3 STEPS to Brainwave Control with Meditation
The ultimate goal of many meditators is to hang out in the hypnogogic state. Also known as lucid dreaming, it is the state between our awake and dream life. In this aware state, you are cognizant that you are dreaming or meditating. It is like sitting back in a reclining chair in your own home theatre and watching your meditation unfold.
Meditators seek to achieve the hypnogogic state because at this stage they are more likely to remember their meditations. Those who have mastered this state quickly fill up their dream journals with meditative and nocturnal wanderings. For most, however, maintaining this state takes practice and real brainwave control. It is at this stage that you are also the most likely to fall asleep. A few tips in brainwave control can help deepen and enhance your experience in the hypnogogic state.
The most popular method for inducing the hypnogogic state is borrowed from lucid dreaming but it works for meditators, too. It is called Waked-Induced Lucid Dreaming (WILD). The concept behind WILD is to take control of your meditation from the onset. It is best to try WILD when you are rested. If you are dead tired, it will be more difficult to resist falling asleep. You may want to try it first thing in the morning. Consider setting your alarm for very early while you are still in a dreamy state. When you are closer to the REM (rapid eye movement) state, it will be easier to achieve the hypnogogic state.
Start with relaxation meditation. Relax your mind and body and let the day’s stress float away. Take your meditation to the next step by going deeper into the meditation. The object is to activate the alpha state – the eyes closed awake state. In the hypnogogic state, the alpha waves are activated between 8 to 13 Hertz (Hz). Let your body go numb but keep your conscious mind active. This takes brainwave control. The key is to stay awake and aware. Many meditators start off using brainwave entrainment recordings to reach a deeper meditation state.
In stage two, your task is to relax more deeply and sit back and enjoy as the show begins on your internal movie screen. Some meditators use the back of the eyelids as a screen. Others feel their entire mind opening up beyond its physical confines to a virtual 360-degree screen. Next, you should start to see hypnogogic colors, symbols and imagery. You may see people and places. Stay very relaxed and continue to be a passive observer at this state. A common response is to perk up and try and get a closer look or analyze what you see. Unfortunately, this active engagement can interrupt your deep meditation. Observe but do not respond to the hypnogogic imagery.
The hypnogogic imagery will begin to become more meaningful and connected and tell a story. Here, real brainwave control is required to remain in the alpha state. Tell yourself that you are dreaming: “I am watching my dream. I am an active participant in my dream. I am in control of my dream.” You may feel a sense of physical paralysis as your mind becomes more active but your body remains in a deep state of relaxation. This is a common experience and no need for alarm.
Do not forget to have your meditation or dream journal beside your bed. It will fill up quickly!