I struggled with meditation for a long time. I’d sit quietly and empty my mind for about a minute then start thinking about what I wanted to have for dinner or how different my life would be if I got a radical hair cut. The benefits of meditation are well known- uplifted mood, overall wellbeing, better sleep, improved brain function, increased immunity.
However for my first few tries I kept thinking I must be doing something wrong. I’ve learnt that it takes practice and patience to feel comfortable enough to just be with you. I used lots of guided meditation and some good soundtracks to unlock internal stillness.
Taking some time for yourself is so beneficial, there are no screens to distract you and even if you end up dreaming about your next haircut, its still time spent with yourself. It’s amazing how on top of things and energized you feel after taking a few moments to meditate.
Discovering nidra (yogic sleep) can be aided by music to take you on a journey and help you drop into meditation, slow your heart rate and calm your breath.
A recent favourite is the new release by Sydney DJ, SOLON titled “Phlebas”. I first came across SOLONs electronic music for meditation through my yoga studio, where his tracks would enhance the vinyasa flow and bring you down into a peaceful savasana (my favourite bit). I was also lucky enough this year to experience a Future Sound of Yoga session with SOLON and his wife Angel, a yoga instructor who built the practice around his enchanting music.
Phlebas is the perfect sound for meditation and relaxtion and ten minutes is ideal for capturing a few moments of calm amongst the chaos of life. Solon says “the ambient composition is inspired by a sequence in T.S.Eliot’s poem the Wasteland.”
The track features sonic references to the poem: the cry of gulls, the rumble of thunder, the distant call of bells, and analog synthesisers which surround and swell like the ocean.
SOLON muses that this particular passage “Death by Water” resonated for this track because it explores the inevitability of death and what that means for life – certain things (“the cry of gulls and the profit and loss”) cease to matter when we’re gone and if we reflect on that now, does that change how we live our life today?
The poem is beautiful and haunting… knowing the tale behind the sound makes it even more powerful when finding meaning during your own meditation journey.
Phlebas the Phoenician, a fortnight dead,
Forgot the cry of gulls, and the deep seas swell
And the profit and loss. A current under sea
Picked his bones in whispers. As he rose and fell
He passed the stages of his age and youth
Entering the whirlpool. Gentile or Jew
O you who turn the wheel and look to windward,
Consider Phlebas, who was once handsome and tall as you.
For those who aren’t convinced about meditation or who need an excuse to get started, here is a link to the track. Sit somewhere comfortable, with your back supported and take several deep breaths. Play the music and concentrate on your breathing, imagining you are exhaling out negative, unwanted energy and inhaling a golden, positive light that spreads through your body.
When your thoughts stray to everyday things (like haircuts and dinner) gently bring them back to the breath. I can promise you will feel lighter and with renewed energy and calm afterwards. You may even begin to build a new appreciation for the world around you.
This post first appeared on HOLISTCHIC