Our Unique Hybrid Approach
The SoundMind Meditation program employs two different meditation guidance methods and merges them into one highly effective system unlike anything you may have heard about or tried. Our unique approach uses both technological guidance in the form of trance-inducing brainwave entrainment together with instructional voice-guidance from an experienced teacher to enable you to learn and practice insight meditation, a technique of meditation that will purify your mind. Our idea was to merge our interpretation of the age-old traditional meditation technique of insight meditation as taught by the Buddha himself with cutting edge brainwave training technology to make it much easier to quiet your mind and learn. Any meditation system that claims their technology alone is enough, is only seeing half the picture, and is not taking advantage of this amazing technology to the fullest by teaching you how to meditate with it. There is much wisdom to be learned from the ancient masters, but we must also embrace the progress that has been made in the fields brainwave science. We are rapidly coming into a new age where the line which separates science and spirituality is fading. SoundMind Meditation is at the forefront of this new frontier by integrating the wisdom of yesterday and the science of today into something truly powerful and unique which will take us into a peaceful and harmonious tomorrow.
The SoundMind Meditation technology uses a scientifically and clinically proven soundwave-guidance called binaural audio. It works by sending two different audible tones to each separate ear using stereo headphones. The listener actually senses a third sound, which is not an actual sound, but a mentally perceived pulsation caused from the interaction of the two separate notes played into each ear. In other words, this pulsation is only perceived when the two hemispheres of the brain communicate and combine these two tones. This perceived pulsation, called a binaural beat, is actually the mathematical difference between the frequencies of the two tones. These binaural beats are not actual sounds of their own, they are the percieved result of electrical activity in a part of the brain called the superior olivary nucleus, the area of contralateral integration of auditory input, which only functions when both hemispheres of the brain work together. And this happens when the two different sounds coming from each separate ear are integrated by this part of the brain into one perception, that being the pulsations of the binaural beats. (more on the science of binaural beats)
Carrier Tones and Binaural Beats
Listen to binaural beats (stereo headphones required)
This results in a focused mental state which is known as whole-brain synchronization. Whole-brain synchronization results in a higher performance mind and leads to a higher degree of efficiency within the mechanics of the brain. Very specific programming of the SoundMind signals can aid the listener in achieving a highly concentrated mind, states of relaxation and meditation, and can release endorphins in the brain which cause euphoric states of consciousness.
Guided Meditation Instructions
The SoundMind Meditation program is designed to teach you how to meditate. This is the final result of the simple lessons that you will be learning. Each level of guided instruction for both the Breath series and the Inner Body series are comprised of four audio programs. Breath I – IV has four 30-minute programs for each level of the series that you will download, each with an optional 30-minutes of additional meditation time for more advanced students. The Inner Body series assumes a basic level of mastery of concentration and ability to sit for longer periods. For this reason, each Inner Body level has four 60-minute programs.
The techniques you will learn in Breath will give you the ability to focus and concentrate your mind intently on one point of awareness. This is a technique of mindfulness that will give you the mental focus and concentration abilities to go on to learn the second technique, Inner Body. It is very important that you don’t rush through or skip the Breath series in an attempt to take a shortcut to learning Inner Body. Both techniques are part of the same main technique, although we’ve broken it up into two parts to make learning it much easier and more effective. Both Breath and Inner Body are equally beneficial and should be practiced with equal effort. A person must have two legs equal in size and strength in order to stand with complete balance. Likewise, Breath and Inner Body must both be learned with equal effort in order to succeed with this technique of meditation as one technique will help the other and vice versa.
Looking Under the Hood
When we practice the SoundMind insight meditation techniques and go deep within, we start to understand the mechanics of the mind and watch with objectivity how our mind reacts to sensations on the body. We will experience both discomfort, and blissful pleasure at different times as we sit, and we will watch how our deep subconscious mind reacts to these pleasant or unpleasant sensations. We will bear witness to the mechanics of how these reactions happen just like a mechanic examines the engine under the hood of his car. Most of us drive our car without the faintest clue about how the engine works, and when the “check engine” light comes on, we take it to a mechanic who takes a much closer look. In life, we don’t have a mechanic for our minds, we have to be our own mechanics and look under our own hoods to find the source of our problems. This is why we meditate.
