5 Relaxing Forms of Meditation Music and How to Use Them
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Music has long been known for its positive effects, evoking feelings of happiness, passion, excitement or even anger and fear.
In meditation, music is used to help people achieve a calm mind as it can help them shake off stress and feel at ease without you consciously thinking about it.
At the same time, the beat of the music can often help slow your breathing down and bring your thoughts to the present.
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What is Meditation Music?
Meditation music could refer to a couple of different things. This could either be music made by an artist specifically as an aid to meditation or any music that a mediator may find calming and relaxing that aid their meditation practice.
This can come in the form of ambient music or natural noises like the sounds of rain or the ocean etc.
Natural sounds are particularly useful for meditation as they provide various sounds for the conscious mind to focus on without becoming to distracting.
Relaxation music is often used in the background of yoga or meditation classes as a way to set a calming mood and relaxing atmosphere rather than being the focus of the practice itself.
Should I Meditate With Music?
Deciding whether or not to meditate with music is a decision you have to come to through experience.
Gentle ambient music or background sounds are prevalent in beginner meditation courses and are generally considered good for new students due to their calming effects.
As you become more comfortable with your practice, you should experiment with different background music and find what works for you. You may prefer silence.
If you are more of an experienced meditator, it still may be worth experimenting with some background music or sounds as they can effectively anchor your practice.
How to Use Meditation Music
Before your meditation practice, you need to set your intention for the music. Is it going to serve as the main focus of the training, or will you just use some calm music to help you relax?
If the music is just there to set the mood, then have a listen before you start your meditation session. Make sure that you don’t find the music too distracting or jarring. Generally, contemporary music such as pop or rock or anything with lyrics isn’t recommended as it’s designed to be catchy and distracting.
Music and sounds can also serve as good anchors for your mind. Instead of bringing your attention back to your breath or your body when you’ve become distracted by your thought, you can use music or environmental sounds.
This free lesson from the MindEasy course’ Mindfulness of Everything’ will teach you how to use music and sound as the focus of your meditation practice.
Best Music for Meditation?
Classical music is a perfect accompaniment to meditation because it’s often very soft and pleasing to the ear, and easy to listen to. Beautiful piano music is ideal as it allows you to focus on just one instrument rather than being distracted by a whole orchestra.
Bach, Mozart, Severin Blazer, and Beethoven are popular composers to listen to.
Nature sounds like those from the ocean or rain forest are particularly popular because they often help you feel relaxed and peaceful and help to take you to a quiet place in your mind as you subconsciously imagine yourself amid nature.
This doesn’t necessarily have to be prerecorded either. City rain where you live or the sound of local wildlife can be equally useful.
Christian Meditation Music
Christian meditation sometimes incorporates Gregorian chanting, a way of singing in an intense and low tone. It was developed in western and central Europe between the ninth and tenth century and often accompanied the Church mass.
The unique thing about Gregorian chanting is that it has no harmony or rhythm, meaning that it’s probably the simplest and purest form of ‘music’.
Instrumental music can be a great way to help you achieve a greater sense of relaxation. For example, some people prefer to listen to familiar instruments like guitars, violins or piano.
In contrast, others may opt for quartz instruments such as the crystal singing bowl, spirit drum or the Koshi chimes.
Cultural music like American flute music or Celtic music can also be highly relaxing helpful in a meditation session.
These special instruments have typically been tuned to a particular frequency aligning with the human energy centres, also known as chakras, in the hope to restore any imbalance.
New Age Music
New-age music often features music and instruments from different cultures, such as India and Asia.
These instruments use tone, rhythm and melody to create a sense of harmony with your inner self.
Can Meditation Music Help Me Sleep?
Listening to music can improve your sleep. The Sleep Foundation reported that music “has a direct effect on the parasympathetic nervous system, which helps your body relax and prepare for sleep.”
The organisation said older adults who listen to 45 minutes of relaxing music prior to bedtime “fall asleep faster, sleep longer, wake up less during the night, and rate their nights as more restful than when they don’t listen to music.”