Brainwave entrainment products

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John Finley, modified 13 Years ago at 2/20/09 3:59 AM
Created 13 Years ago at 2/20/09 3:59 AM

Brainwave entrainment products

Posts: 11 Join Date: 8/24/09 Recent Posts
Forum: Practical Dharma

I'm curious to know if anyone here has tried any brainwave entrainment products and if so, which ones and how effective were they in helping advance your practice?

I found a great many of them available for download on Napster and just wondering if it would be worth my time to try them.

Thanks,

John
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Vincent Horn, modified 13 Years ago at 2/20/09 5:07 AM
Created 13 Years ago at 2/20/09 5:07 AM

RE: Brainwave entrainment products

Posts: 211 Join Date: 4/20/09 Recent Posts
Good question! I'm all for brainwave entrainment technologies.

Currently, I'm trying Holosync. It's definitely interesting, though I haven't done it enough know how it impacts the rest. I will definitely share some notes though about what I find.
Nathan I S, modified 13 Years ago at 2/20/09 5:11 AM
Created 13 Years ago at 2/20/09 5:11 AM

RE: Brainwave entrainment products

Posts: 0 Join Date: 8/26/09 Recent Posts
Before I started meditating formally, I used audio hemi-synch stuff pretty extensively. The last time I tried to use it while doing anapanasati, I found it both distracting and unpleasant at a physical level. I'm not wary of psychotronics, but like psychedelic drugs, I think they are very over-rated, and frequently advocated by people who don't have formal practice or don't train in a tradition. I think they have their uses, but I don't really see them as a part of meditation practice.

More specifically, I'm not positive I agree with the theory behind their use. There isn't much "3rd person / emprical / scientific" (choose your idol) data about meditation practice, and the "Gamma-Beta-Alpha-Theta-Delta" wave model is so simplistic as to make me question its value.

In my own experience breathing exercises and other energetic yoga has a more profound effect, which gets to the heart of the matter: everyone wants a device or drug to get them awakened. Maybe that's a good idea, but frankly--In Pali we chant "samma sambuddhasa" for a reason--it's an abdictation of personal responsibility and a naive, uncritical response we'd expect from a materialistic, gadget-crazed culture, only a few steps removed from waiting for the UFOs to swoop down and enlighten mankind. And if anyone tells me to offer some "positive criticism", I'm going to tell you that I'd wake up at 430 every morning for months on end to sit hooked up to a hemisync audio mp3 for 90 minutes. [/cranky traditionalism]

Sorry I can't remove my personal aesthetics from this. Have you ever been sold an expensive bill of goods only to realize it was garbage years later? Maybe someone will attribute stream entry or total awakening to these tools.
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C4 Chaos, modified 13 Years ago at 2/20/09 5:25 AM
Created 13 Years ago at 2/20/09 5:25 AM

RE: Brainwave entrainment products

Posts: 0 Join Date: 7/26/09 Recent Posts
i tried Holosync a few years back. i think there's something to it. however, i didn't consistently used it as suggested by Bill Harris (the Centerpointe dude). i sometimes get headaches from it. and there's a point where i got really irritated as i listen to the sound.

don't get me wrong though. i'm all for mind-expanding technology. but in my experience, i've gotten farther (as far as meditation states is concerned) practicing the time-tested vipassana method.

my suggestion is give it a try. then compare it with your experience with meditation.

good luck!

~C
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Jackson Wilshire, modified 13 Years ago at 2/20/09 5:38 AM
Created 13 Years ago at 2/20/09 5:38 AM

RE: Brainwave entrainment products

Posts: 97 Join Date: 5/6/09 Recent Posts
I gave holosync a try for a while, but I didn't really "see it through".

On a positive note, I noticed that my ability to focus improved while listening to the audio tracks, but it was a short-lived. I think it has more to do with my A.D.D than the actual technology, although there may be something to that. Us A.D.D. people tend to need a bit of a stimulation boost to focus on something. The background noise is stimulating, but not too distracting.

I don't know much more about the technology, but I'm puzzled as to how it's supposed to lead to insight. Insight practice for me is almost always very active, and I don't think I could have gotten stream entry by sitting and listening to static and dissonant bell tones.

Can anyone expound on the theory behind this technology in relation to the Progress of Insight? I know that it's supposed to cause the brain to mimic wave patterns linked with deep meditation, but that doesn't seem like enough of a reason to use it. Magnets can be used to induce religious experience as well, but is that the point? Is mimicking deep meditation the same as attaining it the old fashioned way?
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C4 Chaos, modified 13 Years ago at 2/20/09 5:50 AM
Created 13 Years ago at 2/20/09 5:50 AM

RE: Brainwave entrainment products

Posts: 0 Join Date: 7/26/09 Recent Posts
good point. i agree. Holosync is just too passive for me. although, people can practice active meditation (e.g. visualization) while listening to it. heck, we can even do vipassana as we listen to the sound emoticon

in general, i think Holosync is a good training wheels. but over the years i've learned and appreciated that the age-old techniques of meditation (specifically samatha+vipassana) is the real deal when it comes to liberation-technology. hey, it's free, open source, and belong to the commons emoticon

~C
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C4 Chaos, modified 13 Years ago at 2/20/09 5:54 AM
Created 13 Years ago at 2/20/09 5:54 AM

RE: Brainwave entrainment products

Posts: 0 Join Date: 7/26/09 Recent Posts
btw, here's an excellent blog post by Bill Harris.

