To Replenish your soul
I usually avoid the spiritual healing aspects of meditation. My primary focus has long been on relaxation, with meditation coming as an almost natural extension. I have never been looking for “enlightenment”, just looking for ways to relax and to be able to think clearly thru the twists and turns of life. My Grandfather, early in my life, taught me the basics of mindful meditation in his own unique way. Focusing on breathing and clearing the mind of thoughts and then allowing myself to look at a specific train of thought has always served me well. That’s if I can put aside internal and external distractions. Much easier said than done! And sometimes, when times are hard, I turn to spiritual healing music.
Music, as I am sure you know by now, allows me to have an external focus point, and music that is without vocals to distract is my normal choice for relaxation and meditation. After all, meditation is impossible without relaxation. Having vocals, for me, allows the images associated with the lyrics to intrude but I have found that not being able to understand the languages allows me to stay focused on the music, with the vocals becoming an instrument that can enhance and help to keep me focused.
I was raised a Southern Baptist (Christian) but I do not claim to be an expert in Christianity. I have a limited understanding of Judaism and Islam. My musical choices are based on my understanding and on the search results I got while doing my research. I am confident you will enjoy the Christian selections, not so sure about the Judaism and Islamic selections. If my choices are off, please let me know, and if you have other selections just let me know in the comment area below.
Let’s get started and get into spiritual healing music!
Meditation in general
Meditation: a practice where an individual uses a technique, such as focusing their mind on a particular object, thought or activity, to achieve a mentally clear calm state. Meditation has been practiced in numerous religious traditions and beliefs. Beginning in the 19th century, it has spread from its origins to other cultures and is practiced in private and business life.
Meditation in contemporary use is parallel to the term “contemplation” in Christianity, but , practices similar to modern forms of meditation were simply called “prayer”. The Christian, Judaic, and Islamic forms of meditation are typically devotional, scriptural or thematic, while Asian forms of meditation are often more purely technical.
The definitions of meditation in the Oxford and Cambridge living dictionaries are “to focus one’s mind for a period of time” and “the act of giving your attention to only one thing.”
Meditation may be used with the aim of reducing stress, anxiety, depression, and pain, and increasing peace, perception, self-concept, and well-being. Music can be used to promote the feelings of wellness and to increase peace. Some of the more traditional type of meditation music can be found here.
Some ancient religions of the world have a tradition of using prayer beads as tools in devotional meditation. Most prayer beads (including Christian rosaries) consist of pearls or beads linked together by a thread. The Roman Catholic rosary is a string of beads containing five sets with ten small beads. The Hindu japa mala has 108 beads. Each bead is counted once as a person recites a mantra until the person has gone all the way around the mala. The Muslim misbaha has 99 beads.
Christian meditation is a form of prayer in which a structured attempt is made to become aware of and to reflect on the revelations of God; the process of deliberately focusing on specific thoughts and reflecting on their meaning in the context of the love of God.
Edmund Prosper Clowney (July 30, 1917 – March 20, 2005) was a theologian, educator, and pastor. He explained three dimensions of Christian meditation. The first is that Christian meditation is grounded in the Bible. The second mark of Christian meditation is that it responds to the love of God, and the third dimension is that the revelations of the Bible and the love of God lead to the worship of God: Christian meditation is an exercise in praise.
According to Clowney it is the search for wisdom, not ecstasy is the path of Christian meditation, a wisdom sought in the “Christ of Scripture and the Scripture of Christ”.
Amazing Grace has long been one of the more traditional Christian favorites of mine. For a comparison of different instrumental versions, please see Amazing Grace.
Salah is a mandatory act of devotion performed by Muslims five times per day. The body goes through sets of different postures, as the mind attains a level of concentration called khushu’. A second optional type of meditation is called dhikr, meaning remembering and mentioning God.
Dhikr became one of the essential elements of Sufism as it was systematized traditionally. It is combined with fikr (thinking) which leads to knowledge. By the 12th century, the practice of Sufism included specific meditative techniques, and its followers practiced breathing controls and the repetition of holy words.
Soothing Islamic Rain Meditation (de-stress)
Judaism has had meditative practices that go back thousands of years. There are indications throughout the Tanakh (the Hebrew Bible) that meditation was used by the prophets. Some meditative traditions have been encouraged in the school of Judaism known as Kabbalah, and some Jews have described Kabbalah as an inherently meditative field of study.
In modern Jewish practice, one of the best known meditative practices is called “hitbodedut” (התבודדות), and is explained in Kabbalistic, Hasidic, and Mussar writings. The word derives from the Hebrew word “boded” (בודד), meaning the state of being alone. Another Hasidic system is the Habad method of “hisbonenus”, Hebrew for understanding. This practice is the reflective process of making oneself understand a mystical concept, that follows and internalises its study in Hasidic writings.
The Musar Movement, founded by Rabbi Israel Salanter in the middle of the nineteenth-century, emphasized the meditative practices of introspection and visualization that could help to improve moral character.
My musical selections are based on my personal choices, there are so many wonderful spiritual healing songs available that it sometimes becomes difficult to make choices. Add in my lack of understanding about religions in general and think of my selections as a general guide.
No mater your faith, or lack of, spiritual healing music is a welcome addition to your playlist of music for relaxation and meditation. Sometimes we all need to just meditate upon the wonder of our Creator and to look outside ourselves.
What music do you turn to for spiritual guidance and healing? I can use some additional suggestions! Please share your music in the comments below and as always, I welcome your thoughts and questions.
Walking the Path of Peace,