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Creating binaural beats is really pretty simple. All you do is play one tone in one ear, and another tone with a slightly different frequency in another ear. So what’s all the fuss? And why are they supposed to enhance your mental state and improve your meditation?
It turns out that according to physics, sounds at two slightly different frequencies produce “beats”. These beats have a frequency that is the difference between the two frequencies of the original tones. Suppose for instance, if a pure tone of 500 cycles per second is played in the left ear, and a pure tone of 520 cycles per second is played in the right ear. Then a binaural beat is produced with a frequency of 520 minus 500 equals 20 beats per second.
It turns out that the brain can follow the beat! EEG studies have shown that binaural beats cause brain waves to pick up the same frequency. This is a kind of “resonance”, such as can be seen when one tuning fork starts sounding just because it’s near another one that’s sounding. And that’s where the fun starts, because different frequencies of brain waves correspond to different mental states. The lowest frequencies (called delta and theta waves) are related to relaxation, creativity, and meditation. Higher frequencies are related to higher levels of mental activity, and it’s been suggested they can improve memory as well.
Take note that it takes more than just listening to binaural beats to put you into a higher state of consciousness. There are lots of other factors which have been studied by lots of researchers, including both scientists and gurus. Breathing exercises, humming, background music and other techniques have all been used in various ways.
Interested to try it out? There are plenty of suppliers on the web who can sell you equipment to generate binaural beats. You can experiment and try it out for yourself. There are also plenty of books and tapes that will give suggestions on different ways to improve your meditation.