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Meditation Music?

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Meditation Music?
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7/11/15 12:57 AM
Sorry if this subject has been discussed before but I didn't find anything exactly fitting what I'm doing, and have questions about.
First, does anyone else listen to something while meditating?
If so, what are you listening to?
Do you listen with headphones or earbuds, or just through speakers?
Any suggestions on what or who to listen to?

I listen to "meditation" music through the speakers hooked up to my laptop while I meditate. Pretty good sound quality so it helps. I find that certain music or binaural beats really helps me too. I also listen to some of this while sleeping. Seems to help me sleep sounder. I was (am) a very light sleeper.
Thanks.

RE: Meditation Music?
Answer
7/13/15 1:40 AM as a reply to Don Merchant.
What style of meditation do you practice while listening music? For example, I once did Mahasi noting through a live jazz concert and it was a very interesting experience. At points the conscious perception of music tended to fade, but the emotional reaction was still there to be noted.

RE: Meditation Music?
Answer
7/13/15 3:05 AM as a reply to Don Merchant.
I really like music during meditation and have done a lot at various points.

I listen to moderately high-quality, comfortable, closed-back, over-ear headphones, but actually my favorites for this I got at Unclaimed Baggage used for $30: Sony MDR-V600's: very comfortable, and anything in that general line, such as the MDR-V6's or the more popular Sony MDR-7506's are likely to work well. I also have some Beyer Dynamic DT880 600ohm headphones that I like a lot, but honestly I like the Sony's more. I have some Koss KSC75's, very inexpensive, generally called "giant killers", as their sound quality and frequency response virals headphones that cost $1000 and yet you can get them for about $13. I like the Koss pretty well, but like the Sony's better. I also have some AIAIA TMA-1s, which are on-ear, closed back, DJ headphones, and they have a slightly rolled off high-end and very deep bass response with a relatively clean midrange, and so there are times I like those also, but they are not as comfortable for longer term listening, being on-ear.

Music-wise, I tend towards ambient electronica, stuff like Caroline Lavelle, Sleepthief, and also the likes of Lana Del Ray, but also like things like the album Yearning by Lisa Moskow and Robert Rich, or Devi Premal's Moola Mantra.

With the more complex songs, finding all the little gems of sonic goodness in the music can produce deep concentration and good jhanic states if done well.

RE: Meditation Music?
Answer
7/13/15 8:10 AM as a reply to Don Merchant.
"Contemplatative" music, possibly for 'piti' type experience -- Western pop Bakti (devotional) music; first class musicians.

Donna De Lory -- Govinda Jaya Jaya (Mac Quayle Mix - 2 minute part of a much longer take)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Muk_fEVYcIQ
    same in live performance:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BdiyF16s-Z4

Donna De Lory -- He Ma Durga (1 hour)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9PNUqEnpgJM
    same in live performance:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z90t8ab3Wvk

Donna De Lory -- Ganapati Om  (striking visuals)
http://www.yourepeat.com/watch/?v=OqXQCfKFB_o

Donna De Lory -- Om Namah Shiviya (Thy Will Be Done)
    rythmic version:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lcbMvLeuhfY&index=4&list=RDjuItH8pMX0s
    more serene version:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dY8iQP-v2Fw&index=7&list=RDjuItH8pMX0s

(Donna De Lory is an American singer, dancer and songwriter. Part of a musical family, De Lory has been performing since a young age. Her voice can be heard on albums by Carly Simon, Ray Parker, Jr., Kim Carnes, Santana,  Martika, Laura Branigan, Belinda Carlisle, Selena, Bette Midler, Barry  Manilow, Mylène Farmer, Alisha and Madonna. De Lory accompanied Madonna as backing vocalist and dancer on every concert from the Who's That Girl Tour in 1987, up to the Confessions Tour in 2006. Her performance with Madonna at the Live Earth 2007 concert in London was their final  professional collaboration to date.)

RE: Meditation Music?
Answer
7/13/15 11:29 AM as a reply to neko.
neko,
Thanks for the reply.
I listen to something no matter what meditation I'm doing. It helps me to relax. So I guess my reasons are for emotional relaxation to allow physical relaxation. Does that make sense? :-)
Never tried that at a concert. Next time I ever go to one I will try that.
Thanks.

