Music & Meditation

The sign of a good song is the way it affects emotions, despite the current state of mind. Imagine the song that takes you away, from the current worries, and makes you feel like your floating in perfect harmony.   This may be a rare occurrence for some and has never happened for others, but it can happen. That’s the point.

When we carry stress or sadness for so long that we don’t remember that we even have it, we can’t work on the cause. We don’t realize anything is wrong and therefore carry a weight on our shoulders for life. I have found one way to help lift and release some of these pent up worries and emotions. Meditation is a good thing, but how many of us can even sit for the time it takes to do so? Next, how many of us can really clear our thoughts like we need, in order to meditate? Few, in my opinion. So how can we learn to calm our minds in order to do some real introspection? I think I may have found a way that helps to focus the mind, yet open up what we have buried away. This would be to combine music with meditation.

So how can a person combine meditation and music? Well, first you need music that is conducive to a meditative atmosphere. This may be different for each person, but most will find the meditation easiest to enter with music that is uplifting and complex in structure yet simple in melody. Most classical style music can fit this description. Now, this same music must pluck at specific emotional strings within you. Take movie themes, they are written to target certain emotions that fit the overall theme of the movie. If you listen to that same theme and clear your mind of the movie’s story you can spark similar and eventually, completely different emotions.

Let’s look at two examples and try to close your eyes and let the songs carry your mind and thoughts:

First, from Pirates of the Caribbean – you may need to listen twice to get over the shock of the amazing skill illustrated, I had to listen many times before I could close my eyes and really hear the music.

Ok, don’t think of anything specific while listening, let the music carry the thoughts.
Now, close your eyes after starting the song below.

Really, close them and try to visualize the sounds in your mind.

You have to forget the movie and make you mind follow the rhythm and pitch of the music.
I will explain in detail, how to do this later.

Next, is a more soothing piece made famous by Elvis:

(NOTE: I really like the Pianoguys, as you can see, but this can be done with any piece that fits your particular style, and mental state at your attempt with the meditation.)

It can be difficult at first, but with some practice one can learn to use the music as a meditation focus. You have to be able to, really open up and temporarily let go of your pride, anger, stress, and worry. I feel that it’s easiest to learn this skill with music that has no lyrics. Eventually even lyrical music can be used, but I would refrain from most lyrical songs, because they can direct you thoughts too much and disallow you to form a real emotional connection to the music itself. It’s your choice, but remember this is meditation, not entertainment.

Sometimes you can be meditating to a certain song, such as Pirates theme, and you will begin to, literally feel that song. I still can’t explain why but you may feel like crying. It’s not a sad cry, it’s like a release of pent up emotion and stress. You’ve carried it so long that you didn’t even know it was there. Sometimes it may be the stress of self doubt or of things you know deep down you should work on. You aren’t thinking of the cause of the emotion you are addressing the emotion directly. Once you get to this point, you are achieving the goals here, what’s next I can’t say yet. I am still in the process of learning about this method.

You will find that some song will energize you and others will release pent up emotion, others may elicit a feeling of sadness or remind you of guilt. The key is not to be afraid of these emotions and to embrace the fact that they exist. Once you can do this, you start to unlock each wall we build around our hearts and minds. With those walls down, creativity and inspiration increase ten fold. We begin to overcome our own hangups and move our life to a better place. Remember, this a process and takes time. I am still learning and growing myself, and will seek to improve upon this technique.

I’ll leave you with one last song that I find amazingly uplifting:

Now take some time to meditate. Work on clearing your mind. Don’t give up, keep trying.

Have peace and find real joy!

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8 thoughts on “Music & Meditation

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  4. I like your notion of using music to aid in meditation, although personally I have broader, probably more non-traditional tastes for this. The digeridoo (sp?) for example, or Gregorian chant. Tribal drums or…I forget the name of it, but there is a vocal chant style that originates from Nepal/Indonesia. I guess I’m more eastern that way. But hey, whatever floats your boat! If the classics/piano work for you then that’s very cool too 🙂

    • I love the Gregorian chant, and have heard it used in many various works. My preferred styles are…well, almost anything, but I always come back to piano, cello, violin type classical pieces. They are my musical comfort food. I can sit and listen to nothing but movie themes for hours. That and Celtic music…good stuff!

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