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.

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