Music as Meditation
By Dhara Lemos
All beautiful and great music comes out of the space within. Some people call that space the soul, and you need to have a soul to create music. Something magical happens when great sounds are created, or even just before a performance. Where does the music come from? Where do the first notes come from? Music comes from within. Everybody has his or her inner sound, and it is connected with the divine and it manifests itself out of silence. Silence is the background to any sound, including music . . . we recognize sound only because of its contrast to silence. Here is a simple method you can use to find your own inner sound.
And if you are a musician, you may find practicing this technique very helpful before you play. Sit comfortably and quietly, and listen to the sounds all around you. Just open your ears to every sound—let the sound come to you. Slowly, something starts to happen. You start to hear the inner sound, and then beautiful creation can happen. You become centered and still. You are in the center of the universe, you become the inner sound.
Learning how to listen is very important; listening is a very feminine technique. You take in the sound, you absorb it into yourself, and then you give birth to new sound. Originally, music was used for meditation. Most Indian music was created as a method for meditation, as was Indian dance, also a meditation technique. Before beginning a concert, the musicians will tune their instruments while the audience sits totally in silence, listening to the tune-up; it is as if they are tuning up their ears so as to listen better. For the musicians, as for the audience, the concert is a deep meditation experience. It is beautiful, it is divine. Try music as meditation; you will enjoy it.
One of the most powerful methods of music as meditation is chanting. Chanting is the devotion and manifestation of the divine. In this issue of Lotus Guide, our guest writer, Christina Sarver, tells of her discovery of devotional music as a healing force and wellspring of creativity.