Why Dolphins Make Great Meditation Teachers
By Matthew Joyce
If I had to choose a meditation teacher, I think I’d pick a dolphin.
Because most meditation teachers can only point you in the right direction. After all, they can’t get inside your head. It’s up to you to learn to still your mind and raise your own level of awareness and consciousness.
But dolphins are different. They can get inside your head
They may not speak words, but they can teach you about meditation through your own direct experience with them.
While most meditation teachers can only make verbal suggestions about posture, breathing, and mental discipline, dolphins can actually take you into a blissful state of consciousness that is as profound as any you’d have sitting on a meditation mat.
They do it through brainwave entrainment
Entrainment is the process by which two different systems come into synchronization. Entrainment can occur when two peer systems come together, such as what happens when you place two grandfather clocks in the same room. At first the pendulums will swing independently, but over time the pendulums come to sway in synch. This synchronization happens through vibrations in the air and the floor.
The same process also works with biological systems. That is why women who live together often begin to menstruate on similar cycles.
Entrainment also occurs when a more coherent system organizes a less organized one. A classic example of this is a magnet ruining the strip on the back of a credit card. The strip is filled with little magnetic lines. Some lines point up and others point down in the same way that black and white lines make up a product bar code. But if the credit card comes into contact with a strong enough magnet, then all the little magnetic lines in the strip will rearrange themselves to align with the magnet’s field and the card will no longer work.
In the case of the credit card you don’t want everything aligned the same way, but when it comes to human consciousness entrainment can really speed up to your personal and spiritual growth.
Most of the time you use only a portion of your brain
The left side of your brain is responsible for logic, reasoning, speaking, keeping rhythm, and other linear activities. The right side of your brain handles things like emotion, creativity, spatial awareness, and melody. You generally switch back and forth hundreds and even thousands of times throughout the day depending upon the activities you are engaged in.
Only rarely do both sides of your brain work together
When they do, you access far more of your potential because the power of your whole brain is more than the sum of its parts. You may know the feeling of synchronization as that “ah ha” moment when you suddenly figure something out, or when you are in a flow state where every move you make feels just right, allowing you to sink shot after shot on the basketball court or play a tune effortlessly on a musical instrument.
But most of the time that feeling is fleeting
It comes and it goes seemingly of its own accord, rather than being something that you can bring back at will.
The exception is during meditation
When you meditate it’s possible to reach those same states of bliss, flow, and insight. But again, not every meditation is like this because those things only occur at certain brainwave frequencies. So the key is to synchronize your brain hemispheres at just the right frequency.
That’s what dolphins do
Dolphins naturally live in a state of hemispheric synchronization. They have to because they are conscious breathers.
As humans we live in an ocean of air that surrounds us all the time. We can breathe consciously or we can focus our attention elsewhere and breathe automatically like fish in the sea. But dolphins can’t. They need to swim to the surface every time they want to take a breath.
This means dolphins can’t sleep like we do
They need to stay awake enough to ensure that they continue to breathe. They do this by shutting down one brain hemisphere and using the other one in a way that is similar to the way that we use one hemisphere or the other for our waking activities.
But when dolphins are awake they naturally use both sides of their brains at the same time
A dolphin’s normal brain state is similar to our optimal state. Because dolphin brainwaves are far more coherent than ours, we naturally entrain to their frequencies when we are exposed to the sonar pulses they use to interact with and explore their environment. Those pulses pass through your body like medical ultrasound, permeating every cell in your being and synchronizing you to their more coherent frequencies.
This is why it feels so blissful to be around dolphins
Well, that and the fact dolphins are often so joyfully playful.
So the more time you spend in the company of dolphins the more time you spend entraining to their states of consciousness. And that exposure is cumulative, which makes it increasingly easy for you to enter into and sustain similar states of consciousness.
Even when you are not in the water.