: Using biofeedback ➤ 'EEG Meditation' Android app

'EEG Meditation' app for Android for meditation practice for NeuroSky MindWave Mobile headset

'EEG Meditation' app for Android for meditation practice

for NeuroSky MindWave Mobile headset,

or accelerated self-study of meditation

This article is about 'EEG Meditation' app for Android. General questions of EEG meditation and various applications for PC are described in this article.

'EEG Meditation' app for NeuroSky MindWave Mobile device helps you in your meditation practice. This app reads electrical activity of the brain with EEG technology of NeuroSky MindWave Mobile device connected via Bluetooth to Android device. In order to use this application, you need to have NeuroSky MindWave Mobile headset.

Application requires Android device with a screen resolution of at least 480x800 and version of Android 4.0 (API Level: 14) or higher. If you use a Xiaomi Redmi Note 8T smartphone, turn off Wi-Fi in the smartphone while using the application. Also, when the application is running, turn off Wi-Fi on the smartphone, if it has Bluetooth 5, and if there is a regular disconnection ("Get data time out!") during the first minute after the start of application. Also, for some users, the connection to the headset is established each time not in a couple of seconds, but much longer. If the neuro headset connects every time, for example, in a minute or a minute and a half, try clearing the list of paired Bluetooth devices on your Android device smartphone or tablet, leaving only the neuroheadset.

NeuroSky's eSense "meditation" parameter has too much adaptation of values after 1-2 minutes of very good or very weak meditation. However, free "EEG Meditation" apps (for iOS, Android & Windows) have a new option that allows you to get reliable data of your meditation sessions of any length.

The current version of "EEG-meditation" application is 1.6.1
The current version of "EEG-meditation" application is 1.6.1. Added an option without adapting the algorithm of the "meditation" parameter. An optional function has been added to stop the meditation session if, in the last 20, 30, 60 or 120 seconds only, the average meditation level was below 55, 60, 65, 70, 80 or 90. A timer in minutes has been added.

In November 2021, I was able not only to relatively accurately restore the algorithm of the eSense "meditation" parameter of NeuroSky, but also to find out the basic principles of adapting this algorithm. Because of this adaptation it was almost impossible to achieve more than two minutes of meditation with a continuous value of at least 80. The ability to use a relatively accurate analogue of the "meditation" parameter, but without adaptation and levelling, became available in version 1.6 with "No-leveling formula" option. Considering that experienced meditators can quite easily keep a meditation level of about 100 for tens of minutes when using this new option, an option "-20" was added in version 1.6.1, which does not affect the values of the NeuroSky eSense "meditation" parameter on the graph ( displayed in blue) and in statistics, but reduces the value of the "No-levelling formula" parameter by 20 units. Inside the formula, the values of this parameter can go up to 150 and even higher, but when the "-20" option is enabled, the 20 are subtracted, and then cut off in the range from 1 to 100 for display on the graph (in purple) and in the statistics section.

App makes a sound signal when the selected by user meditation level threshold is exceeded or not reached, according to your choice. Also you can select a tone or white noise as signal. This sound signal allows you to control your meditation (with closed eyes, or the opened ones), and in 1-2 seconds to know, that you are out of meditation.

Also, when the level of your meditation exceeds your chosen threshold, a colored bar appears at the bottom of the screen. The application remembers user settings on the next launch.

To use EEG Meditation app turn on the headset and press Connect button. Stop your internal monologue for meditation. Try to close your eyes for better meditation. For faster progress it is better to choose such a sound level threshold for meditation so that you hear the sound about 1/2 of the time or less. It is better to reduce the sound volume to a barely audible one.

After the beginning of the meditation session, you can turn off the screen (by briefly pressing the power button) to save battery and track only the sound.

If the quality of the headset signal has often become poor, try wiping 3 metal sensors (for the forehead and 2 on the ear clip) of the headset (and possibly the skin) carefully with a medical nonwoven alcohol disinfection cotton pad for injection.

