The ears are the first of the five sensory organs to be used. A fetus as young as 10 week can hear its mother voice. Sounds offer many vital clues that allow us to make our way throughout the day. And it is the sounds of music that have the capacity to move us mind, body and soul into a state of relaxation and contemplation.
Music has been an inherent part of the human experience since the beginning of time. Flute-like instruments carved from animal bones have been discovered as early as the caveman. It is no wonder that music has become such a part of human existence when you begin to look at how it has been instrumental in linking the mind, body and spirit. In the lonely quest for the answers of life it is music that soothes the soul. And it is music that many turn to when all else fails. This art form is connected to rebellion as well as religion, therapy and education. Listening to music integrates perception and sensation. And music is also linked to the divine.
Rejoicing choirs are often seen swaying to a heavenly beat in the quest for God. Studies indicate that music can have both positive and negative affects on the brain depending on the music. There is also evidence that music can change a person’s mood and help improve studies. But most notably is the way in which music can encompass the psyche. This allows the body to sway to the beat, the mind to roam at will and the spirit to ride the music notes in harmony.
As a tool in meditation music is convenient and often accessible at almost any time a person can find music. There is no particular stance for music meditation and there are very few rules. Listen to whatever takes you away.
There are four different types of brain waves, Beta, Alpha, Theta and Delta. Beta waves are associated with the working, focused and alert state of being. When you concentrate on paperwork or engage in a conversation you are often using Beta waves. Alpha waves reflect a relaxed and reflective state of being. When you complete a task and then stop to take a break the brain slows down and enters into the Alpha state. Alpha brain waves occur when one engages in meditation and reflection. Theta waves are associated with a drowsy state of being. This is especially so during the drowsy state associated with repetition. When you are listing to a monotone lecture or driving on a straight highway you may experience the drowsy feeling associated with Theta brain waves.
The brain works differently to different types of music. And the bodily functions also respond to music. Breathing, heart rates, as well as blood pressure and metabolism are all altered with music. Generally a fast paced beat will speed up the heart rate and breathing but slow music has an opposite soothing affect.