Meditation has been scientifically proven to reduce stress, boost the immune system, increase vitality, and improve neurological processes such as cognition, learning, memory, and dexterity. Your thoughts affect your emotions, which in turn have a physical effect on your body and mind. Consequently, practicing meditation can directly alter your state of consciousness.
Just as everything around you, your thoughts can be quantitatively measured as vibrations. When large numbers of neurons fire synchronously, the oscillation at which they do so can be given a frequency, measured in Hertz (cycles per second). You experience different states of consciousness depending on the frequency of your brain waves, and activities that stimulate a specific frequency of neural oscillation can directly change your emotions. When dealing with any kind of waves, we know that when two or more are synchronous (Having correlating frequency) their amplitude is increased, and brain waves are no exception of this.
When you are bombarded by the various stimuli in modern life, the rhythmic patterns of signaling neurons can be disrupted and turn chaotic. When you meditate, however, you align the different frequencies at which neurons oscillate in different parts of your brain. This happens because when you experience single pointedness of mind, for instance putting all your attention towards your breath, you quiet the storm of thoughts that usually reigns your consciousness. The world around you fades and you are left with a complete and pure presence. The frequency at which you inhale and exhale (in cycles) with the frequency of your brain waves induces a constant flow of energy, invigorating your entire being.
The Vital Essence
Your body can self-regulate and self-heal, and this process requires a vital life essence. This has been common wisdom throughout many ancient civilizations. Different cultures classified it uniquely, but they all concord that there is an energy which emanates from all things. This sort of ‘energy’ is known as Prana in india, Chi in China, Ki in Japan, and Mana in Hawaii. Humans, as all other living things, can channel and incorporate this energy to drive all biological and psychological functions. This energy is depleted when we think, talk, move, read, or even at rest.
However there are ways to replenish and revitalize its flow; through contact with nature, consuming living (raw) fruits and vegetables, and experiencing single-pointedness of mind body and soul (meditation, Tai-Chi, Qigong). It would then come as no surprise that those who regularly meditate experience more vitality, concentration, intuition and tranquility. However, you don’t need to be a monk in order to cherish the benefits of meditation, much in the contrary; those of us living in dense cities are constantly exposed to factors that cause the depletion and stagnation of vital energy, thus we NEED meditation to restore cognitive function, resolve digestive issues, improve immune function and refine every biological system.
We must avoid stimuli that induce the lack or stagnation of energy, as this promotes DIS-ease. Similarly the aligned and proper distribution of this energy will promote ease of body, mind, and spirit. Your consciousness is your body’s best doctor, you were given this perfect vessel and if you want it to support you in the future, take good care of it now. So when you have some time for yourself, sit down and breathe, finding a focal point and establishing a rhythm. Whether it’s a thought, idea, emotion, or simply your breath itself. Give your body the right fuel, eat living plants not dead animals. Lastly, live positively and give love, light, and compassion to all, as your actions reciprocate.
Brain Wave Ranges and their Respective Consciousness States:
Gamma – 30-100 Hz
Originates from thalamus and moves from the back of the brain to the front 40 times per second on average.
Associated with bursts of creative insight, higher states of consciousness, peak concentration, single-pointedness of mind, and extremely high levels of cognitive function. Found in REM sleep or in wakeful moments of extreme focus and mental clarity.
Neurons fire in harmony, together at the same time, in rhythmic and synchronous oscillations.
Beta – 12-30 Hz
Normal waking consciousness, when eyes are opened beta waves proliferate over alpha waves. Associated with problem-solving, judgement, decision-making. In this state the brain needs a tremendous amounts of energy, and when that is lacking and the brain is overworked (as common in modern life) the result is fatigue, stress, anxiety, and restlessness.
Alpha – 7-12 Hz
Increase when you close your eyes. Meditation and relaxation begins. One becomes more effortlessly creative. Powerful state for memory retention and learning. harmonious and peaceful state. Habits, fears, and worries are subdued. Experienced during quietly flowing thoughts, being in the present and grounded. Resting state for the brain.
Theta – 4 – 7
Most often occur in sleep. Senses are withdrawn from external world and experienced within. In a vivid dream, with intuition and information beyond our waking consciousness. Interactions with the subconscious true self.
Delta – .5 – 4Hz
Deepest meditation and dreamless sleep, suspend external awareness. Restorative, and healing rest state. Regulate heart beat and digestion. Also found in deep transcendental meditation, governing the realm of the unconscious mind and the collective universal mind.