Meditation has become increasingly popular in recent years, and it’s not hard to see why! This practice can reduce stress, anxiety, and depression—helping you feel better both physically and mentally. It can also boost your immune system, improve your sleep quality, and increase overall happiness. While meditation is powerful on its own, there are some things you should know before you begin meditating to ensure that your practice is safe and effective.
There are many variations on the general concept of "Pranayama Meditation" -- The meditation of the breath. At Meditation Treks, we have released the Healing Breathwork Album, which creates an oxygen rich environment in the body while guiding you through this state of consciousness with meditations that focus the mind on different cognitive behavioral states to clear old patterns and establish new ones. The pranayama practice of the Breathwork album is strikingly similar to (though not exactly the same as) the "Wim Hof Method" of breathing, invented by its namesake, Wim Hof. While the GMT Breathwork album focuses on improving mind patterns through a breath that acts on the heart, the Wim Hof method focuses on improving the cardiovascular system itself through a breathing practice that also includes breath suspension. In this blog we present the background as well as a free guided meditation from Wim Hof himself, which you can try at home.
NPR reports... In mice and one person, scientists were able to reproduce the altered state often associated with ketamine by inducing certain brain cells to fire together in a slow, rhythmic fashion... The finding also could be a step toward finding non-drug methods to control states of consciousness... The team used a tool called optogenetics, which Deisseroth helped invent. (As opposed to binaural beats, which use sound, optogenetics) uses light to control the firing of specific cells in the brain. As a result, the team was able to artificially generate this rhythm in the brains of mice.
The concept of Binaural Beats was first discovered by Heinrich Wilhelm Dove in the early 1800s(1), when he mounted tuning forks at different frequencies at the end of tubes that went into listeners' ears. The listener perceived a third frequency, which was a difference between the two tones. This concept was mostly just a curiosity until the 1970s, when Dr. Gerald Oster wrote a scientific article that fully outlined the phenonenon(2). In the 50 years that followed, there has been much research on the topic, and this blog outlines the scientific studies which have tested the efficacy of binaural beats on everything from pain management to curing insomnia, making people more focused or relaxed, helping with ADHD, and many more outcomes, depending on the frequencies programmed.
It is well established that binaural beats can affect states of mind by "programming" the frequency of the brain. However, can binaural beats also be used to affect the physical body? For example, can binaural beats trigger the endocrine system to produce and release molecules into the bloodstream? Can they connect the mind to the astral plane, or induce an out of body experience? Over the years, there has been much written about the special powers of binaural beats. Some of it has been supported by scientific studies, and some of it must be tried by the listener to determine if it works or not. In this blog we will explore some of the "edge cases" for the usage of binaural beats to induce different states of mind and body...
Download for iOS or Android now!
As a followup to the free Binaural app (with over 100,000 downloads), this is the app version of the "Nature Meditation" album, as it combines nature sounds and brainwave entrainment with binaural beats and isochronic tones into one fully-customizable platform to bring you closer to nature and guide your brainwaves into states that you program yourself. Learn more about this app.
It's already known that meditation offers an endless list of benefits to its practitioners, but what about some personal stories? Often, hearing from someone about how meditation specifically helped them personally can really help us see the benefits, more so than some boring scientific studies that focus on "absolute truth" instead of the "subjective truth" that we each experience in our own world. Take a look at this list of testimonials about how meditation has helped these individuals. I even submitted my story too...
The latest release from Meditation Treks is out on mp3 album, including Spotify, iTunes, and all the usual streaming providers. Binaural Nature Meditation is the culmination of years of field recordings and months of editing and mastering. The first four tracks are specific meditations recorded from Mother Nature: The rainforest of Costa Rica, The thunderstorm of Texas, The Waves of the Caribbean, and the La Fortuna Waterfall. As if this 5 hours of nature sounds wasn't enough, the album includes four additional tracks: Sleep, Relax, Create, and Focus, which are edited versions of the first four tracks + binaural beats for those brainwave states in the title. The last track is a mix of the nature sounds.
