Hemi-Sync FAQ

Here are some frequently asked questions (FAQ) submitted from around the world and from participants in our programs conducted here in Virginia. The answers are the result of years of experience, inquiry, and research by The Monroe Institute and its associates and colleagues.

Q: Can I put a CD on my iPod or other MP3 portable players?
A: Be sure to use “Apple Lossless” conversion from CDs for your iPod. Other “Lossless” formats like FLAC or the “.wav” format should always be used to ensure the best listening quality. “Lossy” MP3 compression rates do not provide for optimum listening experiences.

Q: Can I use Hemi-Sync® if I have some hearing loss?
A: Binaural beating, the foundation behind Hemi-Sync, is unique in that it can be perceived by those with some hearing loss. This is especially true this if hearing lost is greater in one ear than the other. Of course there must still be some ability to hear in both ears to experience binaural beating. If you have a total loss of hearing in one ear, use a monaural output from your CD player. You won’t be hearing “binaural beats” but some report that this monaural modification can be very effective.

Binaural beats maintain their intensity regardless of the relative amplitudes of the right-ear and left-ear tones even if one ear is below the threshold of normal hearing, so a partial hearing loss in one ear may not reduce the effectiveness of Hemi-Sync.

The only way to know if the Hemi-Sync process and will work for you is to first determine if you can perceive binaural beats with your particular type of hearing loss. To do this it is suggested that you get the free CD called “The Way of Hemi-Sync” and try it out. This CD was designed to demonstrate the binaural beat phenomenon. This is the only way to find out for yourself that Hemi-Sync works for you. If you can perceive the binaural beating as described on the CD then you’re all set. If you cannot perceive the beats, gift the CD to a friend.

Q: What should I do if I feel not quite awake and alert after listening to an exercise?
A: There are many effective methods for grounding. You can slowly count from 10 to 1; drink cool water; take a cold shower or splash cold water on your face, neck and wrists. Weather permitting, walk barefoot outdoors, taking deep breaths and releasing excess energy through your feet. While outside, place your back against a tree and imagine energy flowing from your head to the branches above and from your feet to the tree’s roots and down into the very center of the earth’s core.

Q: Will I always need to use the tapes/CDs?
A: Absolutely not. They are like training wheels on a bicycle: wonderful for practice but possibly inhibiting as you learn to ride far and free.

Q: What if I fall asleep when I listen to a tape/CD?
A: There may be times when you “click out” of the exercise,especially as you begin to move up to and beyond your level of experience. Clicking-out is different from falling asleep. There is a sense of having dropped out of the exercise. Upon returning to or finishing the exercise, there is no perception of time having passed. You will have stored the memory of your experience but will have no immediate recall. Clicking-out is a common, frequently reported experience. When you have progressed to a given stage it won’t happen and you will have total recall. Meanwhile, try putting the idea or picture of sleep in your Energy Conversion Box. If you are still falling asleep, try sitting up during the exercise. And finally practice, practice, practice! It is through patience and continued practice that you learn to maintain balance in the hypnagogic state between deep relaxation and sleep.

Q: What should I do when various images or dreamlike thoughts interfere with what I’m trying to do on a tape/CD?
A: Do not suppress or force the images away. Rather, acknowledge them without getting involved with them; otherwise you may fall into a sleep state. Look at them and let them go. You can always go back to them later.

Q: I am not able or willing to vocalize with the Resonant Tuning. I go into a very deep relaxed state and my mouth doesn’t seem to want to work. I either sing along in my head, click-out, or start some kind of thought dream. What should I do?
A: It is important to discipline yourself to participate in Resonant Tuning because this is a method which will help you perceive nonphysical energy. Resonant Tuning promotes an accelerated gathering of your vibrational energy while reducing internal dialogue. Discomfort about vocalizing with the tapes will eventually wane.

Q: When using the tapes/CDs, I am aware of a buzzing pressure in my forehead and also an acceleration of my heartbeat. Is this normal?
A: A light buzzing or pressure happens frequently to some people. It means that you are responding to the process. However, if you are experiencing a great degree of discomfort, you may have the volume too loud. For best results, the volume should be just loud enough for you to hear the verbal instructions. Remember, you are expanding your state of awareness; consequently, you are more conscious of your heartbeat, breathing, etc. .

