Intrinsic Living Academy

G’day Tribers!

Today, we’re going to talk about the neurology behind effortless meditation and how it differs from other, more challenging meditation practices.

But first, let’s define brainwaves. Brainwaves are patterns of electrical activity in the brain that are caused by patterns of neurons firing. These waves can be measured in terms of frequency (cycles per second) and amplitude (the power of electrical impulses in microvolts). They are often identified and defined by their frequency.

Here are the different types of brainwaves and their occurrences in daily life and meditation: (table source centred meditation)

BrainwaveFrequency (Hz)Occurrence in daily lifeOccurrence in meditation
Gamma30-60Strong concentration or focusOccurs briefly in effortless meditation if there is a sudden insight
Beta13-30Attention turned outward, problem-solvingOccurs during thoughts in meditation
Alpha 210-12Awake but quiet and relaxed (e.g. sitting with eyes closed)Occurs during “relaxed wakefulness” and “inner directed attention” in effortless meditation
Alpha 18-10Rare in non-meditators, but can occur during daily activity with regular effortless meditation practiceProvides gateway to subconscious mind during effortless meditation
Theta4-8Dreaming (REM sleep)Access to and activity in subconscious mind during effortless meditation
Delta0.5-4Deep restorative sleepAccess to and experience of Pure Consciousness or State of Being during effortless meditation

As you can see different brainwave patterns occur during different activities and states of consciousness. Effortless meditation specifically aims to access the Alpha 1 and Theta brainwave states, which provide a deep relaxation and access to the subconscious mind.

The three phases that it involves: Alpha 1, Theta, and Delta.

During the Alpha 1 phase, which occurs in the first 5-6 minutes of meditation, synchronized Alpha 1 brainwaves spread from the back of the brain (occipital lobes) to the front (prefrontal lobes) and then cover the entire cerebral cortex. These waves continue for the duration of the meditation.

The Theta phase kicks in around the 5-6 minute mark, with synchronized Theta waves developing in the prefrontal lobes and lasting throughout the rest of the meditation.

Finally, the Delta phase begins around the 10-12 minute mark, with synchronized Delta waves appearing in the prefrontal lobes and continuing for the rest of the session.

It’s worth noting that these phases can sometimes happen much more quickly, sometimes in just a few minutes. The reason for this is not fully understood, but it’s something that has been observed in several studies.

During effortless meditation, each type of brainwave is synchronized in both frequency and amplitude in both hemispheres of the brain. This indicates strong connections between different parts of the brain and means that parts of the brain with very different functions are communicating harmoniously with each other. This is known as “brain integration” in neuroscience.

Studies have shown that, with effortless meditation, both short-term and long-term meditators produce the same highly coherent brainwave patterns during meditation. However, for short-term meditators, this pattern fades quickly after meditation, while for long-term meditators, it becomes more permanent and begins to occur during daily activity outside of meditation.

So, in other words, with effortless meditation, you don’t get better at meditation over time. Instead, you measure progress by how you grow and develop in your daily life outside of meditation.

I hope this information helps you understand the science behind meditation and how effortless meditation specifically differs from other practices. Remember, the ultimate goal of meditation is to find a state of inner peace and well-being.

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