Thursday, October 1, 2015

The Alpha State

Sometime last year, I was lucky enough to attend a concert by Steven Halpern, a Grammy-nominated musician who is considered to be one of the founding fathers of New Age music. It was the first time that I was introduced to brainwave entrainment music - music that alters brainwave frequencies, which results in an altered state of consciousness.

The state of consciousness that this music induced was the Alpha State.

So, what exactly is this state, and why is it helpful? Specific brain waves occur for specific states of consciousness and specific activities. For example: Beta brain waves are associated with normal waking consciousness and a state of high alertness, logic and critical reasoning. Beta brainwaves are associated with processes that help us function in our day-to-day lives. But on the flip side, always being in the Beta state means stress and anxiety.

Alpha brain waves are the waves associated with a state of deep relaxation. Think back to a time when you were daydreaming. How did you feel then? When we are in the Alpha state, we are in a state of deep relaxation. Our imagination, creative abilities and ability to visualize are heightened. This is the state in which intuition becomes accessible. Instead of the constant churning of the mind, we have access to a deeper state of being. We feel connected to ourselves. We feel connected to a well of deep wisdom that is inaccessible to our automatic mind. 

The wonderful news is that just listening to certain sounds and music can put you in the Alpha state. You have an escape hatch from your overactive mind, into a space that you probably remember from an earlier time in your life when daydreaming and the imagination were your friends. Now, you might be caught in the Beta state, like many of us. 

In Beta, we are cut off from our intuition. We are cut off from the flow that gives us a sense of connection to something that is bigger than us. 

I have started listening to brainwave entrainment music again. It is the best part of my week. I feel images swirling, coming up. I feel like my tightfisted mind relaxing its grip. There is imagination in Alpha. There is a space that feels part of the whole, connected and not fragmented. 

If you would like to try this, and I hope you do, then Steven Halpern's Deep Alpha is a lovely album to start with. I hope it connects you to the stars and the moon and the many colors that live beneath the rubble of our conscious minds. 

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