Q: I don’t seem to feel the high-energy states and have trouble visualizing. What should they feel like?
A: Everyone perceives his/her experiences in a different way, so these high-energy states will not necessarily be visual. Some people report seeing light, color, and form, but others quite frequently perceive sensations. You may experience vibration(s), or what seems to be an electric tingling, or a shaking of your body, bed, or room. Some people hear a rushing sound, buzzing, voices, verbal messages, or even music. Others may just “know” when they have achieved these states. Just relax and observe your own perceptions without judging how you should feel.

Q: Is God appearing when I see a flood of light during an exercise?
A: The perception of light suggests that your potential for nonphysical awareness is developing but it is up to you to decide on its meaning. Such light is widely reported by explores of higher consciousness and people who have had near-death experiences. It is often accompanied by euphoria, a feeling of oneness with the universe, and a sense of overwhelming love. A Buddhist might associate this with Buddha; a Christian with Christ.

Q: Why not combine mind-altering drugs with tapes/CDs?
A: These exercises train you to take control over your states of consciousness. Drugs often interfere with that control. Also, your interpretations and understanding of your experiences will likely be more accurate without the unpredictable influences of drugs or other mind-altering substances.

Q: Are the tapes/CDs useful for experienced meditators or people who have long practice in other disciplines?
A: The many such people who participate say, “Definitely yes!” They appreciate such benefits as the speed and ease of attaining the expanded state; the ability to sustain the state; the tools and guidelines for exploration. Exercises seem to meet people wherever they are in their development and assists them in moving forward into even deeper levels of self-discovery.

Q: Sometimes during a tape/CD I feel so much energy in my body that it actually gets uncomfortable and I want to come out of the tape. What should I do about this?
A: Realize that the energy you are feeling is second-state energy, the nonphysical energy which you first need to perceive before you can consciously use it. Welcome the energy. Observe the energy move through your whole body. Wait and see if it speeds up or slows down. Express gratitude for the conscious experience of the energy. Question the energy – ask (silently in your mind) if there is a message for you in the experience of the energy. The fact that you are perceiving this energy is indicative that you are reaching an expanded state of consciousness.

Q: I usually sleep on my side or stomach and feel insecure sprawled out on my back. Also, I cannot remain on my back very long without getting restless. What should I do?
A: You may try sitting upright in a comfortable chair or in your bed while listening to the tapes. Some people report that they prefer sitting up because they’re less likely to drop off to sleep. Also, if you have a comfortable set of “ear-bud” headphones, you might be able to arrange pillows so that you can listen while lying on your side or stomach. Ear-buds are readily available at stores carrying stereo products.

Q: Even while in 10, I am aware of my breathing. This makes it impossible for me to detach myself or otherwise perceive the high-energy states. Any suggestions?
A: This is a very normal reaction. Actually, it can enhance your experience if used in a positive way. It’s your breathing that helps charge you with energy (hence, the Resonant Tuning exercise) and prepares you for moving to high-energy states. Be aware of what is happening to you and just let it be – don’t fight it. You can be aware of your breathing and of the audio exercise. You can always put the worries about your breathing in your Energy Conversion Box if you want. Once you convince yourself that breathing is a normal process and not a problem, the awareness of breathing should disappear by itself. Some even find their breathing or their heartbeat a comforting link to physical reality and then can move more confidently into other states of consciousness.

Q: Thus far, I have not been able to visualize my REBAL energy coming from my head and bending around to my feet. I’m stuck.
A: Remember that visualization is only one way of perceiving. Not everyone is adept at mental images. Perhaps you can feel or know that you are forming your Resonant Energy Balloon (REBAL). Imagine that you are surrounded by and filled with tingling, sparkling, brilliant bursts of energy. If you have practiced the technique often, you are possibly forming the REBAL without even being aware of it. “Popping” your REBAL frequently without using the tapes/CDs will strengthen it. The REBAL is a valuable tool.

Q: I have been using the tapes/CDs and do get some interesting things but I would be more pleased if I knew that I was getting what was intended.
A: As we review the mail that comes to the Institute and listen to your phone calls, one of the clearest messages that comes across to all of us is that no two individuals’ experiences are alike. They range from the cosmic to the mundane and yet are almost invariably of real meaning and significance to the person having the experience. Trust the process and know that whatever experience you have, it is just exactly what is best for you to achieve your divine right purpose.

