There are many types of instruments that can be used for meditation which produce different effects and have various purposes. The most common type of meditation which uses instruments is called sound healing meditation. Instruments from various cultures all over the world are used for this modality and they have a long history of being used throughout the development of humanity.
The use and benefits of instruments during meditation and sound healing have a direct effect on brain wave patterns. These types of meditation affect the frequencies of the brain to move from the normal beta state which is active during our waking life to the alpha and theta states, which correlate with relaxation and meditation, respectively. They can also help shift the brain into the delta stage, which is associated with deep sleep. Many meditations use breathing techniques to accomplish the same thing, but the same things can also be achieved through sound.
Sound Healing Meditation
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Sound healing and instrument meditation can help improve various conditions and improve overall such as:
- Chronic pain
- Immune system
- Increased spiritual thought and feeling
Many sound meditations are performed over the course of an hour in group settings. The participants sit or lie down while the musician(s) come over to each person and play the sound of the instrument personally near their ears. This way their brain can respond to the vibrational frequency of the sound as closely as possible.
Some of the popular instruments used in sound meditation include:
The pan flute is a wooden flute with multiple flutes attached to one another. It originates from native South American music. It produces a very peaceful and grounded feeling.
This long tubular instrument is native to the Australian Aboriginal people. The musician will blow through one side in a continuous manner which requires skills and practice to master. It produces a deep rumbling sound similar to throat chanting that will help people feel connected to the earth and clear any unwanted emotions from the heart.
Singing bowls are common all over Asia and have been used for hundreds of years from that area of the world, with roots in Buddhism. They are also often called Tibetan singing bowls. They are made of brass and played by hitting a rounded stick on the outside of the bowl and making a continuous circle around the edge as smoothly as possible. They can also be struck like a bell. Different bowls have different vibrational frequencies which can correlate to different chakras or emotions.
The rain stick originates from Native American culture and has been used in their indigenous practices. Often associated with the sound of rain, it is a long tube with beads or beans inside which may have been used as a prayer for rain for the land and crops. Its sound creates a very calming effect, as it is soothing like water.
Other instruments used in sound meditation include gongs, tuning forks, bells, and more. Sound meditation is a great way to try a different sort of meditation technique that has a multicultural background to enhance your spiritual journey.