Holosync vs. LifeFlow

Or, more exactly, not. Something I have noticed on the Project Meditation forum is that there are people who go for LifeFlow because it is cheaper than Holosync, which they have considered before or even started with. (I am guilty of picking up LifeFlow after Holosync as well, although for other reasons. Holosync has a lot more PR, so people tend to discover it first.)

The thing is, the two competitors have quite different approaches. You cannot just substitute one for the other and use them in the same way, then expect the same results. Oh, there are similarities: They both use binaural beat technology to create a standing wave in the brain of a desired frequency, and they both warn their users that this may cause weird experiences as formerly unconscious material comes to the surface. Even unpleasant or scary stuff to some degree. But they both maintain that for most people, the pleasant experiences dominate. And reports from several users seem to bear all of this out.

However, Holosync uses more of a “brute force” approach. They start with delta waves from day one, which may be nice if you want to substitute meditation for sleep, but is very hard to assimilate. They actually claim that the intention is to overload certain parts of the brain in the hope that it will reorganize on a higher level of efficiency. I have mocked this in the part, I hope, saying that if so they should play the sound of screaming babies. No other sound overloads my brain at least faster than that. Clearly that cannot be what happens, or at least not the only thing that happens.

LifeFlow takes a different approach. While meditation is optional with Holosync, it is a central part of the recommended use for LifeFlow. And LifeFlow starts with pure alpha wave soundtracks, a form of brain waves that occur naturally in humans while awake, although it is most common just as we are about to fall asleep. Still, many people experience alpha waves simply by relaxing and closing their eyes. And if that is not, rolling the eyes back gently (as if trying to look through your forehead right above your nose, the so-called “third eye”) will usually trigger it. To further recognize this type of brainwaves, you will notice that it is incompatible with mathematics and other stuff that normally would make you furrow your brows to solve problems. Even long sentences may be hard to handle in this mode. However, you are still very much aware, in fact in some ways more than before. More present, perhaps. And sounds may sometimes seem louder.

Anyway, you should be able to recognize the alpha waves from daily life. If all goes well you should be able to spend most of the meditation session in this state. Not that you can’t do that without artificial stimuli too. But after about a month, you move on to a slightly deeper alpha level. Each month you get access to a deeper frequency. After something like three or four months, you are within the range we call theta waves. I think those are kind of overrated, they appear naturally in shallow sleep if I understand it correctly. Contrary to the claims on their website, vivid dreams (REM) actually use beta, same as waking thought and experiences. Although in me at least, dreams during shallow sleep can be scaringly intense and lifelike, as I have written about earlier this spring.

Over the course of about a year, you gradually get used to lower and lower frequencies, until you can supposedly experience delta waves and remain conscious, or at least aware. I wonder about that. It probably takes much longer time for most. But at least it should be theoretically possible.

I still use Holosync to wake up in the morning. It has a great combination of the meditative background sounds and the clanging of metal bowls that helps keep one awake even if sleepy. But I am not so sure about the psychoactive effects. The standing wave seems to remain confined to the deeper layers of my brain (and it probably is real, since I seem to need less sleep when I use it regularly) but my mind is not affected, or not noticeably.

This may be just as well, since without getting used to lower frequencies gradually, I would almost certainly go into deep sleep. The ability to retain witnessing awareness during deep sleep is something only the most adept meditators experience. (Although it can happen spontaneously once or a few times in life for others. It happened to me once when I was sick and had been awake at a time where I should normally be in deep sleep. I did fall asleep again, but somehow I did not lose consciousness completely. I have described it as a single candle somehow burning in the lightless deep somewhere in the ocean, hundreds of yards below the surface and its light, but it was not actually scary, and it was not actually a candle, just the “light” of awareness. Perhaps a better description is in the song by G.O.L: “All sound had died away, and it was quite dark. But in the void and in the silence, there was still a kind of knowledge, a faint awareness. Awareness not of name or person, and not of memories of the past. The awareness knew only itself.” Unlike the rest of their song, however, the experience was absolutely peaceful and not at all creepy. Merely detached awareness, without reflection or wishes.)