Q: What if I am not experiencing the out-of-body state?
A: Many of us have hidden (subconscious) fears that prevent us from experiencing this perceptual venue. Others try so hard that the intense effort blocks this experience. The best way to succeed is to relax, let go of expectations, and become nonchalant about it. After all, the classic OBE is just a small part of learning to expand and experience your full potential. Keep working with the exercises. Trust the process. You may find yourself experiencing the out-of-body perceptual state when you least expect it.

Q: How can I control or direct my perceptions during the out-of-body experience?
A: The words control and direct are usually associated with body-oriented ego states. If you set a goal before you begin your OBE, you won’t need to decide what to do once you are in the experience. Experiment with thinking of someone and contacting his/her energy, rather than arriving at a geographic destination. Any time you wish to return to your in-the-body perceptions, all you need do is think of your body and/or move a finger or toe. In most cases, after a period of time your bladder will demand your attention and return your perceptual perspective to the physical body.

Q: How many times should I use each tape/CD before going on to the next?
A: That can vary greatly with the individual. You should be familiar and comfortable with an exercise before advancing to the next one. However, don’t feel that there will be a point when you “master” hemi-sync, as each exercise will always produce a unique experience. There may be challenges for an individual with a specific technique that can diminish or disappear with practice or exposure to a more advanced exercise. Of course, don’t hesitate to review any of the tapes/CDs for reinforcement.

Q: I understand that after a while we really do not need the tapes/CDs to achieve different states of consciousness. How do I remember the audio signals?
A: It is true that with practice, you do not need the tape/CD exercises to reach expanded states of consciousness. After you become proficient with an exercise, all you need to do is recall the sensations you experienced during what you consider to be your best, most effective response in the desired states. Simply take a deep breath and remember the state to trigger the change in consciousness.

On the Technical Side

Q: What is binaural beating?
A: Binaural beats are demonstrated in a simple way by placing a steady tone in one ear, then a different steady tone in the other ear. As these different tones are blended together in the brain, the binaural beat or wavering sound you hear is a brain-produced phenomenon. Such signals can stimulate specific states of consciousness, which are automatically learned and can then be recreated from memory.

Q: Is it important to have the earphones on the correct ear as instructed on some of the exercises?
A: No. As long as you are using stereo equipment, the intended effect will be achieved. Be sure your earphones are comfortable.

Q: Are these tapes and CDs like hypnosis?
A: Yes, they are similar. Hypnosis is an induced, altered state of mind, in which the body is deeply relaxed, sufficient to be temporarily ignored, except for demands like bladder fullness, etc. It is sometimes described as “focused concentration.” This “state” is one in which the participant has perhaps even more control over the body and self than in “ordinary” states of consciousness. Witness the fact that hypnosis is sometimes used for pain control in minor surgeries, childbirth, and even dentistry. It is an expanded state of awareness, in which one can be fully aware of the sensory data from the environment (sound, light, temperature, etc.), and at the same time can develop awareness of other data sources as well, such as past lives, out-of-body information, information from guides, one’s inner self, etc. Neither state can “make” you DO anything. You are able to maintain your faculties for choice and value systems, including choosing to follow suggestions from the therapist or not. These exercises are designed to leave control in the hands of the listener as well. In this sense, it’s somewhat related to self-hypnosis. These exercises do not “make” you do anything. They simply create an effect that helps you move into a certain state, providing that you relax and are open to responding to the process.

Q: Are the tapes/CDs subliminal?
A: No. “Subliminal” implies that a specific verbal message is recorded below audible level and often at high speed. The intention is to embed a particular thought in the mind of the listener. (The notion that such a concept works has never been demonstrated scientifically.) By comparison, binaural beats, although recorded at a low level, are not verbal messages. The intention of the binaural signals is to assist the listener into a state conducive to the development of self-directed experience. Several tapes/CDs contain sleep periods during which verbal guidance is recorded at a very low level so as not to awaken the listener. The script during these periods is a repetition of the information heard previously on the tape/CD.

Q: How can I convince a skeptic that this is worth trying?
A: Without interest and desire, the openness that leads to success will be lacking. In other words: There is no such thing as convincing a skeptic. It would be better to let your own personal growth speak for you. As you become calmer, more centered, more confident, more creative, more intuitive, etc., people close to you will notice and will want to know why. It may be useful to emphasize what you have learned rather than the experiences themselves. When it is appropriate to describe your experiences, try to relate them to something familiar to the ones with whom you are sharing. Another approach is introducing a more mainstream exercise such as Catnapper or Concentration. Experiencing and discussing the practical benefits in daily life can build a foundation for greater openness and self-discovery.