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Thread: Is Brainwave Entrainment superior to actual meditation?

  1. #1

    Question Is Brainwave Entrainment superior to actual meditation?

    I've been thinking about doing Transcendental Meditation (I think studies say that users are in a theta range), but I just can't help but think if using these Brainwave Entrainment machines are like an evolution to regular meditation, since these machines can take you to virtually any of the various meditative brainwave frequencies by just pushing some buttons and wear the machine.

    It seems like this technology is a 'one stop shop' for achieving various meditative states, OBE's, and other spiritual experiences. Seems like a much better deal than just silently repeating a mantra, focusing on breath, or trying to still the mind etc...

    does anyone here meditate (or used to meditate) the old fashion way (which practice)? How can you compare the meditation to using brainwave entrainment?

  2. #2

    Default Re: Is Brainwave Entrainment superior to actual meditation?

    I am new here, but I have been meditating since I was 22 - for more than 30 years now. I actually went almost 20 years without missing a day meditating. Then I decided I was too about maintaining that "record", so I forced myself to skip a day.

    I have been using various AVS/ Brainwave Entrainment systems every day for the last 6+ years. I use it in the morning after I get coffee & breakfast, and again at night when I go to sleep. I also use it if I wake during the night. (I have chronic pain & chronic insomnia.)

    I consider the systems to be like "Meditation Lite." They are more passive, easier to do, and easier to stick with than meditation. Meditation takes a lot more discipline, especially when there are a lot of distractions around.

    I can use the AVS systems while lying down in bed, while I can't really meditate lying down. I need to sit cross legged on my cushions, on a kneeling stool, or at least on a chair to meditate.

    I consider the systems to be about 40% to 60% as effective as meditation. I still meditate every day. For me, they are not a complete "substitute" for meditation, but rather an adjunct. For example, it is less disruptive to play a session while lying in bed when I wake during the night, than to get up and sit on my cushions (where I wouldn't fall asleep again.)

    I also prefer to meditate without the machines, although I sometimes use them during meditation.

    +++

    Obviously, YMMV, and opinions will vary widely.

    I would also say that the AVS machines were not especially effective at first for me. It took me a couple of weeks to find the sessions that I liked, and to feel the positive effects from the machine(s).

    The same was true of meditation- it took me a while to feel comfortable meditating.

    When learning to meditate, you will drive yourself crazy wondering if you are "doing it right" at first. You will also be amazed at how your minds wanders. It is important not to get frustrated. Be nice to yourself, and just keep bringing yourself back to your mantra

    (Or other form of meditation. I would recommend "The Relaxation Response" web site for a good, very simple, easy guide on how to meditate using a mantra. It is basically Chapter 7 of the original 1979 book. Later editions wander too far off from "sitting meditation" into other areas that aren't quite the same.) ("The Healing Power of Mind" by Tulku Thondup is a wonderful book on another form of meditation, based on visualization. It is written for Westerners, but the base meditations come from Tibetan Buddhism.)

    +++

    As far as the machines, I really only usually use 2-3 sessions on a consistent basis, despite the large number available. Find sessions that you like, and use them to get used to the process.

    Keeping the lights & sounds at a **pleasant** level is key to having an effective session! They should not be overwhelming or feel assaulting.

    These aren't "miracle" or "metaphysical" tools. You (likely) won't "become enlightened." Rather, this is a process of working with your non-analytical, image based, compassionate, non-linear & non linguistic "right brain" self. These are tools to help us work with that part of our mind/ body, which are ultimately the same thing. (In My Opinion.)

    The same is true of the Tibetan Buddhist meditations. These are just tools allow us to work with our brains. It isn't necessary (or helpful to me) to believe in external, metaphysical "beings" that you use might use in visualization. That is an older understanding of the world. They are just tools, "helpful means", to work with our non-analytical, non-linguistic self. (See also Joseph Campbell on myth, metaphor, Jung, dreams & similar. )


    Good luck!

    - Michael
    Last edited by una_bear; 08-15-2018 at 08:19 PM.

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