Now, I have no such experiences with either Holosync or LifeFlow, and I don’t know if I ever will. Probably not. I seem to be quite resistant to the actual experiences, which is ironic since I can have intense experiences of alternate states from music or sometimes silent meditation. But I hope to continue my experiments for some time to come, if I have some time to come at all. (Not that I know anything else.)

31 thoughts on “Holosync vs. LifeFlow

  1. Good Day All!

    Ive been using HS for 5 yrs now-Ive just started the flowering series about a wk ago, also have started integrating the LF system with it. HS has been great for myself, helping me reach very deep states of meditation.
    My ability to handle daily stress is off the charts or should I say Im very “imperterbable”.

    Now, I have just started using LF during my afternoon meditation (HS always 1st thing in morning), so far Ive found I have more energy and am somewhat more focused on things (work) then before using it.

    Ill keep going with this routine and let ya all know whats going on.

    Harry (the Hat)

    • Sure. Start slow! That way you won’t have the creepy nightmares I had in the beginning. Probably. Read the instructions and don’t do any more, even if nothing seems to happen at first.

      This is really a good idea with all brainwave entrainment and even with ordinary meditation. Or training of the body, for that matter, but bodies are rather easier to understand for most of us. Start easy, and increase slowly over time. Patience is a virtue!

      • Hi, I agree, take it slow. I used Holosync back in 2010 but quit due to overwhelm, I was going through it too fast. I have recently gotten back into it, beginning Awakening Prologue again as of last Tuesday, so one week in now. My mind is sharper already. Take it sloooow…it’s not a race. Best, Greg

  2. Thank you for posting your experience! I was looking for some input on what the differences are between Holosync and LifeFlow. I have been using Holosync for one and a half years now (I have just started on level 3) when I discovered LifeFlow on the internet. Even though Bill Harris has sent his book ‘Threshold of the Mind’ with the first lot of CDs. I haven’t ever really understood much and had sometimes a hard time just trusting the process itself. Why I am interested in LifeFlow is that it seems simpler and more user friendly. Also, apparently one can use both systems. I wonder if that wouldn’t be stretching it a bit too much.

    Greetings, Veronika

    • Hello Veronika! As I mentioned, Holosync uses more of a “brute force” approach, exposing the user to some of the deepest frequencies the brain can handle. In contrast, Lifeflow takes 10 months (and many users spend more time) to get to the same low frequencies. But in the meantime the users have trained themselves to respond to a wide range of frequencies, starting with the familiar and gradually mastering frequencies that are normally only found during sleep.

      Another difference is that Lifeflow uses a unique combination of binaural, monaural and isochronic sounds, so it can also be played on loudspeakers, and is generally effective in more people.

      A third difference is that each level of Lifeflow has its own soundcape. I am not sure whether this is a good or a bad thing: Most people find one or two of these to be really pleasant, and one or two to be really irritating. But irritation is just another reaction that you can release, and of course that is what you should do with the pleasure as well, during the session at least.

      A fourth difference is that Lifeflow is part of Project Meditation. The sound is meant to be used in conjunction with meditation (without religious context – just the techniques) and there is an excellent free course in meditation on the web site, and many practiced meditators are regulars at the forum.

      And I won’t deny that for me, a major reason to get off Holosync was the effect it had on its founder. Harris has become a living spam central, trying to sell a wide range of products that should not be necessary at all if his own product worked as advertised. The “center point” of Holosync is Bill Harris, the hotshot who is hanging out with all the cool kids in the New Age industry. While the heart of Lifeflow is the Project Meditation Forum, where experienced users are guiding newcomers based on what has benefited themselves and their families.

      In the end, that is why I recommend that even if you continue to use Holosync (you have invested quite a bit in it after all), you should still spend some days reading through the Project Meditation Forum. It is that good.

