Before we dive into Meditation Music, we need to discuss Meditation and what that means. Meditation is a simple practice or method to help you gain clarity. Meditation can bring a sense of inner peace; it activates the mind and can improve cognitive abilities.
What is Meditation?
Meditation is not about changing the person you are; its objective is to obtain a healthy sense of self and learn not to judge your thoughts and feelings.
Meditation is not an exercise but a continuous practice. It may take someone a very long time to be comfortable in their training, and that is perfectly okay.
When you first embark on a Meditation journey, you may notice that you can only do it for a few minutes before your thoughts overpower you. You may see that you start to overthink, and honestly, that is perfectly okay.
It is natural at the beginning of your Meditation journey for this to happen. The important thing is not to give up. Meditation is not a race—pat yourself on the back for recognizing and acknowledging your inner dialogue.
A great way to get started with mediation is to use guided meditations and apps like Headspace. They have tons of information on meditation and guided meditations you can use. It’s a great program that will have you feeling your best with all of the tools, meditations, reminders for mindfulness, etc.
Headspace allows you to try it for free for 14 days. This is great because you see the benefits of meditation and mindfulness for yourself with some guidance sooner than if you’re trying it out on your own for the first time.
Meditation has been around for a long time, going back to approximately 1500 BCE or Before Common Era. It has its roots in the early Hindu schools of India and has been adopted by many faiths.
Because of this, many different meditation practices were formed, such as mindfulness, transcendental, movement, and mantra. Each technique has its benefits and may not be suitable for everyone.
More Recently, Meditation has gone from being seen as a fringe, new-age, hippy-Esque fad to a practice that benefits so many with stress and anxiety concerns, sleep disorders, and those seeking enlightenment or mindfulness in their day-to-day lives.
Sound has gone hand in hand with Meditation for centuries. Some of the sounds that we associate with Meditation can be traced back to Meditation’s early roots.
However, Meditation music only started to gain mainstream popularity in the 20th century. Composers such as John Cage, Pauline Oliveros, and Stuart Dempster (to name only a few) combined meditation techniques with concepts and Music. They blended it to become the intuitive Music we are familiar with today.
Music during Meditation helps to heighten senses during a meditative state. The science behind this is called Psychoacoustics, which translates to “a branch of science dealing with the perception of sound, the sensations produced by sounds, and the problems of communication.” (Merriam-Webster.com)
The various types of Meditation music are as follows:
Indian Classical-ex: Hindustani and South Indian Carnatic
Gregorian chanting-ex: Kyrie, Benedictus, Psalm, Responsory
Primordial Sounds-for example, the word Om, chanted as one long sound.
Nature sounds-ex: ocean waves, steady rain, birds chirping, sounds of the rainforest
Instrumental or classical-ex: Bach, Chopin, Mozart
Christian-ex: instrumental hymnal sounds
Binaural Beats-discovered in 1893 by Prussian Physicist Henrich Wilhelm
These beats work with the brain to develop a frequency associated with relaxation.
I recommend listening to each of these types for a few minutes every day to see which connects with you the most. This is an essential piece to your practice.
Check out Headspace if you want to be guided and have tons of resources for meditation and mindfulness at your fingertips. They also have a great free trial for 14 days.
You will have a hard time practicing Meditation if you do it to Music that doesn’t connect with you. And hey, it doesn’t even have to be from the list above.
For example, some people Meditate while listening to Hard rock or heavy metal! The message here is, that whatever works for you works for you! Just like in Yoga, there is no ego in Meditation.
The Benefits of Meditating with Music
The list of benefits of using Music to help you Meditate is endless. It can aid in relaxation, and stress reduction, relieve tension and decrease insomnia. In addition, Meditation with Music increases cognitive performance and improves memory.
Meditation can help heal by allowing you to relax and connect with your subconscious mind and deal with issues that you may suppress.
The calmness that you feel when listening to meditation music helps you relax, and you can listen to it while you work, practice yoga, or read a book.
It allows you to detach from your environment and focus on thoughts and actions. You become more aware and present in your daily life with an ongoing Meditative practice that includes Music.
Meditative Music can alleviate symptoms of anxiety and depression. It lifts your mood and slows down breathing which helps to calm you.
