Category Archives: music

The key to meditation: START

How many of you read my posts and think “I should meditate” yet, you never take the first step?   Like any practice or habit, meditation is a commitment on your part.  You only have to commit 15 minutes to start.  Once you become accustomed to it, you can expand as you wish or as time permits.

I know several people who seem to have a problem getting past what I call ‘the monkey chatter’ in our heads.  Oh, believe me, I still deal with monkey chatter every day myself!  The key is to dismiss it.  And yes, that sounds far easier than it really is to do.

In my experience, the best way to start a meditation practice is with a simple guided meditation.  Guided meditations redirect your focus from your own chatter to the voice in the audio track. Once you become accustomed to that meditation, then you can begin to design your own meditations to achieve the goals you wish to achieve, and to expand into areas that are important to you  What was interesting to me as I began this practice, is that the basic meditations led me to identify areas that I wished to address with my practice.

I’m so convinced that your life will change for the better if you begin meditation in any form whatsoever, that I’ve done some of the research work for you.

I sampled a few mindfulness meditations on iTunes, as a starting point for those who wish to move forward using mindfulness and meditation to add peace to your lives.

The first one is a very simple mindfulness meditation from an album calledMindfulnessMeditationForBeginners “Mindfulness Meditation for Beginners” and offers short, guided meditations for 6 minute, 10 minute, 15 minute and 20 minute sessions.  I listened to this and it should be a comfortable, simple way to get into meditation. The voice is a very soothing female voice.  There are also a couple of musical tracks on this album that you can use as you move further into meditation.

ON Apple Mindfulness Meditation for Beginners $9.99

ON Amazon Mindfulness Meditation for Beginners $6.93

 

This album “Meditation Oasis” caught my attention simply because of the lotus, which I view as a symbol for Meditation Oasis Albummy own growth and regeneration.    This lovely album includes 4 simple meditations from 12 to 19 minutes long, with relaxing music and a female voice.  The tracks are:

Breath Awareness Meditation

Effortless Meditation

Emotional Ease Meditation

Letting Go Meditation.

ON iTunes: Meditation Oasis $9.99

On Amazon: Meditation Oasis $3.96

If you wish to move forward with your meditations, you can check out “Guided Meditations Guided Meditation Life Goalsfor Achieving Life Goals”.   This has a simple background consisting of ocean waves and piano. The voice is female.   I’m amazed at the difference in pricing on these!

ON iTunes: Guided Meditation for Achieving Goals $9.99

ON Amazon: Guided Meditation for Achieving Goals $2.67

 

Shop around for the right guided meditation album(s) to kick-start your meditation practice.  On iTunes, just use ‘Guided Mediation’ as your search word in the iTunes Store search box.   On Amazon, it is easiest if you navigate to the area for Digital Music and search within that area.

Please feel free to ask questions or ask for recommendations below in the comments sections!  I’m happy to help.  I want everyone to experience the growth that I’ve experienced through meditation.

 

 

Make your home your spa

Who doesn’t love a trip to the spa?  You walk in the door and immediately, you relax.  The air is clean and oh-so breathable.  The sounds are calm and relaxing.  The lighting is low-key and the decor is reminiscent of nature.  Often there is the sound of water. The furnishings are well-maintained. There is no clutter and the feel is clean and fresh.

Now, who can afford a daily trip to the spa?   Not many of us, that’s for sure.  The next best thing is to give your home that spa feel.  In my book, I go into some detail as to the steps you might take.  But here, I’ll give a bit of a crash course.

Start at the doorway to your home.  The entry way should give a hint as to what is inside.  This is generally going to be your porch or portico.  It should be clean, uncluttered, with any furniture in clean condition and good repair.  FountainI have a medium-sized fountain going with lush greenery and a comfortable rattan bench to sit on when removing shoes. Like at any competent spa, you kick your shoes off outside the door.  After all, you don’t want the toxins, poisons, dangerous fecal matter and sewer run off that is present on all streets and sidewalks stepping into your home!   When you step through the door, stop and close your eyes for a minute.  What do you hear?  What do you smell?  What do you see? What do you feel?   HOW do you feel?  The preferred answer?  You feel like you’ve walked into a spa!