  3. Thanks for your help!
    My girlfriend works a lot and she is tired all the time, stressed, wanting to sleep. I am considering one of these two systems for her to sleep better and be more relaxed and have more energy. We are Buddhists and practice Buddhist meditation.
    I would like a program that helps her with the above, is not too expensive, and maybe helps us meditate better but without interfering much with our way of meditating.
    What could you tell me on this?

    • Of the two, Lifeflow is designed to be used with meditation, and has been used with success by Buddhists, primarily those who practice silent meditation. (I remember there was a discussion about use with chanting, as practiced by Pure Land Buddhists, but this combination doesn’t seem to be widespread.)

      Holosync is more of a brute force approach to replace meditation.

      • i can’t meditate, so holosync is better in my opinion. I got super bored with lifeflow. holosync kept my mind concentrated and i finally experienced the meditive state.

    • I have not tried the product, since I already have Lifeflow. If the given information is correct, this product seems to be very similar to (and probably inspired by) Lifeflow.

      Before you buy any of them, I recommend downloading the free sample from Lifeflow and use it on repeat (I suppose most MP3 players have this ability). You may want to try it on its own and together with your meditation practice for a while. If you find it useful, once you buy the first track of the cheaper brand, you will be able to compare the effects.

  4. Holosync or LifeFlow is yet again a question I have. Maybe there is no universal answer and it all depends on the individual and the needs one has.
    But I would welcome some feedback from anyone who has worked with both systems.

  5. Magnificent blog, I’ve found out more than i believe you have realised by examining this, I’ll save it and return afterwards

    • You may want to put enough information on the site that it does not look like a cheap mail harvest site. Unless it is a cheap mail harvest site, of course. People are more likely to give you something of value (such as their email address) if you have first given them something of value.

      • Hmm, actually it looks like there is some information on the front page, but it does not actually show up in any of the four browsers I tested (Opera, Chrome, Firefox and IE.) You may want to look at it again, most people won’t read your source code to find out about your website. ^_^

  6. I’ve been using Holosync’s AP level for awhile now and I’d like to switch to LifeFlow. Is it necessary to start at the 10hz level or can I start at a theta level? I’ve used an alpha level of LifeFlow and it didn’t seem to be doing anything. I tried LifeFlow 6 today, to see how it would make me feel, and now I feel great. Am I cheating myself by skipping right to LifeFlow 6?

    • Hello Alan,
      my experience is very similar to yours. I had some experience with Holosync, and had also meditated for many years. I found that I could meditate more deeply in silence than with LifeFlow 10. After I explained the situation to their staff, they sent me a sample of LF 7, which was more effective for me. So this kind of thing can happen, in my experience. I found out that for me, 8 was the natural starting point. I bought the whole set anyway, since money isn’t really a challenge where I live, but I haven’t really found any use for the first two.

      • We are very similar, because I was thinking LF 8 would be my starting point if I decide to go that way. I had been using LF 7 a few weeks back, to break up patterns, but shortly after found myself returning to Holosync, until I tried LF 6 and loved it.

        I’m going to see how LF 6 goes for several days and if I feel I should back away I’ll head right to LF 8 and proceed down from there.

        Thanks for your comments, it was a big help.

  7. I am into HS experience since May of 2009 and religiously meditate daily for 1 to 1 1/2 hrs. The development of the mind and the awareness that it brings concerning the consciousness of one’s being is tremendously amazing.

    Before I started with HS, I listened to the sample meditation they sent me. It was during this sampling experience that I came across with LF and their sample meditation. I must confess that I love listening to LF more than the experience that HS gave as I compared them.

    What moved me to decide to journey with HS is their superb reading materials
    that will usher you into the systematic educational understanding of the world of meditation and the benefits you get out of it. Helping you understand the technology they use to help the brain develop through neural pathways and the effects it bring in your life is what got the upper hand in me.

    BUT there is something in LF that brought me some kind of mystical experience of joy, happiness, and tranquility that I never experienced with HS. This was an experience I had while listening to both sample meditation that HS and LF offer.

    I suspect that there is something in LF that more than meets the eyes that is why I googled this website to connect with you. I guess I am now ready for the prospect of LF experience. I will treat my HS experience as a preparation to the real adventure of ‘life experience’ as the name LF suggests. More power to all LF users!