Music Meditation can help build resiliency in dealing with challenging situations, hardships, and those annoying days where everything seems to go wrong!
Meditation with Music has improved sleep, allowing for deep sleep, boosted immunity, and lowered heart rates and blood pressure.
Most spas usually play soft music so that customers can also enjoy a state of calm while enjoying their treatments. Zen meditation music helps us relax and enjoy on a deeper level.
Trust me when I tell you that this list goes on and on!
How Music Can Help you Meditate
Have you ever heard a song on the radio which automatically lifts your mood? Or that one song you have on repeat that you can’t get sick of because it washes away the stress of your day? Has a melody brought in a giant wave of emotion because it reminded you of someone special in your life?
Music can transform, de-escalate, empower, change, support, and aid in so many things, and we tend not to be aware that it does. When it comes to your Meditation practice, Music can do the same.
Music for Meditation was adopted to aid in mindfulness, visualization, and contemplation techniques. You listen to Music while meditation helps you focus on your breathing, which is very important in your practice. It can help soothe your mind and body and assist in relaxation.
Meditative Music can help guide you into a deeper state of consciousness. For some, this is a difficult thing to attain. However, using sounds such as Gregorian chants, binaural beats, or focusing on the sound of one instrument such as a Harp can deepen your practice.
For many who are just embarking on their Meditation journey, Music can help ease you into Meditation. The music feels easier and can immediately provide a sense of relaxation than many other forms of Meditation.
Should You Sleep with Meditation Music On?
Sleep is essential, yet so many of us struggle to get to sleep and stay asleep. We live in a very high-demand, stressful world that prevents most people from attaining a restful and regenerative sleep. Sleep meditation music can help you relax and get into a much deeper sleep.
A good night’s sleep can heal, help reduce stress, lower your risk for health problems such as heart disease and diabetes, and can help you think more clearly.
Nighttime is when our thoughts and emotions erupt and turn into what seems like an endless loop of words that we can’t stop. Adding Meditation Music to your nighttime routine can assist in getting you to sleep better.
Soothing and calming nature sounds like rain falling or waves crashing have been known to help relax and calm before bedtime. In addition, many parents use this and white noise to help soothe fussy babies at nighttime.
Guided meditations on apps such as Breathe, Calm, and Headspace generally have Music playing in the Meditation background. Apps such as these also provide Hypnotherapy for sleep supported by melodies, chants, or beats.
Hypnotherapy can aid those who have insomnia and other sleep disorders. Before starting your Hypnotherapy journey, I strongly suggest speaking to your doctor or other professional to ensure that this is a reasonable practice.
Sleep music is an excellent addition to your sleep routine.
Along with comfy sheets and a cool bedroom temperature, maybe even a Yoga practice for sleep, relaxing and soothing Music can change your sleep habits, provide deep relaxation, and help you fall asleep and stay asleep longer.
So the simple answer here is, yes, sleep with Meditation Music playing if it works for you.
When Should You Listen to Meditation Music?
You can listen to Meditation all day, every day!
You can listen if you need to unwind after a stressful day; if there is a strong desire to feel relaxed; when your day seems to be spinning out of control; or if you are just in the mood to listen to good music for the soul.
There is no right or wrong answer here.
Add headphones or earbuds to cancel any sounds that might distract you from your practice and attain a more profound sense of relaxation, a deeper sleep, or a more substantial focus on the task.
For example, I listen to Brainwave sounds with my earbuds when writing, as this helps me focus and keep my thoughts centered and in order.
A Meditation Music playlist is a great way to keep all your favorite sounds, melodies, or Music easy to access. You can find incredible playlists on most music apps that are available to download, or you can come up with your own.
However you do it, make sure it resonates and connects with your soul.
Whether you are a beginner or a seasoned practitioner of Meditation, adding Music Meditation is healing and can assist in a more profound Mediation practice.
It can relax and soothe your tired and over-stressed soul, sleep aid, and alleviate stress, anxiety, and depression.
In addition, it slows down your breathing, calms your core, helps prevent diseases of the heart, and boosts your immune system.
For all these reasons and possibly many more, your mind and body will thank you for adding calming and relaxing Music to your practice!