consciousness and it depends on what an individual might need or want. It’s all relative as well. A shortage or surplus in one category will have different side effects for different people. A particular frequency might rock my world, but do less for someone else.
A Quick Brain Wave Breakdown
Alpha waves range from 8 Hz to 12 Hz and we experience them when we are relaxed. Too little alpha experience and anxiousness results.
Beta waves are faster than alpha waves. They range from 12 Hz to 40 Hz and are great for focus, attention, learning and critical thinking. Too much beta can be experienced from stimulants like caffeine. If someone is ‘wired’, the upper beta wave frequencies are most likely dominant.
Gamma waves range even higher from 40 Hz to 100 Hz. They are associated with learning, information processing and REM sleep.
Theta waves range from 4 Hz to 8 Hz. They are slow and optimal for restorative sleep, creativity, emotional connection and intuition. Too much theta during the day could make someone highly suggestible. Hypnosis, NLP and theta healing are most effective when a person’s dominant brain wave is in theta.
Beyond theta waves are delta waves, which are the slowest of human brain waves. They range from 0 Hz to 4 Hz and are experienced most amongst infants, very experienced meditators or when we are in deep sleep. Too little delta and the body and brain are unable to fully rejuvenate.
The purpose of my meditation practice is to be able to achieve any state of mind I want at will. If I am feeling anxious, I want to be able calm myself down. If I am in search of a creative solution, it’s helpful for me to be able bring forth a theta state which is optimal for creative problem solving.
Instead of spending years in order be able to enter theta and delta at will through traditional meditation methods, anyone can now entrain their brain within minutes and experience their mind and thoughts fall into synch. I think of brain entrainment as training wheels for the brain. It helps you get to where you want to be and once you become accustomed to a certain state of mind, it becomes easier to get their on your own if and when you so choose to.
My First Time I remember the first time I downloaded a brain entrainment technology audio track and listened to it. The experience was phenomenal. I had done some research and downloaded a theta track called Creative Flow from a site called ProjectMeditation.org. Creative Flow runs about 40 minutes and is a free track offered in the LifeFlow Brain Entrainment Series.
Waves of peace ran through my mind and body. To say it felt heavenly would be an understatement. It felt like I was bathing in a magnesium epsom salt bath for my mind, body and spirit. I had been meditating for 15 years prior to this experience and thought I had at one time or another experienced at least the majority of deep meditative states while awake, but this was truly unique.
My mind slowed down as theta waves washed over me. I was lucid and able to focus on what I wanted like I do in meditation, but it was deeper and easier to remain there because the brain entrainment track was holding me in place. My brain was locked in and in synch.
Being hooked almost instantly, I downloaded the entire LifeFlow program and followed the it for one year religiously. I started out at 10 Hz and listened for 30 days before dropping to the next level at 9 Hz. I did this until I reached the deepest delta state they offer at 1 Hz. By the end of the year, I was entering deep meditative delta states where my thoughts were almost nil and only the experience of the space between my thoughts remained.
It was a meditation experience, just more stable and I was able to access such a state more easily because of the brain entrainment technology I was using.
Brain entrainment allowed me to experience deeper states more easily, and I found that now I can access those states on my own with greater ease as well. I know what to look for, I know how it feels and I’m more experienced because of it. It has also helped me beyond just facilitating my meditation practice- my memory, skills and agility have all gone to the next level. My brain fires faster and I really believe it’s because there is greater communication between both sides of my brain.
One of my favorite companies putting out brain entrainment tracks these days would be the one and only Sacred Acoustics. Co-developed by neurosurgeon Eben Alexander (who’s near death experience altered his entire perspective on neuroscience and reality), Sacred Acoustics offers a variety of super high quality brain entrainment tracks with mind blowing, body reverberating acoustics. As of now, they are offering their 20 minute Om track for free! They are also really affordable and use a lot of natural sounds including chanting, percussion, sound bowls and chimes.
Lastly, if you are on a budget, your best option is probably one of the hundred’s of high quality brain entrainment sound healing videos available on Youtube.
In my coaching sessions, I generally teach some form of meditation. Depending on where you are at, I may recommend and share some brain entrainment tracks to accompany your journaling and/or meditation sessions. You can find out more about my Coaching Services here.
Thanks for reading!
Have a blessed day,