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Of Sound Mind: Finding Your Feedback Loop with Muse

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People often try to use metaphors to explain meditation. Some stay pragmatic and compare it to physical exercise, while others get lofty and talk about ocean waves crashing on the side of a mountain.

These metaphors are aiming to make the practice more tangible, because the reality is, it’s quite a subtle thing. You’re trying to achieve a “meditative” state of mind, but what exactly does that mean? There’s no simple answer. No one other than you can experience your consciousness. It’s up to you to find your way.

Teachers can help point to techniques, share things they’ve learned, and support you through emotional discoveries, but ultimately the practice is yours to explore. Meditation is a process of personal experimentation and discovery. As you practice, trust your own experiences and insights – there’s no higher authority than your own experience.

Many find that a playful, curious approach helps a lot in the early stages. Being open and ready to try different techniques, positions, tools, lengths, and locations is key. When practicing with Muse, you may also learn from experimenting with your soundscape settings as you search for a feedback loop that feels right.

Here are some Muse soundscape settings to play with:

sound settings

To access these soundscape settings, connect your headband, start a session, and then tap the volume icon in the top right corner.

  1. Gentle and Soft

    Turn up the background volume while reducing both the feedback and birds volumes to make the soundscape much gentler. If you find the feedback too distracting, this can help a lot.

  2. Silence the Birds

    If you find the birds distract you too much, you can simply turn their volume down to zero. They’ll still be counted in your session report and data – you simply won’t hear them.

  3. Focus on Real-time Feedback

    The background sound helps ground the soundscape and prevents total silence from becoming a distraction when you’re calm. Turning up the feedback and birds and setting the background to zero can feel like a very different experience, so it’s worth exploring.

  4. Turning off the Sound

    It can also be instructive to explore having no sound feedback at all to see how different it feels. You’ll still get a full session report with all your data after the session.

When playing with your soundscape settings, try to find a feedback loop where Muse supports your focused attention on the breath without getting in the way. You’re looking for volume levels where your wandering mind is pulled back to the breath, but your focused mind is not pulled away from the breath.

Your preferred settings may be different from those of other Musers, and they may also change over time as your practice evolves. If you ever find yourself frustrated or unable to find settings that work for you, remember to bring back that playful curiosity and enjoy the process of exploration itself. Good luck!

5 Stories Of Love And Gratitude

For Mother’s Day, we asked you to tell us how your mom or the special mother-figure in your life has been your mentor, muse, friend or role model. Using the hashtag #MyMom, you shared your stories of love and gratitude with us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

In a few words you told the world how fortunate you feel to have these amazing women in your lives. There were so many wonderful entries, it was difficult to pick the winners, but the five stories we selected really touched our hearts.

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3 Hack-tacular Muse Modifications

We’re back from CES! What an awesome experience. Thanks to everyone who came out to the booth – the response was AMAZING.

So, Muse has already reached thousands of people since its retail launch last July. (Pretty awesome, no? Yes!) And certain people are going beyond training their brain. Talented developers and hackers have taken a shine to creating their own apps, experiences, and products using our SDK. These early adopters have already released some creatively cool ideas and alternative ways to Muse.

So, without further ado, here is a sampling of 3 hack-tacular Muse modifications: Read more

Muse and Improved at CES 2015


If any of our Vegas-based (or from anywhere, really) Musers are reading this, we’d like to let you know that Muse: the brain sensing headband is once again participating in the 2015 International CES, currently underway in Las Vegas, Nevada. During the four-day event, CES attendees will get to meet the team, demo a major update to the Muse application, and get an exclusive preview of some new and exciting features due out this year.

2014 was a stellar year for Muse, with over 15,000 units sold since its retail launch in August. (Christmas was a record day for Musing with over 1,400 sessions completed as people gave – and received – the gift of a better brain). We are excited to continue the momentum, and our appearance at CES is sure to set those wheels in motion.

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Enhance your attention span in 4 days? Brain training works!

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Brief mindfulness training significantly improves cognition.  How brief? Just 4 days!

Although advantageous to well-being, programs such as mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) or integrative body mind training require a commitment. They take time and they often take money.

A study that compared an experiment group given mindfulness meditation training and a control group that listened to a book on tape. These participants had no previous meditation experience. Their mood, verbal fluency, visual coding, and working memory were measured.

The result? Just 4 days of 20 minute brain training sessions can significantly enhance attention.
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