Intentionally disrupting my thoughts and still getting birds

I thought something was kind of off with how I was getting birds at moments when I would notice my mind WAS wandering… So, I tried to intentionally test it. I started running through song lyrics, summoning up images - anything BUT focusing on my breath… and Muse still says I’m doing great, gives me non-stop birds and tells me I was calm for 8 minutes out of a 10 minute session. I’m not sure how I should interpret this as anything other than the product not working at all. If there is not some trick to make it actually work, I’m just going to return it. This is very disappointing for such an expensive device.

I have 15 years of experience in Buddhist meditation and last year I bought and used Muse. I feel that it is convenient for checking the state of “relaxing type meditation for beginners” which is simply closing your eyes and increasing alpha waves by relaxing.

I wanted to help you by reading your post and I did a simple experiment.
There are three prerequisites.
(1) Your Muse is not broken
(2) Your Muse electrode is detecting your brain waves correctly
(3) You have properly calibrated before meditation

If you try following experiment and don’t get the following results, then probably one of the three conditions above is not met.


Fig. 1 shows I sitting in a dark room in a comfortable position (in Zen meditation), closing my eyes, and doing “relaxing meditation for beginners”. I did it for 30 minutes. The birds kept whispering and the calm rate was 99%. The data shows only for the first 5 minutes.

In Fig2, in a bright room, with a tense posture (I sat on an office chair), closed my eyes, and tried “relaxing meditation for beginners” for 5 minutes. The mind moved around, but birds sometimes whispered, and the calm rate was 33%. The data shows all for 5 minutes.

In Fig3, in a bright room, with a tense posture (I sat on an office chair again), I kept reading my computer screen with frustrating content with my eyes open. The birds never whispered and the calm rate was 0%. The data shows all for 5 minutes.

As mentioned above, in Fig2, the my mind moved around, but birds sometimes whispered. This is because the moment of tranquility sometimes continue as we continue to meditate.

In your case, as the silence rate is 80%, it is assumed to be close to the state of Fig1. Then, how about experimenting to clearly deteriorate the state of meditation like Fig2 and Fig3 ?

Especially by opening your eyes in a bright room as shown in Fig3, the alpha wave of the EEG will definitely decrease from the viewpoint of cerebral physiology. And you work on a frustrating computer screen (Google search, for example) alpha waves are reduced more and the calm of the heart is lost.

If you try the experiment in Fig3 and the birds continue to whisper, it is likely that one of the three preconditions mentioned above may have problems.

Another possibility is that if you are a Buddha-like “person who has reached enlightenment,” the bird may continue to whisper, it is not a joke, but such people may sometimes really exist.