    • I would say that Holosync and Lifeflow are to some extent covering different territory, rather than being direct competitors.

      Lifeflow has a number of different frequencies, 10 in the main series, and the new user is encouraged to start with the most familiar, Lifeflow 10 which is an alpha wave entrainment. Alpha waves should be familiar to most people since we have them each night as we relax and drift off to sleep, and often otherwise too when we relax our mind. In Lifeflow, you are encouraged to first become thoroughly familiar with this, and then gradually learn to master lower and lower frequencies all the way down to 1 Hz.

      In contrast, as you know, Holosync slides through different frequencies over the course of half an hour, never stopping long enough to get anchored in them, until it comes to 1 Hz. Although there are supplementary disks for a couple other frequencies, it is not a mandatory part of the program.

      Lifeflow is also intended to be used mostly with meditation, whereas Holosync is marketed as an alternative to meditation, or an alternative form of meditation.

      I can’t recall hearing of anyone trying Lifeflow after that much time with Holosync – there have been a couple people who went as far as the second course – so I am quite curious as to what you will have to tell. Myself I still use Awakening Prologue from time to time, but never bought the next stage even though I could easily afford it.

  8. I love Holosync. And they DO have alpha frequencies and theta. If it’s too much start with Quietude(Alpha) then Oasis(Theta) then Dive(Delta) then Immersion(Even Deeper Delta). But I guess everyone’s experience is different.

  9. Thank you for all your insightfull writing !
    I have a question concerning the volume on wich you listen to the lifeflow tracks.
    When listening over headphones are you playing it more in the background or as loud as possible while still being comfortable ? Or somewhere in between ?
    Kind thoughts

    • According to both the producer and several users, Lifeflow works even if it is barely audible. But I personally like to have it loudly enough that it is the dominant soundscape, that is, so that it is louder than other sounds that I hear where I am sitting. When I have heard it a number of times, it is less distracting than the sounds of my neighbors for instance. But it is not more effective the louder it is, no. It is a matter of preference. Whatever is least distracting to your meditation is best for you.

  10. Have you ever tried Omlife, from Mindvalley? I found them the other day and have been impressed with their Consciousness Engineering series. Been using Holosync for years, and the Omlife looks to be something to grab. Price is right and if the rest of it is like the demo meditation I tried, different and less jarring (and nicer sounding) than Holosync.

    • Omharmonics are certainly easy on the ears. I’m not going to switch to them myself, as I’m using my own homemade 0.5 Hz tracks these days. (At this stage I like to have full control of what goes into my entrainment, no secret recipes.) But I think it is a great idea to make soundscapes people look forward to listening to. It makes it easier to stick with the habit, and that is arguably the most important part of any meditative practice. Thanks for bringing this up, Erik!

      • Erik,
        I think exactly the same,
        You are the first person I met that wants to have a full control of what goes into the ears, it is so important
        Bill Harris in his book is quoting Dr. Thomas Budzinski who has said that when making theta
        waves, your brain has “an uncritical acceptance of verbal material,
        or almost any material it can process.”
        In other words…
        …in theta, you become a sponge,
        easily soaking up – we don’t know what is already on the record on the MP3 from HS or other BWE, it can be a message of any sort!
        Do you mind to give me some tips on doing this kind of track, I have FruttyLoops and used do some music with it.

        • Hi, I am not familiar with FruityLoops, but what I do is create the actual entrainment tracks in a free program called Gnaural. You can either export them to a file (there is a number of formats supported) and mix it in another sound program, or you can do it the other way around, importing music into Gnaural as another “voice”.

          Gnaural is totally free, no ads or anything, and you can get it here:

          Here is a very simple demonstration of Gnaural by some other guy also doing this stuff. It just covers making the entrainment tracks and exporting them. I recommend using plateaus so the brain can catch up instead of varying all the time like he does, but at least this should show the basics of how to make binaural and isochronic tracks for export to other music editors. I hope that will be useful for you.

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