Meditate Like a Zen Monk? There’s Only One Way

Meditate like a zen monk in a few minutes. The assertion appears repeatedly in any Google search for meditation techniques. The claim is that listening to audio meditation recordings containing entrainment media (binaural beats, monaural and isochronic tones) will duplicate the experience of a zen monk who has spent many years in training.

In a word, bosh!

The facts

  • Measurements of the brainwaves of meditating monks show that they have substantially increased levels of alpha and theta waves.
  • Alpha and theta wave activity in the human brain can be increased by listening to audio entrainment media

What conclusions can be drawn from these two facts?

Only that the brainwave activity is similar in both cases. Nothing more.

We cannot draw the conclusion that the experience produced by listening to audio entrainment is identical to that of a meditating monk, yet this is exactly the conclusion that some developers of audio meditation recordings would have you accept.

Let's be absolutely clear on this. Increased alpha or theta brain activity can be found in many different situations: daydreaming, just before and during sleep, just after awakening, for example. We would not say, in these situations, that the experience is identical to that of a zen monk meditating, so how can we claim it for an entrainment induced situation. Obviously, we cannot.

That audio entrainment recordings produce a meditative state is not in dispute. They do. That this can be beneficial for human health and well-being is well established. That this state is equivalent to that achieved by a long-term zen meditator, is merely an assumption, and a pretty wild one at that.

Zen monk training is a total life experience. It involves absolute attendance to the daily routine of a monk. This includes work, study, meditation, the observance of highly detailed rituals associated with many of the day's activities and, most importantly, preoccupation with a koan; an unsolvable conundrum whose purpose is to break through the mind's habitual dualistic thought process to a state of 'no-mind'. (An example of a koan: what is the sound of one hand clapping?). The mind state of a meditating monk is a product of all of this experience, little of which is present when somebody spends 30-60 minutes per day listening to an audio meditation recording.

So what?

Well, let's look at the results of many experiments with entrainment media. These show without doubt that regular use of entrainment products can and does have many highly desirable outcomes. The physical and psychological benefits are amply proven. Entrainment media are also valuable as an adjunct to other meditation techniques, because they facilitate the movement from normal consciousness to the state characteristic of meditation.

My advice? Forget the advertising hype. Regular use of a reliable audio meditation product will substantially improve your peace of mind, your general health, and your overall outlook on life. It will reduce your tendency to worry about things that really don't matter, or to become distressed by the everyday trauma of life. In short, it will make you a happier person.

But if you want to meditate like a zen monk, there's only one thing you can do. Become a zen monk!

To learn more about LifeFlow Meditation, a reliable audio meditation technique, and how you can obtain free samples, check out my review blog at, where you'll also find detailed analysis of the LifeFlow waveform.

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