As an author of meditation programs and a meditation instructor,
I’m often asked to compare the effects of brainwave entrainment
technology (BET) with the effects of meditation. After all, some BET
products claim to help you “meditate like a monk. ” If this is true, why
learn to meditate when you can just put on some headphones and allow the
technology to do the work for you? One of the major BET programs claims
that using their technology is “the lazy man’s way to meditate. “
my first response to that claim is that BET is not meditation, many
people think that I am critical of BET. What I’ll do in this article is
to define what each of these techniques is and what benefits can be
gained from each one. The benefits of these two approaches are related,
but there are some important differences.
First, let’s define what
we mean by BET. Then, we’ll define meditation. From those two
definitions, we’ll talk about the different benefits of each and how
they compare and differ. With that information, you can decide how to
best use each in your life.
Recently there has been an explosion in the availability of BET programs. What is this technology and how does it work?
found a nice articulation of BET on a website called
“Unexplainable.net “. Here’s what they have to say on the most well-known
of these technologies called binaural beats:
“Binaural Beats work
by broadcasting two separate frequencies in each ear. For example, if
you wanted to tune your brain to a 7 Hz frequency, you could play 200 Hz
in your right ear, and 207 Hz in your left ear. The brain will
compensate for the difference between the two and produce a third tone
that will be exactly 7 Hz. This will result in your brain frequency
being raised or lowered, and tuned to the desired operating stage. “
utilize this technology, you listen to the binaural beats technology
through a set of stereo headphones. You use stereo headphones so that a
different frequency can be played in each ear.
The benefits of
using binaural beats include deep relaxation, release of tension, better
synchronization between the two hemispheres of the brain, enhanced
learning, memory, creativity, concentration, and mental clarity,
stimulation of positive brain chemistry, and so on.
list, the benefits sound a lot like meditation-and, it’s true, these
benefits are what you can expect from meditation practice. So what’s the
Let’s look at a definition of meditation. Meditation
is consciously focusing your attention for a period of time. Different
meditations have different objects of focus. These include, but are not
limited to, your breathing, a specific area, energy center, or pathway
in your body, present moment awareness, a specific emotional state, and
creative visualizations. What is common to any meditative practice is
consciously and actively focusing your attention.
In contrast with
BET which is passive stimulation, meditation is an active process and a
skill that you can develop. In fact, you develop many different skills
of consciousness through meditation. The basic technique of meditation
is a four-part skill. Because it is a skill, it is something that you
get better at through consistent practice over time. The four steps are
1. You focus on your meditation cue(s).
2. You recognize when your mind has wandered from its focus.
3. You release the thoughts, emotions, images, or sensations that grabbed your attention.
4. You return to your focus.
By following these steps you develop the following internal skills of being able to:
· observe yourself and your inner physical, emotional, and mental processes without judgment,
· actively relax,
· breathe deeply,
· align your posture,
· release negative emotions,
· generate positive feelings,
· focus and clear your mind, and
· be aware of awareness itself, or become aware of yourself as pure consciousness.
develop these inner skills in a natural and holistic way, as your body
is ready and able. Because you are using your natural abilities and
focusing on cues in your own body, heart, mind, and spirit, the process
unfolds as your system is ready to expand. Because of this, the process
proceeds safely at the right pace and timing. You release subconscious
tensions, heal wounds, and expand your awareness and ability as you are
able to handle these things. The whole process is guided by a higher
wisdom within you. Meditation develops your discernment of this inner
Like any set of skills, meditation does take time,
practice, and effort. It also gives you rewards and benefits that you
cannot get without those efforts and the development of those skills.
when you cultivate the skills of meditation, it is empowering. You know
that you can do this at any time because you’ve learned how to do it
yourself. You have gained a level of mastery in the physical, emotional,
mental, and spiritual aspects of your being. You can take these skills
and apply them to anything that you desire to express, grow, and create
in your life.
So how do you choose between using meditation and
using BET? First, I suggest that you follow your inner guidance and see
what you are drawn to. Second, you can certainly use both systems, but I
suggest not using them at the same time. They can feed each other, but
they may compete if you do them both at once. Because of your internal
needs on a particular day, your brain may be heading in one direction
through the natural process of meditation and it may be entrained in
another way by the predetermined BET frequency. So, if you decide to use
both systems, use them separately.
Finally, understand what you
want to get from your practice time, so that you can choose what is most
appropriate to your needs and goals.
If you’d like to learn a
comprehensive and holistic meditation technique, visit the link below
and try out Core Energy Meditation for no charge:
Schoeninger graduated from Villanova University in 1986 with a Master’s
Degree in Philosophy. He is certified as a Reiki Master Teacher, Qigong
Meditation Instructor, and Personal Fitness Trainer.
worked with clients in the field of holistic fitness, meditation
instruction, and spiritual growth for the past 29 years.
Editor of SpiritualGrowthMonthly.com and the author of the “Learn Qigong
Meditation Home Study Program, ” “The Power of Practice Program, ” “Raise
Your Vibration: A Guide to Core Energy Meditation, ” and “The Life You
Are Meant to Live Program. “
Kevin can be reached through his website: http://www.thepowerofpractice.com