Binaural Beats are an auditory illusion created by two different sounds played in a listener’s ear, one on each side. The space between the beats produces a new sound, only heard by the brain, that is naturally calming, relaxing, and meditative. There are many different types of binaural beats out there, and each can suit a specific mood or help with a specific problem. Anecdotal evidence suggests that if you are someone who finds quieting the mind and meditating difficult (like me), then binaural beats are likely to have a greater effect on your overall ability to reach higher frequency states. Furthermore, studies have shown that these beats can help you achieve greater focus, creativity, and mental clarity, along with creating other positive changes in your overall wellbeing.
Physicist Heinrich Wilhem Dove first discovered binaural beats in 1839. He published his findings in his book Repertorium der Physik. Through his research, he found that when you present two different frequencies separately, one to each ear, your brain can detect the phase discrepancy between the two frequencies and tries to reconcile that difference. Until 1973, however, little research had been done on the effects of binaural beats on the brain, until Gerald Oster, a biophysicist, presented a paper in Scientific American that sparked further interest and research. According to Oster, “The measurement of binaural beats can explain the processes by which sounds are located — a crucial aspect of perception. It is possible that hormonally induced physiological behavior changes may be made apparent by measuring the binaural-beat spectrum.”
To read Oster’s paper, “Auditory Beats in the Brain,” click here.
How to Use Binaural Beats
Now that we have learned about some of the benefits and history of binaural beats, it’s time we learned how to use them. First off, I think that it is important to set an intention before beginning your experiment. Are you looking to relieve stress or anxiety? Achieve greater focus? Clear your head and tune into your inner voice or higher self? Prepare your mind before diving in.
The Finer Details
It is important to note that you need to have a pair of stereo headphones, and good quality ones that can pick up low frequencies and sounds. Then you can get yourself into a comfortable position. If you are practicing during the day, you may find it beneficial to use an eye mask as well. Once you put on the track, work on breathing slowly and deeply. Listen to the sounds. If any thoughts come into your head, acknowledge their presence without attaching to them, and let them pass.
Pick a track that is at least 15 minutes long, because the brain requires seven minutes to fall into sync with the audio frequencies. Be patient with this practice — it can take a few tries before you start to see the benefits or notice any change in your mental state. Once you do, you may notice you can achieve states similar to those people reach while on certain drugs. Perhaps this is where binaural beats got their nickname as “Digital Drugs.” These beats can certainly put you into a very relaxed state and, for this reason, it is recommended that you don’t listen while driving.
I personally have experienced states of complete euphoria and bliss, and feelings of ultimate connectedness to Source, while listening to binaural beats. If I had to compare it to a drug, I would say they create effects similar to those elicited by psilocybin, or “magic mushrooms.” Of course, the effects vary greatly between each person, so make sure to drop your expectations before beginning. Altered states can, ultimately, be achieved with regular meditation as well. In either case, be at peace with whatever experience you manifest for yourself each time you come to your practice.
There are many different types of beats that claim to produce different types of effects. While you can purchase them online, you can also find many beats online for free on YouTube or other websites. There is also free software available that allows you to make your own. Check that out here. Find the ones that best suit you and your intention.
I have been enjoying this one, and have yet to try too many others.
Also, check out this website: http://free-binaural-beats.com/.
Have a good trip!
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