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Mar 24
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Some Ways to Use Music In Your Meditation

By “Jackie Writing Jackie”

Meditation practice and music are naturally intertwined. The natural rhythm and tones of music can help you to channel your mind, regulate your breathing patterns and move your consciousness inwards, away from worries and troubles. Studies have shown that music helps you to focus and concentrate on deep thoughts and this can help with your meditation. Not only can you listen to music, but you can also incorporate playing rhythm and chanting into your daily sessions to help you relax.


Chanting and singing

The practice of chanting is a primary feature of music in Buddhist practice, in Shambhala Centers and throughout the world, for ritual and in preparing for meditation. Repetitive chanting is also a very effective way of learning Buddhist scripture. Doing a singing course can help you to develop your breathing technique when chanting. You can learn to effectively use your vocal cords as an instrument, using breath to support the voice. Meditative chanting has been shown in studies to slow the delta brain waves helping in turn to slow the heart rate, reduce blood pressure and coordinate both brain and hearty activity. Ultimately chanting helps to unite body and mind, bringing them to the same frequency which gives you a feeling of intense relaxation and wellbeing .

Music whilst meditating

Playing music whilst you are meditating can also be a very effective way of bringing you peace. Studies have found that music helps to soothe anxiety and stress by lowering your blood pressure and reducing your heart rate. The tempo of the music is very important though. Research done by Stanford University found that 60 beats per minute (one beat per second) is ideal for making the brain produce the alpha brainwaves that become synchronized with the beat. These alpha waves have a frequency of between 8-14 hertz and are generally present when we are unconscious or sleeping. The presence of alpha brainwaves is what helps us to relax both mind and body during sessions of meditation.

Choosing your music 

Slow classical or romantic period music can be an ideal background music for meditation. The depth and soundscape of an orchestra can help move your mind into a more relaxed state. A “largo” concerto or sonata is generally a good choice. Light jazz has also been shown to help you to relax whilst meditating. The Stanford University study also found that sounds of nature, both on their own and also intertwined with other music are particularly effective at helping the brain to produce alpha waves. This is why “rainforest” or “ocean” music is often used in recorded guided meditations, bringing in the slow, natural rhythms of the environment.

Music has a profound effect on both mind and body, helping to calm and relax you. You can use music to help to produce the alpha waves that will relax your brain, moving you into a state that can be perfect for meditation.

After taking a career sabbatical to become a mother, Jackie now writes full time on topics ranging from health and wellness right through to news and current affairs. She has, in the past, battled problems with anxiety and panic, and in her spare time she volunteers for a number of local charities that support people with mental health issues.

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