Inbox: Hemi-Sync

I always say ask me anything and a lot of people are doing just that lately and today I thought I would answer some common questions about Hemi-Sync® so here we go…

How did you connect with Hemi-Sync?

When I was in college, I attended a Hemi-Sync outreach workshop. We spent the weekend flopped out on air mattresses in someone’s living room and meditated for two days straight with headphones on. It was brilliant.

The outreach trainer and I became friends, and she eventually listened to a guided meditation that I had created with a would-be author. She sent the guided meditation to Robert Monroe. The music was re-recorded and an instrumental version was released as Higher.

Did you meet Robert Monroe?

I have never met Robert Monroe in person, but early on we spoke on the phone and even then, only once. He was curt and to-the-point. I found him to be supportive of my work (at the very least I know that he was a fan of Higher) but he was also very pragmatic in his advice to me, which pretty much boiled down to “do your work and get it out there, but keep your day job.” I’m exaggerating, but it was almost 30 years and at the time I had never heard of Robert Monroe. I later read Journeys Out of the Body, visited the Monroe Institute and met his family, so I now have a much clearer picture of the man with whom I was dealing. Had I but known…

Do you still work for Hemi-Sync®?

I have never been directly employed by Hemi-Sync® nor The Monroe Institute. However, between 1993 and 2009, I created 9 Hemi-Sync® Metamusic® albums which are listed here. Many of them — all of them? — are still available with Hemi-Sync® and some of them are exclusive to Hemi-Sync®.

Anyway, my relationship with Hemi-Sync® is essentially a licensing situation. My work has also been used at The Monroe Institute in various capacities (in-person workshops, research studies, etc.) for a number of years. I am not sure that is still the case.

What was your experience there?

I have been to the Monroe Institute several times. For anyone interested in a weeklong meditation getaway with the best brainwave audio on the planet, I think a great thing to do is try the Gateway experience. There are online options available for Gateway, but personally, I find the in-person energetic connections are the way to go. My Gateway was a peak experience: it’s where I got the idea to start creating my own music with binaural beats.


Focus Levels

When it comes to categorizing the various states of awareness, The Monroe Institute devised a system of labels called Focus Levels™, which provide a neutral identification for each state of consciousness. Right now you are reading, indicating that you are in Focus 1, which is “normal”, everyday waking consciousness.

Essentially, the higher the number, the deeper the state of consciousness. Focus 10 is mind awake/body asleep, Focus 15 is the state of “no time”, and Focus 21 is the very edge of perception of the space-time continuum where the mind remains fully conscious and active. There are many more.

As far as I’m concerned, the articulation of the Focus Levels is Robert Monroe’s great innovation. Hemi-Sync®, a trademarked brand name for binaural beats for which he is known, is merely the vehicle for this great achievement. I respect the Monroe’s Focus Levels enough that when I was asked to duplicate the frequencies for a prospective client, I suggested he simply go to the source and license something from (He did.)

But I didn’t pass on the project because Focus Levels are sacred. I admire the work of Robert Monroe and I think we benefit from understanding the labels he attached to consciousness, but at some point it belies the deeply personal experience that is meditation: it feels clinical, formal, and dogmatic. I am informed by his work and I am inspired by the man, but mimeographing Monroe’s roadmap to consciousness is just not something that interests me.

Robert Monroe’s injunction to “get it out there” is a directive I consider often, but I don’t view it as an order to evangelize his taxonomy and structure. Instead, I view it as encouragement to build upon his understanding and to let his ideas guide us as we expand the boundaries of his work.

Anyway, here’s a neat video.

Phase Evolution discusses the nuances of many of Bob Monroe’s Focus Levels.