Let us discuss the Brainwaves Frequencies and their characteristics.
|Name||Frequency range||Usually associated with:|
|Gamma waves||30 to 70 Hz||Processing of various attended stimuli (visual, auditory, touch) and the grouping of the various features of a given stimulus, particularly visual, into a coherent whole.Important points about Gamma Waves :
(1) There is no such thing as a “gamma state” of mind. Gamma waves largely play a supporting – though integral- role in the brain. From an EEG point of view, they will be present mostly while a subject is awake, but they will always be supported by other waves in the beta, alpha, theta, or delta ranges.
2) They have been noted during Buddhist meditation of compassion & music listening experiments.
|Beta waves||13 to 30 Hz||Associated with attentiveness, selective attention, concentration & anticipation. They have been related to concentrated mental activity such as solving math problems, anxiety, and apprehension.
Important points about Beta Waves
: (1) These are the waves of alertness, wakeful state. Most common and most prevalent in the brain. If you are alert and awake, you are in Beta now.
(2) In meditation, beta waves have been noticed only in very experienced practitioners that too in a state of ecstasy and concentration.
|Alpha waves||7 to 13 Hz||Associated with relaxed wakefulness, and creative thought where attention may wander and free association is favored. They are also correlated with a generally tranquil, pleasant, almost floating feeling.
Important points about Alpha Waves : (1) Considered as the brainwaves of meditation. Most prominent during meditation.(2) Considered as an integral part of the relaxation process before sleep. The alpha frequency band has been studied extensively in meditations of various kinds (like Zen, TM etc) and in almost all cases an increase in the alpha waves has been noted during meditation.(3) Use of Cannabis (marijuana) has also been linked to an increase in alpha waves in brain. That’s why many people love the high they got from using drugs.
|Theta waves||4 to 7 Hz||Associated with Dreams, deep meditation, hypnosis and, sleep, meditation, and hypnosis. Seemed to be involved with short-term memory. It is a state of somnolence with reduced consciousness. The theta-state is described by sleep researchers as stage 1 sleep or the twilight state. In this states subjects pass out of the alert alpha-state into a theta-state in which they lose their sense of lying in bed, though still being awake.Important points about Theta Waves :
(1) Subjects can be easily awoken from this stage of sleep, and it has many interesting properties. For a brief time as we lie in bed at night, neither fully awake nor yet asleep, we pass through a twilight mental zone like a state of reverie. Many people associate this drowsy stage with hallucinatory images, more fleeting and disjointed than dreams, and compare it to the viewing of a speeded-up, jerky series of photographic slides. A host of artists and scientists have credited the imagery of this twilight state with creative solutions and inspiration for their work.
(2) This theta stage is also observed in people under hypnosis.
|Delta waves||1 to 4 Hz||Associated with deep dreamless sleep. Consistently observed in deep sleep. The deeper the sleep, the higher is the amount of delta waves.Important points about Delta Waves :
(1) Meditative states associated with the increased presence of delta waves seem to occur mostly in very experienced practitioners, possibly because entering a delta state and maintaining consciousness at the same time is tremendously difficult.
All the above mentioned five brainwave frequencies are normally present together in the brain. However, the dominant frequency in the EEG pattern determines what shall be called the current state of the brain. If the amplitude of the alpha range frequencies is highest, then the brain is said to be in the alpha stage. Note, that other frequencies still exist and it is impossible to give any “exact frequency your brain is operating on.” However, for simplification purpose, it is often assumed that such a single frequency exists.
In general, we are accustomed to using the beta brain rhythm. When we diminish the brain rhythm to alpha, we put ourselves in the ideal condition to learn new information, keep facts, perform elaborate tasks, learn languages and analyze complex situations etc. Meditation, relaxation exercises, and activities that enable the sense of calm, also enable this alpha state.
As is evident from the above table, these 5 brainwaves produce different type of feelings and state of consciousness in people. A person, who is in meditation, can have any experience related to alpha, theta or delta brainwaves. From this we can draw a very interesting corollary.
When a person meditates, he finds himself in a relaxed and clam state. On a brainwave level he reaches alpha state of consciousness. As the meditation deepens he finds himself more calm and focused and his brainwave levels reaches to theta (and finally to delta) state.
So if a person is not able to meditate owing to some reasons, can’t we induce some extra stimulus in his brain to make him reach an alpha or theta level? If we can do this by using some method, we will be able to make that person calm and serene by altering his brainwave level to an alpha, theta or delta level. This way the person will experience the same kind of feelings as he would do on meditating in a traditional way.
This in one way means, an end to the meditation ritual. An end to our vows of not finding enough time for meditation or our inability to maintain a regular meditation routine. Extending the same corollary, the similar effect of a hypnotic state, deep sleep, relaxation etc can also be produced using external stimulus.
So is it possible to bypass meditation altogether and adopt a quick and fast way to achieve a desired brainwave ?
Well the answer is yes and no.
Yes. It is possible to bypass meditation and use an automatic tool to achieve a meditative state. In is very much possible to achieve a Non Ordinary State of Consciousness (NOSC) using the methods you will learn in this section.
However, having said that, I also want to clarify that on the basis of my long experience as a practitioner of traditional meditation techniques, I can say with full confidence that no machine, no matter how much powerful or fast it is, can ever make the traditional methods of meditation needless. The human brain is one of the most complicated and mysterious things in the world. We have just explored a very little of our brain. Still we are far from understanding the functioning of the human brain. Though many studies have been made with very positive results indeed, it will be too early to say that meditation is nothing but a change in our brainwaves. Brainwaves level are just one indicator of what actually happens in meditation. Though with the help of using brainwaves you can attain a meditative state for you immediate benefits, for a long and permanent spiritual growth you will need to stick to a traditional meditation path. Binaural Beats shall provide you some excellent results often instantly which will help you in many ways. However, for a permanent life changing spiritual focus, you need to use traditional meditation methods as your primary tools. (For more information kindly read chapters in ‘Meditation Corner’.) Here we shall stick to the concept of instant meditation and Binaural Beats.
Let us understand now, how we can alter our brainwaves to produce a Non Ordinary State of Consciousness (NOSC). It has been scientifically proven that brainwave’s frequency in our brain can be altered to a desired frequency using specialized sound waves.
In other words, using specialized sound waves as external stimuli, we can alter our brainwaves frequency to an alpha, beta, theta or delta level which are considered as the brainwave levels of meditation and other spiritual phenomena.
In order to understand how brainwaves are altered, we need to answer two questions :
(1) How any external sound can alter our brain wave frequency? We listen so many sound everyday. All of them must have an effect on our brainwave. Then how come a particular sound of a particular frequency will bring change in our brainwave’s frequency?
(2) The frequency of alpha, beta, theta and delta are in the range of 1 to 30 Hz whereas human ears are capable of listening to sounds only within the frequency range from 20 to 20,000Hz . So how can we listen an external sound that produce an effect within 1 to 20 Hz to attain alpha, theta or delta level of conscious?
Let us discuss both these questions.