The Art of Meditating to Music

The practice of meditating regularly is one of the most beneficial things you can do for your health, general well-being, and personal development. However, meditation can be a difficult practice to get into at first, since many of us find it hard to sit still, do nothing and think of nothing for a certain period of time. That is why meditating to music can be so helpful. The right type of sounds can slow down your brainwave activity, and thus make it much easier for you to relax and get into a meditative state. Follow these tips for maximum benefit:

Follow these tips for maximum benefit:

1.) Select a good piece of meditative, instrumental, inspirational music. Why instrumental? Because this type of music stimulates the right side of your brain, the intuitive, creative side. By contrast, music with vocals involves left-brain activity, because linguistic lyrics make you think. When you are meditating, you need something which quiets the thoughts whizzing round your logical, rational mind, which is usually overburdened by modern, fast-paced lifestyles.  So when you are planning to meditate with music, choose an instrumental track. It’s fine to use songs with choirs, as they mostly do not use linguistically enunciated words.  One notable exception to this rule might be the sacred sounds in ancient languages, used as mantras in time to the music, such as Tibetan chants.

2.) Find a peaceful, comfortable, quiet place. Disconnect the phone and make sure you will not be disturbed.  Find a comfortable position to sit or lie down for around half an hour.  The more relaxed you are, the more you will benefit from the meditation, as you will become more sensitive to sounds. So it might be an idea to ground and center yourself before the meditation, spending a few minutes on deep breathing and focusing on relaxing each part of your body.

3.) It is most beneficial to listen to your music with headphones and at a comfortable, reasonable volume. You can use an iPod, a CD player or a cassette deck to listen, but a good-quality pair of headphones is of the essence,  to optimally receive the musical vibrations.  It makes a real difference.

4.) While you are listening, use natural, unforced diaphragmatic breathing, the type  known as “belly breathing.” When inhaling through your nose, direct your breath to your abdomen, and feel it rise.  When exhaling through your nose, feel your diaphragm fall. To center yourself even further, press your tongue against the roof of your mouth, while inhaling through your nose, and exhale through your slightly parted lips.

If you try meditating this way, you should find it is one of the best methods for getting the most out of this ancient, positive practice.

 

Picture courtesy of www.mindfulnessbrainscience.com

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