Learn more about meditation and music in honor of World Meditation Day! World Meditation Day happens each year on May 21st. Its inception is uncertain but one thing we can assure you: it does not hurt to celebrate it! On the contrary, meditation has a lot of benefits. Read on to learn more about these benefits, about music and meditation and how music can improve or affect your meditation experience, and some suggestions for you to engage with meditation on World Meditation Day, and really, any other day.
What is Meditation?
According to the widely-known app Headspace, meditation is “about training in awareness and getting a healthy sense of perspective. You’re not trying to turn off your thoughts or feelings. You’re learning to observe them without judgment. And eventually, you may start to better understand them as well.”
Additionally, the Merriam-Webster dictionary offers the following definitions of “meditate,” which is to:
- engage in contemplation or reflection
- engage in mental exercise (such as concentration on one’s breathing or repetition of a mantra) for the purpose of reaching a heightened level of spiritual awareness
- focus one’s thoughts on : reflect on or ponder over
- plan or project in the mind
I am sure you have, at one point or another, “meditated” on something. Maybe you reflected on something, or maybe you contemplated or projected about a decision in your life.
And maybe you already have an intentional meditation practice implemented in your life! If you do, congratulations and feel free to continue reading about how to incorporate music into your meditations. If you do not have a meditation practice, then continue reading to learn how you can get started.
According to another greatly known app, Calm, meditation can have the following health benefits:
- Lowers high blood pressure
- Slows Cellular Aging
- Helps Prevent Diabetes
- Helps Fight Alzheimer’s
- Reduces Chronic Pain
- Improves Immune System Function
How do I get Started With Meditation?
This World Meditation Day gives you an opportunity to get your meditation practice jump started. The first step to get started on meditation (and on anything, really) is to make a decision and commitment to yourself. It also helps if it is something specific, like “I will meditate for 5 minutes every day,” for example.
This post is here to help you with the first baby step. If you are wondering about the specifics on how to meditate then continue reading as we give you a few suggestions in the last section!
Music and Relaxation
In the past we have written about the ways in which music can improve relaxation. A lot of those same mechanisms are also relevant to meditation practices. Listening to music can indeed be a form of meditation or a way to enter a meditative state.
As we wrote previously on music and relaxation, music with certain characteristics can lower blood pressure, decrease mental fatigue, and promote relaxation and well-being.
Music, Relaxation, and Meditation
The jump from music and relaxation to music and meditation is not a huge one. Indeed, you can relax while listening to music without necessarily meditating. Although if you are using music to meditate you are most likely relaxing as well.
An important difference would be that when you are using music to meditate, you will actively observe your thoughts without judgement. You might also meditate on aspects of the music you are listening to and that can be part of your meditation as well.
Ideas for World Meditation Day
Now, we have a few ideas that you can implement in observing this World Meditation Day! Ultimately, we hope that you have learned why meditation can be beneficial for you and that this inspires you to start a meditation practice. Without further ado, here are some ideas:
Meditate using your favorite song
This might be a surprising thought, but you can really meditate with just about any song! Take a song you really like and listen to it. But REALLY listen to it.
Really listen and try to understand what the lyrics mean.
Also listen to all the different sounds present in the song. The vocals. The percussion. The guitar or keyboard. Any other sounds you cannot identify.
Meditate on how this song makes you feel. Why does it make you feel that way?
Focusing, and meditating, on all these different aspects of your favorite song can be a fun and engaging way to start a meditation practice.
Meditate using our relaxing music playlist
If you want a suggestion for music to accompany your meditation journey, then we recommend you to check out our playlist of relaxing music. These songs were recommended by different music therapists and music therapy students. Some of them have even been used in scientific studies.
The point is, there is a generally accepted notion of them assisting relaxation. And as such they are also a great pair for your meditation time.
Meditate in silence for five minutes
It is completely acceptable to engage in meditation simply by remaining in silence. This can be a great opportunity for you to really be mindful of your thoughts and your body. While this post was focused on why and how music can assist meditation, we will forgive you if you decide to simply sit and meditate in silence. Sometimes silence is really what we need.
Get a free meditation app
Nowadays there are many great meditation apps out there! A few that come to mind are:
All of these apps have free and paid plans. If you are completely new to meditation then of course you can start with the free plans. I have personally done the free meditations from Headspace and found them quite useful, although they did not include any music. I am sure that if you scour your app store, you will find many more meditation apps.
I hope that this World Meditation Day will inspire you to start your own meditation practice. And hopefully, the information and suggestions on this post are useful in doing that as well. Remember that ,usic can be a great ally in your meditation journey! Let us know in the comments about your meditation experience and if/how you are using music to meditate.
Thank you for reading!
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