Within this article I’m going to present you 10 ultimate methods for meditation with sound. People all around the world use sound to meditate, whether it’s music, playing singing bowls, attending sound healing therapies or using modern devices like noise machines or EEG meditation headbands.
It’s not a secret at all, that sound is powerful enough to affect our mood and also help us to reach meditation state.
From the beginning we used music for spiritual purposes like shamans playing drums to put themselves into the trance.
Like ancient Yogis chanting mantras in the search for nirvana.
You will not find similar article anywhere else, I’m writing from my heart and experience.
Let’s get started!
OVERLOOKED POWER OF SENSES
How would we experience anything in this life without senses? They are very important part of life.
Actually, we don’t even think about that on a daily basis. We take them for granted and identify with them, and that’s fine, cause it is how it is supposed to be.
There isn’t any button to turn on seeing or hearing. It just happens without your effort. You might fall asleep, but still, senses work on and on. Amazing, isn’t it?
What else are senses great with?
They are always taking the information from the present moment. Whether you like what’s happening or not, they are innocent devices reporting to you what’s going on around in a real time.
This way, senses always keep you in touch with reality and here and now.
Hey!? But, isn’t that, what we look for while meditating? Power of now, focus on the present moment and so on?
Yes it is!
Why then, not to use their power to keep us focused on the here and now, when meditating?
By bringing our focus to hearing or seeing, we can help ourselves to stay focused for a long time without much effort.
Perceiving just goes on and on, you can’t stop it, but what’s actually helpful for meditation, is not what we perceive, but just the act of perceiving alone.
Here, it’s where we’re in touch with the presence of life itself.
Therefore, using senses for meditation can be extremely helpful. Especially, when you want to stay focused, chilled, and meditate for longer.
Hearing itself has a power to keep you focused on now without much effort from your side.
All you need to do is let it work the way it works, and just keep perceiving rather than following what you hear or see with your imagination.
WHY IS GOOD TO MEDITATE WITH SOUND?
We can use sound for our benefit. Anyway, we exist in this world, where sounds are a big part of our experience. In our hands lays the power to refine this potential and take what’s best.
You probably already have experienced, that your favorite music can keep you motivated, help with a broken heart, inspire, boost your creativity and there’s no end to that.
There are even scientific researches, proving that sound is powerful enough to reduce anxiety, stress and pain. Moreover, it can even help you with a weight lose.
Calm, soothing music in the background can influence you to eat slower, less and enjoy the food much more. If you struggle with loosing some weight, think of listening to some chill out music while eating instead of watching TV shows for example.
It could be that simple!
By picking right sounds to meditate with, you may improve your focus, memory, health, increase joy and sense of peace. Well, often benefits of meditation interweave with benefits, that sound can bring.
Therefore, doing both together can only strengthen the overall effect.
On the other hand, we live surrounded by noise. Rebalancing ourselves with positive sounds may be a great antidote for sonic chaos of modern world environments.
Especially, during meditation we become more vulnerable towards life, and we can allow the sound to take away all the noise we gather daily, and to restore the sense of harmony.
Moreover, using sound for meditation, can be super helpful for beginners. Not mentioning, meditation often happens naturally to people listening to the music, or staying out in the nature, captured by the beauty of its sound.
WHAT KIND OF SOUNDS ARE BEST FOR MEDITATION?
No doubt, that these sounds should be peaceful, harmonious and beautiful.
In basic, it could be anything bringing you to the relaxed state of body and mind. Something, that doesn’t stimulate your thought process, but rather quiets it.
Our brain generates electromagnetic activity, impulses waves all around the brain in different range and frequency.
By meditating we are able to reach states of mind and brain functioning, which usually happens, when we sleep and our body is utterly relaxed. Then, our brain slows down and impulses are less frequent, however the amplitude of the waves they generate gets higher.
These states are represented by Alpha, Theta and Delta brain waves. You may read about it more here in my article.
There are also different specific sounds, that can influence the brain in the same way like meditation.
Basically, they are able to relax our body, calm our mind down, put us in the state of meditation on its own. That’s why it’s so much easier to keep meditating with the meditation music for example.
You will get even more idea, by checking the list down in this article.
MEDITATION WITH SOUND – 10 ULTIMATE METHODS!
Let’s get straight to the list now.
If you love beautiful sounds, if you love music, then you will find some great inspiration here for your meditation practice.
There is something for everyone. Some methods here require more effort from you, like playing singing bowls or going to the forest, finding some space for the practice and to meditate.
Some are super easy, great for tiring day, when all you want to do is to chill, but you don’t have enough power to do anything. Listening to meditation music or binaural beats could be a perfect solution. Whenever I did so after crazy day at work, it helped me to forget about stress of work immediately.
Let’s start then!
1. SINGING BOWLS
Meditation with singing bowls is a really cool thing to do. It engages you in every way. Hence, the practice can become extremely powerful and beneficial.
First of all, they have an amazing sound, smooth, rich in harmonics, vibrations, that simply spread all over your body and the room you’re in.
Playing or hearing them, you can feel your mind, instantly set in peace. Your whole being just resonates with this sound.
