compose a variety of music some of which is appropriate for meditation,
stress management, message, and relaxation. I wanted to write this
short page on music and meditation, for beginners. I thought it
best not to include difficult physical and mental rules about what
has to be done. Those more deeply involved in Yoga and other meditation
excercises are aware of the technique of their path. Being from
the midwest, I tend to take a practical approach to many things.
(BTW, If you would like to hear music in the background while you
read this you may click here
to listen to a cut from my album The
Property Of Water.) You might also find Stillness
Of The Day from my album
FLUTE MEDITATIONS FOR DREAMING CLOUDS
appropriate by pressing here.).
I am also not very sure about the provability and measurability
of exactly how music affects the mind and body. I am perhaps even
more unsure about how such things as subliminal recordings help.
Again, I have the "un measurability" problem. Even though
I have worked in the field of mental health for over 25 years, I
am not a scientist, and certainly not a researcher. What I offer
here are impressions seeped in some practical experience rather
than data. I will offer you links at the bottom of the page to allow
you to read about these subjects with more detail. If you are interested
in reading a bit about me, my albums, instruments, writing and poetry,
you may seek the links on the left side of this page.
||It can be helpful to "visualize"
a beautiful scene while meditating.
those of you that wish to try a starters meditation and relaxation
journey, you may scroll down to the sub heading Diaphramatic
Breathing below. Otherwise please read on just a bit..
do want to offer a practical look at how music can help in slowing
one down, or initiate what has been called "The Relaxation
Response". I also want to make some comments on what
I see, and what my impressions are about much of the popular music
being composed today. My opinions are just that, they are my opinions
- they may be right or wrong. But perhaps I'll just lay a few things
on the line about my viewpoint in this area:
Music does not affect people as individuals or society:
On the "Grammy's" I saw Snoop Dog state that music doesn't
"tell people what to do, people think for themselves."
I don't believe this. I think people are easily influenced. If not
why would Snoop hire a publicist and marketing firm?
Music pop/culture only reflects the world, and does not have an
effect or participate in the creation of change or influence:
and FALSE. It's obvious that contemporary or popular history
is reflected in much of today's music, film, and art. But, it can
also create impressions. For example, place one very worried person
whose level of anxiety is high, in a room alone. Introduce five
other people in the room that are worried, AND focus, discuss, and
repeatedly expound on this first persons anxiety. His level will
most likely increase (I have however found that sometimes an anxious
person can respond positively when introduced to other anxious people.
Perhaps they feel less "alone" with their problem. But,
if the worry issues are continually repeated and recycled over too
long a period of time, this can defeat this "shared assurance",
and start to create more worry. It's as if there is an invisible
time line that when crossed, moves from the realm of catharsis into
the realm of added neurosis.).
There is a specific type of music that MUST have certain elements
of TONE, SCALE, PITCH and PRESENTATION, that is best for music and
meditation and relaxation.
and FALSE. It is evident as shown by Don Campbell and others,
that certain tones and sounds are conducive to relaxation. And most
would agree that loud aggressive music would be a rare choice in
facilitation of what is called "the relaxation response".
However, not all "peaceful, clinical, or New Agey" music
works for everyone. I have seen highly credentialed teachers and
scientists, create CD's that use certain tones, at certain frequencies,
designed to elicit specific body and mind responses, that can be
subjectively displeasing to the average ear.
"gleaning" feedback from clients I have worked with in
using music and relaxation, I discovered a few things. Some of these
may be generalities but here goes:
Music that offered certain tones and frequencies, but that were
devoid of structure, rhythm, harmony, or melody, could seem unfamiliar
and foreign. Music overly "vacuous" or "ethereal"
with no structure was slightly frightening to some clients who had
a history of being abused, OR to clients who suffered from isolation
and a poor sense of self. Many - including myself, can find ethereal
music pleasing. But perhaps this music left them "too alone"
with as yet "unresolved past issues of trauma". On the
other hand, gentle music with a familiar melody comforted them and
made them feel less alone. They were with the familiar, and the
familiar is usually more comfortable (There is an irony here in
that people who are victims of spousal abuse for example, sometimes
choose to stay in that situation because of familiarity. So, familiarity
can be both positive and negative).
when leading a seminar on music and relaxation to about 30 women
in a drug rehabilitation center, I found that some of what we termed
as popular music was relaxing. One particular lady felt a sense
of calm, familiarity, and centeredness, while listening to the blues.
Another enjoyed traditional jazz (Bee Bop.). Yet another classical.
As I didn't want to force these ladies to deal w/ more than they
had on their plate (Being in a 30 day drug rehab program is not
for sissy's.), I thought it best to utilize what was best for THEM.
AND, I want to emphasize the same thing with this little article.
Whatever makes you feel COMFORTABLE, SAFE, CENTERED, CALM,
is what I invite you to use.
Outside informational links
to questions about Panic Disorders