After making sure you will be undisturbed for the next 30 minutes or so, you settle in your favourite meditation posture – on your mat or cushion – close your eyes and…..nothing!
Your mind keeps buzzing noise for almost all the length of the session. Jittery thought fragments, ‘mind popup notifications’ of things left undone and other God-knows-what mental clutter streaming up the corridors of your conscious mind. But hey, that’s normal. It happens to me, you and people who have been meditating for the past few decades.
I do have those days when no matter how good my intent to meditate is, I just feel there is more mental noise to wade through than normal. That’s where I discovered and started using meditation music or more technically, Binaural beats or brain wave entrainment.
Sound Waves & Brain Waves:
Through various studies about the brain, it had been discovered that different mental states or levels of activity produce different frequencies or waves.
There are four types of brain waves – Beta, Alpha, Theta and Delta . The Beta waves (14-21 cycles per second) happen at the waking state when all the sense and perceptions are in full swing. The Alpha waves (7-14 cps) happen in light sleep or meditation and are associated with intuition. The Theta waves (4-7cps) are associated with Deep sleep and deeper meditative states. And finally Delta waves (0-4 cps) are reached in even deeper sleep and are associated with the unconscious.
Certain Meditation music has a combination of these frequencies embedded in the background at different lengths and intervals so as to help you enter the meditative state surely and quickly.
My Experience with Meditation Music
When I learned about Binaural beats I was more than skeptical. I dismissed them as a new age marketing gimmick with lots of fluff and no substance. However what is wrong with trying? And I did. I tried a couple of tracks and listened to them (through earphones) as I meditated.
The verdict? For me the results were impressive and beyond my expectations. I tried them at different times and more importantly in different moods. The effect was something I was very pleased with. I noticed there is something around a ten minute threshold of listening after which I feel the mental chatter to subside more easily and I’d enter a meditative state automatically. This is of course my own personal experience. However I would encourage anyone to try it out on their own account.
Which Meditation Mp3s?
Up to recently my favorite meditation music programs were two iPad/iPhone apps – one called ‘White Noise Pro’ and the other one called ‘Altered States’ both available at the app store. I found these to be excellent and have some great features like controlling and mixing different background frequencies and sound effects. They also include a timer which is great for your meditation session.
Lately I have discovered another product which has become my all-time favourite – Omharmonics. It includes a number of tracks which are tailored for different levels of meditative states and each has a shorter version – ideal for those quick sessions. The sound quality is impressively good and you can feel that the people behind the project knew what they were doing when engineering the sound.
You can download the tracks on your favourite Mp3 player and the program is optimised to work beautifully on iPhone, iPad and iPod.
Other Benefits of Meditation Mp3s:
Although I use them mostly for meditation sessions, these meditation MP3 tracks/programs I have mentioned above can be used outside your meditation practice.
One good application is listening to them before sleep – especially if you have difficulty going into the land of nod.
Another good practical use is as a stress-buster at the office. If you are allowed to put earphones on (or else during breaks), it’s a great way to calm down the mind and regain focus and clarity.
If you have any questions about Meditation music or have more suggestions about Meditation Mp3s, it would be great to share them here.