Browsing through the “App Store” on my iPhone the other night I noticed an application called “mindWave”. This particular program is designed to help the listener with meditation techniques through the use of sounds, a sort of shortcut into a transcendental state. Think of it as Zen with a technological twist.
The mindWave program, along with many other products out there, use a technique called binaural beats. Using a pair of headphones and stereo sound, certain brainwaves are triggered by the difference in frequencies in the sound that is being played by the program. The tones are masked in pink noise so that you don’t go mad from listening to something akin to the old Emergency Broadcast System two-tone warning sound. This Wikipedia article explains the theory much better than I ever could. The mindWave program uses different frequencies to start up different types of brain waves depending on what you’re trying to achieve: deep sleep, mental clarity, focus, energising, etc.
I tried the program yesterday morning and found myself to be a little more energised than usual for the early shift at work. Granted, this could be just a placebo effect but nevertheless, I felt good yesterday. Last night I tried the “get ready for sleep” tones and found that I slept right through the night until the alarm went off. I haven’t done that in a few weeks. Again, it could be a placebo effect but I must admit that I feel well rested today.
Similar more elaborate and expensive programs have much more to offer in the types of binaural beats produced and what it can do for the human mind. Some caution that because of the meditation-like qualities from this practice, one can find old ill feelings surfacing as the mind rediscovers this negativity and tries to purge it. The same thing happens during traditional meditation. I must admit that I am finding myself a little cranky today and I’m curious as to if this is the reason why. It could be that I’m just in a cranky mood. I have a few demons in my closet that could use a good exorcism, though so maybe some of those cobwebs are getting cleaned out from parts of my brain that I haven’t visited in a while.
Suffice it to say that I am very interested with this technological twist on meditation. While I have no intention (nor the funds) to invest in some elaborate program, my little mindWave iPhone app is quite intriguing.
I look forward to continuing the experiment.