The Meditative State
For centuries, meditation could only be described by chronicling how a person looked when in a meditative state. Today, with sophisticated equipment, science has shown that when a person enters a meditative state, there are actual changes in brain-wave frequencies that occur.
There are four recognized states of brain-wave frequency:
1. Beta is the outer conscious level and ranges from 14 to 30 cycles per second.
2. Alpha is the level at which eyelids flutter, outer noises are heard but not consciously registered and the conscious level ranges from 8 to 13 cycles per second.
3. Theta is the level at which the body loses its sense of feeling and ranges from 4 to 7 cycles per second.
4. Delta is the very deep level where getting any response is difficult and ranges from .5 to 3.5 cycles per second.
When one goes to sleep, the brain waves begin to slow down from beta frequencies into alpha and cycle through alpha, theta, delta, back up to theta, alpha, then back to theta, and delta and continue this pattern throughout. When one first goes to sleep, the length of time in each frequency is short, but each time the cycles are repeated, the length of time in each of the frequencies increases. Visually, the rhythmic pattern would look something like this during the sleep cycle.
The brain wave frequencies are natural and everyone cycles through them during sleep. When a person meditates, the brain wave frequencies that have been recorded are in the alpha and theta range generally. Some meditators can maintain conscious awareness while activating the delta frequencies during meditation.
What distinguishes meditation from natural sleep?
In sleep, one is not consciously aware of what is being impressed upon the mind; in meditation, one maintains conscious awareness. The goal of meditation is to be able to consciously maintain brain-wave frequencies between alpha and theta in order to be in a receptive state for guidance from Spirit.
What distinguishes meditation from hypnosis?
The brain wave cycles accessed in meditation are the same as those accessed via hypnosis. However there IS a difference between the two practices. A person undergoing hypnosis agrees to let someone else have the power of suggestion over them; whereas, a person utilizing meditation retains complete control of his/her mental functions. This applies even in guided meditation because the person experiencing the guided meditation may at any time return to the outer conscious level without permission from the person guiding the meditation.
What’s the point of meditation?
The practical point of meditation is to help you gain awareness about yourself and step into the fullness of who you are. This awareness will allow you to recognize the choices you have made in your life and realize that you can always choose something different than what you have chosen in the past when those choices no longer serves where you are today.
By becoming aware that your life is as it is because of your conscious and unconscious choices, you become empowered to create the life you desire. When you live the life you desire, you can find peace and joy. Mastering the meditative state is an important ingredient to finding peace and happiness in our lives.