my experience with binaural beats

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SleepyHollow
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my experience with binaural beats

Post by SleepyHollow »

I'm using Thor's Binaural Beat v2. I tried it for the first time yesterday with my ipod. It ramps down from 12hz to 4hz. I sat as I have been, cross legged on a cushion on the floor with good posture. At first the vibration made me giggle, but I sat and listened for 30 mins. It was nice. I like it better than the generic meditation music I was using from youtube. I notice that the sound of the frequency will keep sounding different to me. I don't think it's because it's ramping down, but the sound I perceive keeps kind of going back and forth between individual beats and more of a buzz, I guess as my brainwaves change momentarily? I also heard a high pitched ringing sound sometimes, which I've heard frequently without meditating.

Somewhere above 4hz I was able to get some flashes of imagery. Once it was at 4hz for several minutes I kept nodding off, or going limp. And the frequency would change, or as something changes I would kind of snap back and the sound began again to make me realize I hadn't heard it for a moment. That happened several times, especially near the end of my 30 mins. I know I do that with other sounds while I'm sleeping. I'll wake up sometimes and won't hear anything, then in an instant the sounds come rushing in. Switching data streams?

So my question is, what's up with the nodding off I keep doing and snapping back from? Whenever the sound suddenly starts sounding different because of my brainwaves presumably lowering further, or something else changes with my perception (i'm not sure what), I will get startled and snap back. Should I try to completely go with it, to the point where I don't even hear the sound anymore and I go somewhat limp and seem to fall asleep? I feel like I should try to do that. I don't know whether my goal here is an OBE. I'm just exploring things.

Anyway, afterwards I felt really calm and relaxed for the next half hour, more so than my previous meditation sessions the last few days without the binaural beats.

One problem is whenever I got into it sort of deep, I would hear an external sound, just some light bump or creak, and it would startle the holy hell out of me. I'm getting over-ear headphones, so that should help me from hearing noises that make me startled at least. The fact that I'm getting startled from hearing those noises might be another problem though.
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Justin
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Re: my experience with binaural beats

Post by Justin »

Hi Sleepyhollow,

Welcome! There is just something about that Thor binaural beat that seems to work (for me anyway). By work, I mean that it actually has a notable and substantial effect in comparison to other binaural beats and sounds (that I have tried anyway). It is good stuff. Many thanks to Targobaath for creating it.

What you are experiencing sounds totally normal (based on my own experiences and based on reading the accounts of others).

Meditation is weird. However, it is also completely amazing and useful. I have probably written somewhere around 7 emails to Tom asking questions about meditation. I never ended up sending any of them. By the time I spend an hour or two trying to put words to the subjective experience so that I can even begin to ask my question, I end up at the same conclusion: the solution and answer to most any question or concern related to meditation is to just keep at it. Direct experience is the answer.

With that in mind, I can offer a few tid-bits of input that might give you some things to consider.

With the nodding off and snapping back... When I suddenly snap back to being fully aware, but am still in a good meditative state (eyes closed, body resting, etc), this is a good thing. It is somewhat like passing through a veil into clarity. So, if you find that you are suddenly very alert (vibrant, energized, etc) and are still in a good meditative state, then you might want to try "flexing your focus." By this I mean that you apply this new surge of energy toward your mantra or whatever approach you are using. At this point, I normally use a mantra while focusing all of my attention on a point just behind and above my eyes (I don't remember why I started doing it that way). Do whatever feels right to you. The key idea is to apply all of that vibrance and clarity toward one thing. This approach has typically taken me further - deeper - and resulted in vibrations, trance states, etc. It isn't so much a forceful thing, but a strong, clear, and confident focus.

Now, on the other hand, I sometimes nod off and - as apposed to suddenly finding myself in an alert meditative state - I just realize that I fell asleep. That feels more groggy in contrast to the vibrant and clear sensation noted above. This particular type of nodding off and waking up seems to be a result of loosing focus and/or just being under rested. You can still play around with the hypnagogic state in this case, but if you are truly tired, you won't likely last very long.

