One of the most powerful yet easiest forms of meditation is to combine it with music. Most people have actually experienced this informally when feeling “at one with the music,” or when a particular song captures or expresses one’s emotional or mental state so perfectly that one experiences a rush of spiritual light, inspiration and insight. Accessing the spiritual power that can be activated through music entails learning to listen to music in an open but focused and meditative state. Most of the time when we listen to music it is in the background or it is when we are doing other things that demand our attention. There is of course nothing wrong with this, but this type of musical experience will not lead to deeper levels of mindfulness. It is only when we consciously use music as a meditative vehicle for spiritual experience that we can harvest the potential fruits of such an exercise.
Meditation, when combined with music, can be experienced on multiple levels: in being aware of the biological pulsation of the beating of the heart and the rhythm of one’s breath; while tapping into the deeper recesses of the vibrational energy of music manifest within the molecular fabric of the universe; in hearing the rich and varied sounds of nature; and in the music of the soul as it longs to unite with the Creator whose Divine song animates all of creation.
Becoming “one with the music” is actually a form of unification called devekut, which means to attach one’s whole being to God. This can be accomplished in many ways: through study, prayer, meditation, focused mindfulness, various creative pursuits, dance and music. It is particularly potent when a number of these activities are blended together until the borders between them for all practical purposes cease to exist. A related concept to devekut is called bitul or self-nullification, wherein the ego is transcended and the soul experiences real and tangible unity with God. The “run” of the soul during such an experience can of course be dangerous if the person is not focused on the “return.” For, as much as it is important to nullify our will to God’s will and to pursue experiences where we can actually feel unity with God, the goal is never to totally detach from reality and lose one’s individuality or bearings permanently, rather we should always strive to use such experiences to better ourselves and the world around us, for that is why we were put on the earth in the first place.