How can PandoraStar help with Meditation?

In Knowledge, Meditation by Lance Carter

Maximising the use of PandoraStar for meditation.

“Maximising the effect of meditation with PandoraStar involves being active in the process instead of passive.”

You can of course just select a specific program and let the light do the work. Far better though, is to combine the program with another type of practice. This can be a type of meditation practice that you are already familiar with, such as Vipassana meditation (where the breath, sensations and thoughts are just observed without judgement), or the use of mantras and affirmations, self-hypnosis recordings or techniques, or consciously controlled breathing patterns.
As far as brainwave frequencies are concerned, the most common frequencies are in the region of 10hz (Alpha) and below, with spikes of higher frequencies like Gamma 38hz+ showing up in experienced meditators as EEG technology improves in its accuracy and measurement.

[As an interesting side note, the most common frequencies of meditation are also common in people with depression. The difference being the mental filters that those frequencies pass through as beliefs and thoughts. Which raises the question as to how useful it is to teach someone who is depressed, how to meditate. It can be done of course, by taking the person down to a frequency below where thoughts are commonly occurring; or by bringing in positive affirmations to bring in the Beta frequencies and therefore alter the combined frequencies in the person’s brain.
Better still with someone who is depressed though, is to take their brainwave states into higher frequencies more conducive of feeling more prone to take action and socialise. But that’s another subject altogether.]

Why combine a practice with using the PS lamp?

Neuroscience and neuroplasticity state that… neurons that fire together, wire together.

This is how phobias are formed. A person experiences a state of intense fear, at the same time as observing, hearing, or feeling a unique stimulus. The two things then get neurologically linked, so that next time the person experiences the same stimulus they have the same fear reaction.
The same applies to positive situations and we can use this to our advantage.

So for example, if we use the PandoraStar to put ourselves into a deep relaxed meditative state, and at the same time use a unique practice such as a deep slow breathing process.., the two can, and will, over time get linked neurologically.
So this has two effects. The first effect is that any meditative practice done along with the PandoraStar program will increase the depth of your meditation. The second effect is that by linking these two practices neurologically, you can then at another time just do the deep breathing practice (for example), and get the same or similar results that you had while under the lamp.

In NLP we call this anchoring. Linking a state from one situation to an action or stimulus; which when then re-used in a different situation causes the state to transfer to that new situation.
IE: Mapping a skill or resource from one area of your life to another purposely and with intent.
And this makes the process of taking the state you’ve developed by using the PandoraStar out into real-world situations easier.

This leads to the question I often get asked, what is brainwave entrainment? It is about training your brain by repetition to go into a preferred state more easily and automatically and have it either generalise into all area’s of your life or a specific area.
And the way you have it generalise is both by repetition and by transferring the state into real-life situations by way of re-initialising the state during day to day activities.

What is brainwave entrainment

What practice should you do?

(I will touch on a few ideas here and cover them in more detail in other articles.)

Personally, I have experimented with a number of different methods for improving my use of PandoraStar while going into a meditative state.
Vipassana style meditations; breath awareness ( Observing the breath); mantras and affirmations; self hypnosis – both internalised and pre-recorded to listen back to; background relaxing music tracks; added isochronic tones; and more recently and thoroughly, consciously controlled breathwork.
I now consistently use a background track, and breathwork practices (I also often turn it into a ritual by using essential oils that I inhale while breathing).

[Fair warning about breathwork: This practice, done correctly, is powerful in its own right; and combined with the power of PandoraStar can be overwhelming to those not used to either of the practices by themselves. So my advice is to be proficient in both practices before combining them.]

Breathing:

Two suggestions for someone beginning to add breathing practices to PandoraStar.
The first is to adopt a conscious breathing pattern.
The second suggestion is pure breath awareness.
I will get into more detail about conscious breath practices and breathwork in another article.
For now, the pre-chosen practice; and most common form of focus while meditating is breath awareness.
Here you don’t try to alter or adopt a conscious breathing pattern at all but rather just observe, notice and follow the natural sensations of breathing in and out as you relax.
The beauty of this practice is that it can be done at any time even if just for a minute or two.

You can even practice being aware of your breath just as effectively while you are exercising as while you are meditating.
Awareness is the key here; not control.

