Meditation has been practiced from an ancient time; several different techniques were invented to heighten human consciousness. Nowadays, people often use meditation as a tool to cultivate calmness, relaxation, joyfulness, and other positive traits by overcoming mental problems.
As a beginner, people may have some common questions regarding the methodologies of meditation techniques. That’s why, in this article, I will try to cover one obvious question that often confuses people in the beginning.
Should you meditate in silence or with music?
If you are passionate and yearning for more control over life, then practice silent Meditation. silent Meditation is an ancient and profound technique that benefits mind, body, and consciousness at a deeper level. However, in the beginning, you can including music in Meditation to relax your body and mind and cultivates positive virtues.
[Here, Music meditation is considered as a guided meditation, and listening to pleasant music while meditating, not include mantra or transcendental meditation]
Remember, It totally depends on a person, with which method he or she is more comfortable. Every meditation technique has many common benefits, you can choose anyone and start developing the habit of it.
If you want more clarification, then read this article till the end.
Introduction to music meditation
It’s a newly developed meditation technique, especially for beginners, which allows listening to classical or favorite songs, nature sounds, or guided instructions.
These techniques are different from ancient silent meditation methods from various traditions, However, some benefits are commonly found in both techniques.
The purpose of using music for meditation makes the practice more effortless and easy to concentrate the mind compare to silent meditation.
We are used to listening to music, and it always fascinates us. When we hear something, our attention goes there without any effort; it’s the nature of our mind. Thus, listening to music or following instructions could concentrate our minds and keep the distracting thoughts away with the least troubles.
Ex. Focusing on music is way more convenient than focusing on breath or object.
Types of music meditation
- Listening to classical music or kirtan (devotional song) and meditate on sound.
- Following guided meditation instructions from a trainer, or in the form of recorded audio or video
- Listening to nature sounds, or your favorite music, etc.
Choose any one type of method and practice it until you find results. Follow these steps to practice music meditation effectively.
How to practice music meditation
- Sit comfortably in meditation posture or on the chair, with spine erect and eyes closed
- Take 5-6 deep breaths, rest your attention on inhalations and exhalations
- Play your favorite music or sound
- Focus your attention on music or follow the guided instructions
Remember, don’t multitask or not mix two things in meditation. For example, concentrating on the breath and listening to music, it’s not a good meditation practice. So, keep the practice one directed and single-focused.
It is quite possible that your mind will wander away every few seconds, but don’t feel frustrated and continue your practice without indulging in conflict.
Practicing this technique for 10-15 minutes a day will provide many benefits to you; here are some scientifically proven benefits.
Benefits of music meditation
Nowadays, the majority of people listen to music to relax, chill, and for better sleep. That’s the reason why music is used as a meditation practice.
Music meditation helps to:
Reduce stress and anxiety: listening to music and meditating influences the emotional part of the brain that gives a pleasant experience and helps to overcome stress, anxiety, depression, and negative emotions.
Using guided meditation may help to reduce job-related stress and anxiety. One 8-weeks study suggests that employees who practiced guided meditation using mindfulness meditation app for 20 minutes a day reduced the anxiety of job workload and improved well-being.
Heal your body: playing beautiful, engaging music in the background can heal your body too. Their platy experiments have been done on patients who have had surgery and found satisfactory benefits from music healing therapy. Not every type of music provides the same results; it depends on a person’s choice.
Provide better sleep at night: many people are suffering from insomnia and other slip-related disorders, playing clam music or guided yoga Nidra aids to sleep them better.
Different types of guided Meditation help eliminate fear, anxiety, depression, stress, and developing focus, positivity, and productivity. You may choose anyone according to your requirement, but remember, being consistent with practice, will give you results.
Introduction to Silent Meditation
Silent meditation is a self-guided meditation and practiced in a silent place. The focused object for this meditation lying within the body.
This ancient meditation technique may seem easy for a person who hasn’t meditated yet. He or she may say it’s easy to sit in one posture for some time, everyone can do this.
But the actual practice of meditation is to hold your mind on the object of meditation for a long time. When one faces the nature of monkey mind, he realizes that the real hard work is not to control the body parts but rather it’s a mind.
In the starting days of silent meditation, it’s tough to tame the mind. It may wander away in past events or future projections after every few seconds, but that is normal.
However, consistent practice will give better control over senses and bring fruitful results. There are many meditation techniques that can be done in silence,
here is the list of silent meditations and choose anyone with which you can be most comfortable.
Types of silent Meditation
- Vipassana meditation
- Mindfulness meditation
- Object-focused Meditation (Tratak meditation)
- Mantra meditation
- Chakra meditation
- Loving-kindness Meditation
- Yoga meditation
The ways of practicing these meditation techniques are almost the same the difference lies in the objects of meditation.
They ask to focus on an internal object, and when you lose that focus, gently bring it back on track.
For instant, vipassana meditation suggests concentrating on breathing and body sensations,
Mindfulness meditation asks to focus on the present moment just like vipassana, becoming aware of while walking, eating, playing, speaking, or listening is a mindfulness practice.
