Author Topic: Music with Meditation  (Read 3285 times)


Music with Meditation
« on: February 13, 2009, 08:52:29 AM »

 I hope that this question hasn't been asked too often on these forums (I did a search and think I know the answer but I would like to ask here to get a firm answer). Are we able to use music during Vipassana meditation? When I say music, I am not referring to pop music etc. I am refering to environmental accoustics (such as a waterfall and a repeating flute tune). I've used it once and felt it helped me relax and get "into" the mediation, but importantly it helped me enjoy the meditation. I am at a stage of meditation practice where I am not really benefitting at all from my daily meditation practices yet and it's more like a daily "chore" than something I want to do, but I realise with practice I should start to feel some benefits and I am also hoping to become more familiar with Vipassana (or meditation in general) before committing to a 10 day retreat.

 warm regards everyone,



Re: Music with Meditation
« Reply #1 on: February 13, 2009, 03:23:17 PM »
Hi Maqqie

I'm no expert, and my practice is intermittent (for health reasons), however I think the consensus is that no music is best for Vipassana because you are tuning into yourself and observing your habitual reactions, rather than anything external.

I would suggest that if you are feeling a resistance to your daily practice, you try to become aware of that. I think this is the meat of the practice. What is it that makes it a chore? Examine those feelings, but not in an intellectual way - just observe the sensations in the body that accompany the feeling.

I tend to regard meditation as like listening to music. You have no expectations about what will be achieved when you listen to music, and you are not rushing for it to end. You appreciate the nuances as they happen in the now. Meditation should be experienced in the same spririt I feel. However meditation is also about self discovery, and there are long term benefits in terms of clarity of thinking and freedom from habitual patterns of thinking and being, which carry over off the cushion.

One other point - if it really does seem like a chore, perhaps reading about meditation might help inspire you. There are many inspiring books that can help remind you of the benefits and enjoyment that spiritual practice can bring to your life, on and off the cushion.

Kind regards,


Re: Music with Meditation
« Reply #2 on: February 13, 2009, 04:59:43 PM »
I once heard a meditation teacher say "What do you want music for?! You're supposed to meditate, not listen to music...".
Music for one's entertainment, meditation is the opposite!!
There are some good books and even free online courses that you can take to get you started!!
I think it would be good to get used to sit for 1 hour-straight before going to a Goenka 10 day retreat..

About the chore part.. There will be some days when it will seem like something you have to do, inspite of not feeling like it.
But when you get the hang of it it will happen less often!! And even if does happen, it will disapear once you start practicing.

Has dean said... Listen to the music of your mind.
Without interfering observe the little nuances of thoughts, feelings, moods, and sensations. And if you get lost come back to the breath..


Re: Music with Meditation
« Reply #3 on: February 14, 2009, 01:22:18 AM »
Thanks for the advice Flip and Dean. I have just started practising Vipassana (or any form of meditation in general) this week so I guess it's a chore at the moment purely because I am not getting any benefits as such. I am reading more about Vispassana and meditation in general and starting to get an idea of the aims Vispassana attempts to achieve. I am also cautious not to make any technique/style/aspect too habitual seeing as I am still new to meditation and may be conducting certain areas incorrectly. Thanks again :).


  • The Irreverent Buddhist
  • Member
  • Meditation: It's a D.I.Y. project.
    • Buddhism is a practical psychology and philosophy, not a religion.
    • If you cling to view, you must know this limits your potential.
Re: Music with Meditation
« Reply #4 on: February 14, 2009, 01:43:50 AM »

I have not got much to add to what Dean said.

What I would add is that meditation is inherently boring and our ego's resist it. Ego's do NOT like exposure to the conscious mind AT ALL !!!!! Will do almost anything to avoid discovery.

Ego is a slippery little thing !

Keep at it :) it gets easier.

In the Dhamma,

~oOo~     Tat Tvam Asi     ~oOo~    How will you make the world a better place today?     ~oOo~    Fabricate Nothing     ~oOo~


Re: Music with Meditation
« Reply #5 on: February 19, 2009, 01:59:55 PM »
Do not make the mistake of equating relaxation and meditation.
Meditation almost always brings relaxation but this is not its purpose.


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