The 2015 album, Sleep, offers four different Guided Meditations for Sleep: Fall Asleep, Fall Asleep with the Light, Take a Nap, and Induce a Lucid Dream. Get in touch with your spirit, which never sleeps, as your body relaxes in bed. Stream ore purchase it now from Bandcamp, or below...
Guided Meditation Treks, Vol 2 has been added to BandCamp. You can find it on the Guided Meditation Treks artist page there! You can also stream it below...
The first album, Guided Meditation Treks Volume 1, is available on bandcamp, and can now be streamed right here in this blog post. This album makes meditation easy. Grab your earbuds (for the binaural beats), sit on a chair, sit on the floor, or lie on your back. Close your eyes and enjoy one of these four meditations right now. Released in 2012.
With over 100,000 downloads, Binaural is currently the most popular app from Guided Meditation Treks. Of course, it's the free one. I am working on a pro version with a "next-level" programming experience for Binaural in the mean time. Some of the feedback I get through this website is used to craft the next releases of my apps, as well as address bug fixes on existing apps. Some of the messages are simply messages of gratitude, which I love. These are some of my favorite feedback messages from users of the Binaural meditation smartphone app:
"I am very impressed with the app, they way it is set up it is user friendly and just the functionality as a whole is amazing. Whether your a beginner or a seasoned user of this type of technology, it is useful and helpful for all. Love and light to you and may you continue to help in bringing us together as one with the Universe. Thank You
Thanks so much I believe in you people.
As a child, one of my favorite albums was a 30 minute cassette tape I bought of a thunderstorm. Many a good night sleep began by cueing it up with my headphones in bed. Since then, I've listened to countless nature sounds recordings. One of them, I recorded myself when I lived in Texas on a cool night in San Marcos. With that recording, I had the idea to create a nature sounds album. This album is in the works with new recordings from Costa Rica.
In the mean time, someone showed me mynoise.net from a guy who has been traveling the world for years searching for and recording nature sounds.
His website has built-in controls so you can create your own mixes. It's actually quite similar to the concepts used in Guided Meditation Treks, with the volume faders. In this case, your nature sound mix is created from a bunch of different elements, which are essentially just different microphone placements. It's a really awesome site, here's rain on a tent to get you started.
The Healing Breathwork album is available now on CDBaby as an album or as an app for iOS and Android.
The fifth release from Guided Meditation Treks introduces you to the "Healing Breathwork" practice, an active pranayama meditation that is used to transmute stuck emotions and behaviors by activating the respiratory system and heart chakra through the practice. This is a powerful meditation that can come with strong physical and emotional effects. These awakening effects could even be life changing. This practice can unlock deep feelings, so use it under your own discretion, for your greatest good, of course.
Like Vipassana, part of the purpose is to teach you the technique of the breathing practice. If you only do the breath itself, without anything else, you will feel effects, and so the app has a "timer" feature where you can hear a breathing track in the background and time your breath to follow it. The most important part of the technique is for you to move as much air as possible in and out of the lungs. The goal is to create an oxygen-rich state in your system, which will create specific psychological effects that will bring your consciousness out of your head and into your heart.
Big news for the android apps!
First off, we finally got around to updating Guided Meditation Treks Vol 1 and Guided Meditation Treks Vol 2 Android apps so that all four meditations are included without an additional in-app purchase. This brings android on par with the iOS app, which was updated last year. Now, for 5 bucks, you get all four meditations of the album, which is cheaper than buying the album from iTunes!
In fact, it's half price!
Secondly, we have released the beta for the next app, Healing Breathwork. You can enroll in the beta by clicking on this link from your android phone. What's really cool about this app is that it is also written in Android's newest programming language, kotlin. And the code is available open source online!
Stay tuned for the production releases of the iOS and Android versions of Healing Breathwork later in 2019.
Watch the Breath
Articles on mindfulness meditation.