For development of the mind the NeuroSky Mindwave Mobile headset and this app can be compared to collapsible dumbbells for the development of the physical body. If you just look at dumbbells every day, touch them and watch videos on Youtube about how to do best exercises with dumbbells, how others do these exercises and discuss these exercises with friends, there will be no progress. And even if you spend a month or two training every day, you too will not notice much progress. In both cases, at least a few years of training is required to achieve a tangible result. But, unlike a physical body, consciousness has no limitations for its development.

NeuroSky MindWave Mobile EEG Headset The author of this app has crisscrossed half of India for 8 years, published more than 20,000 photos, lived in dozens of ashrams, communicated with several saints & wonder-workers, hundreds of monks, and saw thousands of stray sadhus pretending to be saints and connoisseurs of meditation and samadhi. I participated in hundreds of rituals, pujas, yajnas and other authentic and sometimes highly theatrical performances.

The scriptures say that meditation is higher than any rituals and mantras, and that only a continuous practice of meditation can really give a chance for self-realization.

'Shandilya Upanishad says:

1.2. Japa is the practising of the mantras into which one is duly initiated by his spiritual instructor and which is not against (the rules of) the Vedas. It is of two kinds the spoken and the mental. The mental is associated with contemplation by the mind. The spoken is of two kinds the loud and the low. The loud pronunciation gives the reward as stated (in the Vedas): (while) the low one (gives) a reward thousand times (that). The mental (gives) a reward a Crore (of times that).

Yoga Rahasya ('Mystery of yoga') says:

3.25. Vedas is most beautiful of everything. All kinds of yagyas are even greater, than Vedas. Japa is greater of yagyas, and the path of Knowledge (jnana-marga) is still greater of japa. But that meditation which is free of all associations (dualism) and attachments is even greater. When the seeker are in such a state of meditation, he realizes the eternal state of the ultimate Self, Brahma.

This app is a kind of quintessence of meditation practice. It is not one more Cargo cult.

The main idea of genuine meditation is to stop internal monologue for a longer period of time. The thoughts are related with beta rhythm (12-30 Hz) of the brain, and meditation starts with prevalence of alpha rhythm (8-12 Hz), and also gamma rhythm to some extent.

All these easily can be tracked by NeuroSky MindWave Mobile headset. This app (with help of headset) can track your brain rhythms and starts to make a sound signal after 1-2 seconds of your changed state of meditation (in or out, according to your choice). This sound signal allows you to control your meditation, and in 1-2 seconds to know, that you are out of meditation (or in).

This allowes you to make the efforts to return to the state of meditation, thereby making your practice more efficient and faster. There is nothing easier for meditation training, than this exercise.

With this app you don't need to crisscross India for years, you don't need to spend your time and thousands of dollars on your way to & in India for hundreds of fake saints and sadhus with their constant demands of 'baksheesh'. You will not need to risk picking up an amoeba in India in some salad or drink that will devour your kidneys or liver in 2 weeks, or risking everything in transport on often collapsing Himalayan mountain serpentine roads. You can use this app in your comfortable home in your favorite armchair, and this will be much more efficient for your personal growth and self-realization, than desperate searches through the turmoil in the hope of a sudden 'miraculous' transformation, which some bored saint under banyan tree could do out of the blue for you.

If headset gets connected more than in 3-4 seconds (or sometimes disconnects right after connect), try to clean list of paired Bluetooth devices on your Android device, and in the headset (to do this, hold the headset switch in the third position for about 6 seconds until the indicator turns red instead of blue, and then pair the headset again).

You can also use the timer by turning it on with the switch and choosing the desired duration of the meditation session 1, 3, 5, 10, 15, 20, 30 or 60 minutes. At the end of the selected time period, you will hear a sound signal, indicating the end of the meditation session, and you can look at the meditation graph and statistics on the screen.