The Conditioned Mind
Until now, most of us have been viewing our experience of life through a filter of conditioned behavior patterns which began to accumulate the day we were born. As we grew up, we learned how to react to our surroundings and to the people and situations in our life by observing our parents, friends, teachers, and even the people that we do not like very much. This gave us a very subjective way to live, and so we have lost the ability to see the world from a clear, objective perspective. We’ve learned how to see the world through a very specific cultural lens. And in essence, we’ve even learned how to react to everything that happens to us according to what we have been taught. By learning to focus and sharpen our mind with the Breath technique, we will have a tool that we can use to penetrate into the deeper levels of the mind. We use this focus to practice the Inner Body technique, an insight meditation technique that will allow you to see the deepest and most subtle habit patterns in your subconscious mind, where the conditioning is stored. In doing so, you will learn to understand your true nature, and develop the ability to see clearly.
Craving and Aversion
Our mental conditioning further accumulates and compounds itself as we reinforce our negative behaviors throughout our lives by repeating our negative habits again and again. We quite literally become addicted to our behaviors. It is next to impossible for the average person to deprogram the conditioned behavior patterns at the deepest level of the mind without a thorough investigation of what causes these reactions at the depth of the mind. The question is how do we do this investigation of the depth of the mind where the reactions are rooted? For example, pain is literally all in our mind. This is precisely why pain hurts us so much! However, at the deepest subconscious level, pain is just sensation on the body and nothing more. It doesn’t actually become pain until our mind categorized these very intense bodily sensations into a more subjective experience. In other words our mind has learned to view these sensations as unpleasant and then we say: “Ouch!! That hurts!” The same is true for any other experience. Things that happen in the world and that come in contact with you are objective phenomena and do not have any good or bad connotation until our conditioned mind steps in and tells us it is one thing or the other and that it’s positive or negative in nature. So because we’ve learned that some sensations are good and some are bad, we tend to cling to the good ones never wanting them to pass away and feel hatred and aversion towards the bad ones, wanting them to go away as quickly as possible. This is the most basic form of ignorance. By playing the game of craving and aversion all throughout our lives, we are never truly at peace with what is. And the truth of any situation is that it is not good or bad, it just is as it is. The sooner we learn this lesson, and live by its wisdom, the sooner we can start being truly happy no matter what happens in our lives. Practicing Inner Body meditation will bring you in direct contact with the most subtle sensations in your body, and as you learn more about this technique, you will begin to break this cycle of ignorant repetition of your mental conditioning.
Equanimity and Impermanence
Imagine truly understanding that nothing outside of ourselves can make us unhappy and the cause of our unhappiness is all self-generated. We can learn to control our happiness consciously. We can learn to understand from our own experience, that the nature of unhappiness is just our own ignorance of our accumulated conditioned reactions to what is. We can learn to be free of this ignorance and live a happy and joy-filled life no matter what sensations we feel. The experience of impermanence, on our physical body, is what will ultimately liberate our minds. By practicing the Inner Body technique we will begin to understand our true nature, at the depth of the mind, and learn to become equanimous with the sensations that we experience throughout our lives –whether they are good or bad. By deeply experiencing our bodily sensations, we quickly learn that discomfort will not last forever, it will pass away eventually, and pleasure is also just as fleeting and impermanent, ultimately ending eventually. As we watch ourselves react to these pleasant and unpleasant sensations that arise during our meditation practice, we realize that it is our conditioned mind that decides to crave the pleasant and feel aversion towards the unpleasant. We quickly learn to accept whatever comes up for us in each moment and be fully at peace, knowing from our own experience that all sensations are impermanent. This will give us the ability to fully enjoy life without the tensions that we constantly create for ourselves.
This word, Equanimity is a word you will be hearing a lot as you progress through the SoundMind programs. Equanimity is the purity of mind that you will come to treasure when you are at the most quiet and still places during your meditation sessions. A mind that is at peace, neither craving something that it wants to acquire nor feeling hatred towards an experience that it doesn’t want is an equanimous mind, a liberated mind, a truly happy mind. As we practice Inner Body every day, we will become more and more equanimous during our lives and this will bring us to a happier and more liberated life experience. While we are doing our best to try and explain it on this website, equanimity must be experienced to truly understand its meaning. Practicing Inner Body will teach you how to experience equanimity.
Acceptance of What Is
At a very basic level, all of our life experience is essentially a collection of various sensations on our body that we deem “good” or “bad”. As long as we keep a balanced, objective and equanimous mind in the face of all of life’s experiences, we will begin to come out of our conditioning and see everything as it is, and not as we would like it to be. This is liberation! To deny what is, is to deny life!