Meditation is a massive part of my life, and also a big part of cultivating mindfulness on a daily basis. As we know, mindfulness isn't simply about being aware – I mean we all have the awareness that we are someone, living, in this world – but rather being purposely aware, really being present in the moment to see the nakedness of the self and the world around us.
For example, I might be aware that I am gardening, but am I really aware of the interaction with nature and the beauty of its impermanence and intrinsic connection with everything around me, including myself?
This might be going over your head a bit if you're new to all this, but don't worry, this is a journey you won't regret taking, and getting to grips with the language used to describe mindfulness takes a level of understanding to get to grips with – even though it shouldn't, which was the main reason I put the Pocket Mindfulness series together.
Anyway, even when you do discover the liberation of living purposefully in the moment, with true seeing from a non-judgmental standpoint, it's not an easy state to regularly maintain in our modern world of grasping, desire and attachment. And this is why I use mindfulness meditation; to help me re-center and rebalance my mind, body and soul.
Although I trained in meditation in a number of temples, I am quite modern in my approach to the ancient art-form. I appreciate that the traditional ways aren't necessarily best suited to everyone, and that ways of doing things do evolve with time. I believe that we must evolve and embrace new ideas, but at the same time analyse them properly to make sure we are moving in the right direction.
Science is constantly teaching us new things, things we didn't know previously, things that are greatly advantageous to our lives. And guided meditation using binaural beats is a science that definitely aids the meditation process. The specially engineered tones, often overlaid with ambient music, alter brain activity, allowing us to achieve specific states conducive to our wellbeing.
By using Theta state recordings we can assist the brain in moving into a meditative state. This occurs through the lowering of brainwave activity, and is extremely useful for those who struggle to meditate because of a wandering mind, which we all fall victim to at times.
You know the scenario, you finally find a window in your day to meditate, yet the moment you sit down your mind states to chatter like a radio, and is everywhere else except where you want it to be, which is of course calm, centered and neutrally aware.
This is because it takes quite some time for brain activity to slow down. For example, you'll know how difficult it is to go from having a debate to a state of sleep; it takes a good hour or two to settle down.
And so binaural beats offer a way of manipulating this process, helping us to cultivate a meditate state faster. Be aware though that not all binaural beats music is designed for traditional meditation; some actually increase brain activity for purposes such as learning and increasing energy, so make sure you buy those associated with meditation, high consciousness, spirituality, etc.
If you stick to Theta and Alpha state recordings you'll be fine. Delta recordings are generally reserved for promoting sleep, so it's best to avoid those when meditating.
With such busy lives, binaural beats meditation can help us slip into the zone that much quicker. I've been using these recordings for around 3 or 4 years now, and owning a blog related to meditation I am lucky enough to occasionally receive free recordings to try out in the hope that I'll promote them to my readers.
I generally refer people to BinauralBeatsMeditation.com, mainly because the creators are meditators themselves, and genuinely nice people. I found the customer service excellent, and the music really works wonders. I am by no means an expert on the science behind this technology, so if you want a better explanation of how it all works, and an opportunity to try a free sample, I recommend visiting this website.