Affirmations:

Affirmations and mantras are a great addition to PandoraStar sessions.
Not only do you get the benefit of increased unconscious absorption of affirmations while in an altered state; and also a statement connected neurologically (the basis of neuroplasticity) in the brain with that state which you can access later without PS; but you also get to add a type of bridge between unconscious and conscious – When you think in words internally you add lower band Beta waves in to the mix. And this becomes a blended brainwave state incorporating both deep ancestral parts of the brain and more modern analytical parts.
This addition of Beta waves can also be very helpful to people with a tendency toward depression who want to start using meditation.

Self/guided hypnosis:

Again; any suggestions heard or repeated while in an altered state are more likely to become a habit and believed.
Nothing could be so easy as using a pre-recorded hypnosis audio or recording your own (as I do), and letting PandoraStar do the work of putting you in a trance.
This has a lot of potential and I will cover it in more detail in another article.

Drugs/alcohol: – NO!!!

Just don’t OK.
If you choose to anyway; just realise the potential for an experience being potentially overwhelming or in some cases actually potentially harmful. Esp to someone with limited experience with PandoraStar.
Enough said.

Caffeine, Cacao, and supplements:

So many options here.
Some intensify the effect of visuals as well as feelings, so again; be aware of how you react to the substance taken first, before taking it with PandoraStar.
I do like the effect of adding a handful of organic raw Cacao beans to my smoothie sometimes.

Some supplements intensify the effect of visuals as well as feelings.
“I sometimes add organic raw Cacao beans to my smoothie”

Be aware that as with any supplement; the body tends to build a dependence on it over time requiring more to get the same effect. So a break from it occasionally is useful to minimise this.

[The same applies incidentally to using visual programs with PandoraStar. The more you use them; gradually over time, the less effective they can get. Again, take a break from them]

Environment:

Being that mostly you will be using PandoraStar at home the environment is already an addition to the effectiveness of meditation practices.
A quiet place (or headphones) can be helpful obviously.
A comfortable chair or mat/carpet to lie on is also obvious.
Try experimenting with essential oils or pre-clearing the room with something like white sage or Palo Santo wood before starting, to turn it into a type of ritual.
Be safe with having a candle burning in the room though and make sure it’s in a safe place to not catch anything on fire.
Try ambient music or pre-chosen tracks to go with a specific program.

[Don’t try to control the environments where you practice these additions to PS use outside of your usual session time.
There is a great deal of value in getting used to being able to do a meditative practice while all hell is breaking loose around you. And I’m not joking.
Get used to doing a meditation even for 5-10 min while in a busy park or on public transport for instance and watch how your ability to deal with stressful situations transforms!]

How do you use these practices?

If you practice these while under the PandoraStar lamp, and then practice them about two other times during the day without the lamp; you will start to see the benefits of both finding their way into your life automatically as the mental states and skills possible in those states transfer into situations outside the PandoraStar sessions.
You can also combine practices. For instance, while using breath awareness, use a positive affirmation at the same time.
Spaced repetition is the key to using anything that you want to affect your life in a lasting way.
Sure there are ways of getting instant changes; there is a risk though that leaving the person out of the process of change can leave them feeling like it was done to them and that they aren’t in the driving seat. Which means if they have a relapse of the old behaviour they may take it as failure and give up rather than just a sign that they need to do more work. Same applies to getting help yourself. Get help yes; but be prepared to maintain the momentum yourself with conscious effort.
Self responsibility is sorely lacking in modern society.

What if I don’t get the results I want?

As with anything, the more you practice the better you get. This also applies to how often you use PandoraStar. I suggest using a specific program at least three times a week for a month before judging whether you feel it’s useful for you or not.
Of course feel free to experiment with all sorts of programs before you decide which one or two to do this with.

It goes without saying also to take into consideration things like hydration, nutrition and getting enough quality sleep will you get the best out of using PandoraStar and meditative processes together.
If a process like controlled breathing feels distracting or frustrating rather than helpful then try something else; like affirmations or a pre-recorded hypnosis track.

Keep it simple, but realise that anything new takes a certain amount of effort.
Don’t give up on something as useless; simply put it to the side in favour of something else and resolve to try it again another time.
Seriously; advice is cheap. Anyone will give you some if you ask.
Take advice as an opportunity to test it for validity in your life and experience.

Most of all have fun and enjoy experimenting.

Lance

Further study to help your meditation practise.

Todd Acamesis shares his thoughts on how to use an active spiritual practice to shift emotionally charged thoughts during meditation and everyday life.