When one meditates it brings peace and relaxation. When one listens to music, it soothes the mind and creates a pleasant state. Both meditation and music – at a certain level – are achieving similar results. So what happens when we meditate to music? There are several theories regarding that. Some meditation techniques don’t recommend listening to music as meditation is the process of the going inward, while listening to music keeps the attention and focus outward. There are other meditation techniques that use music as a way to relax the mind and connect within. Meditation is the process of discovering oneself in relaxation, which creates the necessary environment of stillness to go deeper. It does not involve movement or doing anything. When one is mentally, emotionally and physically prepared, one can become meditative in just about any place and direct the attention within to experience joyful or blissful states, even while performing any activity. But it does take a certain level of preparation to get there.
Adding music to meditating brings in another dimension, different, but complementary. Every human being is unique and therefore different kinds of music appeals to different people. While some people love slow classical music, others are tuned into rock music. So the question that comes to mind is- are there specific types of music that creates a meditative mood? Yes and No. Yes to those who are receptive to that kind of music, and perhaps harder for those whose system is not tuned to that type of music. Music is nothing but an arrangement of sounds. The entire universe is made up of sounds. If the sounds are arranged to be in tune with the cosmic geometry of sounds, then people automatically respond to it, without knowing what it is that makes them respond in that manner. There are ample anecdotes of musicians making rain happen simply by the power of their music. In that sense, well structured music can become the doorway to meditation.
Regardless, meditation and music have universal appeal. Meditation has become popular in the western culture over the last few years, while meditation has been an ancient practice in the eastern culture. Music on the other hand has had global appeal for time in memorial. All through history we have heard of great musicians traversing the seas to distant continents and enthralling the audience with their music. Music is one of the easiest mediums to connect to regardless of language or genre.
Nothing else can connect us to the heart – ours and other hearts – like music. Universal in its appeal, music can serve as a bridge to bring people together, irrespective of who they are or where they come from. Meditation music can awaken the heart to its higher potential and can help express varying moods and emotions. Meditation music brings a certain sweetness and aesthetic into our lives. Beautiful meditation music can also provide a delightful sensory experience.
While words have their intellectual appeal, instrumental music can create an openness that language cannot. Music without words ignites certain regions of our brain. In fact, there is a growing amount of modern research in the field of neuroscience, music and psychology demonstrating music’s incredible effects on the brain.
Meditation music creates an ambiance that can help us transition from worldly to other-worldly. It has the power to transport us into a state of receptivity, peace and relaxation. Sometimes that is exactly what we need to unwind after a long or stressful day when we are carried away by mundane affairs.
In the early 1950s, French physician Alfred A. Tomatis found that certain sounds enhanced or drained the brain’s energy. Working with a diverse array of soothing aural stimuli – a mother’s voice, Gregorian chants, and classical music, for example – Tomatis reversed learning disabilities and attention deficit disorder in his young patients. Today there are hundreds of Tomatis listening centers around the world. In a more recent study demonstrating the curative effects of sound, 30 minutes of music therapy produced the same effect as 10 milligrams of Valium on critical-care heart patients, reports Raymond Bahr, M.D., the director of coronary care at St. Agnes Hospital in Baltimore.
If sound is arranged in a particular geometry, it influences us on the level of the being. So if a musician hits the right pitch, it is definitely possible to bring health and wellbeing to the listener. Indeed, music can help heal and bring well-being.
Try these links to create a meditative/healing mood with music.
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