RE: Meditation Music?
Answer
7/13/15 11:29 AM as a reply to CJMacie.
iAwake have some pretty good binaurals. Deep Delta, Anahata and Neurocharger do what they say on the tin.

As for focus music I like a particular "jazz/prog/metal" band called Animals as Leaders. Trying to capture all the individual fast notes and complex rhythms is great for concentration and i get into certain jhanas doing it. Meshuggah is what the dark night sounds like and really helps reduce aversion and to get one to sync up with the darkness. For positive more blissy type music I like Akara and Phutureprimitive. Akara especially has a certain heavenly realm type vibe that when you really embody it is quite beautiful.

RE: Meditation Music?
Answer
7/13/15 11:38 AM as a reply to Daniel M. Ingram.
Daniel M. Ingram,
Thank you for the reply. Yes, I prefer headphones of some kind because it helps block out some of the extraneous noise. My good, expensive pair I had, got ruined by my children emoticon.

"With the more complex songs, finding all the little gems of sonic goodness in the music can produce deep concentration and good jhanic states if done well."
I agree. I've found binaural beats to help with that sometimes. I found one on youtube that has just the perfect syncopation for me. Works great for that deeper level meditation for me.

Thank you also for the list of artists to check out. I will see what they have to offer.

Thanks.

RE: Meditation Music?
Answer
7/13/15 11:42 AM as a reply to CJMacie.
Chris J Macie,
Thanks for the reply. That must be someone to check out since both you and Mr. Ingram listed her - Donna De Lory. I will check out what she has from your links. I have never heard of her before.

Thank you.

RE: Meditation Music?
Answer
7/13/15 11:47 AM as a reply to Andrew K.
Andrew Stewart,
Thanks for the reply.
"iAwake have some pretty good binaurals. Deep Delta, Anahata and Neurocharger do what they say on the tin." Nice, I will check this out too.

I will also check out the other that you list. I've heard of meshuggah. Never heard the music itself though. Will need to hear what they sound like. Same as the others.

Thanks.

RE: Meditation Music?
Answer
7/14/15 12:19 AM as a reply to Don Merchant.
Don Merchant:
Chris J Macie,
Thanks for the reply. That must be someone to check out since both you and Mr. Ingram listed her - Donna De Lory. I will check out what she has from your links. I have never heard of her before.

Thank you.

Actually, Daniel (Ingram) mentioned one "Lana Del Ray", at which I did a double-take, as a couple of years ago I ran into Donna De Lory's music, and liked it. Quickly determined that "Lana Del Ray" wasn't a typo for "Donna De Lory", but Daniel's mention woke-up that memory, and led to my posting links to De Lory's music.

Actually, having been into music for close to 70 years, s/t professionally, even s/t scholarly (BA, MA, 1/2 of PhD 50 years ago), but with recent (ca. 8 years) investigation of mental activities, qualities and their pros and cons (aka meditative pursuits), I'm leaning in the direction of considering musical experience as all too easily falling into craving and clinging. Thereby joining the company of people such as G. Buddha and Socrates (and likely others) who recommended against over-indulgence in musical delights.

Edit: That is to say, the 'jhana' mentioned here is, in my experience, only intelligible in terms of  'momentary concentration' (khanika samadhi). Music involves motion -- e.g. is traditionally organized in 'movements'. With the possible exception of John Cage's composition 4'33", I can't see absorptive concentration as anything but escape (or release) from actively experiencing music.

RE: Meditation Music?
Answer
7/14/15 8:36 AM as a reply to CJMacie.
Chris J Macie,

Thanks again for those links. Checked them out and was surprised by what I heard. Not what I was expecting. That doesn't mean I disliked them, on the contrary, but it was a surprise :-)

As for music knowledge, I am not even a tyro in that department. I love music, have all my life. I feel music, inside me when I hear it and I connect with it. Does that make sense to you? Anyhow, I don't believe I am addicted to music, I just thoroughly enjoy it if I hear it and like it. If I don't have any music, that is okay too. I enjoy the peaceful times too. Nothing better than going out into the woods so far that you can't hear any civilization.