Then there is what many refer to as "clicking out." In my understanding and experience, clicking out, refers to suddenly coming back to PMR awarness after having been "out," but not asleep. It differs from the first instance above because you are clicking back into PMR and not a meditative state. It differs from the second instance above (falling asleep), because it does not at all feel like you have been sleeping. It is more like gently (though fairly quickly) regaining full PMR consciousness while having no clue where you have been.

If you find that you are suddenly coming back to awareness and remembering a vague sense of the setting that you were just in - or if you suddenly become aware in some other place/experience and accidentally jolt yourself back to PMR... well, I still don't know what that is exactly or what to do with it. The OBE guru Graham Nicholls suggested that I could try to train myself through visualization to remain calm and aware in the new setting - similar to training yourself to become aware in a dream. Makes logical sense to me. I will keep you posted.

Like you, I have also struggled with bumps and creeks jolting me back to waking reality. What works for me is this: If I am home alone, I lock up my house so I don't have to consider the possibility that somebody is breaking in, etc. Then, if I feel the need at the time, I express my intent to immediately "wake up" if there is some need. You can set up your intent for just about anything that will help you feel more comfortable. The Monroe Institute audio often uses a "Resonant Energy Balloon" as a sort of catch-all bad-stuff repellent. Do whatever is reasonable and works. After that, there isn't much else for you to do but accept the worst that can happen. It is normal and okay to have fear - we just have to work on it over time. I am fairly certain that some of the noises and sensations that I have experienced have been lessons and/or tests.

A bit of general advice is to let your intuition be your personal meditation guide. When you are in a nice, crisp meditation state, that is a great time to ask what your next step should be with your meditation. Just try to open your mind and let the answers come. They answers may come later, but they will eventually come.

The only other (and most important) advice is to just keep at it.

I hope that helps some.
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Re: my experience with binaural beats

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Thanks for the reply!

I feel like I keep snapping back not necessarily because anything I encounter is too intense or scary - it's only a brief vivid visualization of something benign - but because I'm on alert for making sure I keep repeating the mantra, keep hearing the binaural beats, keep good posture, and keep breathing. I think I should try setting the intention beforehand that it's ok if my awareness of any or all of these disappears as long as I don't let errant thoughts creep in and take over.

I got to a spot where I heard the binaural beats and perceived a quiet black pool of nothing, its only attribute being complete stillness. It was like the pool I sensed many years ago once when meditating. I found that I had the option to keep repeating the mantra or not, because I wasn't susceptible to thoughts creeping in anymore, so I stopped it and sort of just keep breathing into the pool, like my breath was sliding over its surface. I guess the closest thing to a quiet mind that I could come up with was a quiet, black, empty pond, so that's how I structured it.
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Re: my experience with binaural beats

Post by Ted Vollers »

Sounds like the Void, unless there was literal interpretation of a pool of water with boundaries observable and in some 'physical' setting such as a 'forest pool'. For the Void, there are no boundaries; there is no context.

The mantra is to get you past fleeting thoughts. If there are none, the mantra has done its job and is now itself something unneeded. Not that it might not be needed later, but in that session, it is no longer needed unless you drop out of the quiescent state and start to think about things again. It is only a tool of the moment.

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Re: my experience with binaural beats

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Right, not really any context, just a sense of complete stillness so pure that it's like I had to think of it as a "thing" like a black pool because it was so significant and maybe I couldn't wrap my head around it any other way. The striking thing about it was I didn't have to wait and see how much stillness it was. It was pure, so I knew I could just stop the mantra with no risk of thoughts returning, at least for a while, because it was something else other than simply the absence of thought.

For a half hour or so afterwards I was really calm. It was night, and I went running on a deserted track near my home, and I knew that I would be able to sense if I was going to be in any danger in the dark or if someone was trying to sneak up on me, not that it's a bad neighborhood. Normally I wouldn't feel that confident, but this time I just felt like I was in a clear enough state where I would feel an alert if something were wrong. It reminded me of what I heard about aborigines or maybe some other people being able to sense when they aren't alone in the forest, to the point where it's no surprise at all when they meet.

