by John Ruskan
Using sound to alter consciousness and induce healing has been an important part of spiritual work for centuries. It has been noted, for example, that the Native American Shaman’s drum beat often centered about 4 cycles per second, in the Theta range, a prime brainwave rhythm for natural healing. As technology has advanced, it has presented us with more sophisticated means for using sound to heal; that is what is presented on this CD.
Possibly you are already familiar with my work, with its emphasis on emotional release. However, the programs on this disc will stimulate brainwave chemistry into deeply relaxed states that will automatically facilitate under the unconscious guidance of our higher intelligence whatever is most needed, whether physical/ psychological healing, energetic recharging, or consciousness exploration as well as emotional clearing.
Brainwaves are measured by applying the electrodes of an electroencephalograph (EEG) to the surface of the scalp. In normal waking consciousness, brainwaves are found to lie mainly in what is called the beta range of 13 to 30 cycles per second (cps). The alpha range is from 7 to 13 cps; and the theta range is 3 to 7. Alpha and theta are both healing states and are the states that experienced meditators evoke. It has been long recognized that healing occurs more easily when these states are established; that the body/mind’s natural capacity for healing is activated. As consciousness shifts deeper into theta, relaxation takes on a different significance, and altered states can result.
The programs on this disc are composed of various frequencies in the alpha and theta ranges. The lower the frequency, the “deeper” the consciousness. As you become familiar with the programs, you will know what you need at any moment in your process. If you feel the need for a lighter relaxation, use a higher frequency; for a deeper experience, a lower frequency.
The underlying theory behind the use of external stimulation to influence brainwaves is called entrainment. As a pulsating source is applied, it resonates with the brain, and tends to bring the brain into alignment with the stimulation. It can therefore help accelerate the same healing states that meditation can bring about, and may be useful for beginning meditators as well as those experienced.
Entrainment is usually effected through sound or light. Either or both together pulsating at the desired range will entrain the brain. However, in use, I have found sound alone to be completely effective, and light pulsations to be irritating, especially when going into deep, long, altered states. Moreover, using sound alone provides a single focus point that I find continually opens into a deeper trance perspective.
In addition to simply providing exposure to a pulsating sound, the tones on this disc are created with binaural technology. To construct a binaural tone, the two speakers of a stereo system must be used. Two slightly different tones are played in each speaker. As the tones sonically interfere with each other, they produce the resultant beat frequency that is perceived. For example if a tone at 440 cps is played in one speaker, and a tone at 444 cps is played in the other speaker, the resultant interference produces a beat frequency that is the simple difference of the two tones, or 4 cps, which is perceived as a pulsation of 4 beats per second, and which will entrain the brain to that frequency.
In constructing these programs, I have used pure sine waves, which are recognized to be the most effective for binaural tones, and I have carefully controlled and measured the frequencies on sophisticated synthesizer and computer equipment. You will notice that all the tones are accompanied by a white noise effect. It has become established in the industry that this is the best way to present binaural tones. The white noise makes it easier to be with the pulsation, and in no way diminishes the effectiveness. The noise also provides an interesting washing effect into which auditory projections may occur. For example, you may start to hear things in the churn of the noise. This is nothing to be afraid of – it’s simply the mind playing. Allow yourself to enjoy it.
The binaural programs on this disc contain primarily tones and white noise. This simplicity is what I was unable to find in brainwave tapes that were on the market, and why I was encouraged to produce my own. Most commercially available entrainment programs seem to contain music or spoken guided imagery or something else which to me just got in the way of the experience. I found that I wanted to provide my own imagery from the spontaneous creation of my subconscious.
The most objectionable of these types of tapes to me are those that try to recondition the subconscious mind with suggestion, either audible or subliminal. In emotional clearing work, we do not try to change anything with suggestion, especially feelings; we are moving continually into deeper and deeper acceptance of what is, on the emotional level. In this way, emotional release, and corresponding outward change and manifestation, occur spontaneously. With the most simple of formats – just tones and noise – I was able to go deepest. I hope you will find the same.
Also available commercially are the so-called “mind machines,” which produce the same kind of pulsations as this disc. These are often expensive, however, and while they may offer more flexibility in terms of programming tones, I have found that complex programming is unnecessary. To me, what’s important is just a steady tone at the target frequency.
Left and Right Brain
Binaural tones may be perceived and benefit will be experienced when played over a stereo system in a room. However, additional benefit is realized when earphones are used. With earphones, each ear receives only a single pure tone, and the interference of sound waves and construction of the resultant binaural beat occurs within the brain, not in the environment. As each ear is exposed to individual tones, left and right brain are stimulated to function together to produce the beat frequency. A general awakening and integration of left and right brain capacity occurs that aids tremendously in our work.
I recommend therefore, that you use earphones whenever possible. At the same time, if you need development in synchronizing left and right brain, you may not at first be able to distinguish the pulsation with earphones, even though you can hear it through speakers in the room. If so, do not be discouraged, but keep practicing. You will be providing a vital training for yourself that will eventually result in synchronization of both sides of the brain, and your being able to distinguish the beating.
It is best if you use the disc as part of an overall personal consciousness practice. When including emotional release work as a part of this practice, you would devote significant time to opening to feelings as they appear. Accepting and inwardly experiencing feelings, as they are, with no thought of changing them, witnessing them, is the key to their release.
The tones may be used in various ways, and after becoming familiar with them, you may safely incorporate them in your practice as you see fit. However, in general, when using the disc you should be giving your full attention to it. After gaining familiarity with them, you may decide whether it is helpful to use tones during yoga or breathwork, for example, or whether you should reserve their use for dedicated meditation. I do not recommend that you play the disc as background (except for Track 2 surf) while engaged in some other unrelated activity – it’s impact on you will become diluted. Reserve the disc for that special, even reverent time in your practice when you want to go deeper, to encounter your truth, which in emotional work means your real feelings as they are.
