Spirituality can be defined as the experience, belief, feeling, perspective or understanding of spirit; the soul, focus on the non-physical realm, energy or the etheric realm that is the essential nature of existence. Spirituality can be explored and cultivated through various practices and music most definitely has an impactful role within spiritual experiences and practices. Music can be defined as both vocal and instrumental sounds that can be combined. Music possesses rhythm and harmony and with intention can express and evoke emotions. Music is essentially sound energy; the vibration and frequency of sounds produce various energetic resonant effects on humans. The process of creating or listening to music can in itself be a spiritual practice; it is also a potent guiding element within many other forms of spiritual practice. In this article, we shall explore the role of music in spirituality by considering the ways that music is utilized in various practices and its impact within these.
Music as/in Spiritual Practice
In the following points we will delve into the role of music within spiritual practices and experiences:
Mindfully listening to and creating music
Mindfulness is an integral part of spiritual practice; it can be simply defined as a state of mind that is completely and intentionally focused in the present moment. Mindfulness during listening to or creating music can elevate the experience of music to a spiritual experience, when totally focused in the present moment the nuances and full effect of hearing or creating the music will be felt . Mindful presence allows one to synchronize and flow into to deeper resonance with the sound vibrations that are being listened to or created.
Exploring ones inner world can be considered a part of spiritual practice and this inner exploration often brings up unresolved issues that need to be healed. Many energetic methods can be engaged to effect healing on vibrational levels that intern affects both the energy and physical body. One of these powerful methods is known as sound healing. Sound healing utilizes the harmonic frequencies and vibration of music to tune and harmonizes the body to a vital and aligned state of being.
Music and meditation
Meditation in various forms is a key practice within spirituality. As mentioned above music can be used as a meditation or mindfulness practice, through full presence during the listening or creation process. Music can also be used within other forms of meditation; playing music with a vibration that was intentionally curated for specific meditative states. There is actually a range of music with specific frequencies known as solfeggio frequencies that can be used within meditation as well as more traditional meditative music created with harmonic instruments such as Tibetan singing bowls, flutes and shamanic drumming. Music is also used as a layer of sound (energy) within spoken guided meditations.
Music that shares spiritual /conscious knowledge
This point is linked to the mindful creation of music; mindfulness during the process of creation can result in the music conveying this energy to the listener. Music can also be intentionally used to convey spiritual concepts and knowledge through the use of lyrics that hold an expanded level of consciousness. Music with conscious lyrics can be a great reminder of powerful spiritual truths; even instrumental music created with conscious intent can serve as a tool for energetic and emotional alignment with spiritual experiences.
Music to induce altered/ trance states
Altered states or trance states have been accessed through the use of rhythmic music since ancient times; through these altered states, we are able to directly experience the perception of the spirit realms and energy. Music is a key guiding element within psychedelic ceremonies and gatherings both in tribal cultures (shamanic drumming and icaros) and modern culture (such as psytrance festivals). When one is able to mindfully engage with music it is not even necessary that psychedelics be used to effect a trance state; music in combination with dance or meditation or music alone has the power to entrain the brain and energy into an altered state of consciousness where spiritual experiences and epiphanies can be had.
Music connects people
An integral element in the embodiment of spirituality is the knowing that all is connected and is essentially one (connected and part of spirit or energy that creates all). Creating music together or listening to music together can be a powerful spiritual experience of connection. When we share in sound energy together it can tune everyone to the same frequency and create a group resonance. Music has the ability to bring people together to experience the feeling of oneness, be it in a group of musicians in a studio, an instrumental jam session around a fire, a pulsating dance floor or concert resonating to the same beat or a group of friends enjoying some music together at home.
Now that we have explored the above points you probably have a more considered understanding of some of the ways that music and spirituality are connected. Music is an integral and powerful element to integrate into your daily spiritual practices. Be it more mindfully choosing your music, listening or creating with renewed presence and experimenting with the energetic effects of sound within your existing spiritual practices. If you are interested in exploring using music within your meditations we suggest listening to some of the beautiful compositions on Music of Wisdom YouTube channel, you will find an array of music suited to different moods and intentional meditative states. __Written by Music Of Wisdom team