You should hear either total quiet or very relaxing music or even nature sounds.  Since I have a fountain in the kitchen for the cats, and since I have fountains near most all windows, I hear the movement of water first.  I often keep nature sounds going in my house daily.  My pets love it.  They also enjoy a soft, low-key instrumental music. Since I work at home, I’m much more able to do my work well in a relaxing, natural environment.

You should NOT smell last night’s baked fish or tonight’s veggie lasagna.  You should smell Aromatherapy Diffusera fresh, relaxing scent or something that is very neutral.  Please, please, please! NO GLADE or other toxic air fresheners!   They’ve been proven to be truly dangerous for humans and pets. If you want to add scent, I generally recommend something like organic lavender essential oil in a diffuser with purified water.  There are many alternatives, based on what you’re trying to achieve.  Aromatherapy has been proven to have a positive effect on your mental attitude.

Look around you now.  What do you see?  Do you see clutter?  That needs to go!  A cluttered home stifles the energy flow that is necessary for a serene, relaxing environment.  Many things can hide in clutter – dirt, dust, allergens, vermin, and just plain old crap.  Get rid of it!  The air flow to your home is as important as your breathing is to your body.  Think of it this way:  If something is obstructing your airway, you won’t be able to breathe and give your body the much-needed oxygen that is required.  If clutter is obstructing your home, your home is unable to breathe and give you the peace that you require to live a healthy life.

Now what do you feel when you walk through your door?  Do you feel stressed?  Oh so much to do!!!!  Or do you feel relaxed and grateful for your peaceful space?  In our case, when we walk through our door, we immediately relax and lose all the annoyances that we experienced in the ‘outside’ world.  Between us, we work four jobs so stress could always take over if we allowed it.  But we do not. My husband says the most important gift is to walk through the door and feel instantly at peace. Here our world is quiet.  Here our world is restful.  This is where we renew our energy.

It’s very rare that we do not have a good night’s sleep and not a lot of people can say that at age 65 and 61.   We awake renewed and ready for a new day.

I highly recommend reading up a bit on the basics of Feng Sui.  While we don’t have the luxury of repositioning our homes on the piece of land where they’re located, we can certainly have some control on the interior spaces.

Now some will say that nature is the perfect ‘spa’ and in many cases, that’s absolutely true.  However in the area where we are, it is close to impossible to find an environment in nature that will allow this type of relaxation.  As an example, we often would go to an area in our boat about 6 or 7 miles north of our island.  We’d run the boat up on a sand bar, anchor and sit naked in salt water up to our chests, with a cool beverage and just ‘be’ with nature.  The shore birds were marvelous and calling to one another. Spotted Eagle Rays would swoosh past my arm, mangrove snapper would be feeding nearby.   You could hear and see nature in it’s glory – for about 3 minutes.  Then someone who didn’t appreciate nature would come roaring through a no-wake zone at high speed, in an over-loaded boat with stereo blaring. :::sigh:::  There goes nature.  Then the next overloaded boat 2 minutes later would decide that they wanted to have a party about 40 feet from where we were when there happened to be a hundred of miles of similar spots in reach.  So, sadly, in our area, it is not possible to truly have a ‘spa’ moment in nature.   Too many people don’t respect the space, property and peace of others.

Often my posts are inspired by the events of a day or the day before.  In this case, this post was inspired by a particularly spiteful, bullying post or two on a thread from someone half-a world away who felt that their choices were the only choices.   The website I enjoy so much is generally chock-full of healthy tips and ideas and is dedicated to health, wellness, peace and a non-toxic life so it’s surprising to find those on there who seem opposed to the basic healthy tenants of the site.  This just served to remind me that everyone makes their own choices, and that our personal choices are particularly precious to us.  One’s own value system defines one’s life.  If your life is dedicated to peace, wellness and a healing non-toxic atmosphere for you, your family and your pets, then this is all that matters.

