Having spent the last few blog posts talk about some more technical or hard stuff such as how to meditate, let me talk about some soft stuff that is interesting that is more opinion-based. The whole point of writing this piece of blog post to share with you how music plays a role in my life and in my meditation practice. By sharing with you, I hope that you can appreciate music more and probably find a way to use music to clear or relaxed your mind. Now, let’s talk about music and its relationship with meditation.
Music & Meditation
What does music has to be meditation? The short answer is “a lot”. Before we further discuss, let’s remind ourselves of what meditation is and what it does to our brain. When we meditate, what we are doing is that we are assigning a very small and easy task to our mind, usually a looping task such as repeatedly reading a mantra in our mind. By making our mind do a simple task, our mind would stop doing some heavy thinking and that’s the closest thing we can do to make our mind rest completely. After say 10 to 20 minutes of meditation, we would have enough rest for our mind so that our mind becomes very clear as if we have just hit the reset button of our mind. Now, having revisited what meditation really is, I would suggested that there are two main ways that music is related to meditation.
Listening to Healing Music During Meditation
As explained in the previous paragraph, what we are trying to do with meditation is to rest and relax our mind. Let’s assume that you practice either breath meditation or mantra meditation, have you thought about that by listening to some undistracting healing music, e.g. some Indian style yoga music, during your meditation session, it makes it easy for you to forget about your physical environment and make it easier for you to focus on your breath or your mantra. In addition, it does make you feel more relaxed and make it easier for you to meditate when you are under intense stress or anger. I have mentioned in another blog post that I find it difficult to practice mantra meditation when I am currently under intense stress. I would usually take a long walk to calm myself a little bit before I start my mantra meditation. Now, with some meditational healing music, it may help you the way my long walk helps me. I find it very useful for me when I am under mild stress. It helps me relax to a point where I can actually have my mantra meditation. Although my long walk is more effective on me when I am under intense stress, healing music may work wonderful for you. You have to try it to see which option works better as everyone is created differently, so is our brains.
Listening to Healing Music Can be Meditation
As I understand more and more about the concept and the science of meditation, the more I think that meditation can be anything. For example, I consider having a long walk as an excellent way to meditate. First of all, I am not really thinking hard while I am walking. Secondly, I am moving my legs repeatedly and I am pretty much do that without my mind consciously giving order to my legs. Third, after walking for 45 minutes or so, I feel that my mind is very clear and relaxed. I feel like I have a really sharp mind that can look at things more realistically and rationally. Now, let’s look at listening to music. Can listening to music, especially healing music, be a form of meditation? I would definitely say so if I listen to healing music with my eyes close, doing nothing else. That’s like replacing reading mantra or observing breath with observing the instrument playing and the nature sound in your healing music. If you know how to do breath meditation or mantra meditation effectively, you should be able to get into the desired half-asleep state by listening to the healing music with your eye closed and with yourself sitting in a relaxed position.
To Me, Old Music Works Equally Well
To discuss this point, I can only use my own experience and share with you that it does work for me and you will have to try to see if it works for you. Up to this point, when I say “healing music”, I am referring to those typical Indian or tribal yoga music that is filled with instrument playing and possibly nature sound. I have also explained how these healing music can both work with your current method of meditation and listening to the music itself can be a form of meditation. Now, let’s discuss whether we can listen to some classical music or even old pop songs to achieve the same effect. Let me make it clear that new music, especially noisy ones, just don’t work. That’s a good reason for that. If you are listening to a relatively new song, you will use too much of your brain power to observe the song out of curiosity and you may even try to try to understand the lyrics. But with old songs that I probably have listened to for over 1000 times since I was a kid, I feel that it can help me relax that way healing music does. For example, I can just put The Beatle’s Yesterday on loop and have my eyes closed and sitting on my sofa. Listen to that song for 5 times or more while doing nothing else can really help clear my mind. Although I still find mantra meditation more effective on me, this old pop song meditation method is something I do something as half entertainment and half meditation.
In conclusion, music has a lot to do with meditation. You can play some healing music during your breath meditation or mantra meditation and that may make your experience more effective. You can also just close your eyes, sit in a relaxed position and listen to some meditation healing music for 20 minutes or more and there is your music meditation.