So I'm looking forward to see what will happen next!
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SleepyHollow
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Re: my experience with binaural beats

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I used Ginaural to create a wav of the default track included in the software. I then converted it to mp3 to fit on my old ipod. But I can't tell if if the left and right channels of the mp3 got converted properly, or if they were combined during the conversion. When listening to it the tone I hear from both my ears seems to match. Should I be able to tell? How can I confirm that a wav or mp3 has the right left-right stereo difference of 4Hz?

Edit: I found a way to test the files and my ipod, and it all is legit stereo sound. The wavey effect isn't as noticeable on my ipod as it on my computer, but I guess it's fine.
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Re: my experience with binaural beats

Post by kroeran »

in an ideal world one would have access to an EEG that gave you feedback confirmation that your brain was actually entraining, even if it was only a one off

one demotivator is spending many hours listening to beats and wondering if it is actually working, technically and biologically.

it would be helpful if you shared your method for verifying the stereo effect.

whether it is working or not, its a good technique to tricking your left hemisphere into spending cuddle time with your right hemisphere, without external distractions.

There is a lot of evidence that like exercise or any scarcity in your life, a little goes a long way and that this is very beneficial.

Any sensory deprivation I think is helpful. Cheap construction sound earmuffs over earbuds can provide a dramatic sound isolation effect. Additionally, lying down in a windowless closet can provide visual isolation, turning the attention of consciousness within. Placing material over the eyes can be a distraction and uncomfortable.

There is this related information
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ganzfeld_effect

I find the relative sensory deprivation of long road trips to be very meditative and all sorts of things bubble up, insights, ideas for new directions. Or a simple lengthy walk without media.

For the less technically minded, there is Entrainment (the Gandreas one) app on Itunes, which permits you to customize the canned beats, though it takes some trial and error and persistence to figure it out.
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Re: my experience with binaural beats

Post by Jonathan »

SleepyHollow wrote:Edit: I found a way to test the files and my ipod, and it all is legit stereo sound. The wavey effect isn't as noticeable on my ipod as it on my computer, but I guess it's fine.
If there is a audible difference between computer and ipod it could be different headphones?
More probable is some kind of equalizer setting on the ipod to "enhance" the sound experience.
I don't own such a device - and never used one. So: I don't know.
But this would be something to check for and disable if present.
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Re: my experience with binaural beats

Post by SleepyHollow »

I checked the left and right channels of the wav and mp3 files with Audacity. I played a left right test mp3 on my ipod. So everything appears to be in working order.
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Re: my experience with binaural beats

Post by SleepyHollow »

My meditation tonight reminded me of the saying I heard somewhere, "If it vibrates, it's illusion."

My body vibrated lightly for a while until I stopped after 40 mins. During that time I would have very brief...somethings... where I stop hearing the binaural beat sound from my headphones and stop feeling the vibration. After what feels like only a second or so I return.

What was different about this time was the separation of sensations. Previously as I mentioned in a past post I would have brief and sudden seconds of going limp and not hearing the sound. Yesterday I learned that it was possible for my body to briefly go limp but while I still heard the sound. Today I learned it's possible for the sound to cease without my body going limp. And the vibration thing is sorta new. I get the idea that it's a relationship that has developed out of habit, maybe sleep related, or as a result of me stumbling through this and causing things to happen like a baby can't squeal without drooling (I don't now, I don't have a baby, I'm just saying). So the things can also be done independently. At some point I guess I'll find out what the sound ceasing and the vibrations ceasing mean, and also why these brief seconds where sounds cease, vibrations cease, and my body goes limp, or any combination of those, can be extended with practice and intention, and for what purpose. I also get the idea that if I could cease the vibrations in that state for longer, I could almost just slide right out of my body, like the vibration cage is temporarily lifted.

The vibrations started after I brought up positive emotion and kind of filled my body with it. Don't know what that means. Or what anything means, for that matter. Just stumbling through and pointing out shiny things like a toddler.
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