You may start your session with yoga, breathwork, or other loosening up, with or without tones. If you decide to use tones at this point, you may opt for playing them over speakers, in the room. Then, settle down to serious meditative processing with earphones, either sitting or lying. Both positions are valid. Generally, when I am working with specific feelings, or in a more directive manner, I will sit. If I want to open to deep altered states, I will lie. You may also want to experiment with placing speakers around the body, adjacent to any chakra on which you wish to focus, so that the tones directly affect the etheric body, where the chakras are located. Focus on the chakra, breathe into it, and feel what is there.
As you are meditating with the sound of a tone, use the pulsation as the focus point for your attention. Keep your attention on the pulsation. As your attention drifts, keep returning to the pulsation. Cultivate a sense of non-expectation. If you are grasping and try too hard to accomplish anything, even resolve certain feelings, you get in the way of the experience. Stop all analytical activity. Just relax, let go, and allow yourself to open to the experience – to be supported and even nurtured by it.
As the tones act on you, you may feel the effect as a subtle shifting of consciousness. There may occur a gentle but deep relaxation in the body, accompanied by the experience of witnessing – observing thoughts and feelings from a detached viewpoint. Witnessing is the key spiritual stance to adopt while using the tones. It is identical to the healing state that we wish to encourage. As we witness, with no thought of changing, with complete acceptance, negativity will become balanced under the guidance of the higher self unconscious intelligence.
It is likely that deep relaxation will encourage suppressed negative feelings to release into consciousness. Allow feelings to emerge spontaneously. These feelings are usually behind any illness or adverse condition, and must be addressed for healing to occur. When negative feelings come up, do not be discouraged or think that you are having a “bad” meditation. Instead, recognize that these feelings are emerging from their suppressed place in the subconscious for clearing, even if they seem to be triggered by a thought of some current issue or by an apparently unrelated event in your environment. Welcome the negative feelings, whatever they are, whether anger, loneliness, fear, grief, or any other feeling. Shift your sense of self from the feelings to the witness, so that you welcome the feelings but do not identify with them. Find peace in the witness, not by needing to change your feelings. Process the feelings – take responsibility for them, accept them, move into direct experience of them, witness them. Allow yourself to revisit painful experiences, and open to those feelings. As you continue with the process over a period of time, deeper levels of the suppressed subconscious will be revealed. Please refer to Emotional Clearing for a complete discussion of the subtleties regarding in-depth work with feelings.
As you practice, you will develop the ability for altered states beyond emotional processing. These generally coincide with a continual deepening of what it means, and feels like, to let go. You may develop a heightened sensitivity to the energy currents in your body – just feel these and let them find their own balance. Don’t be afraid to explore all these states – you will always come back to normal consciousness. Some people even report leaving the body, and the early developers of this technology originally used it for this specific purpose.
When listening to the programs, it is not necessary for the volume to be high. Moderate or low volume is completely effective. Try to use earphones when possible. Sit or lie in a private, quiet room, possibly darkened or consider using a mask to block light from the eyes.
There are eleven programs on the disc. The beat frequencies are all in the alpha – theta range, the optimal range for the deep work that we wish to do. The frequencies run from 10 down to 2 cps. I recommend that you use all of them, at different times, rather than get stuck on a favorite. This is important to avoid overexposure to any one entraining frequency, which may cause lopsided development if used over a long period.
IMPORTANT: The disc is not designed to be played continuously, all the way though, from start to finish without stopping, although this is not harmful, and will provide benefit. Rather, choose a program that you want to work with, and experience only that one program for your current session by placing the CD player on repeat. In this way, you may choose how long you want to experience any session. For example, you may play Track 3 (alpha 8), for fifteen minutes while you are lying down. Or, you may play Track 2 (surf) for a thirty minute bodywork session. However, don’t think you must repeat a track to get benefit. You may find that simply playing a track for five minutes only at the start of your meditation is all you need to evoke the alpha state and get your meditation off and running.
After you are familiar with the tracks, you may want to become more creative by sequencing programs. For example, you may start with Track 1 (tibetan bowls), which are good for breaking up crystallized negativity, then go to Track 5 (chakra tune-up), then Track 8 (theta 4) for a fifteen-minute deep trance, then Track 11 (beta 16) to bring you back to alertness. Or, you might start with five minutes of Track 6 (theta 5), followed by twenty minutes of silence, then Track 2 (surf) to ease out of your meditation. You may create these programs by copying from the CD to a stereo cassette, so you don’t have to be fiddling with the CD player during your meditation. Follow your intuition in making up your sequences.
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It has been found that a small percentage of individuals who are susceptible to epilepsy may react with seizures to pulsation stimulation, such as contained in this disc and on any brainwave product. On rare occasions, this condition may be undiagnosed and a seizure may be stimulated by the programs. Individuals using pacemakers, or suffering from any form of cardiovascular problems or heart disorders may also be adversely affected. If you have any of these disorders, or any other major health disorder, or are on heavy medication, or have a history of severe mental or central nervous system neurosomatic disorder, you may not be able to use this product and must consult with a physician before use. If you begin to use this product and experience disorientation, nausea, or increase of symptoms, immediately discontinue use. This product alone is not intended to provide healing or replace medical care, but is designed to bring about states of relaxation to encourage the body/mind’s natural healing. The producer and manufacturer make no claims for healing and assume no responsibility for your experience.