Do Binaural Beats Make You Smarter? Let's Just Say "I'm Addicted!"
I'd just started meditating on a regular basis, and I wanted something to help control the seemingly endless chatter that was going on inside my brain. After doing some research I ran across an article in the PNAS (Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences) that would change my life.
Scans of Monks' Brains Show Meditation Alters Structure, Functioning centered around a concept called neuroplasticity - a technical term that Webster's New World Dictionary describes as "The brain's ability to reorganize itself by forming new neural connections throughout life." In other words, your brain can re-create itself based on various experiences.
Kind of like your body gets stronger if you lift weights. Or your French gets better if you practice it.
In the article, scientists compared the brain waves of novice meditators to Buddhist monks who had clocked more than 10,000 hours of meditation. During the experiment it was noted that the monks had a noticeably higher increase of gamma brain waves. Gamma waves control consciousness and perception. They help pull various bits of information together to help the brain see the 'larger picture.'
Though the monks and novices in the experiment focused on compassion, I still found the whole gamma wave aspect very interesting. So I began looking for ways that I could re-create that kind of experience.
The Tibetan Monk Experience on CD
I did a lot of research into gamma waves and found that certain CD's containing binaural beats could supposedly take ones brain into gamma land. After searching through Amazon, I found Dr. Jeffrey Thompson's Gamma Meditation System CD.
The first CD was said to lead you into a state of enhanced perception and deep meditation. CD number two - the Hypergamma Meditation System - is linked with enhanced focus. At only $20, I took the plunge.
Gamma Meditation CD's
Go Gamma Gamma!
The first time I tried the Gamma Meditation System I was taken into a mental world of colors and vividness that I've never experienced in real life. My meditations were filled with the most surreal visions.
They were incredibly bright and light filled. My dreams that night were of the same quality. It was like my brain went from black and white to color in one swoop. I was absolutely amazed at the rapid transformation.
I felt myself smiling more when I was out - which can sometimes be a little difficult to do when you're navigating the streets of New York City day in and day out. After dropping my daughter off at school I found myself rushing home to meditate. It was very comforting.
After the first week the mental rush began to tone down slightly.
That's when I started using CD #2. Hypergamma was far more intense. In hypergamma I felt intuitive. I felt my third eye tingling all the time.
And when I worked, I WORKED.
When I sat down to write I felt like my brain was intertwined to a thousand more. There was a sense of understanding... of knowing just what needed to be said. When my words flowed, it felt like I was sticking my hand into the smoothest, warmest stream of water you can possibly imagine.
During this time I started brainstorming like crazy. I was working till 4am and getting up at 9am, fully refreshed. I truly began to see connections that had previously eluded me. And boy did it feel empowering.
Does it Still Work Today?
I still listen to the Hypergamma CD several times a week. Whenever I listen to it I still feel like my brain is going through an awakening. Almost like the sun is rising in my mind.
I have developed new ideas and techniques that have increased my productivity by at least 50%. Projects that had previously stumped me are now done. When I read books, I see and know the answers I need almost instantly.
My intuitive sense has sharpened dramatically as well.
I wouldn't call myself psychic. But I do find that I'm 'knowing' lots of little bits of information throughout the day.
For example, I was cutting and pasting some information from a website, when I intuitively realized that I using the wrong information. I kept going anyway. Sure enough after I'd cut and pasted all the wrong information, I realized it was all a mistake. My intuition was right after all.
And that's the part I have to master - when to listen and not automatically override the less demanding voice. But it's interesting to see how these instances make themselves known more and more.
What About Other Binaural Beat CD's?
Since I started with Dr. Jeffrey Thompson, I decided to try a few other of his CDs. He has a Theta Meditation System, a Delta Sleep System, and many others.
I can't say anything negative about the others. But I personally prefer the Gamma Meditation System above all others.
So if you've ever had even an itch of curiosity about binaural beats or brain enhancement, I would highly recommend his work.
- Gamma Waves and Meditation
A good explanation of how gamma waves work.
- Gamma Meditation Blog
A blog I started (and then stopped because I was working on so many other projects). It will give you a more intense look at my early gamma meditation experiences.
- Beth Coleman's Gamma Brainwave Page
She talks about gamma waves, along with lambda and epsilon.