For any type of relaxation or meditation, I recommend that you be comfortable, either lying down or sitting with your back supported or straight. Start with 2-5 minutes and if you stay with that, that’s great. If you’d like to you can work up to 15-20 minutes.
Meditation has received a lot of publicity, and there are many methods and techniques out there to help people learn. It’s supposed to help us find calm, serenity, lovingkindness, mindfulness . . . the list goes on and on. Yet, sitting still and “emptying your mind” is really tough and so remains often inaccessible. That’s why I like to start first with breathing techniques for calming the mind and body in general (see my earlier post Breathe to Prepare). And, also I find support in group meditations (on Zoom — see below for referral). One of the best things I’ve done is to take meditation less seriously so that it hasn’t felt so heavy and important each time I “sit.” And I no longer expect meditation to go smoothly, it doesn’t worry me.
Music Meditation #1
Last weekend, I “sang” through the first part of my meditation and it felt wonderful. I participate in a local choir, and I found myself rehearsing one of our songs. I sang it through (twice), with breaths and notes and words and holds, feeling — all the good stuff . . . silently. First, I discovered that I had the words and notes completely memorized in a way that I hadn’t realized before (an “aha moment”). Second, I felt completely peaceful and serene and heard every note clear as a bell. This particular “Music Meditation” left me in a very peaceful place and slowed the mind.
Music Meditation #2
Sometimes, I enter meditation with an earworm (a catchy song or tune that runs continually through a person’s mind). I know people like to use mantras, but I’m all for having some favorite songs that you like to sing or play in your back pocket. Pull those songs out and go for it. Get your favorite songs going as you get your meditation going — I’m not talking about putting them on speakers, people. This is all done in peace and quiet, so you need to pick something you know well and really like! Play or sing the song a few times until you feel quieted.
Music Meditation #3
Play music that you simply want to hear. I often hear music of some level of complexity in my head. This means that I have a literal catalog/jukebox of music just sitting there in my head, and I can select what suits. This is really enjoyable and there’s a limitless variety! I listen to a few pieces and then let myself be.
Of course, I recommend you choose music without harsh or angry tone or lyrics so you are introducing peace and happiness into your meditative world.