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Music and the Spiritual Connection
"Music is the easiest method of meditation. Whoever can let himself dissolve into music has no need to seek anything else to dissolve into." Osho
Music is a universal language of God. When I communicate with the heart of the music, in our communion we become inseparably one.
Soulful music immediately awakens and inspires our hearts because it s the Light that wants to express itself in a divine way. Even as darkness wants to manifest its authority on earth, light also wants to manifest its Reality in a specific way.
Music is of paramount importance, it is a road that is absolutely clear.
The spiritual nature of music cannot be defined by religion, culture or genre. Music precedes and transcends all of those frameworks.
Music is, at its essence, the sound of spirit. When created from the heart and with truth and pure intention, music is a spiritual expression of the most universal nature and the highest order.
Music is essential to human life and an integral part of our development as individuals and as a species. Like breathing, music has rhythm, tension and release. Music cleanses the understanding, inspires, and lifts us into a realm which it could not reach if we were left to ourselves.
Music is one of our most powerful gateways to connect to our spiritual nature -- our divine source -- the unseen, as well as to the universe around. I know of no other medium that can transport us as immediately, on all levels of our existence, beyond the limits of our intellect and physical body to another place, often blissful and inexplicable state.
Music and Psychology
Every act of perception, is an act of creation, and every act of memory an act of imagination. Music can lift us out of depression or move us to tears - it is a remedy, a tonic, it carries a life force of healing
Music is a common phenomenon that crosses all borders of nationality, race, and culture. A tool for arousing emotions and feelings, music is far more powerful than language. “It’s a language of emotions” across cultures.
Skilled composers (or song writers) manipulate the emotion within a song by knowing what their audience’s experience.
Because emotions enhance memory processes and music evoke strong emotions music is involved in forming memories bring to mind memories about episodes and information pertaining to your life.
Music has been identified as important in the construction autobiographical memories and thus for making judgements about oneself or others. Scientist still do not fully understand this process and how it works, although the evidence is overwhelming.
Music also progresses the use of verbal memory, and the learning of verbal tasks. Often music is used as therapy for delayed development and in patients which have had strokes or events effecting memory.
Music and Meditation
The Science of Music and Change
There is an awakened personal power that can comes from meditating to music and sound at certain frequencies. These frequencies have a profound effect on how you think, act, and feel. It changes your state of mind, raises your consciousness and ignites your spirit.
These frequencies allow you to become more connected to your creativity and purpose. These meditations are generally reported deeper, the spirit feels renewed, and the imagination is more vivid. When you connect with the harmonic vibration of the music causing you to see hear and feel the universal energy that is surrounding you.
What we listen to, watch, read and how we communicate to ourselves has a profound effect on the thoughts we think, the decisions we make and the results we create during our day. Meditation is designed to create light so you will raise your thought patterns and continue to grow and reside on higher frequencies.
When you create a practice of meditation by using the power of sound, you gain access to tools that will tap into your deepest brilliance, genius and greatness. Meditation has been shown to cause our brains to secrete the same chemical responsible for the feeling we know as love.
When you combine the power of guided meditations set to inspiring music and then follow it by listening to songs whose messages are positive and empowering, your path becomes a vision of possibility and opportunity. You connect to the vibrant Spirit of who you are. You become energized as you hear life from a higher vibration.
you can use meditation and positive music to actually balance both sides of your brain and tap into what scientists call whole-brain thinking, or whole-brain functioning. What that means to us, is that we are usingboth sides of the brain to think, instead of using one side at a time, as we usually do. Whole- brain functioning is associated with increased creativity… insight… learning ability… problem solving ability… memory… and what some people call vision!
Using meditation and music changes the way you look at your life, what you can accomplish, creates new habits and behaviors and lifts and elevates you to reach for your goals.
Here are some characteristics of positive music:
· Music can calm you thus counteracting the negative impact of stress.
· Music activates various areas within the brain, it captivates and maintains attention so that learning is enhanced when the whole brain is engaged.
· Music increases the endorphin level within the body to increase euphoric feelings.
· When the melody and harmony of a song produces a positive mood, the listener feels more energetic.
· Repetitive learning embedded within music engages the mind. Increasing the creation of new neuro-pathways.
· Song lyrics can generate positive, empowering, and uplifting feelings, creating actions that support your passion, purpose and vision.
· Music therapy is being used with success in medical settings and has been beneficial in pain management as well as treatment for learning disabilities. The use of music has been of value in patients with Alzheimer’s disease.
· Music’s ability to relax the listener produces enhanced physiology such as lower blood pressure, better heart functioning, and reduced tension in muscles.
