Using music to help you meditate works because it’s a powerful way to reach the subconscious while bypassing the ego.
Music has been used in meditation almost as long as the practice has existed. For example, drumming in certain rhythms is a reliable way to quiet the ego and raise group consciousness.
Everything is vibration, and the vibration patterns of music can indeed be used for heightening awareness and healing the body, among other things.
Music in this sense encourages the mind and body to sync, or enables a stronger bridge between the mind and the physical world.
Whatever your purpose is for meditating with music, this guide will help you find the right music for the meditation you are engaging in.
Ambient Sounds and Nature Music
For basic meditations or yoga, you can’t go wrong with good ambient tracks.
With just enough sound to grab the attention of the subconscious, but unobtrusive enough for casual use, these kinds of sounds are perfect for when you’re not looking for anything deep or powerful.
The key is finding something that resonates with you in the moment.
For example, if you’re looking for a track to accompany a simple meditation before bed, an ambient track of ocean waves might be just the thing.
This kind of background sound can be deceptively effective, because natural sounds automatically come with properly aligned wavelengths.
The body and mind constantly desires to be in a natural primordial state. The natural world of course is what guided our evolution for tens of millions of years. It’s what molded us, it’s what shaped every blueprint in our DNA.
Natural sounds resonate with us on a cellular level. Depending on the wavelength, they may promote healing, balance, or mental clarity.
Alternatively, nature sounds accompanied by calming ambient music is also effective.
Each chakra, or energy center of our body, vibrates at a certain frequency that corresponds to wavelengths on the electromagnetic spectrum.
|Root Chakra||Red||700-625 nm||405-480 THz||A|
|Sacral Chakra||Orange||625-590 nm||480-510 THz||B|
|Solar Plexus Chakra||Yellow||590-565 nm||510-530 THz||C|
|Heart Chakra||Green||565-520 nm||530-580 THz||D|
|Throat Chakra||Blue||520-450 nm||580-630 THz||E|
|Third Eye Chakra||Indigo||450-400 nm||630-680 THz||F|
|Crown Chakra||Purple||> 400 nm||> 680 THz||G|
Sound and light are two manifestations of the same energy. This energy is also what “forms” our body on the etheric level.
When sound is played at the right wavelength and frequency, our body responds accordingly. This helps in matters of alignment, as chakras can get “out of tune” in the sense that if they are not operating correctly, the wavelength and frequency they operate at will be off.
So something as simple as playing a continuous G or E note overlapping natural ambient sounds can be enough to uplift your mood, help you think more clearly, aid you in falling asleep, or even improve your immune system.
Trance and Deeper State Meditation
For something a little bit deeper, we have to look toward trance and electronica.
Some of my first experiences with meditation began with using trance music to accompany my attempts at reaching deeper states of consciousness. This song by the trance group Astral Projection in particular.
I didn’t entirely know what I was doing, but it was effective. I already had experience using music to focus during martial art exercises and working out in general.
Little did I know that this was a well-known method of raising energy and increasing adrenaline. There’s a reason why music is often paired with battle scenes in movies and in instructional workout videos.
Music, when used properly, has dramatic effects on the body. If you are particularly in tune with a song that resonates at a powerful frequency, it alone can be used as a catalyst to instantly create a trance-like state, raise bodily energy, or spark high adrenaline or lentation effects.
Well made trance music is typified by synthetic sounds of a particular frequency with a repetitive, almost tribal beat, and melodic layering that is designed to take you “deeper” as the song progresses.
That aspect of music, as a personal journey, is something many powerful songs have in common.
You might find that trance and electronica of this sort is in stark contrast to feeling that the slow ambient music had from the previous section. It’s certainly not “natural” sound, in the sense that crashing waves or bird chirps are.
Trance in this sense, much like tribal drumming, is a “biofeedback hack” in that it takes the science of sound and frequency to evict specific mental and bodily states that wouldn’t normally occur by simply listening to nature.
The fast, repetitive bass speaks to the lower vibrations of the body for stability, grounding, balance, fortitude, and strength, while the electronic layering and melody touch the higher vibration, creating the sensation of journeying through the mind.
This vibration exploration as I call it is communication with the inner mind. Trance (and other forms of music) bypass the forefront mind and enable a more streamlined access to the Self.
You don’t even have to perform traditional meditation to enter a “trance.” You simply have to be comfortable enough to let the ego melt away in favor of deeper consciousness. Dancing or movement often accompany trance music for this very reason. Whatever helps you disengage from the physical and reach a deeper state of mind.
When meditating in a more traditional sense using trance music, you let the music sync with your breath and the combination of these two forces drown out your ego and allow you to “journey” naturally into a deeper state of awareness.
Awareness Meditation and House Music
The next stage of progression in meditation music would probably be House.
As a genre, house is an extension of dance and techno music that originated in night clubs. Of course, this music relies on primal rhythmic beats to bypass the ego and get the mind more aligned with the natural rhythms of the body.
This is also when you start to utilize the “four on the floor” component of music, which is an ancient method of raising bodily energy through raw sound.
Four on the floor style beats can be found in everything from uplifting techno dance tracks to video game battle music. It’s an easy sound component that the body responds to on a deep level, allowing for mind-body connection, raising awareness, and energy work.
