Music and meditation
The longing for inner peace
We live in a meritocracy. Wealth, prestige and power are distributed according to our output. We are flexible, hard-working, fast and always highly motivated. We can be everything - and at the same time: caring parents, good friends, committed employees, shrewd managers. We cultivate our networks, are active in sports, eat consciously and are committed to a better world.
Let's face it. How long can we keep this up? What if at some point we can contribute less? When our output slowly dries up? How do we measure our own value then?
We can only give ourselves the answer to this. We find it in the search for our inner peace.
As long as we are there, we are a contribution - and primarily not to others, but to ourselves. This kind of spiritual realization of what or who we are, the path thus into our inner being, is not necessarily as clear before us as a well-lit street in the city.
On the way to ourselves
Meditation as a map - music as a guide
It is no news that music triggers the most diverse feelings in us. We use it - consciously or unconsciously - to create a certain mood or reinforce a current one. When we're sad, we won't necessarily look for the silliest song possible in our playlist. We choose something to accompany us on the way through our current emotional world - and sometimes it then leads us to new mental places we hadn't originally planned to visit. So music can show us a way and guide us.
Music in meditation does exactly that - it accompanies us and leads us to our inner places. Due to the respective number of acoustic vibrations per minute, it can influence our mind and even our organism in different ways - under certain circumstances it can even heal us. This effect is demonstrable. Under the influence of meditation music, our breathing rate changes, blood pressure lowers, our muscles relax and hormone balance comes into equilibrium.
Which Meditation do we choose?
When we search the internet for a meditation exercise, we are doing so with a specific intention: to free ourselves from stress, hectic or negative thoughts, to deal with fear or sadness, to motivate ourselves for a big challenge, we are looking for healing or simply long for peaceful sleep.
Depending on their intended goal, the acoustic background enhances the effect of meditation. A common application is relaxation music that creates a natural atmosphere. This is achieved through the use of natural sounds, such as bird calls or water sounds. We dive into the rainforest, stand under a waterfall or look through the canopy of high treetops into a bright blue sky.
Music examples with nature sounds
Meditation with singing bowls
Special instruments are used in many pieces of music that are intended to support us in mindfulness and meditation exercises, autogenic training or self-hypnosis. Singing bowls, rattles, wind chimes, drums, bells, flutes or gongs are only a selection of musical devices that can be used to create sounds that are intended to have a specific effect in meditation.
First and foremost, it should be about calming and relaxation. Therapy with singing bowls is therefore one of the proven methods in alternative medicine to use health-promoting aspects of meditation music.
Music examples with singing bowls
Meditation with Indian flute
The flute, on the other hand, is not meant to trigger specific vibrations of our brainwaves, but rather aims at pleasant and comforting associations, such as nature and vast landscapes.
For example, it can assist in conscious breathing, as the sound of this instrument and its production itself are closely related to breathing.
Music examples with Indian flute
Floating tones - sound carpets - sound cascades?
The choice of music for meditations is as large as the variety of terms used to illustrate it. As beginners or general skeptics, we may not immediately find our way in the face of the many, metaphorical descriptions. So where to start?
Experience pure being in the comforting bed of sounds
Learning to consciously relax is not witchcraft. The core of almost every meditation for inner peace and stress reduction is self-observation. In doing so, we should consciously think ourselves into our skin contacts with the environment, our breathing or a particular body organ. Pleasantly, the first thing we are often advised to do is to get into a comfortable position.
So we pluck at our pillows a little, test a few variations of posture, and listen to the sounds that are supposed to help us switch off our thoughts during meditation. By the time the first gentle wave of warm sounds has washed over us and the nightingale has intoned its lonely song, we are already calmer. Our mental journey begins, and soon we are far away from all the heaviness and noise that just turned concentric circles in our heads.
Music examples for passive meditations
Rhythm instruments are used rather sparingly during such a passive meditation. Usually, superficial, dominating and thus distracting sounds or beats are dispensed with. The situation is different when it comes to active meditation, e.g. in a martial arts session, yoga or during movement therapy.
Being active during meditation
We sit on our yoga mat and try to wrap our thigh around our neck. Okay, maybe a rarer application example. Nevertheless - in such a case, a dynamic piece of music with repetitive sound sequences and beats could lead us to success faster than a completely rhythm-free soundscape.
If we get involved with the monotonous sounds of the drums, rattles or sounding woods, they soon put us - similar to a mantra - into a trance-like state. In this way, we can separate our mind from purely physical perceptions and wrest abilities from our body that we would not have thought it capable of under more awake circumstances.
Music examples for active meditations
Facing the tasks of life with serenity
It's worth finding out for ourselves what relaxation method we can use to do something good for our body and soul - where we can retreat to when everything around us becomes too much. A beautiful, warming and soothing music we can escape only with difficulty. The right sound backdrop points us specifically and quickly to the inner places where we can feel safe and unobserved, and from which we can return to our everyday lives calm and strengthened.
The tasks of our lives may remain what they are: a constant challenge. But perhaps we will succeed in taking a different look at them, a clear view of things - and the path will become bright.