Most of us enjoy music is some form or other, be it rock, classical, jazz, blues or whatever. I just can’t imagine a world without music.
Music can be calming or energising; it can spur us into action or soothe us at the end of a hard day. We often use music to convey messages when words fail us; in fact many believe that music is a mystical, magical language – a supernatural voice which speaks to us.
Listening to music can be a wonderful way to relax but it can also be a focus for our meditations. By putting our full attention on the piece of music we choose will fill our minds and emotions in a much more powerful way than if we simply played background music.
Choose your style
Before starting to meditate using music as our focus, your first need to choose some music or make a playlist to use for meditating. It’s best to choose instrumental music as we can easily be distracted by lyrics.
Now, go to a favourite spot and sit in a comfortable position. Plan to be there for 20 to 30 minutes. It’s quite a good idea to do a body check to remove any areas of tension and also to do some inhalations and exhalations.
I like to use headphones for music meditations – I feel more at one with the music. Start your chosen piece of music and remember that if your mind strays, pull it back to the music. Remember not to force anything. Meditation should be easy. This kind of meditation is not about visualising anything, it is simply about “being”. Put everything else out of your mind while listening and think only of joyful times reflected by the music. It’s good to keep your music to hand in your iPod or mobile phone so that you can play some music whenever negative thoughts try to invade your mind.
Playing can be meditative too
If you play a musical instrument you can also use your practise as meditation, remembering always to have your awareness on the activity and be in the present moment “doing”
Once the music and your meditation finish, take your time in returning to the hustle and bustle of your everyday life. Stretch your body and open your eyes slowly, then when you are ready, ask yourself whether you feel different from when you began the meditation