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Gamma waves

Discussion in 'Meditation Chatter Box' started by Foojoy, May 24, 2008.

  1. Foojoy

    Foojoy Member

    I have heard a lot of talk recently about gamma brain waves. Can anyone here provide me with some general information about this brain state? Specificly:

    1. Is it true this brain state has been observed in advanced meditators? If so why is there no information on gamma brain states here?

    2. I have heard that gamma is a higher form of beta. But isn't to much beta stressful? If so, why would advanced meditators be producing it?

    Ive tried looking this up on the net but have found that there is often as much misinformation as there is factual.

    Can Michael, moderators or my fellow meditators shed some factual light on my queries?

  2. Hi Foojoy,

    This is an area of ongoing research and disagreement among neurological professionals. It was once thought that human brainwaves topped out with Beta, but there is growing EEG evidence that much higher brainwave states exist. Once you get to 40Hz, researchers have dubbed this to be "Gamma". This is generally considered to run from about 40Hz up to 100Hz, though the classification is not yet set in stone as the debate around the existence of Gamma still goes on. Brainwaves have been measured with the EEG at 100Hz up to 200Hz. When researchers are discussing this range they've given it the name of "Hyper-Gamma". At 200Hz and above (and yes, there have been measurements of these frequencies in humans,) the term "Lambda" is being applied.

    In short, yes, these states, far higher than traditional Beta waves are associated with ecstatic states of consciousness in highly experienced and developed meditators. I'm talking here about people who have spent their entire lives cloistered in monasteries practicing meditation and mental disciplines.

    What is truly interesting is that brainwave states lower than Delta have also been measured, that is, lower than 0.5Hz. These have been dubbed "Epsilon". But what is fascinating about them is that these Epsilon waves, too, have been observed in meditation during ecstatic states. Observations suggest there is some kind of circular relationship going on here. Above Beta you get high states of ecstasy. Below Delta you also get high states of ecstasy. If you were of an eastern religious orientation you would refer to these states as Nirvana, Samadhi or shamanic trance. In a more common manner of speaking they would call such states "Christ Consciousness" or "Krishna Consciousness".

    So in short, yes, these states do exist. Yes, they are associated with extremely advanced "spiritual" development. The 40Hz frequency has received the most research so far and it is intriguing because it tends to entrain the brain (when using a 40Hz entrainment track) at multiple frequencies in accordance with the brain's own natural rhythms. This is a frequency that has had great success in dealing with conditions such as ADD. Hope this helps you, Michael.
  3. PookDo68

    PookDo68 New Member

    any chance LifeFlow may offer Gamma Meditations?
  4. Gamma brainwaves

    I just wanted to post to see how much (if any) interest there may be by the group to explore these higher brainwave frequencies using entrainment.

    If I see there is sufficient interest among the group to financially support track developments, I will look into this further for you.

    If you have an interest in exploring these Gamma frequencies, just post a "YES" below. Michael :)
  5. Edwin

    Edwin Member

    yes :)

    message is too short so post in short why or cheat like me ;)
  6. Foojoy

    Foojoy Member

    Yes I would be interested in exploring Gamma frequencies. Thank you Michael for taking the time to bring some factual information to this thread. You made it clear that these brain states are are common in extremely advanced meditators. Does it matter what "style" of meditation is being practiced? For example, would only advanced mantra meditators achieve this, or could someone advanced in breath meditation also achieve this state? I hope these questions make sense.
    Last edited: May 30, 2008
  7. Raven

    Raven Member

    Technique vs. Meditation


    Methinks you're falling into a false trap that many people get stuck in, namely, you may be confusing the "technique" being used to reach a state of meditation with the experience of being "in meditation" itself. These two things are not the same.

