Riding Gamma Waves
Riding Gamma Waves
When hundreds of Tibetan Buddhist monks gathered in their gold and red robes in a Tibetan square, the American TV cameras were hoping to capture a moving political demonstration. Instead, with placards of “stop the genocide” strewn about on the ground around them, the cameras panned in on the monks deep in meditation. The TV cameras had a harder time tuning in to the atmosphere of peace and serenity. They were unable to zoom in on the source of the serenity that appeared on the monks’ faces as they chanted, dmigs med snying rje, dmigs med snying rje, which translated means compassion. Nor could they pick up the positive surge of energy emanating through the square. However, an EEG, another type of camera used to capture images of brainwave activity, has been able to pick up the source of this loving-kindness. Specifically, EEGs show that Tibetan Buddhist monks have high gamma brainwave activity.
Different from most other forms of meditation, the compassion meditation practiced by Tibetan Buddhist monks activates a higher level of gamma brainwave activity. Most forms of meditation activate the alpha waves – the state of deep relaxation – but vary in their ability to activate other brainwaves. Gamma waves, operating at a frequency from 26 Hz to 100 Hz, are associated with feelings of compassion and happiness. The frequency reached by experienced meditators seldom goes beyond 40 Hz. In brainwave entrainment tools, this is typically the high end of the frequency range. However, few meditators reach the levels of the Tibetan monks whose brainwaves move at a rapid frequency of 40 cycles per second.
Gamma Waves and You
Many positive effects have been associated with gamma waves, including increased intelligence, positivity, memory and, of course, compassion. There are many ways in which gamma waves can yield benefits in all areas of your life. To increase business performance and achieve peak concentration, gamma brainwave entrainment recordings have been a hot seller in recent years. Some business consultants have even bundled gamma brainwave entrainment products with their books and training material. Notably, gamma waves are believed to be involved in coordinating and processing all information in the brain. They have been associated with unity of consciousness and are active when other brainwaves are active. Thus, at a faster gamma wave cycle, your brain is operating more efficiently.
You do not have to be a Tibetan Buddhist monk to enjoy feelings of compassion and the benefits of more active gamma waves. Brain imaging shows that long-term meditators have more gamma wave activity. In meditation, Tibetan Buddhists focus on feelings of compassion rather than on breath or mantras. Meditation is entered into with a compassionate intent in mind.
Boost Your Gamma Brainwaves
Brainwave entrainment has proved to be one of the most effective ways of gaining brainwave control. Importantly, it can help you boost your gamma brainwaves. The best way to start is through guided meditation. This may be done in person through a public or private one-on-one meditation session or an MP3 or CD recording. Brainwave entrainment should start with instructions from knowledgeable professionals. At 40 Hz, your mind is buzzing along; it is alert, focused and efficiently processing information to maintain peak performance. However, if this peak condition is maintained for too long, it can result in anxiety and exhaustion.
Few of us are at risk of humming along at 40 hertz for too long of a duration – we are lucky if we can reach this high of a frequency. Although we hear of many people burning out of the rat race and becoming monks, it is not often that we hear of a monk burning out. Nonetheless, it is good to be cognizant of the full effects, positive and negative, of stimulating brainwaves, especially as you move into the higher frequency gamma range. Begin with meditation aids. A growing choice of brainwave entrainment offerings is available, including gamma tones, gamma binaural beats and gamma isochronics.