· Music aids in memory retentionand shifting how one thinks
Music and its Healing Powers
According to Pete Seeger – Psychology Today Article (Feb. 4, 2014)
Music matters. That’s what Pete Seeger showed us. Seeger was a pioneer in the use of music to influence change. His combination of incredibly catchy melodies and thoughtful, socially conscious lyrics in songs such as “We Shall Overcome,” “This Land is Your Land,” “If I Had a Hammer,” and “Turn, Turn, Turn” were a powerful influence on national movements, including the fight for civil rights, world peace, and environmental protection.
While Seeger is best known for using music for social change, an important part of his legacy is the potential of music to affect change on a personal level. When Seeger said, “This machine surrounds hate and forces it to surrender,” he was throwing down the gauntlet. Music can heal.
Nowhere is this legacy more clear or important than in the movement to use music to treat mental illness. One in four adults in the U.S. suffers from a mental illness in a given year, yet only 40 percent receive treatment. The public healthimplications are considerable; mental health issues cost the world $2.5 trillion annually in health care costs, loss of functioning and loss of life.
Alternative and complementary treatments such as creative art, meditation, and yoga have been proposed to bridge this gap. But music, because of its ubiquity in our society as well as its ease of transmission, has perhaps the greatest potential among alternative therapies to reach people who do not otherwise have access to care.
Does music heal emotional suffering? Research says yes.
We now know through controlled treatment outcome studies that listening to and playing music is a potent treatment for mental health issues. Research demonstrates that adding music therapyto treatment improves symptoms and social functioning among schizophrenics. Further, music therapy has demonstrated efficacy as an independent treatment for reducing depression, anxiety, and chronic pain
There are several mechanisms by which music can have this effect. First of all, music has positive physical effects. It can produce direct biological changes, such as reducing heart rate, blood pressure, and cortisol levels.
Also, studies suggest that exposure to prosocial lyrics increases positive thought, empathy, and helping behavior. The message in a lyric such as “We shall overcome” may be able to reach more people than all of the psychotherapists in the world combined.
Finally, music is a connecting experience. Seeger was well known for his use of the sing-along, and he made his goal of building communities explicit, saying, “The idea of using music to try to get the world together is now all over the place.” Research clearly demonstrates that improved social connection and support can improve mental health outcomes. Thus, any music that helps connect people can have a profound impact on an individual’s mental health.
Countless other musicians with a message, such as Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen, and RageAgainst the Machine, have taken to heart Seeger’s statement, “Participation. That’s what's going to save the human race.” His influence can also be seen in organizations such as Musicorps, which heals disabled vets through teaching music, and, which organizes concerts to raise money for the Muscular Dystrophy Association.
Pete Seeger is one of the spiritualgodfathers of using music to improve mental health and well-being. Mental health professionals must capitalize on the path he blazed, to continue the important work of improving public health and well-being.
"Music might provide an alternative entry point" to the brain, because it can unlock so many different doors into an injured or ill brain, said Dr. Gottfried Schlaug, a Harvard University neurologist.
Pitch, harmony, melody, rhythm and emotion — all components of music — engage different regions of the brain. Those same regions are important in speech, movement and social interaction. If a disease or trauma has disabled a brain region needed for such functions, music can sometimes get in through a back door and coax them out by another route.
We’re using musical tools to ngage certain parts of the brain and then teach the brain new tricks — new tools — to overcome an impairment." Neuroscientists are exploring the role of music in treatment of some of the following:
Speech: For about 1 in 5 who suffer a stroke, difficulty with speech is a lingering effect. Researchers have found that by practicing to express themselves with a simple form of singing — something that sounds almost like Gregorian chant and/or “melodic intonation therapy," these stroke victims significantly improved the fluency of their speech compared with patients whose speech therapy did not include singing.
Movement: If you're old enough, recall John Travolta walking down the street to the song "Stayin' Alive" in the opening scene of "Saturday Night Fever." Now imagine a patient with Parkinson's disease, a degenerative brain condition that affects the initiation and smooth completion of movement. Here's where music's rhythmic qualities appear to get in the back door of a patient's brain and provide a work-around to brain functions degraded by Parkinson's.
By engaging the network of regions that perceive and anticipate rhythm, music with a steady, predictable beat can be used to cue the brain's motor regions to initiate walking. Once off the dime, a Parkinson's patient can use the music's beat to maintain a steady, rhythmic gait, like John Travolta. "It works well and it works instantaneously, and it's hard to think of any medication that has this effect.
Neuroscientists suspect that music may work in much the same way for stutterers, who experience difficulties initiating speech and maintaining a steady flow of words. Case studies have long observed that when stutterers sing, their halting speech patterns disappear. Music's predictable beats may help them initiate speech and continue fluently.