Using Music for Meditation
If you are thinking about using music for meditation, then it's important that you understand the different types of meditation music and how they will affect you during meditation.
But before we look at how to use music for meditation, lets start by answering the question, "Should you use music for meditation?"
Well this really depends on what you goal is with meditation. Allow me to explain a little further...
Meditation Music for Light Relaxation
If you wish to experience a light meditation or if you just want to relax your mind and unwind, then most forms of ambient meditation music will be of great assistance. Let’s face it, the modern world we live in can be pretty fast paced, noisy and stressful at times. Most of us could really use some time out to relax and rejuvenate, and listening to some meditation music is a great way to do this.
Most "new age music" is suitable for general relaxation and can help ease you in to a meditation, but for some people it can actually become a distraction once they reach a certain level of depth and stillness in their meditation.
This is because a lot of new age meditation music is designed to be a little more "entertaining" than it needs to be, and is not really composed with the core principles of meditation in mind. It is wonderful, enjoyable music, but it’s not always suitable for deep meditation.
Deep Meditation Music
If you are searching for music that will genuinely enhance the depth of your meditation, then it is essential that you only use music that was specifically composed for this purpose.
These specialized forms of meditation music are composed with the principles of psychoacoustics in mind (the psychology of sound), and they are designed not just to relax you, but to absorb your attention and gently coax your mind into a state of deep meditation.
Here are some examples of meditation music styles that are suitable for meditation:
Soothing meditation music
Any slow moving music that is free from vocal performances or extravagant instrumentation can be used for meditation. So long as the music has a very slow tempo, a soft timbre and doesn't contain any distracting interludes it will be fine to use.
Sonic mantra meditation music
Sonic mantra meditation music is a specialized form of meditation music that encourages deep meditation through musical mantras that are made from sound.
Binaural music is music that contains binaural beats. This type of audio technology can have a profound and direct effect on your state of mind and is very effective at inducing deep states of relaxation.
Mindfulness bell recordings aren't musical, but they are an extremely powerful meditation aid. If you've never tried using a mindfulness bell before, then your ears (and your mind) are in for a bit of a treat.
Tips for using music for meditation
1. Keep it Down
If you are using music for meditation, then make sure that you don’t play the music too loudly. Your music should not seem dominant or intrusive. It should just be a serene and comfortable backdrop to your meditation. Turn it down a notch or two.
Headphones are not always required, but I do recommend them for two reasons. Firstly, they make the music feel as though it is coming from inside of your own mind. If you are using music for meditation, then you'll want to become deeply absorbed in the music, and the use of headphones really encourages this. Secondly, some headphones help to block out external sounds, which makes them very useful if you are meditating somewhere a little bit noisy.
3. Choose the right music.
As I already mentioned, if you wish to meditate deeply then I recommend that you avoid meditation music that is overly "entertaining". By this I mean that you should steer clear of music that contains percussion, vocal performances or lots of instrumentation and variation. Music like this might be great for winding down out and relaxing, but it may not encourage a truly deep meditation experience.
Meditation music can also be used prior to meditation, to help put you into a calm, relaxed state of mind. So even if you choose to meditate without music, taking some time out to unwind while listening to some meditation music will help to prepare you for a deeper meditation experience.
The Guided Meditation Site is dedicated to deep meditation music...music that is specially designed to enhance and deepen your meditation. I encourage you to explore our range of music for meditation here.
You can also download some free meditation mp3's here.
About the Author
The author of numerous articles on the science of sound, Dr. Christopher Lloyd Clarke is well versed in the scientific principles of psychoacoustics and music psychology, and he applies these principles whenever he writes music for hypnosis and deep relaxation. A long-time meditator himself, he combines the artistry and science of music composition with his own unique insights into relaxation states. Not only does he compose and produce music for professional meditation teachers, hypnotherapists and holistic healers, he has hands-on experience in personally using music to achieve deep, healing, transformative states.
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