Thursday, October 05, 2006

Music and spirituality

Music has the ability to take you in to great depths within yourself. Music is a harmonious part of nature. There is a rhythm in everything and music has the ability to penetrate in to the various levels of your existence. While you can hear music through your ears, and through your intellect you can listen to it through your soul and there experience meditation through music… when you become one with music.
A person who loves music, who either listens to it or is a musician, cannot be too far from spirituality. No matter what kind of music he deals with. Music is the easiest way to experience spirituality.
And if you feel like running away from music, then that is because it has become noise. .. an irritant in an already cluttered world... A beautiful rose in a garden full of weeds. You need to pull out the weeds before enjoying the beauty of the rose.
Why does music effect you so much… because it affects your emotions… most genre of music leaves you feeling emotional. Have you noticed it? You may feel melancholic or ecstatic listening to few notes…We are drawn to a source of music. Either preferring to sit and listen or sway to its beats. It is impossible to remain unaffected by music. Listening to music is like meditation .. you have to start from a superficial level and slowly sink into the depths… until you lose yourself in it…
It is believed that the right brain is responsible for creativity and emotion and the left brain is responsible for logic, analysis and spatial reasoning. The left brain processes data in a linear, or sequential manner. The right brain processes data simultaneously, and because it is mute, does not connect plausible explanations immediately to each step in the process, but instead trusts the left brain to later link the reasoning behind beliefs or decisions. (from wikipedia)
What this means is that when we listen to music we tend to use both the hemispheres of our brains. So listening to music is good for you. It helps you strike the right balance. This is the reason why we have the tradition of satsang.. or singing devotional songs in a group. This is also why we have masses in a church. Positive thoughts and emotions from a group of people is a huge wave of positive energy which benefits everyone who experiences it. No one can deny that attending a satsang leaves one feeling better.. happy, full of some inexplicable joy… and a quiet wave of peace.
Have you been to a music concert? The Music composition filters in to your ears .. creating a wonderful tapestry with all the design elements.. there’s harmony, contrast, different textures.. and tying all these is a spirit that touches you deep inside… You as a listener are only sitting and listening but you get carried away in its waves… high and low… It is a blessing to be able to enjoy music. And it’s a bigger blessing to be able to sing or play music. Notice a face that is playing music… there is deep concentration … and a strange sense of peace and joy. That can only be experienced. Music is a service. The singer wants to impart joy to please a listener, to help him share the spirituality and to eventually become one. The music, the renderer and the listener…
We usually listen to music in the background… like an attachment to our activity. And our mind becomes a playground of musical notes and the thoughts related to the activity … each vying for attention… Next time you listen to music when you have spare time, sit in one place. The music should not be too loud as to superimpose your senses and not too soft as to get lost in the surroundings… close your eyes, and listen. To every note… every beat… every nuance. And thus you breathe in the present moment. You are living in the present. And that IS joy. Slowly sink in its embrace, listening through your ears... and then through the intellect.. next it touches your thoughts and emotions…leading to a great sense of relief and joy… finally climaxing into a state of thoughtlessness.
That is meditation.

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