However, that’s just merely one aspect of it, cause you also play the bowl, what engages your mind and help you to stay focused.
Playing the singing bowl is a magical experience. The kind of underwater movement you do when you play is gracious and deeply relaxing. Naturally, it quiets your mind and take you on the journey to the inner self.
It’s so easy to forget about stress and everyday problems, when you practice with singing bowls.
These holidays give you the space, to restore your deepest potential, refresh energy and surprise you with how actually happy you already are.
That’s actually my top recommendation, to meditate with sound by using singing bowls. It’s a total meditation, where you can easily surrender yourself all the way. I believe, regular practice can bring you fast results.
If you want to learn how to use a singing bowl, please, check my article here.
I you wonder, where to buy, you should try this guide out here.
2. SOUNDS OF NATURE
Above all, sounds of nature are always the best for meditation. Ocean waves, gentle noise of rain. Birds singing in the forest or in the jungle. Yes, that’s the best.
It’s because, it’s something the most familiar to our bodies, to our genetics, to our ears in fact. We are all part of the nature. These days, it maybe seems more and less relevant, but that’s gonna be always true.
The Earth is our home, and there is nothing better for grounding than inviting earthy vibrations to our life. Not only it nourishes our physical health but also mental health.
Meditation practice, when you do it for years, slowly points you to the value and innocence of the nature. Teaches you to reconnect with what’s our basic environment, and nature is far closer to what’s real, than rush of the city life.
The state of mind you will gain meditating is actually promoting harmony and respect towards all life around.
Therefore, meditation involving sounds of nature is a massive shortcut to recoup the natural state of mind.
Try to find some voices of nature on YouTube or so, but of course, the best you could do would be to have a little trip to a local park, somewhere out of the city or whenever you can, to enjoy peaceful and beautiful sounds of nature. Sit on the grass, stump or a stone and meditate.
3. SOUND HEALING
Why not to experience it all the way and give it a try? Sound baths are very interesting events, when you can let go all the stress. There are individual sessions, sound healing vibrational massages and also sessions in groups.
I wrote an article about how the typical session may look like here, check it out. Of course, every Sound Healer works in a bit different way, but you can have an idea.
Basically, the intensity of the event will probably take you on the journey, where there is no stress. You will forget about every thing bothering you and will totally refresh yourself.
First time I attained sound bath, oh man, that was something. I was walking zoned out in the positive sense for three days after. Couldn’t lose a smile. Felt like some old patterns, some blocks dissolved, broke and energy came through.
Sound of singing bowls was super powerful, vibrations were so strong, and filled all the air in the room. Certainly, that was a journey for the body and the mind. The best part was, that the beauty of the experience completely silenced the mind.
Therefore, there was no narration in this sound bathing journey of mine, just experience of freedom, right here right now.
Of course, it might be different for you, but I recommend you to give it a chance. Research, there should be some sound healing in your local area. Give the local business a chance, really cool people attending these events, make some connections, find some friends and simply meditate!
4. MEDITATION MUSIC
There is plenty of free meditation music on YouTube or Spotify and probably in many other places too. Of course, the quality of it varies, but I believe, you can find something, that will suit you.
There are many kinds of meditation music and honestly, as we tend to feel a bit different every day, same way different stuff gonna work in different moments.
Some people are into spiritual chants like Om Shivaya Namah. Artists like Kitaro or Chinmaya Dunster are great too, not forgetting Deva Premal and Mitten.
Anyone looking for some cool jazzy meditation vibes should try the music of Alice Coltrane.
Sometimes, we don’t have a taste for meditation or any kind of meditation music, then Bob Marley always works 😉
5. GUIDED MEDITATION
I love to meditate with a good guidance. However, it’s hard to find something solid online or on the market. Usually, I am disappointed with meditations offered within meditation apps. I don’t say you can’t find there anything valuable though.
I need to trust the person, that guides me into meditation. That’s why, I always choose teachers or masters, that already spend their lives on exploring the inner realms of existence.
Even though you actually do nothing when meditating, there’s plenty of discoveries you can make for yourself while practicing.
I like to listen to someone, who already made that discoveries and knows, where to direct your focus, when your mind starts to wander.
By meditating with a good teacher, you will find yourself amazed many times, by the way such teacher brings you back to the point. You will have impression like he never looses his awareness and you will realize how simple it is.
The other important factor is the sound of the voice. If the teacher is genuine and simply a good human being, you will hear it in his voice.
In the end, it will enable you to meditate for longer, to make a faster progress and will give you better understanding of the world around you. That actually changes a lot. My favorite meditation ever, I believe, it’s not for everyone, but enjoy!
6. CHANTING MANTRA
That’s the other useful way to meditate with sound. This time, you create this sound with your own voice. Of course, it takes much more effort than just listening to the meditation music on YouTube, but for a persistent practitioner the results can be awesome.
People chanting mantras for thousands of years, so that’s a proven way of meditation.
I would recommend Om Mantra, I wrote an article about it here. It’s a very basic kind of meditation, referring to an ancient Hindu wisdom. The fundamental sound of the Universe. Gives really fast results.
