Can Music Be a Meditation?


In the hong sau technique, we need to observe our breath with concentration.What if the same concentration is given to something else like classical music.Why breath only..Eg..if I sing for very long with concentration,I feel the same peace which people feel in meditation.Does it mean,there are expressions of some people feel that peace through photography, dance etc.It is also said music is the highest way to reach God.So can meditation be substituted with music.

—S, India


Dear Friend,

Surely many creative and engaging tasks can bring to us satisfaction, fulfillment and peace of mind. Paramhansa Yogananda wrote that while we can concentrate on just about anything, meditation is a form of concentration that focuses on God, or one of the aspects of higher consciousness.

So, I would say that the best reply is ‘BOTH-AND.’ Listening to classical, uplifting music can be very relaxing and peaceful. At the same time, if one seeks to know God, to find one’s true Self, to achieve higher wisdom and a lasting sense and state of inner peace, then meditation is one of the best and most effective tools in this day and age. While most activities take our awareness outward into and through the senses, meditation withdraws Life Force from the physical senses, through the subtle senses (of the astral body) and then into suprasensory states of consciousness and ultimately beyond all objects and lower states of mind.

The “highest” music is communing inwardly with the primordial sound, the “voice” of God in silence: the Aum vibration (the “Word”, the Comforter, the Holy Ghost or Divine Mother). All other music, including sacred mantric or other form of chanting, should take us beyond outer sounds towards inner communion with the divine vibration of Aum.

Hong Sau begins the meditation process by observation of the one movement remaining after the body is still and seated in meditation: the breath. Fortunately, the breath is the link between consciousness and the body and thus is not only the natural object of interior focus but the correct one to lead our attention beyond the breath and into the higher states.

The action of the physical breath is caused by the flow of Life Force (“prana”) in the astral body which, as it flows into the physical body through the doorways of the chakras, sustains the physical body and causes the body to breathe and to have the Life Force circulating through the body doing its work.

The mantra Hong Sau, moreover, has deeper, mantric aspects, imitating in sound and feeling the movement of Life Force through the astral body.

Thus, I would urge you not to give up on the Hong Sau technique. Approach it reverently as sacred experience introducing you to your own higher Self through its presence in the breath.

Sincerely and blessings to you,

Nayaswami Hriman