This is a chart on the neuroscience research being done on meditation and the brain. Pretty interesting. I am not 100% sure how accurate this is because it says the meditations that have anxiety/nervous/panic attacks are not helpful, but for me they have been cleansing. I love the direction we are going with this though. I <3 science & meditation! -TheUniverseWorks
“Brain Wave Frequency Levels
Brain wave frequency is measured in cycles per second or hertz (Hz). The amplitude, or size and strength, of the wave is also measured. Gamma brain waves are the fastest and smallest waves. Delta waves are the slowest and largest.
Beta is the level of normal waking consciousness and focus. When you are having a conversation or engaged in an activity, you are at the beta level. Usually in beta one side of the brain is dominant. This varies by individuals, but women tend to be right brain dominant and men tend to be left brain dominant. As brain waves slow, brain hemispheres synchronize and can communicate better.
Higher levels of beta are related to anxiety, stress, separation, and dis-ease. When slower, our thinking is clearer. Beta brainwaves vary from 15-40 cycles a second.
Alpha brain waves are slower than beta waves. The faster alpha brain wave frequency is related to relaxed focused attention. This is a learning state of mind.
You often experience the alpha mind frequency when engrossed in a movie, book or activity. That is all you are aware of. This is a very light trance or hypnotic state. Alpha brain waves range from 9-14 cycles per second.
At deeper alpha you are not quite asleep and still have some conscious awareness and waking. This state is related to focused attention and intuition. Having more alpha brain waves is equated with feeling happier and a greater sense of well-being.
Most people generate alpha brain waves when meditating.
Theta brain waves are associated with dreaming, visions, and more contact with the unconscious mind.
When you learn something, make a fundamental shift in how you see things, or have an aha moment, you release a burst of theta waves. The brain chemicals that are released as a result reward you for learning.
When you drive the car while lost in a day dream, that is the theta mind frequency. We have free flowing ideas and think creatively when we are making theta brain waves.
People who make too many theta brain waves all the time are considered delusional.
Young children are often at theta level. That is why their subconscious minds are so easily programmed and they have difficulty telling the difference between reality and their imaginations.
When you reach deep alpha or theta brain wave frequency levels during meditation and other practices, your visualizations and affirmations are more likely to enter your subconscious mind. You can also access the superconscious mind. Theta brain waves vary from 5-8 cycles per second.
Delta waves are the slowest brain wave frequency. They occur during dreamless sleep. Your unconscious autonomic processes are carried out through delta waves. Delta waves are slow and large, occurring at 1.5 to 4Hz.
You can be in waking delta if you are in an advanced state of meditation. This state is associated with kundalini experiences.
Because delta waves are so large, the brain is forced to handle a lot more energy than usual. It has to create new neural pathways to accommodate the extra energy. This helps improve communication between both sides of the brain.
People who make a lot of delta waves can be incredibly persuasive with other people and manifest powerfully. In the right hands this can be used for great good.
Gamma brain waves are the fastest and smallest brainwaves. There is some debate over whether gamma brain waves are in a distinct class or are just another level of beta waves.
Up until recently, they have received little attention from researchers. The gamma brain wave frequency ranges from 40-70 Hz (more or less). Most commonly, they appear to be in the 40 Hz range. It has been noted that higher level cognitive activities occur when brain waves suddenly hit the 40 cycle range.
Gamma brain waves naturally occur while awakening and during REM sleep. They are found throughout the brain and allow parts of the brain to communicate with each other.
Thanks to these waves, we can experience multiple sensory inputs all at the same time and recall past events. Gamma brain waves are associated with precognition, processing high levels of information, and a greater perception of reality and consciousness.
People with ample gamma waves are usually happier, more energetic, and have higher I.Q.levels. They are more focused and aware, and tend to be more compassionate than folks with fewer gamma brain waves.
Peak performers often have more gamma brain waves than others. Experienced Buddhist meditators generate gamma waves during focused meditations and loving-kindness meditations.
The goal of most types of meditation, brainwave entrainment, hypnosis and relaxation methods is to slow brain waves to the alpha and/or theta levels for pleasant and desirable effects.”