Meditation and Harmony

February 9, 2010 at 2:45 pm (Benefits of Meditation, Meditation Music)

Today I was thinking about meditation and harmony. Harmony has several meanings: 1) getting along well with others is often described as ‘harmony,’ 2) in music, notes that sound good together are also called ‘notes in harmony,’ 3) ideas that blend well together are also said to be ‘in harmony.’

At the core, all these and every other description of harmony comes from the concept of ‘a pleasing blend of things where the combined substance is better, more complete and congruent’ than the single thing alone.

Let’s talk for a minute about musical harmony. A musical note has a certain frequency. That frequency gives the musical note its pitch. Notes that sound ‘good’ or pleasing in harmony with the original note are those with related frequencies. This means there is a mathematical relationship that is fairly simple for notes that are ‘in harmony’ with others.

Other frequencies that are more complex in their mathematical relationship with the original tone or have essentially no relationship sound ‘dissonant’ and are less pleasing to the ear.

Our lives are much the same. When there are elements of our lives that are strongly related or well correlated with our inner values or ‘frequencies’ those elements are ‘in harmony’ with where we are. That is reflected in our lives as peace in our hearts and balance in our minds.

If we have conflicting elements in our lives and pressures that are strongly at odds with our inner values and feelings This can generate high levels of stress. Then our hearts feel dissonant and ‘out-of-tune.’

Meditation is a simple and effective way to ‘tune up,’ as it were, the harmony of our hearts and minds. When we meditate, we can easily identify those elements of our lives that make us feel uncomfortable or ‘dissonant.’ If you use visualization then often these dissonances appear as different and often dark or foreboding colors or shapes that do not mesh well.

In mindfulness meditation, often these dissonances will appear as persistent ‘interruptions’ to the focus on the breath or peaceful tranquility of the meditation. The benefit here is that often these thoughts will reveal to us things that we were not aware of that are causing stress and emotional discomfort.

Paying attention to the dissonances and then setting them aside during the meditation for later action can be a productive way of identifying stressors and situations that are damaging to our physical as well as emotional well-being.

Later reflection on these dissonances and then deciding to make changes in our lives or to release old fears and worries is a way to restore the harmony that we want.

The process of identifying these dissonances can be educational, liberating and empowering. After all, we are in control of our minds, and how each situation and person in our lives affects us emotionally is ultimately our own choice and responsibility.

One of the greatest truths we can learn is that we are truly the masters of our minds and we can control our thoughts and decide what to do with our feelings.

Meditation is the most powerful and effective way to channel these thoughts, feelings and mental powers for our own great success and happiness.

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Meditation Music

January 16, 2010 at 1:40 pm (Meditation Music, Visualization) (, , )

Today I was thinking about meditation music. That is to say, music designed specifically for meditation. I am a musician, and love many kinds of music. So for me, using music with meditation is natural and right. However, there are many different thoughts on the subject and also many different kinds of ‘music’ or sound that can be used in aid of successful meditation.

In this post I want to talk about two different kinds of music used for meditation. The first kind is music that has some subliminal aspect to it, such as specific brainwave entrainment frequencies, or other subliminal messaging, such as sub-audio threshhold affirmations. The second type of music is simply that – music. It is music that is designed as meditation music to feel good and comforatble to you and to enhance the meditation experience without any ‘axtra injection.’

There has been an explosion of brainwave entrainment music in the last 10 – 20 years. What is brain entrainment music or sound? The basic premis is this, the meditation ‘music’ can be musical tones or nature sounds, seashore waves or wind, but underneath it all, there are a pair of audio frequencies that are designed to gently ‘lead’ the brain or ‘entrain’ the brain to move to a particular frequency. 

Those familiar with brainwave frequencies know that alpha is 7 – 13 Hz and Delta is 4 – 7 Hz and Theta is 0 – 4 Hz. (All these numbers are approximations, as there is always controversy about the exact boundaries.) So an alpha brainwave entrainment (BWE) recording tries to help your brain go to alpha state by creating a frequency in the alpha range. Other recordings are designed to lead you to the other brainwave frequencies.

When we meditate, we take ourselves to one of these frequencies. (Each frequency does different things, and that discussion takes another post.)

I am a recording engineer, a long-time student of psychoacoustics as well as a musician, so I can give a very technical explanation about how this all works, particularly since I have purchased and disected BWE recorings in the studio. But that is not the point. The point is that the BWE recording or ‘binaural beat’ recording tries to lead your brain to the meditative frequency or frequencies.

Subliminal messaging, on the other hand, uses music to mask the repitition of some positive message about your personality, body, money status, self-esteem or other aspect that you wish to influence. The idea is that repeated subliminal hearing of the affirmation will positively affect your emotion and action.

Proponents of both of these methods claim outrageous and instant success and wonderful and immediate life-changing alterations with their use. My experience suggests that they are somewhat effective, and do help to a limited degree. The primary limitation comes from the fact that they are external. They are outside forces trying to get you to do what needs to be done internally.

In my personal practice, and in my teaching, I have found meditation music without the ‘artificial injections’ to be far more beneficial, and to cause far better results. I believe that this is because you are using the meditation music to enhance your own meditation, and your own internal efforts to make thhe positive changes in peace, prosperity, health, relationships or whatever your target is.

The external ‘injection’ method sort of falls into the category of ‘external quick-fix’ that seems to be so much a part of our society and culture in the western world.

To be perfectly clear, I love meditation music, I write many kinds of meditation music, I sell meditation music and I believe in meditation music. Different kinds of meditation music work better for each person. I am simply saying that your own personal meditation efforts enhanced by pleasing and relaxing music that speaks to your  soul is far more important and effective than any external ‘injection’ of brainwave frequencies or repeated affirmation.

The reason is this: – the effort actually used in getting your brain to the meditative frequencies is the pay-off. Then you understand and can make those changes and feelings at will. You are fully in control and in charge of your own progress and empowerment.

So just to be clear, Meditation music is powerful and I endorse it, but I believe it should be just music without the BWE, or subliminal content. When you use meditation music this way, it will be the most beneficial for you and your meditation will improve much faster.

More importantly, the feelings, changes and improvements you are seeking in your life, health, wealth, relationships and personal peace will manifest much faster with meditation music that you choose that speaks to your soul and gives you the experience you desire as you seek your deepest inner voice. Visit this site to access some original meditation music that will help your meditation.

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