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October 10

Three Big Ways Monroe Institute Exercises are Different from Meditation

Do we teach meditation here at The Monroe Institute? Not exactly.

Do we sometimes use the word “meditation” to describe what goes on in our programs?

We do. So, how can both be right?

“Meditation” as a term has gained familiarity in the West during the last five or so decades, making it a handy word to use when talking about attaining deep states of awareness. However, its popularity has also caused its meaning to become diluted and clichéd.

The word’s original source is from the Hindu and Buddhist practice, dhyana, a profound consciousness state that is the penultimate stage of yoga. According to Yoga International, “Meditation is a precise technique for resting the mind and attaining a state of consciousness that is totally different from the normal waking state. It is the means for fathoming all the levels of ourselves and finally experiencing the center of consciousness within.”

... does Monroe advocate their own, purpose-driven explorations over traditional meditation practices? Definitely not. Both are tried and true. Both have their special gifts. And they are not mutually exclusive.

That’s pretty close to a definition of TMI program exercises. But there are some essential differences.

First, the boost that Monroe technologies provide. The “training wheels”—Hemi-Sync® and Spatial Angle Modulation™ (SAM) audio frequencies—speed and enhance the process of reaching desired states. Once reached, the “frequency following response” kicks in, allowing the listener to reproduce those states at will without the need for continual audio guidance.

That acceleration phenomenon was noted in a 1994 Wall Street Journal article, “Research Institute Shows People a Way Out of Their Bodies: Students ... .“ by Bob Ortega:

One Gateway alumnus and fan is Kai Sui Fung, the 91-year-old head of a Zen Buddhist temple in Vancouver, British Columbia. He believes that Gateway students can reach meditation states in a week that took him years of sitting. His temple now uses audiotapes from The Monroe Institute as a training tool.

Second, most exercises in TMI programs are designed to help you perform an action. You are guided to (a) reach targeted states of awareness, and to (b) fulfill specific purposes within them; different exercise, different purpose.

Third, you are asked to bring your rational mind along. The “left brain-right brain” model that Robert A. Monroe used has evolved toward an “intuitive mind-rational mind” model, but the underlying principle remains the same: a whole-brain-mind approach results in a greater degree of success than one or the other alone. For example, it’s typically easier to remember the content of your experience afterward.

So, does TMI advocate Monroe-powered, purpose-driven explorations over traditional meditation practices? Definitely not. Both are tried and true. Both have their special gifts. And they are not mutually exclusive. Many lifelong meditators use Monroe techniques just as many TMI grads are meditators.

We’d love to hear what you have to say about the differences and similarities you have discovered between Monroe program exercises and traditional meditation. Let us know at info@monroeinstitute.org.

Thanks. Dive deep and enjoy.

One note: the above discussion refers to exercises specifically used in TMI residential programs. Our store, on the other hand, offers a wide selection of powerful meditation-type exercises and music on CD. You can also find free meditations with Hemi-Sync and SAM on our website and our YouTube channel, as well as at Hemi-Sync.com.


Hemi-Sync® is a registered trademark of Interstate Industries Inc., dba Hemi-Sync®.


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Leslie France

Monroe Projects Manager

Leslie’s current role with the Monroe Institute is Projects Manager. She writes and edits for TMI's social media, newsletter, website, and print publications. She contributes to event coordination and project development as needed. Leslie joined the Monroe Institute in 1986 and served in a variety of roles including Professional Division director and publications editor. She left in 1993 to work with New Visions and to launch BlueWebWeaver, offering training and support for Apple devices. In 2009 Leslie returned to Monroe.