Below are the screenshots of the application. The first screen shows the application screen when you first start it. The "Headset" line shows the current status of the headset. On the right is the signal quality icon of the headset, which is familiar from the Brainwave Visualizer application. To start working with the application, put on and turn on the headset, and then tap the "Connect" button. Within 2-3 seconds, the previously paired headset will be connected, as shown on second screenshot. In a couple of seconds you will see the changing of signal quality pictograph first to the red cross (screenshot 3), and then to green "OK". After a few more seconds, which are required for the headset to begin the issuing of "Meditation" parameter, the application will start to give out the every second (there may be slight discrepancies in time) values of the "Meditation" parameter in the "Meditation level" line. The line "Average:" shows the average level of meditation in the current session.

The "Meditation Level Threshold" section allows you to select the level of meditation, at reaching which you will hear a sound signal. Novice meditators can choose 60 or 70, while advanced meditators can choose values in the range of 80-90. The speed of studying meditation will be best when you hear a sound signal about half the time of a meditation session.

The "Session" line shows the total time of your sitting session (it may differ markedly from real time for different reasons), while the "Meditation" line is the cumulative time when the meditation value was not less than the threshold you selected. The string "≥90 time:" shows how much time the meditation value was not less than 90 (the cumulative time). The line "≥80 max solid time:" shows the maximum duration of the period in which the meditation value has never dropped below 80, that is, your current maximum duration of sustainable meditation. The 5th and 6th screenshots shows the color bar at the bottom of the screen, which is displayed when the threshold of the meditation level is exceeded. You can change the settings right during your meditation session. Screenshot 6 shows example of the using the 'Pause' button. Screenshot 7 shows example of using the 'Stop' button, the reset of meditation session parameters will be done after the start of next session with 'Connect' button (and the beginning of getting new data). Screenshot 8 shows the idea of app screen.

"EEG Meditation" Android app screenshot 1
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"EEG Meditation" Android app screenshot 2
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"EEG Meditation" Android app screenshot 3
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"EEG Meditation" Android app screenshot 4
Screenshot 4
"EEG Meditation" Android app screenshot 5
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"EEG Meditation" Android app screenshot 6
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"EEG Meditation" Android app screenshot 7
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"EEG Meditation" Android app screenshot 8
Screenshot 8

Question: Will those people who have achieved the power to concentrate for hours at a time attain the powers known as the siddhis?

Answer: A person who has advanced so far as to meditate for three hours at a time is certainly no longer an 'ordinary' person. But the siddhis will only come after shamatha has been achieved and the mind is absolutely quiet. (In other words, it should be 3 hours of continuous real meditation without a single thought, and not its external imitation in the style of the Cargo cult.)

In fact, the most important parameters are the value "≥80 max time:" and the "Average:" level of meditation. The first parameter is relevant to the above quotation, the second has an indirect relation to it in the case of a high value (≥80) of prolonged meditation (10 minutes or more). Remember that, as elsewhere, progress in meditation will only result from your consistent practice.

If the headset's signal is lost due to the discharge of the battery (or rechargeable battery), the presence of strong radio electronic interference or for other reasons, the application will output a specific short sound signal.

The application was successfully tested with the 'NeuroSky MindWave Mobile', 'NeuroSky MindWave Mobile+', two different 'Sichiray' headsets, and the BrainLink Pro headset (as well as with any other headset that uses the NeuroSky ThinkGear ASIC module, or TGAM).

If you want to write your own application for the headset, please note that the NskAlgoSdk.jar libraries are partially documented in the file eeg_algorithm_sdk_for_android_development_guide.pdf.

The application remembers only 3 user settings for the next start. It does not remember and does not send meditation session data, nor does it send any data beyond your Android device, except for the necessary exchange of data via Bluetooth with the headset.

