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Top Five Meditation Melodies

I’m not going to pretend I’m an expert at meditation. But I’ve done it enough times to learn one thing: I like to just listen. Whether it’s to the wind through the trees, birds chirping, people talking or tranquil tunes, sounds seem magnified when I close my eyes and focus. I’ve found meditation becomes easier when you have something specific to focus on, like your breathing or one of these soothing melodies. I’ve organized them from shortest to longest. So depending on your time frame and ambition, you can settle in for five minutes or take a full hour to unwind.

“Terrapin” – Bonobo
A montage of gentle stringed instruments twang over organic percussion. High-pitched vocal sounds chime in randomly, adding another layer to the relaxed beats. As the shortest song on the list, even the least experienced should find it easy to close their eyes and tune in for its entirety.

“The Glass Bead Game” – Thievery Corporation

This duo mixes an array of instruments and sounds borrowed from all over the world to create a kaleidoscope of sounds meshed seamlessly to create an “outernational sound.” This electronic mix of sounds is heavy in floating ethereal echos, a simple platter of percussion and too many other random effects to describe. With my eyes closed, I drifted into a lush, glowing rainforest full of life and vibrancy. It’s a little longer than the first, but I think you can get through it.

“More Than Anything” – Desert Dwellers

This song starts with sounds of nature – birds chirping, water flowing and rustling grass. A flute of sorts and a low bass enter, and more drumming and wavering vocals in a foreign language soon join in. More animal noises echo throughout the song as the woman’s voice lulls your thoughts into pulsing waves and colors, and the beats dance and swirl. It actually goes by relatively quickly.

“Making Music” – Zakir Hussain
The first three songs are good for focusing on, for really feeling and seeing the sounds. These last two better serve as background music to set the atmosphere. Sleepy flute tunes float over stretched-drum beats and an acoustic guitar. Jazzy saxophone notes pick up the tempo, fading in and out and playfully mingling with the flute. The calm vibrations lubricate the mind to slip easily into silence.

“Joy of Sitar” – Adesh Widmer

This is actually a full album of 17 songs that can be streamed for free online at radiosrichinmoy.org/radio/46. The flow of melodies is similar to that of stereotypical meditation music. The smooth classical Indian sounds from the sitar linger coolly in the air and melt tension like butter. You might want to lay down for this one though, all the tracks combined is nearly an hour long.

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