Object-focused Meditation suggests focusing on physical objects like a candle flame, flower, healing stone, and point.
Mantra meditation is a practice of reciting the mantra (sacred phrase, word, or godly name) and ask to focus on the mantra.
Chakra meditation is a practice of focusing on a specific point on the body that is called chakra. For example, the third eye chakra is located at the center of the forehead and slightly above the mating of both eyebrows.
Loving-kindness is like a non-selfish prayer in which you spread love, compassion, and kindness to others; they can be your family members, peers, relatives, unknowns, and enemies too.
Yoga meditation is the practice of being mindful (Staying with a present moment) while doing yoga.
There was an extensive list of silent Meditation; you may try each one of them and then be committed to chosen one.
How to meditate in silence
- Go to a silent place
- Sit in a crossed leg meditation posture, or you may sit on a chair, but keep your spine comfortably erect
- Set a timer of 10-20 minutes or more
- Close your eyes
- Take 5-6 deep breaths to calm your mind
- practice your favorite meditation technique and focusing on the meditation object
Benefits of Silent Meditation
Meditating in silence, especially mindfulness meditation (vipassana is also a mindfulness practice), may provide many benefits.
It helps to:
Reduce stress, depression, and control anxiety: silent Meditation provides better control over thoughts and emotions and gives mental clarity that helps you overcome a stressful situation.
The 8-weeks of mindfulness study suggests that practicing mindfulness meditation reduces the inflammation caused due to stress.
A year-long mindfulness training was performed on 47 patients who were likely to become anxious and depressed due to chronic pain got benefited through mindfulness meditation.
Increase self-awareness: self-awareness leads to self-study and organizes our life in a good manner. Mindfulness meditation techniques help enhance self-awareness to have better control over your thoughts and emotions.
With the increased awareness, you do things more productively, and also, you have the ability to direct any negative thoughts or feelings in a constructive way.
To a greater extent, you will find yourself more resilient in undesirable situations and a better responding person instead of reacting unconsciously, and this may create good relationships in society.
A biological study on Meditation and yoga has found the increased level of non-judgemental awareness that may help obtain a better-adjusted resilient self.
Promote emotional health: emotional health provides a positive outlook in most difficult situations or conditions. Negative emotions such as depression, anxiety, envy, etc., may disturb a person any time, and when they hit, it always hard to tackle them.
Consistent practice of Meditation may bring good emotional health and gives space to handle that negativity.
18 studies on 7 different meditation techniques suggest that people under these meditation therapies who had clinically diagnosed depressive disorders found a reduction in symptoms of depression.
Another interesting study on mindfulness suggests that people who practiced mindfulness meditation before or were mindful while viewing negative images experienced fewer negative thoughts than those who didn’t.
Increases concentration: You may have been advised to increase concentration power, but they did tell you how?
Concentration may play an essential role in life, whether in the study, business, job, or other activities. The level of focus decides your work involvement and its outcomes. Poor focus indicates the inefficiency of productiveness.
This study shows, even practicing Meditation 13 minutes a day for 8 weeks may improve concentration and memory.
Improve sleep: A few minutes of Meditation before going to bed could help to a greater extent to sleep well. It helps to relax your body and mind, release the tension, and putting you in a peaceful state in which you’re more likely to fall asleep.
This study evaluated that Mindfulness Meditation can be used to treat people suffering from chronic insomnia problems, and bigger than that, it could provide an alternative to traditional treatments.
Control pain: Mindfulness may help to reduce pain and strengthen endurance.
One study suggests that mindfulness meditation improves in chronic pain, depression symptoms and quality of life.
Apart from these, there so many other benefits of practicing Meditation on a physical, mental, and conscious level.
Due to diverse meditation methods, People are often confused about what to choose or which one is most suitable for me, then let me also clear that as well.
Meditation in silence or with music, what to choose in between?
My formal suggestion is that, if you are a complete beginner, start meditating with music. Try to listen to music or guided instructions mindfully. This slowly develops the habit of concentration and will help you in the longer run.
Don’t multitask, like focusing on breathing and at the same time listening to music that’s a wrong practice, creates a disturbance in the mind and builds the wrong pattern in the brain.
When you have gathered little control over your mind and the ability to focus, then shift the gear and practice meditation in silence that will open new gates of well-being.
If you are already practicing Meditation in silence, then that’s great; continue with your favorite meditation technique. You don’t need to adapt to any new changes.
You need to stretch your meditation time and build an intense routine that obliges you with the practice. Having a daily routine is more important than a longer session. Short meditation sessions could also bring significant changes with persistence and consistency.
Start from shorter sessions that you can quickly adopt (ex. 5-10 minutes), then try to stretch 15-20 minutes a day or more as per your convenience.
I hope vising this site may remove your confusion and motivated you to practice Meditation. If still, you have any questions or suggestions, then let me know in the comment section.