Thursday, February 2, 2017

The Practice--Watch Out for Music Overconsumption

I began my journey into the world of music as a young child. And my passion for music waxed and waned over the decades. When it was ebbing, I began a new journey into music consciousness. And one of the concepts that struck me early on was a comparison between a food diet and a music diet.

And here's the thing, just like we can overconsume food and wreak havoc on our digestive and other systems, overconsuming music can also, I believe, confuse our cells and body rhythms. We don't eat food continuously all day and into the night. Most of us eat perhaps three or four meals a day and allow our stomach to do its job the rest of the day. Of course, some people are binge eaters or snack throughout the day which never gives the body a rest.

After the portable tape players, then portable compact disc players, and now MP3 players came on the market, the music suddenly was immediately accessible. People started doing everything with music playing in either the foreground or the background. Every shop in town plays music in the background and most of this is banal commercial pop music. I suspect that pop music has brain control messages contained within it but that's a topic for another article.

When we overconsume music and don't engage in long moments of silence, we can no longer hear our inner guidance. If we binge on pop music there is the danger that it contains brainwashing messages to keep us a part of a consumer culture and at the worst, enslave us. When we overconsume on music when we do have moments of silence such as when we sit down to meditate, earworms (musical phrases and lyrics loop through our brain) rob us of a deep meditation. You can always overlay mantras or chants over those earworms but that takes effort.

I'm also concerned about people who are constantly wired to a phone, computer, or other electronic devices which play music 24/7 if they allowed it. Even if we listened to high-frequency music and Solfeggio tones all day, we still require moments of silence or the sounds from the natural world. However, when I see people walking, hiking, or jogging in nature, they're wired to their music-listening device. So they are not connecting with the higher frequencies of the natural world.

As humanity leans more heavily towards cyborg technology, I am deeply concerned about this addiction to music (which often is a lower vibration). So I 'm listing a few practices to wean us from this addiction. With music, less is more. Just like we require time to savor and digest a meal, it's the same for music, especially higher-frequency music which is powerful.

  • Whenever possible turn off music while you work, especially if you work in a quiet space or at home.
  • When you walk, jog, or hike in a natural setting, leave your electronics including your phone at home. 
  • Listen to bird songs outdoors or open your window so that the songs filter through your space.
  • Sit by the ocean or a bay and listen to the waves flow in and out. Sync your breathing with the waves.
  • Or sit by a creek or brook and sync your breath with the water's flow.
  • Do a media fast which includes not listening to any music, at least at home (2 or 3 days).
  • Talk to businesses and ask if they can change their background music to nature sounds or instrumental music or not play background music at all.
  • Research the musical effects on the body's natural rhythms and then find the right music to raise your personal vibration.
  • Listen to music mindfully just like a Buddhist eats food mindfully. Pay close attention to your body's responses to the music.
  • Get in touch with your feelings and emotions during times of silence.
  • If you must have sounds during meditation, listen to OM frequencies, or sound healing tools such as crystal or Tibetan singing bowls.
  • Spend time alone in silence or with friends without any background music. Pay attention and listen to the words of others.
  • Refrain from multitasking. It's a myth that some generations are better at and wired for multitasking. Multitasking messes up the neuropathways of the brain. It leaves us feeling agitated.
I hope these tips are helpful for you. If you know people who are addicted to music, have them research books and articles about how music affects the brain and the body.

I am the author of the unpublished music consciousness book, Whole Music. I am also looking for music experts to interview. The topic is healing post trauma with music and sound healing. If you would like to participate, e-mail me at wholemusicexp at gmail dot com