Monday, June 29, 2009

Meditating with music

When you’re moving too fast to sit and be mindful, you can use certain kinds of music to help you tune in to a slower, steadier, less jarring rhythm before you begin meditating. The music you choose depends on your taste — one person’s “aaahh” is another one’s “ouch.” Some people relax to classical or jazz, while others seem to need the intense sounds of heavy metal or the staccato rhythms of rap before their bodies settle down.
By all means, use a favorite CD to soothe your savage beast at the end of a long and stressful day — preferably something that joins you where you are and then gradually lulls you into a quieter space. When you’re breathing a little easier, you can head for your meditation corner. Or you can make listening to music a meditation in itself. Begin by being mindful of the music the way you’d be mindful of your breathing. Instead of thinking or daydreaming, listen with full attention to the sounds as they unfold in your awareness. When your mind wanders off, return to the music. At times, you may even lose yourself in the sound so that you, as the listener, disappear and only the listening remains. Such moments of deep meditation offer a glimpse of your essential being that can’t be understood by the mind, but they have a powerful effect nevertheless.

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