"Will Holosync make you enlightened?"
http://www.centerpointe.com/blog/2008/07/07/will-holosync-make-you-enlightened/

i think this will answer a lot of our questions here emoticon

~C
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Jackson Wilshire, modified 13 Years ago at 2/20/09 6:00 AM
Created 13 Years ago at 2/20/09 6:00 AM

RE: Brainwave entrainment products

Posts: 97 Join Date: 5/6/09 Recent Posts
Ha! Well put :-D
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John Finley, modified 13 Years ago at 2/20/09 9:01 AM
Created 13 Years ago at 2/20/09 9:01 AM

RE: Brainwave entrainment products

Posts: 11 Join Date: 8/24/09 Recent Posts
I was thinking of using it in conjunction with sitting. In fact I downloaded the gama wave tracs by Dr. Jeffery Thompson. The waves are apparently buried inside the rather spacey, but relatively pleasant music. I tried it for a few minutes as I was trying to get to access concentration, which I did, but I didn't notice that it went any faster or deeper that normal. I took the earphones off and finished my sitting (it took a while to get back to access), but didn't experience anything remarkable.
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Florian, modified 13 Years ago at 2/20/09 5:51 PM
Created 13 Years ago at 2/20/09 5:51 PM

RE: Brainwave entrainment products

Posts: 1028 Join Date: 4/28/09 Recent Posts
I experimented briefly with "binaural beats" last year. I used a recording that started out at something like 16 HZ and decreased down to 7Hz within 15 minutes. This was a "bell tone" type of recording, no music. To me, it felt like being dragged around in a rough sack - not very pleasant. I also recognized that I can tune into similar "beats" or slow vibrations in my hearing easily, and started to watch them during meditation in addition to the more physical vibrations of the breath.

So while I didn't continue to use them, and found them constricting, I learned something from the experiment.

Cheers,
Florian
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Wet Paint, modified 13 Years ago at 5/12/09 8:17 AM
Created 13 Years ago at 5/12/09 8:17 AM

RE: Brainwave entrainment products

Posts: 22924 Join Date: 8/6/09 Recent Posts
Author: Dunniway

Hey there. I've been a Holosync user for about six months now... halfway through the first "level". I have to say, I was skeptical of the method and initially viewed it as training wheels to break myself into a meditative routine, namely being able to sit for an hour every morning at a set time. I'm a relatively new meditator, but I have read Daniel's book (fantastic) and many, many others through the years.

Here's my observations of the method...

- It certainly "locks" you into a meditative state quickly. No matter what condition you may be in it will easily and smoothly drop you down into a solid witness state. You will feel slightly detached from your body and thoughts and your breathing will get nice and shallow.

-In this state it is very easy to pay attention to bodily sensations and behind-the-eyelid visual patterns. Thoughts do still put me on tangents, but the nature of the soundtrack seems to awaken me from daydreaming pretty fast. I think that any hardcore "noting" or willful application of insight would be difficult to maintain as the soundtrack can be distracting... but this could be more about me being a beginner than the method.

-Off the cushion I find my mind is very open and spacious. I seems like my brain has been trained to recognise meditative states and I can pretty easily put myself in one any time during the day with just a little effort.

-I am much more aware of the moral path... I find myself easily checking speech habits, thought habits and overall habitual behavior patterns. Sometimes I have felt some intense negative energy when I've inflicted "bad" karma on someone else... what would have normally been minor became very pronounced and heavy.

-I no longer have any desire for caffeine, alcohol, or other drugs as I don't really want them to upset whatever momentum I have gained.

(continued...)
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Wet Paint, modified 13 Years ago at 5/12/09 8:24 AM
Created 13 Years ago at 5/12/09 8:24 AM

RE: Brainwave entrainment products

Posts: 22924 Join Date: 8/6/09 Recent Posts
Author: Dunniway

-I'm experiencing cyclical waves of bliss and darkness. Seems like I'm in a nice, calm, gentle bliss state for a couple days and then I usually get clobbered with a couple days of crabbiness and irratation. I'm guessing this is a normal reaction to endorphins being released and on the flip side, emotional upheaval from repressed stuff. I don't know if this could be qualified as dark night stuff yet.