The author of the application experimented with tonal sounds of different frequencies, played depending on the difference between the current level of meditation and the chosen threshold (as in application NeuroExperimenter (Neuro Experimenter)). This cacophony of sounds (the notes) further distracts the meditator and actually reduces the quality of meditation. And its quality is even further reduced by voice prompts, dictating in digits the current average level of meditation in the last few seconds, such as in the application EEG reader 4 NeuroSky Mindwave. These voice prompts with numbers cause the mind to "digest" the semantic information and, in the process, distract the meditator's mind from meditation, reducing its quality. Perhaps these digital tips are good for the initial period of learning the "technique" of EEG meditation, but they certainly reduce the quality of such meditation in everyday practice.

In the course of experiments, it was found that the best solution from the point of view of ensuring the quality of EEG meditation was the use of low volume white noise, which appears whenever you leave the state of meditation (the settings are "not reached" and "White noise" with a low sound volume).

Screenshot 9. An example of a meditation session (the application automatically selects the language you use from 52 available).
Screenshot 9. An example of a meditation session (the application automatically selects the language you use from 52 available).

This application was written after using the free application NeuroExperimenter Fred Mellender (Fred Mellender). Unfortunately, this application is available only in the version for IBM PC, and also does not have the ability to use white noise as a signal.

In the future, the application can be updated with adaptive meditation threshold level (averaged over the last 5-10 seconds) and play the audio signal from an external file.

In this application, in contrast to the game "Float" of the Brainwave Visualizer application, a tone sound file (2 seconds long) is used, that does not make clicks during playback. In the "Float" game of the Brainwave Visualizer application, when the ball is raised, a click is heard every 7 seconds, especially on a smartphone or other device with a weak low-frequency component of the spectrum of the reproduced audio signal. This is due to certain shortcomings of working with sound in Android Java. Even if you prepare a sound file that is perfect from the point of view of the beginning and end of a sine wave, it will still click when cycling, if its duration is more than about 3 seconds, due to its regular loading. At the same time, (at least for several minutes, so that the click was as rare as possible) the too long sound file will unreasonably increase the size of the application in the Android device's memory.

The application has a sign of strong electrical interference of 50/60 Hz electricsal grid if the frequency selected in the headset filter differs from the grid frequency in your area, and if there are strong interference from the electrical equipment. In this case, the red text 50/60 Hz is displayed. In the case of subsequent reduced interference, the red sign turns into pale pink until the end of the meditation session. You can choose right filter frequency in MindWave Mobile Tutorial app.

Example of displaying a 50/60 Hz high interference sign if the headset frequency is incorrectly selected and there is strong electrical interference at the moment
1/2. Example of displaying a 50/60 Hz high interference sign if the headset frequency is incorrectly selected and there is strong electrical interference at the moment.

Example of displaying a 50/60 Hz high interference sign if the headset frequency is incorrectly selected and there is strong electrical interference, previously held during a meditation session
2/2. Example of displaying a 50/60 Hz high interference sign if the headset frequency is incorrectly selected and there is strong electrical interference, previously held during a meditation session.

This application is simple and unpretentious, like collapsible iron dumbbells. Like dumbbells, by itself, lying around, it does not help you. You need your regular practice if you want to achieve a tangible result.

The free 'EEG Meditation' app for iOS.

Windows PC version of this "EEG Meditation" app for white and black headsets.

This is a translation into English of this article of the author of this site.

The free Little Buddha: meditation with NeuroSky neuro-headsets app for Android.

Meditation with biofeedback using the electroencephalograph gadget NeuroSky MindWave Mobile, or accelerated self-study of meditation.

Questions and Answers on NeuroSky MindWave Mobile neuroheadset in the context of meditation practice.

The arguments in favor of the use of EEG headsets, such as NeuroSky MindWave Mobile, for meditation.

Comparison of the 5 headsets for meditation: NeuroSky MindWave Mobile, Muse, EMOTIV EPOC+, EMOTIV Insight and Melomind.

What meditation is and how to meditate.

NeuroSky MindWave Mobile . -.