 

 

Making meditation work for you.

There are many forms of meditation.  The meditations in my book were visualizations that I designed for myself, to meet my weight loss goals.  However, there are many ways to meditate and none are wrong.

If you are not experienced in meditation, don’t let it frighten you.   Daily meditation will become a part of your morning or evening routine and you will soon not feel complete unless you’ve participated.   To me, it’s as much a part of my morning routine as combing my hair or washing my face.  Since I’ve been meditating, my blood pressure is normal and never spikes and I sleep far better at night.

I’m obviously a believer in meditation and have encouraged my husband to begin to meditate to improve his golf game.  If nothing else, it should help him to center himself and enjoy the experience and who knows?  Golf is a ‘zen‘ game of sorts and played mostly in the mind, so it could improve his game. I did find a short, simple guided meditation for golf  for him to try.

The best way to begin your meditation practice is to look into some guided meditation audio downloads or CD’s.  Start with something simple.  There are thousands of meditation soundtracks out there.   I just did a simple search on iTunes using ‘Basic Meditation’ as keywords.  The styles are numerous.  Some use music in the background.  Some have the sounds of nature in the background.  The sounds of the sea, streams, wind, birds are all helpful in relaxing so that you can begin to fine tune your meditation.

Once you’ve mastered some simple guided meditations, you can then begin to design your own meditations. You know your own triggers for relaxation and contentment.  Some just melt at the sound of the sea, babbling brooks or a rain shower.  These are all easily available.

Another interesting take is to try some sound tracks featuring harmonic resonance.  For instance, the Schumann Resonance refers to the frequencies of the EMF (Electromagnetic Fields) of the earth.  I personally have been using this one for about a month now.  I prefer the one with the sound of the sea and wind chimes, but there are many variances.  Music It can be a very powerful frequency to use in meditation.  These can be altered and added to music or soundtracks in several ways.   Isochronic tones are regular beats of one single tone.  Monaural eats are constant wave pulses instead of separate pulses of a single tone. These frequencies have been associated with high levels of meditation, increased HGH levels and also, blood flow to the brain seems to be much higher while this frequency is played.  It’s also helpful for hypnosis.

I have also used some of the NASA Voyager Recordings for meditation as well.  My personal preference is the Jupiter soundtrack, but this is a preference that might be different for others.  A friend prefers Neptune. NASA Voyager REcordings I encourage you to listen to them all to find what actually vibrates with you.

Please feel free to share your own choices of meditation sounds and music, and any tracks you’ve found that furthered your meditation practice.  It’s easy!   Just post below!

 

 

 

Sometimes, change is ok.

I like continuity. It’s comforting. And like most people, I often tend to resist change.

I have been using the same music/sound track for my meditation now, for a year or so.  It was from the NASA Symphony of the Planets and is the Jupiter recording.  It really seems to resonate with me.

This past weekend, we were visiting a friend in SW Florida who lives on the beach.  Having essentially grown up in this area, it is an especially calm and meaningful place for me.   So in my morning meditation, I really just wanted to be ‘one’ with the sound of the surf.  The problem?  There was a lot of traffic on the other side of the house – on the side where the street is.  It was distracting and I was getting nowhere fast.

So I did a search on my iPhone music tracks for ‘waves’ and found one that was just amazing!

MusicIt was ‘Schumann Resonance:  The Earth’s Vibrating Frequency 7.83 hz, with With Wind Chimes and Beach Waves’.  I know.  It is yet another mouthful of a phrase, right?

I have to say, this really put me in the zone quickly. and it made for an especially meaningful meditation session.  Both feature Schumann harmonics.

If you’re an ‘ocean person’, you’ll enjoy this.  This series also has the same isotonic tones with other soothing sounds – surface water, whales, night sounds and more.

I recommend listening to a number of different tracks to find what works for you.  It’s just so difficult in this day and age to find some natural SILENCE, so the next best thing is a sound track that helps you with a peaceful start to your meditation.