Music: Listening Meditation and Binaural Audio
With the ongoing spiritual development of the United States, previously niche practices such as meditation are rapidly becoming mainstream.
Yoga studios and tea shops are springing up like weeds around progressive communities in Oregon, Maine, Washington and Colorado, and getting in touch with your spiritual side has never been easier. For those looking to strengthen the mental portion of their bodies, meditation is the first logical step. Unfortunately many are dissuaded by the price tag associated with entering the 16 billion dollar yoga industry. With a customer base growth rate in excess of 50% this year, demand for yoga services is high. And as basic economics dictates, the price of membership has grown proportionately. Home meditation is the budget competitor, there are guidebooks aplenty geared towards helping individuals at home in achieving a relaxed state of mind. But for those looking for the simplest and fastest way to get started, listening meditation and binaural audio present an easy entry into meditation, wellness, mindfulness, spirituality and simple living
While traditional meditation is the art of focusing inward, listening meditation is focusing externally, using sound as a conduit.
“Listening meditation works in a different way from breath or sensation meditation. We do not focus inwardly but outwardly in a wide-open manner” – Stephen Batchelor
As most people are more apt at concentrating their external focus, meaning this is a great way to develop mental fortitude, which segues smoothly into turning that focus internally. Recommended tracks are ambient and provide little distraction. Simple flute melodies work wonders when coupled with ambiance from trickling creeks and windswept mountains. Check out Sonic Yogi’s Soundcloud for some great examples of ambient and semi-melodic work!
2. Binaural Audio
This brings us to my all time favorite method of listening meditation, binaural audio. Binaural audio uses specific frequencies to alter brainwave behavior, in turn reducing stress and increasing focus. Typically, different wave patterns play from each head phone (headphones will drastically increase the effectiveness of the audio), creating vibrant and sometimes elating sensations within the body. Binaural audio is a type of brainwave entrainment:
“If you’ve ever been mesmerized by the sound of ocean waves or a crackling fire, you’ve experienced brainwave entrainment.” – Deane Alban
For a more in-depth understanding of how binaural audio works, different wavelengths and their effects, and brainwave entrainment, have a gander at “Binaural Beats: A Meditation Shortcut”.
Remember, listening meditation and binaural audio are just tools designed to aid you in the journey to deeper meditation, wellness, mindfulness, spirituality and simple living. Do not grow complacent with these two methods, always strive to dive deeper than you think you can.