MEDITATION

Meditation is a practice where an individual uses a technique – such as mindfulness, or focusing the mind on a particular object, thought or activity – to train attention and awareness, and achieve a mentally clear and emotionally calm and stable state.

With the hectic pace and demands of modern life, many people feel stressed and over-worked. It often feels like there is just not enough time in the day to get everything done. Our stress and tiredness make us unhappy, impatient and frustrated. It even affects our health. We are often so busy we feel there is no time to stop and meditate! But meditation actually gives you more time by making your mind calmer and more focused. A simple ten or fifteen minute breathing meditation can help you to overcome your stress and find some inner peace and balance.

Meditation can also help us to understand our own mind. We can learn how to transform our mind from negative to positive, from disturbed to peaceful, from unhappy to happy. Overcoming negative minds and cultivating constructive thoughts is the purpose of the transforming meditations found in the Buddhist tradition.  

 I'm going to focus on Music Meditation

  1. Choose meditation music that can help you relax. This means finding music that you enjoy listening to—if you don’t enjoy classical music, for example, don’t choose it. You should also look for music that has a slower tempo, and preferably without lyrics, which can be distracting and can engage your conscious mind—the part of your mind that we hope to ‘turn off’.

  2. Get into a comfortable position and relax. Many people think they need to sit with their legs crossed a certain way or use a meditation cushion, but really, whatever position you feel is comfortable is the position you should try. Some people avoid lying down because they fall asleep this way if they're tired; you can experiment and decide what's right for you. Once you've found your position, close your eyes, loosen your muscles, and breathe through your diaphragm. Let your shoulders, your belly, and even the muscles in your face relax. 

  3. Stay focused on the music. If you find yourself thinking about other things (or even thinking thoughts about the music), gently redirect your attention to the present moment, the sound of the music, and the feelings in your body that the music evokes. Try to really feel the music.

  4. Continue this practice for several minutes, until your time runs out. As thoughts come into your head, gently let them go and redirect your attention to the sound of the music, the present moment, and the physical sensations you feel. The goal of this practice is to quiet your inner voice and just ‘be’. So just ‘be’ with the music, and fully immerse yourself, and you’ll feel more relaxed fairly quickly.

Tips

  1. You may want to start out with just a few songs and work your way up to longer practice.​

  2. If you find the music brings lots of thoughts, memories and internal dialogue, switch to a different type of music. Instrumental music can come in many forms, including classical, jazz, new age, and more, and it can be less distracting than other types of music.

  3. You can time your practice with the number of songs you choose so you don’t have to worry if you are taking more time than you have.

  4. If you find yourself ‘thinking too much’, don’t beat yourself up over it; this is natural for those beginning meditation practice. Instead, congratulate yourself on noticing the internal dialogue, and redirecting your attention to the present moment.

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