The Alpha State Meditation

alpha state meditation photo from Rev Nancy's collection

360 Meditation Methods:

Stages of Meditation
Brain Waves (alpha waves)
Brain Wave Entrainment

About this Author, Rev Nancy Ash, DD, PhD
Alpha State Meditation: Info, Tips, Practice and more... Generally scientists agree there are four (4) different types of brain waves: beta waves, alpha waves, theta waves and delta waves. I'll briefly review them all, however, the focus of this discussion is the alpha state meditation, one of the stages that occurs when practicing this effective ancient art to quiet the mind as a portal to the Soul.

Free Meditations/Talk-Radio "Consider This" Your Co-host, Rev Dr Nancy

Doing a 360: Turning Your Life Around to Follow Soul's Purpose (nonfiction, inspirational book) Enjoy my book: Doing a 360 @ Amazon.com (2012)

Welcome! Did you know you may have already practiced an "alpha meditation" many, many times before?

Alpha State Meditation

Yes...you definately have! Being in a state of mind or consciousness in which we would measure your brain waves as alpha waves is what we mean by this term: alpha state meditation. For example: Daydreaming happens when we have a slower alpha rhythm, or oscillations (movements) of the brain which are measured scientifically as "waves."

Okay...so, have you ever been driving along the highway only to discover (much to your chagrin) that you completely "spaced out" and passed your exit? We all have done that. Your brain (organ of the mind) went into a slightly slower wave pattern from what's called brain wave entrainment. Your mind (focus) followed the constant flow of the road -- mile by mile. This explains how your mind "entrains" itself to follow any outside stimulus, which in this case is the highway driving.

Most of us experience this brain wave entrainment (going from beta to alpha, or beta to theta, etc.), while participating in many creative, normal, day-to-day activities such as: cooking, sewing, painting, drawing, etc. Can you think of a few others?

When I write, I go very deep and access alpha waves -- sometimes even theta. I always smile when gazing at the clock to see that hours have gone by, which seem like only minutes. That's when you know you are in an "altered" state of consciousness, or an "alpha state meditation."


alpha state meditation photo of Rev. Dr. Nancy, from her collection (1980s)
When practicing various meditation methods you are definately "in" alpha, or perhaps even deeper wave levels to theta. Lower and slower, Delta is considered the sleep stage of brain wave functioning. So if you're dozing on the couch while watching tv and start snoring...yes, you're down into "delta."

Most probably YOUR brain waves NOW are in a low beta level, which is a full, waking state of consciousness. Yet, as you breathe slowly and relax here...if we hooked you up to sensitive equipment that measures waves, we might discover that you are entering into a higher alpha rhythm. This is what we mean by "daydreaming."

Of course it would depend on the web-sites you are browsing today and other stimulous coming into your brain. I personally designed this healing meditation methods site to facilitate your relaxation and lower brain waves (notice the soft color blue and gentle clouds, etc.) Now if you wander off and visit other web-sites with loud head-banging music, and intense red/orange colors, harsh images, etc., what do you think will happen to your brain waves? That's right...they'll go higher. (Which means you won't be as relaxed, reaping the benefits of a stress reducing alpha state meditation.)

Let's look at the generally accepted scientific measurement of the four waves in our states of consciousness to help facilitate further understanding:

Brain waves are measured in cycles per second -- cps, the number of cycles (brainwaves in one second), or length of brain wave. An EEG, the electroencephalogram machine, measures the electrical output of the brain through electrodes on the skin on the head (scalp). These measurements may vary slightly.

  • Beta Waves are Normal Waking State
    16-24 cps
  • Alpha Waves are Altered Consciousness (relaxed, meditative)
    8-15 cps
  • Theta Waves are Deeper Altered Consciousness (creative thought, images)
    4-7 cps
  • Delta Waves are Deep Sleep
    0.1-3 cps

So, the bottom line is: When you meditate you have brain waves that are in Alpha. All meditation methods feature an altered state of consciousness in Alpha, not Beta.

Alpha Waves reduce stress...therefore, so do all meditation methods.

During your meditation practice, waves may fluctuate into deeper Theta levels, which may include imagery. If you are really tired and start dozing-off on your cushion, this indicates brain waves are going way down to "higher" Delta. Remember, meditation is not sleeping: Although both are important activities in maintaining radiant health, they are not the same.

Consider exploring this healing meditation methods website further to expand your "360" consciousness in this present moment. There's more info like this in my first book, Doing a 360: Turning Your Life Around to Follow Soul's Purpose. Enjoy the journey.

Best with Blessings, In ONEness,
Rev Nancy Ash, DD, PhD

Doing a 360: Turning Your Life Around to Follow Soul's Purpose
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Experience 'Alpha Meditation' leading to Theta Waves

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Read my Article on Meditation Methods for Beginners

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