The Monroe Institute focus levels and brain wave frequencies

Robert Monroe was a pioneer in consciousness exploration in our modern times. Beginning with his experiences of spontaneous out of body experiences (OBEs), Bob Monroe, as he was called by many, was able to help others also achieve altered states of consciousness through the use of technology. The technology itself is known as binaural beats, and a brand of it is known as Hemi-Sync, a trademark name originally associated with The Monroe Institute (TMI). Hemi-Sync, which stands for “hemispheric synchronization” and which pertains to synchronizing the hemispheres of our brains. At the basic level, this technology works by using sound waves at different frequencies through each ear to create a third frequency (the difference of the two) in the brain. Through Hemi-Sync, it becomes possible to have both hemispheres working in unison at their capacity and hence the notion of hemispheric synchronization.

For those who have experienced TMI programs or recorded sessions or are otherwise familiar with the work TMI has done in the past, you may know about ‘focus levels’. In order to broach the subject of focus levels, I shall quote two paragraphs from section 3.2 of my book Out of Body into Life, that addresses the subject of focus levels:


3.2 Monroe Focus Levels
Robert (Bob) Monroe was a pioneer in consciousness exploration who first began to experience spontaneous out of body projection before he learned how to control and bring about the phenomenon consciously. He wrote three books that outlined his experiences and that have now helped many to learn more about what can be experienced beyond physical awareness.
Among the many helpful legacies Bob Monroe left behind was a map of the non-physical realms that other consciousness travellers can refer to as a guide during their own travels. In chapter 18 of his book Ultimate Journey, Bob Monroe explains that the term “focus level” originated from methods developed at The Monroe Institute (TMI), which is located in Virginia


This map can be likened to radio stations that one can tune into. Starting from normal waking consciousness, it is possible to get deeper and deeper into meditative states that can be thought of as the process we go into when we relax, daydream, fall into light sleep and then into deep sleep. Throughout this process, we transition from states of awareness being fully awake and mentally active, to being calm and relaxed, to getting into light sleep and then into deep sleep. Each of these stages correspond roughly to brain frequencies that have been studied, mapped and understood as the stages that consciousness transitions through. In terms of frequencies, there are classifications of brainwaves that correspond to different levels of awareness. Below are the classifications with some examples:

Beta — 13 – 30 Hz — normal waking consciousness, including regular linear thinking, awareness during active life, etc.

Alpha — 8 – 12 Hz — calm mind and body, observing without thinking, some forms of moving meditation, etc.

Theta — 4 – 8 Hz — daydreaming, REM sleep, dreaming, remote viewing, etc.

Delta — less than 4 Hz — deep sleep, coma, etc.

The advantage of Hemi-Sync and the binaural beat technology it is based on is that through their use, our consciousness can be trained to potentially enter successively lower states of brainwave frequencies without losing awareness. Ordinarily, as we leave normal waking consciousness into the states of brainwave activities with lower frequencies, we fall asleep.

The contribution this article hopes to make is to roughly assign TMI focus levels to each of the four brainwave classifications. I should point out that this is my classification, not necessarily that of TMI. It derives from my own qualitative experiences and considerations. Fundamentally, I base this classification on the transition from physical to etheric to astral and beyond. Normal waking consciousness is fully engaged in the physical. As we tune out of the physical into etheric and astral levels of awareness, we transition from beta, through alpha and theta, to delta:

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