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Ought to I take heed to music after I meditate?

I really like music. In reality the highly effective surges of pleasurable vitality that I used to expertise in my physique when listening to music as a teen was one of many issues that made me curious to study meditation. These experiences of rapture (the Buddhist technical time period is “priti”) opened my eyes to the actual fact that there have been ranges of expertise exterior of our regular expectations.

“Meditation Music” Is Not a Conventional Idea

The concept you must take heed to music whereas meditating is quite common. However this most likely goes again to seeing meditation as little greater than a way of rest.

Historically, the concept of listening to music whereas meditating can be utterly out of the query. In no Buddhist lineage that I do know of is there any type of musical accompaniment to sitting meditation.

The notion of listening to music whereas meditating is a really trendy one, and possibly comes from the truth that many various well being practitioners play stress-free music within the background whereas performing their therapeutic arts. This music grew to become often known as “meditation music” and the belief grew up that we must always take heed to music whereas meditating.

Historically there would merely be silence or ambient background noise to accompany meditation.

“Meditation Music” Stops Us From Going Deeply Into Meditation

So-called meditation music is supposed to be stress-free, and naturally meditation does assist you to to loosen up too. However meditation goes past rest and helps us to be extra alert and targeted. It additionally helps us to do issues like domesticate kindly or to deeply query the character of our expertise. Music is more likely to get in the best way of these actions.

In case you’re making an attempt to concentrate one-pointedly to your respiratory, then you possibly can’t additionally take heed to music. And in the event you’re making an attempt to take heed to music then you possibly can’t absolutely focus in your respiratory.

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Music produces nice emotions, which is why we take heed to it and why music is now nearly ubiquitous, being thrust at us in shops, elevators, and even on the streets. If these nice emotions are being equipped by “meditation music” then we received’t attain deeper into ourselves to seek out our personal sources of happiness. So-called meditation music subsequently is a type of crutch that hinders our apply quite than serving to it.

In case you discover silence disquieting or disagreeable, then you definately’re not capable of be at peace with your self. The way in which to get comfy with silence is to apply being with it. On this means we study to be at peace with ourselves. Listening to music whereas meditation makes that course of inconceivable. You’ll by no means study to be deeply at peace with your self in the event you’re depending on music.

In reality, as we get deeper into meditation, we cease registering sounds altogether. Our ears are nonetheless functioning, in fact. And the indicators they’re producing are nonetheless being despatched to the mind. However after we’re absolutely engaged with being conscious of our interior expertise, we merely cease listening to sounds.

Listening to music whereas meditating stops that depth of mindfulness from occurring.

Music As Meditation

Nevertheless, specializing in music is okay, and I wholeheartedly counsel that you simply attempt doing that, however I additionally counsel that you simply attempt doing it at a time while you’re not meditating.

I’d go additional and counsel that listening to music, if performed correctly, generally is a meditation in itself, simply as strolling or washing the dishes may be. You may take many actions and make them richer and extra satisfying by taking extra consciousness into them. Music, as we’ve seen, is only one instance. We’ve included hyperlinks to some wonderful Buddhist music that makes an ideal focus for a “listening meditation.”

Listening to music as a meditation apply generally is a very highly effective apply. As I grew to become extra conversant in the expertise of the dhyanas (Pali, jhanas), that are very concentrated, calm, and blissful states of meditation, I noticed that I’d been experiencing these states for years whereas listening to western classical music. And I’ve discovered that I can expertise the entire dhyanas whereas treating music as a meditation object.

In case you’re going to take heed to music as meditation then you need to take it critically as a apply. Strive to not do the rest on the identical time. Don’t work, or learn, or stability your checkbook whilst you’re listening. Swap off your telephone. Darken the room. Simply take heed to the music. Ensure you’re in a cushty place that helps alert consideration. Sit or lie down comfortably, and simply take note of the music. You’ll most likely discover that you simply take pleasure in it like by no means earlier than.

Nature Sounds As an Accompaniment to Meditation

One auditory accompaniment to meditation that I do suppose is cheap is recordings of pure sounds, similar to water, birdsong, and many others. Within the Buddha’s day the overwhelming majority of meditation would have taken place outdoor. Even when meditation came about indoors, the buildings would have lacked glass home windows and silence would have been extraordinarily uncommon. So you might argue that meditating within the presence of pure sounds (or recordings thereof) is nearer to the unique apply of meditation. Alternatively, simply because silence was uncommon within the Buddha’s day doesn’t imply that individuals then wouldn’t have discovered silence helpful as a background for his or her apply.

Moreover, although, many people dwell in very city environments the place listening to pure sounds is uncommon. I consider that contact with the sounds of nature fulfills a deep want for a way of connectedness to the pure world, and that recordings of these sounds may help fill that want.

Additionally, pure sounds are extra random and fewer “catchy” than music, and the thoughts is much less more likely to change into connected to and distracted by them. In reality, it’s simpler to tune out random pure sounds as we get extra absorbed in our expertise. We’re extra more likely to get “caught” listening to music.

So at worst I’d say that pure recordings do no hurt, whereas at greatest they might assist us to fill a necessity for the expertise of pure sound. Music however is more likely to be a distraction, or to artificially produce nice emotions, thus stopping us from discovering these nice emotions from inside.

In the end It’s As much as You

I’ll simply add that you simply’re utterly free to decide on to take heed to music whilst you meditate. You’re free to take heed to the information whilst you meditate, even. However in making these selections you’re additionally selecting the results that comply with on from them — that you simply’re taking away a chance to be deeply at peace with your self. I’d counsel that selecting silence is a extra spiritually useful choice. Even in the event you initially discover silence intimidating, you’ll get used to it. Tens of millions of meditators have. And in time you’ll discover that silence is extra conducive to peace and tranquillity than music ever might be.


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