Meditation is hugely popular these days, as more and more people discover the enormous range of benefits that a regular meditation practice can bring. There are many different ways to meditate, and a lot of people find it beneficial to listen to a meditation recording. Many such recordings include music, but is this always a good idea?
The point of meditation is to deeply relax the body and mind. Many people find mental relaxation especially difficult, especially those who are new to meditating. This isn’t surprising really, as most of us have little or no experience with mind control techniques, and as a result have minds that jump around all over the place, racing from thought to thought.
The use of a meditation recording can make relaxation process much easier, because it gives the mind something to focus on. Furthermore, the actual sounds featured in such a recording can have a relaxing effect in themselves. This is why music is often included on meditation tracks; such music is typically very calm and mellow, and is specifically designed to have a calming effect on the listener.
There’s no doubt that music meditation recordings can work extremely well. But the main issue with them, at least in my experience, is that no matter how pleasant and tranquil the music is, it’s likely to become annoying with repeated listening.
Now, I’m a huge music fan, and can happily listen to music for hours on end. But meditation music is a bit different, because if you’re meditating every day (as is recommended), and you’re listening to the same meditation track regularly, then you’re not listening for pleasure, your listening for a specific purpose. And chances are, you’re not going to feel like listening to that particular music so often. If the music starts irritating you, it can become a distraction from your meditation – which is just what you don’t want.
So this is something to be aware of if you’re thinking of buying a music meditation recording. In my opinion, such recordings are better for occasional rather than regular use.
However, this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t take advantage of sound-based meditation recordings, as they have a huge amount to offer. Instead, it’s probably best to choose a track which features ambient sounds for regular use. These have a similarly relaxing effect, but lack the irritation factor that melodic music can cause with repeated listening. Such tracks may feature nature sounds such as running water or crackling flames, pink/brown noise or synthesised sounds that are soothing in nature.
The best meditation CDs will also include brainwave entrainment technologies such as binaural beats. These are sounds of specific frequencies which actively encourage your brain to descend into a profoundly relaxed trance state. This makes brainwave entrainment recordings especially good for those who are new to meditation, as they make it much easier to relax properly and focus your mind.