RE: Meditation Music?
Answer
7/14/15 1:40 PM as a reply to Andrew K.
i've been using iAwake's low-end tracks to block out distraction on the train for 1-2yrs.  Seems ok but i wonder ...

in the last month, i've started something called The Listening Program and listen to classical music for 15-30min in the morning.  i havent done my due dilligence on the program but my wife apparently did (she bought i for our daughter).  $1500 (Canadian?) for TLP includes fabulous bone conduction head phones and ipod with 200 tracks.  I've done the first 25 and seems good so far.

i dont think TLP pretends to be binaural beats which claim to slow down brain waves, but something is happening.  All day long feel oddly wired and my meditations have become more intense

RE: Meditation Music?
Answer
7/14/15 2:31 PM as a reply to Rednaxela.
I have used Jeffrey Thompson's nature sounds for years: http://www.last.fm/music/Dr.+Jeffrey+Thompson. My favorite is "Rain". I won't use it for an entire meditatation sessions but maybe 5 minutes at the start to relax.

RE: Meditation Music?
Answer
7/14/15 3:42 PM as a reply to Daniel M. Ingram.
If music and other pleasant things help us concentrate, then what's up with the whole sense restraint thing and the buddhist monastic precept of not participating in song and dance? Theoretically it should feed the hindrance of sensual desire, shouldn't it?

I usually listen to white noise during concentration practice. Keeps disturbing sounds out. 

RE: Meditation Music?
Answer
7/14/15 4:09 PM as a reply to Pål.
Hmmm... In my case music tends to literally destroy my practice momentum, concentration and mindfullness. For me listening to music is just another attachment of bored mind. Just like watching movies. It's possible to meditate with music just like with any other type of sound but i don't really see a good reason to do it.

RE: Meditation Music?
Answer
7/15/15 7:02 AM as a reply to Marek Mark.
re: Marek Mark (7/14/15 4:09 PM as a reply to Pål.)
" In my case music tends to literally destroy my practice momentum, concentration and mindfullness. For me listening to music is just another attachment of bored mind. Just like watching movies. It's possible to meditate with music just like with any other type of sound but i don't really see a good reason to do it."

Actually, I wouldn't specifically meditate to any music, per se. By meditate is meant doing samadhi or vipassana – usually a combination. The mind needs to be self-directed, or at least not directed, sucked into following some intentianally structured external stimulus. Music or people's voices tend to create a sort of impulsion that encourages mental tracking.

Earlier here I mentioned Donna De Lory's music because it resembles the some of the music others mentioned, and I think it's high quality. If I were doing Hindhu Bhakti practice, as I did before encountering Buddhist practice, I might use her music. To my mind, that former kind of practice aims more at trance-like states, anesthetizing dukkha by blissing-out, while the latter practices – both samadhi and vipassana– are grounded in sati (mindfulness), which keeps the mind clear and awake to see through the dukkha, so to speak.

At meditation gatherings (like weekly group meetings, sitting, talk,…) I usually sit the whole while, getting into access concentration. When the speaking ceases (a spell of quiet, or pause in a talk), it's possible to drop right into jhana. Once that's entered, it's possible to sustain it by (passively) secluding the mental core awareness from the sensory stimuli hitting on the outer edges, but more often it slips back out into access concentration. Distinct conversations, especially certain peoples' voices, can distract, which can be countered by vipassana on that interaction. etc.

Likewise with composed –intentionally driven (one sense of sankhara)– music (J.S.Bach, Mozart, et al, especially the likes of Beethoven or Wagner; or musak mood music ("light classics"), C/W,  R&B, R&R, etc.) Other soundscapes, so to speak, like recordings of waves on the beach, wind-chimes in the wind, etc. are not so structured or compelling.

When giving acupuncture treatments, I will try to have silence, or, when there are ambient voices etc. that are heard through the walls, ducts, etc., will use white noise of the heating/AC fan only on; or a CD of purely waves on the beach. Earlier I used a recording of Tibetan 'singing bowls', which were played not as structured music, but more like wind chimes – pure tones arising and passing seemingly randomly.

Someone mentioned music of Robert Rich, some of whose music (that using electronic and 'concrete' sound) has that more static, non-driven quality; I've used this in the clinic. (I met him a couple of years ago and he gave me a number of CDs; turns out we both studied computer / electronic music with John Chowning at Stanford University many decades ago.) Similarly some genres of 'ambient' music, as in Brian Eno, et al.