The other great meditation with sound is Bhramari Pranayama. It’s actually an exercise but ultimately beneficial one, it’s a part of Nada Yoga practice, which is often called the Yoga of Sound. It’s a very interesting path, full of different voice exercises. I elaborate more about it in my article here.
Chanting mantras in general helps a lot with any kind of anxiety disorders, fears and depression. It strengthens cord muscles, eliminates unnecessary mind chatter, what brings the peace of mind.
7. NOISE MACHINES
Would you expect, that noise can be actually helpful?
Well, did you catch yourself enjoying sound of the laundry machine, or the vacuum? I did!
It’s really fascinating and apparently our brain can find rest, when hearing the noise. It can’t be anything loud, cause then it’s dangerous.
What’s more, there are different kinds of noise. The most popular is white noise, where all the frequencies mix all together. There is also pink noise, covering all frequencies, that we can hear, where the intensity decreases with higher frequencies, what gives more pleasant and relaxing effect. Pink noise is great to make little children fall asleep.
If you ask me, could that be helpful with meditation? The answer is, of course yes. When the brain hears noise, it can’t separate any particular sounds and gives up. Actually, same happens, when you listen to the rain drops, ocean waves or even croaking frogs.
So what it does, it basically cuts off all the other potential noises away and all the sounds blend together. Therefore, using noise is very useful in distracting environments.
If the street noise or your neighbors interrupting you with your meditation, a noise machine can be the best solution. It’s proven it works, especially for the people fighting with insomnia and other sleeping problems. Learn more in my article about white noise and meditation.
8. BINAURAL BEATS
It’s similar like listening to regular meditation music, however there is something, that makes this music different from the others.
To fully embrace the effect of binaural beats you should always listen to it with your head-phones, as what your left ear hears is different from what the right ear does in a tonal frequency sense.
The difference is usually small, it can be 10Hz or 5Hz. What happens then, it’s an illusion, that you hear an extra third sound, which is the difference in between the two slightly different frequencies you hear in each ear.
This 5Hz or 10Hz or 20Hz falls into the brain waves frequency range, hence it’s believed it can help us to reach certain relaxation states, associated with these brain waves frequencies.
It can simply help you with meditation. Many people love binaural beats and uses them every day for meditation and to deal with stress. Binaural beats are super cool, when you want to focus on something, for example, when working on your computer. They are also very helpful with sleeping troubles.
9. EEG MEDITATION HEADBANDS
The other thing, I’ll be honest, don’t know much about, are meditation headbands. I’m kind of a traditional guy and the idea, that I will put something on my head, that gathers some data from my brain, sounds strange.
There is something odd with these futuristic devices, completely not buying this vision. Brain seems to me a big mystery and my intuition tells me, that we shouldn’t mess up with the nature and that it’s good to be careful before we cross some line.
Maybe, I’m just too suspicious., but that’s my feeling.
Why that thing caught my attention though?
On the other hand, there’s something cool about it, I had a chance to dig more and found out, that these headbands read your brain waves in a real time, and give you an instant sound feedback of what’s going on in your brain right now. For example, when you are calm, you hear the gentle breeze, when you worry, there are sounds of storm.
Wow, pinch me, cause it looks like we live in the future, if you know what I mean?
Of course, I would like to try it. I believe, practicing meditation with some feedback device like that could be interesting. I imagine, how much I could learn about the way the mind works. I see here potential to gain not only some understanding, but also to gain some control over the states of mind we’re in.
Well, maybe here’s the trap? 🙂
Who said silence isn’t a sound? It’s also a nice turn of action, isn’t it?
Well, the absolute silence is just an abstract concept, it doesn’t exist. Therefore, whether you want it or not, you will not be able to hear a pure silence with your ears.
We always meditate with some sort of sound, cause we can’t avoid even a minimal noise.
Like I mentioned, at the beginning of this article, pure hearing, staying as a observer of the sound, without following any concepts that arise, without judging what you like more or less, without expecting anything to happen in the sonic world around you, it’s the base of every sound connected meditation.
What all the meditations ever do, they mirror your inner silence to you. In between sounds you hear, there is always some sound, sort of sound, you name it, that reflects your being.
In the other words, life is always entertaining and you don’t need to do anything special to experience it. Just stick to the silence, that’s maybe not physically here in an ideal sense, but somehow it’s always here in betweens of whatever is happening around.
When you can meditate like that, staying comfortable in silence. Come on? What else do you need?
FIND WHAT YOU LIKE!
In summary, meditation is your private thing and you decide, what you like.
Don’t be afraid to try out new things occasionally.
Different methods of meditation may work better in different moments. It’s good to be flexible with that and not to stick to something, that you don’t like much.
It would be a shame not to meditate, there’s too much benefits coming out with regular practice.
Developing habit of regular meditation can be truly life changing in unbelievable ways.
It’s an activity, that can be so easily overlooked by many. Give it chance and remember it works the best in a long run.
If you’re facing any troubles with your practice, you may find this article very helpful. Have a nice reading!
You’re very welcome to ask any question, maybe you feel like, there is something you want to add or something you would like to share, don’t hesitate, leave a comment below 🙂
All the best!
Founder of Sound And Bowl