Importance of Music in Spiritual Practice

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Importance of Music in Spiritual Practice

It all starts within… thump, thump… thump, thump… beats the heart. From the very beginning of life, we are moved by music, starting from the melody and rhythmic sounds of our hearts beating inside the womb.

Music triggers our pleasure centers, releasing dopamine – a “feel happy” neurotransmitter. In addition to making us feel joyous and elated, music has also been associated with an increase in immunity-boosting antibodies, as well as, treatment for mild depression. Music is truly universal in a way that connects us to each other and to Spirit. When created from the heart and with truth and pure intention, it is a spiritual expression of the most universal nature and the highest order. It precedes and transcends culture, religion and genre, and is a powerful vehicle that carries energetic frequencies to break through the myriad of barriers that separate us.

I have always been passionate about music and sounds, and how they interlace to move the soul. Each beat, each lyric, each instrument symbiotically intertwining to give life to the sounds of the Universe. Music has been my constant companion, elevating my life state to higher realms, aiding in my spiritual work, and tenderly moving me like gentle, flowing water.

Music has played a significant role throughout time and continents – Buddhist and Gregorian chants, shamanic journeying, battle chants, rituals, celebrations, and more – it has always been present. I often play a variety of sounds and songs during my rituals, classes, celebrations, and events here at SG, and I have heard from many of you how much you, too, appreciate and connect with the music.

I’ve learned to appreciate music from all over the world, even if I don’t always understand the words being sung. I open myself to the melody and energy in the singer’s voice, or tempo and vibrations of the instruments, allowing them to work their magic on and through me. When I close my eyes, I’m immediately transported into the time those sounds were created. Sometimes I’m dancing in the forest with my Celtic sisters. Other times I’m sitting in a circle with my Native American ancestors, as my heart echoes the rhythm of the drums. Yet, at other times, I’m shaking it to the beat of African percussions. Music just has that effect on me. It’s my lifeline to the spirit world, to my spiritual work.

Music in spirituality has to move me. It has to transport me to different realms. It has to activate and ignite my emotional body. A song that is filled with hatred, anguish, or oppression triggers anger and disdain, lowering my vibrations. The opposite is true of songs of love, kindness and connection, that carry high frequencies. In no way do I wish to impose my musical preferences on you, but I would like you to experiment within your spiritual practice – expand your mind to experience new rhythms and sounds, and open your heart to the cultures that created them.

Many of you have asked me about the playlist I use in my classes, events, and personal spiritual work. Well, here it is. I’m opening my musical library and sharing with you music that accompanies me throughout my spiritual journey. This list is still growing as I evolve and my knowledge of new sounds expands. I’m always seeking new rhythms that contribute to my growth and spiritual evolution. In fact, I love music so much, especially for doing spiritual work, that, along with some talented SG staff members, we collaborated on a few of our own songs – 432 Bone Dance, A Desert Dream, and Echo of the Divine. I hope my playlist inspires you in your own spiritual work.

In the words of Hazrat Inayat Khan, “Music should be healing; music should uplift the soul; music should inspire. There is no better way of getting closer to God, of rising higher towards the spirit, of attaining spiritual perfection than music, if only it is rightly understood.”

Enjoy and may your soul be moved by these sounds.

Sending Love and magical rhythms,

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One thought on “Importance of Music in Spiritual Practice

  1. Hi Athena
    Just want to drop a line and tell you how excited I was at your recommendation of using “Birtch” oil ! It took me back to my childhood playing in the woods, there were low growing red berries that tasted like Tee Berries we called Chucka berries. Made me a tad nastalgic !

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