Can YouTube meditation music help you in your daily sit-down practice?
We here at Spoko are very happy to be launching the first of our in-house articles. We look at these as a chance for us to enrich our relationships with our customers, and share things that are important to us—things that we think will help you get more out of meditation, and life, just as they help us do so.
Here’s a true thing: while the world of modern communication can have its downsides, it also has a lot of real benefits and blessings, too. The internet is, in its way, everything the world is—all the bad, and all the good, too.
Think of dealing with a problem of almost any sort. Then think of how you can plug just a few terms into a search engine and discover people—often many people—who’ve dealt with what you’re dealing with, whether it be big or small. Someone out there has documented an experience, started a support group, posted a fix-it video. A lot of time and effort go into these things. A lot of care and heart, too. And that’s given all of us a resource that earlier generations could literally not even have imagined.
Why are we mentioning this? Well, first of all, we think it’s actually a really good practice to remind ourselves of the blessings and benefits that we can find in everyday things we take for granted. The internet is so integrated into most Western lives now that it can certainly fall into the taken-for-granted category. But we also feel that if you’re developing a practice of guided meditation, the internet can truly be an overflowing treasure chest of resources.
Take the matter of meditating to music. Now, music doesn’t work for every type of meditation, nor for every person who meditates. But often, especially with mindfulness meditation, music is a great support. And, as you probably know, the internet is an endless source of music.
YouTube can be a particularly rich source of meditation music. If you simply plug in a phrase like “YouTube meditation music,” you’ll bring up all kinds of choices. The same goes for searching for a free meditation mp3, or anything similar. Music and guided meditation are natural companions for many people, and that’s why there’s so much meditation music around.
Remember, though, that there isn’t a “right” kind of music for guided meditation. It doesn’t all have to be Enya! If you like that sort of music and find it helpful, great. But if you prefer classic rock or heavy metal or Chopin, that’s great, too! And that’s because developing your meditation practice is a very personal thing, and should be informed by what you really respond to.
So what is the role of music in meditation? We’re sure that’s a question with as many answers as there are people to respond. But perhaps the essence of any answer is that music has a way of reaching us like nothing else. It’s often said that music is a kind of language, and that’s right—people instinctively understand the “language” of the music they love. We respond to music—if we let ourselves—in a way that is primal. Not simple—our responses can be very complex. But honest and clear.
Meditation of pretty much any kind is about centering yourself. It’s about pulling away from the noise and distraction that makes up much of life and coming back to your core, your you-ness. And because music can often reach that core quite quickly, pairing the right music with your meditation can be an enormous support as you develop your practice. It can be part of the “guiding” of your meditation.
The purpose of this article is not to answer the question of what to “do” with music in meditation practice. That’s a subject for a different article (and again, there are many, many correct answers!). But we think the following things may be helpful if you want to meditate to music.
1. Pick the right music—for you. The “right” music is anything that makes you feel relaxed, warm, and “at home” in it. Do keep in mind that sometimes loud, fast-paced music can make us feel tense, even if we enjoy it. But that’s not always so. Some people can become a happy puddle at the sound of Norwegian death metal! Just be aware of your reaction to what you’re hearing. It’s a really personal thing, so just apply mindfulness to your selection.
2. If you’re not sure how music will affect you, try some recommended Youtube meditation music. Some of us like music, but it’s not necessarily a vital part of our daily lives. We may not know what kind of music will work best for us while we meditate. If that’s the case with you, then start by searching for “ Youtube meditation music ” or “free meditation mp3” and just try a few things out.
3. Be aware that the music is there to support your practice—it’s not there to dictate anything. Music can help you pull away from the outside world and toward your center. You and your practice are in charge.
If you’re also looking for some physical support and comfort to go along with your music while you meditate, you may wish to look at the SPOKO™ Meditation Bench. With a New Year soon upon us, some of us are looking to expand and refine our meditation practice. Tools like music and a good place for the sit-bones can help.
Whatever you do, go in whole-hearted. We promise it will be worth it.