A Focused Attention Activity
“Music melts all the separate parts of our bodies together.”
My life’s work is to change the world one person at a time through inner peace. My deep belief that “outer peace begins with inner peace “ is at the foundation of my book The Practice, my blogs, and the many workshops and talks I give around the world. It is essential in life to stop for a few minutes every day to sit in silence and connect with you. When we sit in meditation to begin our day, we give ourselves a chance to connect within and hear the “whisperings of our heart”—really hear our inner voice, giving us deeper insight into what gives our lives meaning.
In today’s blog, however, I want to talk about sound—about music specifically and the impact it can and does have on our lives. If we focus our attention on the music we hear, we will discover that it can be a wonderful way to learn more about ourselves, bringing us that much closer to really feeling our own uniqueness and magnificence on this planet. So, here we go:
We often play music in the background and stop to listen when a song we like comes on, right? Rarely do we actually sit down and just listen to the music or song, even if it is one we really like. We usually just continue to do the other task at hand. Below, I offer this Focused Attention activity as a way to really be “one with the music.”
- Choose three of your favorite songs and set them up for consecutive play on your music player (but not continuous play). You can use ear buds if you like or just play the music through your speakers.
- Sit in the place you usually dedicate to meditation and get comfortable as if you were going to sit in silence. Hit play, close your eyes, and take a few deep breaths.
- Focus your attention completely on the sound of the music and the lyrics (if any) while continuing to breathe. Feel the musical vibrations moving through you. If your mind begins to make associations, simply let the thought pass and return to the breath.
- Notice the emotions the music evokes without assigning any judgment to them. Embrace the emotion, feeling it fully, and release it when it is ready to go. Continue to breathe, listen, feel, and release throughout each song.
- When the music is finished playing, continue to breathe, acknowledging any emotional sensations you may be experiencing. Sit silently for a few more moments before opening your eyes.
How did that feel? What feelings did your favorite songs evoke? When I listen to my favorite songs, I usually feel happy and uplifted, but there is also a place for music that brings up sadness or feelings of nostalgia or any other number of emotions.
When you have identified the various feelings your favorite songs evoke, spend a few moments contemplating why you are drawn to that particular music and those emotions. This is great insight into what you hold as deeply meaningful in your life.
After you have done this exercise, I would love to hear what you discovered! Please share below.