    Take the most familiar, mantra technique, for instance. Sitting in your posture, repeating your mantra over and over again is not meditation. It's a technique that you hope will lead you into a state of meditation. But if that heightened state of clear awareness we call meditation is not attained, then despite the fact that you've repeated your mantra for your target time, you have not been in meditation. You've just been repeating a word or sound, nothing more. Meditation is the natural state of consciousness you're trying to experience by clearing away all the junk that's keeping it hidden from you. The mantra is just the technique you use as an aid to clearing out all that junk.

    The same can be said of any technique, be it mantra, pranayama, kriya, bhakti, or shabda yoga, vipassana, chanting, Taoist energy practices, Tibetan Kum Nye, Yoga Nidra, zazen, Sufi dance, or whatever. Don't confuse the tool/technique with the state of consciousness that tool/technique is employed to help you realize.

    So to answer your question, if you are in that ecstatic state of deep meditation you're likely to see those very high or very low brainwave frequencies Michael described regardless of which technique you used to get yourself into the meditative state. The salient point is the meditative state itself, not the technique you used to help you reach it.

  8. Edwin

    Edwin Member

    That was clarifying Raven !

    Very well explained !
  9. Larry Gessner

    Larry Gessner Member

    I must totally concur with that statement. Very Good.:)
  10. TwoPynts

    TwoPynts Member

    Well said Raven. It could be said though that certain methods of meditation might be more appropriate for reaching such states.

    And I would be interesting in exploring extreme high/low freq. meditative states too Michael.
  11. Raven

    Raven Member

    Techniques and preferences


    A person might be naturally better at being able to perform a particular technique, and therefore find they prefer that technique over others, but the destination of "the meditative state" is the same regardless of technique.

    A technique that works very well for one person might not work as well for another. So we need to test the techniques out for ourselves to find which one(s) are most effective for us personally. No doubt about that.

    But having found what works best for you, at least in terms of the question above, it doesn't matter which technique it turned out to be. If mantra gives you the greatest success you might find it takes you to those higher frequency brainwave states. On the other hand, if a mindfulness technique works better for someone else they could employ it and find themselves right there with you in those higher frequencies.

    Michael's particular mantra technique is one that has near universal success with everyone, and it is certainly simple to learn, easy to remember and use, and from any angle I view it, it appears to be devoid of any religious associations, so it works whether you're a Christian, a Buddhist, a Muslim or an atheist. Just about everyone that tries it and applies themselves is going to experience benefits. But for you, personally, there may be other techniques that work even better. You never know until you give it a try.

    I think of it as being a little like feeling hunger. You feel it, I feel it, we all feel it. And we want to satsify that hunger. For you that might be a nice salad and a baked potato. For another it could be a hot bowl of lentil soup. For me it's a Wendy's triple cheeseburger with bacon and fries. Despite the fact that we all start off hungry but choose entirely different meals, we all end up with a feeling fullness and satisfaction. You could, I suppose, argue about the varying nutritional content of our chosen meals, but that would be carrying the analogy beyond its intended purpose.

    That's the glorious paradox of being the One and the Many, all at the same time! And now, to top it off, I've made myself hungry for a Wendy's triple cheeseburger!

  12. Grey

    Grey Member

    depends on your definition

    this is true if everyone uses the same definition of "meditative state". but not everyone agrees.
  13. Raven

    Raven Member


    Point conceded, Grey.

  14. TwoPynts

    TwoPynts Member

    Yes, I would say there are different meditative states, not just one all encompasing one. But as per this discussion, and form of moving meditation might not be best for reaching the extreme high and low brainwave states.
  15. Foojoy

    Foojoy Member

    Wow....I am at a complete loss for words.
    Last edited: Jun 2, 2008
  16. PookDo68

    PookDo68 New Member

    Yes I would be interested as well
  17. shesgg

    shesgg Member

    I'm only on my first meditation cd so I may want to try it down the road.
  18. HEX

    HEX Member

    YES! I'm interested
  19. Peaceful Warrior

    Peaceful Warrior Super Moderator

    count me in

    I would be interested too, so YES!

    PW ;)
  20. livelovelaugh

    livelovelaugh Member

    Yes! I'm interested...please keep me updated, xx

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