Can you meditate while listening to music? Why would you even want to use music with meditation?
You can certainly use music while you meditate. Music can help you relax more deeply into a meditative state and give you something to focus your attention on during a meditation session.
Benefits of meditating with music
Auditory stimulus has been used during meditation practice since ancient times. The Buddhists use Tibetan singing bowls to signify the beginning of their meditation sessions.
If you’re considering using music for meditation, these are the benefits you may want to know about.
Focusing The Mind
Music can give you something to focus your mind on. You can use music as an auditory focal point for your mindful practice.
Beginner’s may find that their mind wanders during silent practice. Using music gives meditators a focal point to stay engaged in meditation.
There is even a certain type of meditation known as transcendental meditation that utilizes focusing on specific sounds in your environment to calm the mind. Music can be that audio focal point and bring you deeper into meditative practice.
Meditation music can get you in a relaxing state of mind for meditation. A slow paced calming type of music will aid in the relaxation process.
Relaxing music helps release bodily tension and slow heart rate and breathing.
When you feel calmer it will be easier to tap into the present moment. Meditation will become easier when you’re able to relax the mind and body. Music can be useful for this calming process.
Tuning Out Distractions
Music can be a great way to tune out distractions and begin to focus inwards. This can be great for when you’re in a busy place like an airport or café.
If you’re someone who struggles with distractions when meditating, using headphones and a meditation soundtrack could help you stay present.
Music may aid in emotional understanding for those that use meditation as a way to reflect on their mind and emotions.
Certain music can evoke strong emotions in the meditator. Bringing these emotions out into your awareness could be helpful to processing and understanding them in a mindful state.
Why You Might Meditate without music
Though meditating with music has many benefits, not everyone finds it to be helpful. Here are the reasons you may decide meditation without music is right for you.
Music Can Be Distracting
Some people find that music causes more distractions than it takes it away. If you find any extra auditory stimuli to be distracting, perhaps music is not right for you mindful practice.
Others may find that the emotions and thoughts that music brings up may be particularly distracting as well. If you want to keep your emotions at bay during meditation practice, music may not be for you.
Preference For The Natural Environment
Many traditional meditation practices value silence and the natural auditory environment. Without music you can become more tuned into your internal environment without any external distraction.
Others prefer to use their natural environment as their auditory focus. There are all kinds of interesting sounds to focus on in your immediate environment without any extra added music.
Natural noises like birds chirping and water can offer greater relaxation and focus than music.
What’s The Best Meditation Music?
The best music for meditation is relaxing and without lyrics. You want your meditation music to aid in the relaxation and focusing process.
Any lyrics or words will most likely cause more distraction. You’ll also want to have slow pace and relaxing music, nothing fast paced.
This is the playlist that I personally use for my meditation sessions:
Using A Gong or Singing Bowl
You may want to use a gong, bell, or Tibetan singing bowl to signify the beginning of meditative practice. Creating a ritual where the sound of the bell or bowl signifies starting meditation can be helpful for getting into a meditative mindset.
At the end of the day, using extra auditory stimuli like music can have many benefits for meditation practice. Though it does have its benefits, meditating with music is not for everyone.
Experiment for yourself to find out what works best for you. Happy meditating!
Still learning to meditate? Check out “The Beginner’s Guide to Meditation”