So that's where I'm at with Holosync. I don't know how long I'll continue practicing with it, but for now it seems to be effective and powerful for a beginner (though the emotional upheaval stuff can scare away those who aren't aware that comes with the package). It does seem to offer what is advertised and I'm sure that it could do wonders if used for the whole ten year program, but my intention is to put it away and do manual insight after a while as those more surgical techniques appeal to the explorer in me. At the moment my life doesn't allow for long retreats in order to harness any great momentum with my practice, so I see Holosync as a good tool to make quick, early progress for those who can only do an hour a day, everyday.

I would like to hear more from Vince as he advertises Holosync on his podcast (love the show) and said he's using it.

Thanks.
Mike Ryan Redmer, modified 13 Years ago at 5/26/09 2:35 PM
Created 13 Years ago at 5/26/09 2:35 PM

RE: Brainwave entrainment products

Post: 1 Join Date: 8/22/09 Recent Posts
I would like to preface this comment by saying I'm quite new to this website and don't know the lingo yet but I'm finding it very helpful, so anyway forgive my ignorance in regards to describing states. I've been using Holosync for the last year and a half religiously and I have to say I'm very impressed so far. I'm on disc one of Awakening Level 3. My routine includes doing Holosync in the morning for an hour and then doing concentration practice for an hour in the evening after work. In the last couple months having come across this site, I've been experimenting with various types of concentration during my Holosync sessions, like focusing on my breath at the tip of my nose, or focusing on whatever images come up with equanimity, or following where my attention is drawn too and noting it (ala Shinzen Young method; sound, sight, touch, image, talk). The one thing I've noticed is that when doing Holosync it is much harder for me to do these practices than without Holosync (it has it's own
"agenda" if you will). I liken it to walking around with weights on your legs for a couple days and then taking them off. I've noticed in the evenings I can access "higher" states of concentration quickly and hold it there for longer (where you feel you head is hovering high above your body, or seeing an incredibly bright almost blinding light, etc.). Now I don't really know if this is due to the Holosync, per se, or if it's just I'm getting better at meditation, maybe both. Also worth adding is for a short period I would listen to it before I went to sleep trying to maintain wakefulness while lying down, and during that period I had two lucid dreams, which I had never had before. It is a new technology but, in my opinion, definitely worth experimenting with. P.S. thank you for the wonderful site, it is helping my practice tremendously and I look forward to more discussions.
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Florian, modified 13 Years ago at 6/5/09 3:20 AM
Created 13 Years ago at 6/5/09 3:20 AM

RE: Brainwave entrainment products

Posts: 1028 Join Date: 4/28/09 Recent Posts
For those who wish to experiment with creating their own sound files, here's the software I used back then. Warning: definitely not the point-and-click kind of software.

http://uazu.net/sbagen/

There's even an interesting tool to analyze ready-made recordings for binaural beats - see if it contains what's advertised on the package emoticon

http://uazu.net/bavsa/

Cheers,
Florian
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Crinia Signifera, modified 13 Years ago at 6/5/09 4:21 PM
Created 13 Years ago at 6/5/09 4:21 PM

RE: Brainwave entrainment products

Posts: 0 Join Date: 8/22/09 Recent Posts
I use binaural beats regularly (form of brainwave entrainment) for relaxation or to put me to sleep.
If you are interesed in calm abiding meditation you may be able to incorporate the two although I do not find the effect satisfactory.
Trying to combine the binaural beats with insight meditation hasn't worked for me at all.
Regards,
Crinia
Trent S H, modified 13 Years ago at 6/5/09 5:42 PM
Created 13 Years ago at 6/5/09 5:42 PM

RE: Brainwave entrainment products

Posts: 0 Join Date: 8/22/09 Recent Posts
These kind of technologies usually take a bit of use before they begin to show results that are noticeable. There's also a difference in effectiveness which is seemingly dependent upon insight cycle, technique being used and whether you're practicing shamatha or insight and so on. My point is that the tech (I still use Holosync some) is very very awesome, you just have to stick with it a while to feel the results. Now a day the difference is like turning a light switch on or off; again, depending on the situation.

Trent
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Wet Paint, modified 13 Years ago at 6/7/09 3:39 AM
Created 13 Years ago at 6/7/09 3:39 AM

RE: Brainwave entrainment products

Posts: 22924 Join Date: 8/6/09 Recent Posts
Author: suzumi

I used a paperback version of the Silva Mind Control method, which approaches alpha without any hardware, just positioning your eyes. Well, there is a bit more to it than that. But it helped me over a hump, even though I didn't progress to the more 'woo woo' levels of ESP and all that. I think I did gain a certain amount of control over my mind (especially tendency to depression). Now I really enjoy meditating, although I rarely do more than 30 minutes at one sit. Usually just once a day, but sometimes more if I have extra time, or I go to a meditation class or something.

I think a lot of the Silva material is on line. I am not that gung ho on the whole thing, but as I say it helped me build up some momentum, and it also meshed well with my earlier experience of chanting in a Nichirenist organization.

Regards
J

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