Not all meditation music is created equally. Some just doesn't hit the spot, and doesn't take you into that zone, that place where all your worries and stresses fall away amidst a serene back drop of calming, peaceful sounds. If you're looking for good meditation music then look for these 5 key things:
1. Soothing Soundscape
The best meditation music uses a soundscape of soothing sounds that the brain naturally associates with relaxation.
For example, our Deep Meditation uses natural rainfall and forest ambience, and the Chill Pill meditation uses dreamy pads to entrance the mind into a state of deep relaxation. Natural ambience is preferable because the brain has a natural affinity with nature, and responds well to the calming properties of water and ambience of the elements.
Unlike standard musical compositions, meditation music must be consistent in composition and not jolt or shock the listener when changes are introduced.
Big build ups and break downs can break the listener's meditation and make it difficult to centre the mind. Find some meditation music that's consistent and almost hypnotising in its execution.
A meditation soundtrack should be at least 15 minutes long, preferably 20 minutes plus. Traditionally, meditation music is up to an hour and often more in length. However, at BBM we produce 30-minute recordings.
This is because binaural beats work differently to traditional meditation music in that they entrain the brain, which requires minimal effort on behalf the listener.
Whatever you do, don't start meditating to a two or five minute soundtrack; it simply isn't long enough to cultivate a state of pure awareness.
4. Good Quality
With the introduction of mp3s some years ago, music quality has been somewhat diminished. When we create an mp3 we are compressing a music file to make it smaller; this then makes it easier to store (digitally) and to transfer between devices.
The problem is music is often compressed to the point that it sounds tinny or too bassy. This is because frequencies are lost during compression, and compressing a track too much will permanently alter the sound. For meditation music to be effective it must be of high-quality; a minimum mp3 compression of 256 Kbps is advised.
5. Guided or Enhanced
For those who struggle with meditation, particularly those with an overactive mind, it is a good idea to start out with guided meditation, or enhanced mediation recordings such as binaural beats.
Guided meditation usually features the voice of an experienced meditator, who assists your meditation by guiding you into a meditative state.
The problem with guided meditation, however, is that the listener may be put off by the voice, and so you need to find a recording with a teacher you feel soothed by rather than distracted by.
Binaural beats take guided meditation to the next level by using science. Underneath the music/natural ambience of the track are two sound waves that combine to create a reaction in the brain called frequency following response.
Binaural beats can be engineered to target specific brain states, be it for deep meditation or higher learning. The brain is entrained by the binaural beats, and as such moves into the required brain state. Read more about this here.
And so there you have it, the 5 properties of good meditation music; soothing, consistent, lengthy, good quality, guided/enhanced. If you find all these things in one piece of music, you're five times more likely to fall into a deep state of meditation, and enjoy the subsequent benefits.