One of the meditation techniques for beginners that is sometimes recommended is listening to a piece of music as you meditate. Ideally, the practice of meditation involves completely clearing your mind of any and all distractions, and this includes music. However, for those just starting down the path of learning meditation techniques, a nice piece of music can help ease the proceedings.
That being said, it's important to choose music that won't be a distraction. It's safe to say that the heavy metal and hip hop genres are off-limits when it comes to meditation. A soft piece of music that plays in the background will not be intrusive while focusing.
The singer-songwriter Nick Drake is a perfect fit for this kind of practice. It's safe to say that Drake's quiet and somber music is not intrusive – so much so that Drake was barely noticed during his lifetime. It wasn't until after he died that Drake's albums, especially Bryter Layter and Pink Moon, found popularity.
Drake's music is characterized by his light guitar strumming and wispy, barely-there voice, which makes it perfect for meditation. As his melodies are not complex, some would characterize it as similar to poetry layered over a light soundtrack.
While all of Drake's work is easy to listen to, the album Pink Moon is probably the best for meditation, as it doesn't feature some of the more complex musical arrangements on his earlier albums. In fact, Drake reportedly recorded the album in just one night – there's very little production to distract from the music.
Listening to relaxing music such as this is also one of the good meditation techniques for anger and aggression. Music has been known to affect moods, so putting on a quieter piece of music when upset can have a calming influence and help you get into the meditating mood.
Ilchi Lee believes that meditation is one of the keys to achieving balance in life, but sometimes it can be difficult to ignore the rest of the world. This is why music can sometimes help those who have a difficult time meditating.
Not all music is good for meditation – in fact, it might be more distracting than anything else. The point of meditation is to clear one’s head, so filling it up with lyrics is not necessarily the best strategy. That’s why a band like Explosions in the Sky is a great choice.
The quartet, originally from Austin, Texas, shot to fame thanks to their contributions to the Friday Night Lights film and television show. Their music is completely instrumental, but not in a classical sense. This makes it easy to listen to yet not distracting for those who plan on meditating.
Some of the songs can get a bit fast paced, but there are plenty of tracks from the band that are suitably mellow. Listening to them at a low volume can help clear the air and allow you to focus on nothingness.
The band just released a new album a little over a month ago: “Take Care, Take Care, Take Care,” so that’s a good place to start. Other options include 2003’s “The Earth is Not a Cold Dead Place” and “All of a Sudden I Miss Everyone” from 2007.
Ilchi Lee believes that meditation can help one achieve great things and incite growth and development. Those who are interested in examining all of the facets of meditation and concentration may want to pick up a copy of Lev Grossman’s latest novel, The Magicians.
The Magicians tells the story of Quentin, a teenager who is incredibly smart but feels disconnected from his friends and the real world around him. When he finds himself wandering into a mysterious school for magic, Quentin finds that his brainiac talents go beyond algebra and literary analysis – Quentin is a bona fide magician.
The book is part Harry Potter, part Narnia, but geared for adults. Quentin not only struggles with learning about the strange world he has landed in, but also goes through many of the difficulties most college students face. He befriends and soon falls in love with another talented magician, a mousy girl named Alice, and the two of them venture through their years at the school and into adult life in Manhattan.
Quentin, Alice and their friends may have their trials, but they find that their abilities to concentrate and focus help them achieve boundless feats of magic. Their adventures eventually lead them into a magical world that is much more bizarre and terrifying than they imagined.
The 1999 hit film Office Space starts off like most work days – Peter Gibbons (Ron Livingston) is stuck in traffic and trying not to think about what awaits him in the office, where his boss, Bill Lumbergh, will continually harass him throughout the day.
He becomes so fed up with his job, and stressed out, that he eventually goes to a therapy session to help him relax. In fact, that session helps Gibbons suddenly fall into a deeply meditative state that leads to his overall enlightenment.
He suddenly realizes that, if he doesn’t love his work, something must be wrong and he has to do something about it. What follows is a hilarious sequence of events that leads Gibbons to finally figure out that maybe he wasn’t meant to work in an office all day, anyway.
Director and writer Mike Judge was lauded for the film – Jim Carrey found the movie so funny that he wanted to meet him, and Chris Rock called him a few weeks after its initial release.
In 2008, Entertainment Weekly included Office Space in its list of the 100 best films from 1983 to 2008.
Actor and comedian Russell Brand was once a sufferer of severe drug and sex addiction that nearly ruined his life, health and career.
With the help of rehabilitation services and the practice of meditation, Brand was able to pull himself out of the deep, black hole of addiction, land some major comedic movie roles and get his life back on track.
Meditation “has been incredibly valuable to me both in my recovery as a drug addict and in my personal life, my marriage, my professional life,” Brand said, quoted by the New York Times, at a December benefit in New York City.
Twice a day, Brand meditates for 15- to 20-minute periods, according to the news source. He said that on top of meditation being a centering experience for him, it has also stimulated his creativity.
The Times reports that there is a trend of celebrity endorsements of meditation. This may be due to their fast-paced careers and life in the public eye, which can be very stressful and require an exercise to help them feel more like humans and less like commodities.
Brand’s inspirational story falls in line with what Ilchi Lee has said about meditation and its abilities to heal and help individuals gain a fulfilled existence.
Out of the tragedy that struck Japan following the devastating earthquake and subsequent tsunami, a silver lining may be starting to emerge. A growing number of individuals have used the situation to launch a call for charity that may further the cause of world peace.
Actor Michael Douglas, who also serves as a messenger for peace for the United Nations, recently used his national role to offer condolences to the people of Japan while also saying that it is a reminder of the need for the nations of the world to work together, according to Forbes.
“Our hearts go out to the Japanese people as they deal with this catastrophe,” Douglas said, according to the news source. “The Japanese have a history of rebuilding their country after natural and manmade catastrophes.”
Author and philosopher Ilchi Lee has said that creating a global community of individuals who have put aside their national or religious differences is key to any attempt to achieve peace. While the Japan disaster is regrettable, it could serve to bring disparate groups of the world together.