Music For Meditation: 8 ways to include music in meditation
Meditation has many benefits in the modern day lifestyle as it gives us time and space to rediscover our true selves and helps us to express ourselves in the most authentic way possible. Though there are so many kinds of meditation practices available in the current times that meditating with an appropriate kind of music is as old, practice as the very act of meditating itself.
There are many variations known traditionally, however as metaphysicians are learning more about the science behind meditative practices and with the onset of technology, more advanced forms of meditation music are being discovered which combine different benefits and provide creative relaxation to those who find meditation routine as boring.
- Binaural Beats: It was discovered in 1839 by a Prussian physicist and meteorologist Heinrich Wilheim Dove. It is an entrainment wherein both the ears receive different kinds of frequencies and this effect is known to produce an auditory illusion. Binaural beats are known to have a variety of benefits such as relieving pain, improving sleep, meditation and having out of body experiences.
- Classical Music: This can be very helpful for meditation since it not only helps us relax but even accesses the deeper states of consciousness. It helps in relieving stress. It is constructed upon homophonic melodies wherein the instruments play a single melody instead of playing layered melodies, thus ascribing to its serene and celestial quality.
- Natural Sounds: In the current times of urban lifestyle where we sense a constant disconnect from the natural world, it is no surprise that we might start feeling ungrounded or give in to depression very quickly. Listening to nature’s sounds like sounds of waves, chirping of birds, the rustling of leaves, etc can help us in the visualization and provides an experience of being present in the natural setting, hence coming out of the state of disconnect and build a deeper connection with ourselves as well as the world around us.
- Harmonics and holophonic sounds: These are very stimulative for our brains and are known to produce a three-dimensional, realistic experience. These kinds of sounds are extremely powerful as they are known to activate other kinds of sensations as well such as smells and effects that accompany such sounds. There have been instances noted where people could smell sulphur after hearing a holophonic sound of someone striking a match.
Other kinds of instances have been where hearing impaired people have been known to be able to “hear” these sounds due to their frequency. These frequencies are not only known to stimulate the brain but even reach out to the cells and DNA, the deepest vibrational body. Solfeggio is a very commonly known holophonic sound used for healing.
- Christian music: Music of hymns can be very pleasing to the hear and the soft vibrations can instantly bring the person to a state of devotion. The Choir music can be composed of bells, chimes and the sound of the piano, and has a very devotional, soothing and angelic experience to it. This kind of music can be based on soothing instrumental music and traditional devotional tunes which can instantly develop a connection with a higher power.
- Gregorian Chanting: It is produced by singing or chanting in a low tone. It has been used for centuries in religious settings. This is a type of vocal music traditionally sung in Churches and can be in the form of recitation or free-form melodies.
This form of chanting is particularly designed for congregational singing and is known to connect deeply with one’s soul and invoke a sense of inner peace.
- Primordial Sounds like ‘Om’: These are used in chanting for preparing a person’s mind before he embarks on the meditative practice. This practice involves silent sound meditation where the chanting is based on sacred silent sounds, particularly in Indian spirituality. Chakra sounds, sounds of Om/Aum, primordial sounds of nature like sounds of lightning, thunder, womb space, sounds of breath or heartbeat, are immensely powerful and effective.
- Instrumentation from objects: Using chimes, crystal or brass healing bowls, flutes, drums, triangles, cymbals are extremely helpful in shamanic journeying where we are journeying through the layers into altered states of consciousness using the sound of these vessels. These kind of sounds are very potent in helping us connect with the wisdom of our ancestors and reaching a deep place of stillness. These are also potent to use in drumming circles and ceremonies.
Including music within your meditation practice can help you in becoming very creative and at the same time reach altered states of consciousness that can be difficult due to the busy lifestyles we lead in the modern day and the effect of technology over us.
Madhulika Mitra is a fantasy connoisseur, a realm creatrix, a shadow-seeker, and a cosmic cardslinger.