The mind of a musician may not exactly be reminiscent of an empty beach with one solo palm tree blowing in the wind. Instead, it’s more akin to a hot, jam-packed 5:00PM traffic jam on the busiest highway in your city.
Everyone on earth can benefit from meditation and even at its simplest, everyone can benefit from simply taking a few moments a day to just sit still with themselves and attempt to pause their mind. Especially these days, as we are all inundated with stimulation from screens at every angle, it’s more important than ever to find a time to try to connect with your inner peace.
Musicians, however, often experience high levels of anxiety surrounding performance and pressures of the industry. If you’ve got a camera capturing your every move while you’re still learning lessons just like the rest of us, this can be even more stressful than the “normal lifestyle and routine”, although we all know that doesn’t exactly exist either.
What is meditation anyway? “Meditation is a practice where an individual uses a technique – such as mindfulness, or focusing the mind on a particular object, thought, or activity – to train attention and awareness, and achieve a mentally clear and emotionally calm and stable state.”
If you think about it, forms of meditation often include the chanting of a mantra, which is incredibly similar to the concepts of song. A mantra can be described as a personal slogan or motto that one may choose to live by. It can also be something simple like a daily reminder to “stay calm and breathe”. Sometimes when it comes to meditation and all things philosophical, the appreciation for the simpler, the better.
Depending on where and when you are in the world, you may cross paths with alternative versions of meditation. We strongly suggest to test out every version that you come across and see what works best for you.
Versions of meditation include Chakra and Yoga meditation, as well as Mindfulness, Transcendental and many more. Let’s take it back to the roots. “Vipassana meditation is an ancient Indian form of meditation that means to see things as they really are. It was taught in India more than 2,500 years ago. The mindfulness meditation movement in the United States has roots in this tradition. The goal of vipassana meditation is self-transformation through self-observation.”
“Mindfulness meditation is the process of being fully present with your thoughts. Being mindful means being aware of where we are and what we’re doing, and not being overly reactive to what’s going on around us while Transcendental meditation is a simple technique in which a personally assigned mantra, such as a word, sound, or small phrase, is repeated in a specific way. It’s practiced 20 minutes twice each day while sitting comfortably with the eyes closed.”
While learning your meditation style, it’s important to give yourself a chance to attempt to practice this with others in a class setting, as well as at your house, alone. Some of us are able to focus better when forced and/or supported to do so in a group setting. Others may be distracted by too many people around them and need to find a quiet place in their private home. When practicing, it’s crucial to develop steady habits that will benefit you and make the process of mastering your mind that much easier. This could involve committing to five solid minutes of a day of nothingness. If this is too much, then start with thirty seconds. Keep it easy and let it flow!