House music is perfect for meditation routines that have more movement and energy raising than traditional meditation and pranayama.
If you’re going to be using dynamic mudras, light yoga, qi gong, tai chi, or basic level energy work, this is probably the genre that works best.
There are multiple sub-genres of House, however. If you are looking for a more calming, relaxing kind of house for minimal energy work and mindfulness training, you will want “soft house,” or “lo fi house,” whereas “progressive house” is what you are looking for if you want to raise energy or work on your kata.
House works well for anything dealing with awareness training because while it helps clear the mind, it typically doesn’t lend itself toward going too deep into a full trance-like state. At the same time, the beats help in raising energy, but the music isn’t erratic or harsh enough to jar your focus. This is the recipe you want for training in mindfulness, spatial awareness, and body-mind harmony.
Electronica, Progressive, and Pop for Body Mastery
This is what you want for a full scale yoga routine, martial art training session, or hybrid yoga and meditation energy raising exercise.
This kind of music is also great for tribal spellwork and raising group consciousness.
For anyone attuned to music as a tool for meditation and raising energy, you’ll come to know this genre as your “battle music.”
It’s what touches the primal parts of your body-mind in a way that’s naturally conducive toward raising energy rather than stilling and clearing the mind or aligning the chakras.
This is a wide genre that covers many varieties of music, from classic dance pop to techno, ambient electronica, gothic techno, and many kinds of music featured in the soundtracks of movies and video games.
Some of the backgrounds of many popular pop tracks fall into this category as well, and are underrated for raising energy.
When it comes to music that has lyrics, you have to be careful. The less the lyrics speak to a specific mundane topic, the better.
The best kinds of electronica and pop that feature lyrics are songs where the general topic is uplifting, empowering, vague, and inconsequential to the theme of the song.
You don’t want your forefront mind or ego distracted by lyrics. The value of a song in meditation and energy work is the way it makes your mind and body feel, not what the meaning of the words are. It’s all too easy for the ego to get wrapped up in the drama of certain kinds of pop songs, which is why they aren’t good choices.
One major “music hack” that is big in the technomancy scene is using music from other countries in energy work.
The primary reason for this is that unless you are fluent in the language, your forefront mind isn’t going to understand what the lyrics mean. This means that essentially, all meaning and power of the song in question will be interpreted by the subconscious, by how the beat and melody make you feel.
When dealing with raising energy and strengthening your mind, this is everything.
The less your waking conscious can “interpret” and lose focus on, the better.
A side bonus with this is that much of the music produced outside of the United States is simply far more conducive for energy work. Better beats, better rhythm, better pacing, better layering.
Personal taste aside, you’re not going to get much internal energy benefit from doing yoga to your average Tailor Swift or Maroon 5 song. The pacing and layering is just simply not there, let alone the fact that the lyrics would have your mind falling all over itself.
Lyrics are a double-edged sword. If you aren’t yet comfortable listening to music while meditating, they are best to be avoided.
If you already know how to “feel” the music and let it aid you in raising your energy, electronica or progressive house with some light lyrics, or pop from Europe or Asia is highly recommended.
Raw Energy: Metal, Orchestral, and Other Genres
Used at the right times, for the right reasons, any genre of music can be utilized in meditation and energy work.
Instrumental and orchestral music, for example, are powerful genres of music that can touch the mind and body in a variety of ways.
Instrumental folk music from certain traditions use the same ancient principles as tribal drumming to help you bridge the gap to the deeper parts of your mind. Some instrumental music using bells, drums, and singing bowls can be truly transformative.
You might think a genre of music like metal would be the opposite of the kind of music needed for meditation and energy work, but you would be surprised.
Depending on the baseline and layering, the message of the lyrics and the way they are delivered, hard rock and metal can have profound effects on the body.
A song with a power-driven message of refining your Self, gaining strength through adversity, overcoming odds, etc. mixed with the right instrumentals can be just what some people need to have a breakthrough meditation or workout session that pushes them past their limits.
One band that has a litany of well-made songs that speak to deeper subjects and utilize the whole range of energy-raising instrumental techniques is Kamelot. They are proof that metal can be just as effective in meditation and energy work as any kind of trance or house.
The bottom line in using music in your meditation is that it has some kind of foundation of musical principles that actually aid in transforming the body.
Obviously if it’s just some basic pop hook with no layering, or some rock song talking about beer and parties with nothing angry drumming and guitar riffs, you’re only doing yourself a disservice by thinking it will aid you in your work.
Be mindful of the music you digest on a regular basis as well. You will find that your awareness exercises and meditations are more succcessful the less you listen to “garbage” media.
The stuff your ego plays on repeat inside your head while you’re trying to meditate, in other words. It doesn’t give you chills or make you want to ascend to a higher plane of being, it just makes you want to bob your head and eat chips on the couch. Or worse yet, you don’t even like the song anymore and it’s just stuck there because your ego attached to something in it.
Garbage in, garbage out.
Likewise, value in value out.
Music can be an extremely powerful tool of self-mastery and transformation, but you have to seek out what’s valuable and use it.
The founder of Digital Sages, Matt has an extensive background in self-mastery and has authored several books on the subject. His goal is to demystify important esoteric subjects and help people transform their lives through self-awareness and personal empowerment.