Music as Meditation. Music as Medicine.
Grafia. The name of a Masterton, New Zealand band of musicians, writers and artists are actually practicing 'Getting Really Away From It All'. Grafia is acronym for 'Get Right Away From It All'. The founder of the band Rob Maunsell is a local doctor and even though I've met him just a couple of times, and once down at The Lake House Cafe on a Sunday afternoon, where the band played everything from jazz to blues and golden oldies, I sense that music and playing are both medicine and meditation.
Down by the lake on that Sunday afternoon Grafia band members connected and engaged with the coffee drinking and wine sipping patrons in the gorgeous outdoor setting. An occasional man and his dog would amble on by, stay a while, tap a foot, groove some moves and travel on down the path. A jogger running past would stop and turn around to listen only to begin swaying and head nodding to the music. Next door lawn bowl playing members looked over and signed the air with a thank you wave to the band. Ducks quacked, swans glided by, birds sang and people chatted and smiled.
On an inner level what was happening on that Sunday afternoon was hearts were beginning to beat in synchrony. The right and left hemisphere of the brain could begin to connect enabling a higher order toward whole brain resonance. Medicine in the form of music brought people alive and together and happy to be in their skin.
Lips mouthed the words of known tunes, skin tingled and bodies gently jived and hummed. The atmosphere over those couple of hours created bodily self-regulation, mind relaxation and the spirit/soul was gifted with a higher order of harmony, vibration and attunement to more subtle senses.
May meditation be your music and music your meditation.
Karen M. Bell taught yoga and meditation for decades in Australia, Bali and Nepal. As a former somatic therapist and Buddhist psychotherapist she brings body awareness, psychological training and practice in the wisdom traditions of meditation and mindfulness to her writing.