Saturday, November 05, 2011

Music and meditation

I have experimented with a few different meditations so far: Breath-based mindfulness (Ana-pana-sati), mantra based (chanting a mantra in the mind), visualization based meditation (imagining balls or columns of light). With regard to meditation and music, I have tried meditating to slow devotional music with different degrees of success (in terms of calming the mind).

A personal experience
A couple of days back, there was a meditation group hosted by a bunch of UW undergrads with a good attendance. At one point, one of the people

present in the room started playing the clarinet. We had our eyes closed and just a few seconds before the music began, I started getting a pleasant sensation at the middle of the forehead (corresponding to the eye-brow or ajna chakra). The pleasant sensation stayed on throughout the time he was playing clarinet. I didn't want to come out of the meditation after the music stopped, just being absorbed in that sensation seemed good enough at that moment. Towards the end, the guy was surprised when I mentioned this to him and let me know that he had played the clarinet to the ``Bhupali Raag'' and that it was supposed to help stimulate the eye-brow point. I am not sure if this particular Raag is assoicated with this, but my meditative experience with the music was crisp and clear.

I have dabbled with the Native American Flute in the past and it has always given me a soothing feeling during the meditation. Perhaps I should start playing the flute more regularly.

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

On Death

Death is a great leveller. Rich, poor, famous, average Joe - All kinds of people have to face one thing - Their own death.

My uncle, whom I greatly admired for his will power in getting things done and who I had a close relationship with, passed away recently.

I am sad about his death. He was in his 70's and he had helped a lot of my relatives with their personal problems including my own family. He was a man of great will power, was very organized in life and a stickler to his routine. He has helped and inspired a lot of people I know.

I understand that death happens to everyone. I believe in life after death. I believe that death is to the body and not to the soul. My belief in this has recently strengthened due to a few out of body experiences I have had. I believe my uncle has passed on to another realm, another place, another time. My prayers to him, that he be happy and joyful wherever he is.

Death of some one we know reminds us that we have finite time on earth.
Every moment is precious. Let us use every moment towards what we really wish to do in life. Towards our highest idea of what we think is a life worth living. Towards our greatest desires. Towards our greatest love. For there is not a minute to spare and we know not when death can come knocking.
If I were to live as if today was my last, I would have no regrets passing away tomorrow - I would have enjoyed my stay on earth and perhaps it was time for me to move on.

Let us therefore enjoy our stay on earth, devoting our efforts and time towards what we love doing in life whether that be research, music, hiking or one of the gazillion things one can do while on earth.