“I am one of the lucky ones. I managed to turn my history of science and philosophy degree into graduate education in a semi-practical field. I’m not too worried about my employment opportunities once I finish my PhD. But I have friends who are suffering. They are being bounced around between unpaid internships, or desperately sending out resumes, or stuck working in underpaid fast-food jobs when they have master’s degrees. It’s nasty out there, and for baby boomers with secure pensions to shrug their shoulders and say that we should have been more shrewd with our career planning when we were seventeen and there was no recession and everybody was telling us to follow our passions is not just wrong; it’s also insulting. It’s a deliberate attack on unemployed and underemployed young people, aimed at implicating us in our own misfortune and diverting attention away from political choices that are needlessly exacerbating the recession. That this wrong and hurtful narrative has been accepted by the media and political elites is a big, big problem.”—Why The Practicality Trolls are Wrong | Earnest and Jest
Thanks to a classmate in my Psychophysiology of Healing class that presented his final project on binaural beats!
You probably know, your brain has two hemispheres, or sides, and that each side controls different aspects of your mind, emotions, and body; for example, the right side of your brain controls the physical actions of the left side of your body, and visa versa. You may have also heard that “right brained” people are the creative types, artists and poets, and that “left brained” people are the logical types, like bankers and scientists. (You may also realize, that the “left brain” is the dominant force for most). Many feel that operating from a “whole brain” perspective, meaning having a balance between the feeling and the concrete forms of thinking, is the optimum balance; if, like most people, you are “left brained”, this may open up new avenues of creativity, and if you are in the “right brained” minority, it may help you to implement all those creative ideas with a concrete plan.
It can take years of deep, meditative practice to achieve this whole brain state, time that most of us don’t have; binaural beats are a short cut to achieving this balanced state of mind. By playing slightly different tones into each ear, through headphones, the brainwave patterns can be gently manipulated, creating a state of deep meditation, and whole brain balance by opening up the chakras of your body. In less than 1/2 an hour, you may find yourself achieving the same level of meditation that otherwise might take weeks, months, or even years.
The seven chakras are:
1) The Root Chakra influences your physical vitality, physical survival instincts, “fight or flight” response, and the emotions of anger, jealousy, desire and greed. The Muladhara or Root Chakra governs the lessons of surviving the material world. This Chakra holds information involving family loyalty, superstitions and beliefs, and your ability to stand up for yourself; your sense of safety, self esteem, and security are based here. The Root Chakra controls the energy of instincts, physical pain, pleasure, and touch. Imbalance in the Muladhara may manifest as losing interest in survival in the “real world”, physical addictions and obsessions, selfishness, restlessness, volatile emotions and a lack of vitality.
2) The Sacral Chakra encapsulates your sexuality, self esteem, creativity, pleasures and frustrations. It is also known as the Swadhistana or Second Chakra, and in Martial Arts, it is known as the “Hara”. The Swadhistana governs life lessons involving blaming and guilt, sex, power and control; this Chakra is the base for your sense of morality. The Second Chakra is the base of your creativity, manifesting, money and prosperity. Information kept in this Chakra involves your emotions and feelings, and feelings of duality. Your personal magnetism, your patterns of control, and your sociability also emanated from the Swadhistana. An imbalance in the Sacral Chakra may manifest as an eating disorder, alcohol and drug addiction, intimacy issues, impotence, frigidity and depression.
3) The Solar Plexus Chakra, or Manipura, rules lessons involving fear of rejection, your self esteem, sensitivity to criticism, a distorted self image, and fear of your “secrets being found out”. The wisdom of the Solar Plexus involves your sense of personal power and knowing, your personality and your sense of belonging. An imbalance in the Manipura might manifest as poor decisions, poor concentration, trouble taking action and getting things done, and an inability to judge a situation accurately. Imbalances in this Chakra can create feelings that you are more, or less, than other people. Emotional memories are stored within the Manipura, and it is where your ‘gut feelings’ originate, it is the center of your emotional life, and many are naturally connected to the environment through the Solar Plexus chakra.
4) The Heart Chakra is the center for unconditional love, compassion, empathy, forgiveness and tolerance. The Heart is the seat of the Soul. The Anahata nurtures life lessons of love and compassion, self acceptance and confidence, hope and inspiration, and generosity. On the flip side, hate, fear, envy, anger and despair reflect an imbalance of the Heart Chakra. The purpose of the Anahata includes maintaining the connections and ties to those we love. Heart Chakra imbalance may be felt as difficult relationships, living through others, depending on others for your happiness, and a lack of self discipline. It is directly connected to the Astral layer of the aura. It is the bridge, or melting pot, between the lower/denser energies of our body Chakras, and the higher/lighter energies of the higher Chakras.
5) The Throat Chakra is the chakra of communication, self expression and judgment. Also known as the Vishuddha, this Chakra rules self expression and speaking one’s truth, the written word, poetry, faith, and will power. On the flip side, the need to criticize, a lack of authority, and indecisiveness reflect an imbalance of the Throat Chakra. Information stored in the Vishuddha includes truth and self knowledge, your attitudes, and the physical senses of taste, smell and hearing. Throat Chakra imbalance may be experienced as poor self expression, habitual lying, learning disabilities, doubt, fear, and uncertainty.
6) The Brow chakra is the seat of dreams, inner vision, spiritual direction and wisdom. The Third Eye Chakra is situated in the center of the brain (not the center of the forehead). Life lessons of the Brow Chakra include ‘reality checks’, detachment, understanding, open mindedness, trusting your intuition and psychic abilities, self realization, and releasing repressed negative thinking. The wisdom within the Third Eye include seeing clearly, both symbolically and literally, intuition, wisdom and intellect. A Sixth Chakra imbalance might be experienced as a learning disability, poor coordination, and sleep disorders.
7) The Crown Chakra serves to balance the inner and outer self, and is the connection to the Higher Self. The Sahasrara is located at the crown of the head, and is the channel through which we receive Divine guidance, wisdom and purpose. Life wisdom flowing through the Crown are integration of the whole Self, knowledge of the Divine, intuitive knowing, living in the Now, inspiration, devotion, ethics, values, trust, selflessness, and humanitarianism. The wisdom within in this chakra includes your connecting cord to the Divine, your life’s purpose, and connection to your past lives. An imbalance in the Crown might manifest as loss of meaning or identity, mental instability, and a lack of purpose.
Binaural Beats on Youtube: OPEN YOUR CONSCIOUSNESS!
My personal fav: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W5EsQZxem_4
This one gave me a headache but I hope you like it: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R_mjh0K4nEM
Remember, louder music does not mean more powerful music. A word of advice from my professor: sometimes a beat meant to bring awareness to the crown of your head may open your consciousness to your heart; this all varies from person to person and depends on the chakra where they need the most work.
My way to meditate:
1) Ensure my surrounding is free from distractions (e.g. phone, computer, peers/family, and most importantly negative thoughts)
2) I make sure I am well fed before I meditate because I cannot stay still on an empty stomach.
3) Optimal hours for meditation for me are very early morning (6am<— not anymore) or late at night (11.30 pm)
4)I make sure to create a natural and positive space (e.g. dim red lighting, comfortable clothing, light jasmine candles/essence ) 1/2 hour before I meditate instead of diving right in. Makes the experience worth it!
5) Stay focused. If you find yourself getting distracted, its OKAY. You are only human. But make sure to bring your focus back to your “happy place”