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The Best Meditation Music (Our Latest Recommendations)

Meditation music has its own distinct, enticing quality.

You know it when you hear it.

You probably won’t be surprised to learn that it has a religious origin.

Hinduism is the world’s oldest faith and lays claim to many of the contemplative practices, yoga being the most obvious, which we use in a secular context today.

There’s a great deal of overlap between classical Indian music and what could be considered meditation music.

For the avoidance of doubt, meditation music is not the same thing as simply listening to music while meditating. You can listen to any type of music while meditating; it doesn’t have to be any specific type of music.

Note that we’ve written a comprehensive review of the best earphones and wireless headphones for yoga (and meditation). We’ve seen people use anything from old spiritual hymns to rhythm and blues to help them meditate.

We consider meditation music as a specific genre of music that refers to specific composers and styles of audio creation.

Here’s my selection of the best meditation music, including my favorite Indian meditation music CDs. They’re absolutely wonderful for relaxing, meditating or while doing breathing exercises.

Some are specifically geared towards aiding meditation whereas others aren’t but suitable nonetheless.

A lot of the good music that’s termed “New Age” (a phrase that’s garnered a lot of negative connotations) takes a great deal of inspiration from traditional Indian music.

So it’s always worth expanding your listening to include artists like Deuter (i.e., Georg Deuter), Karunesh and Paul Horn (to name a few).

Sacred Chants of Shakti (Anuradha Paudwal)

Sacred Chants of Shakti is a great Indian music album by the same musicians responsible for the first pick on this list. All the recordings are wonderfully ambient. Anuradha’s devotional singing is accompanied by the bansari (Indian flute) and an arrangement by Craig Pruess. Both this CD and the one above are part of the “Sacred Chants” series by the label “Heaven on Earth.” If you like the music you’ll probably want to check out the other releases.

In the OM Zone 2.0 (Steven Halpern)

Steven Halpern, the man responsible for this recording, is a big name in ambient music. Most of his work draws inspiration from traditional sacred music. His CD is another of my favorites, and one of the best for meditation. It’s simple and repetitive (in the best possible way). There are eighteen tracks, each with their own unique flavor, so you won’t get bored. If you like the “OM” sound, this is a must-buy!

Inside the Taj Mahal (Paul Horn)

In 1968, whilst staying with the Beatles in India, Paul Horn sneaked a tape recorder into the Taj Mahal and made this exceptional series of flute and voice recordings. Pared-down and sublime, this is a perfect meditation soundtrack. Sometimes referred to as just “Inside.”

108 Sacred Names of Mother Divine – Sacred Chants of Devi (Anuradha Paudwal)

A very diverse album, despite the fact it only has three tracks. There’s a good balance between intensity and calmness. The second track “Devi Prayer” is exceptionally peaceful whilst the third has a truly enchanting feel to it. You can easily use it either as a meditative aid or for relaxing. Easily one of my favorite pieces of Indian music in the meditation genre.

The Very Best of Ravi Shankar (Ravi Shankar)

Not strictly a CD containing Indian music for meditation, but there are some very peaceful tracks. “Raga Malkauns (Alap)” is one such example that could be used as background meditation music. It almost demands that you light up some incense and dim the lights. You may have to listen to the whole CD first to find the suitable tracks but it’s a great collection by a true master. If part of the reason you’re drawn to Indian music is because of the sound of the sitar then this is also a must!

Classical Indian Music for Healing and Relaxation – The Ancient Beauty of the Veena

A collection of tranquil compositions (ragas) played on the veena, an old Indian instrument. The music has a very relaxing depth to it.

Again, excellent as background music for meditation, although you may prefer something a little slower-paced. This classical Indian music is designed for deep meditation and it’s a great album.

Relaxation Meditation Music: Using the Sounds of Nature

When relaxing my wife and I really enjoy the sounds of nature. The sounds of nature have existed since the dawn of time. Unfortunately, it’s hard to make mother nature play the song you want to hear.

Being able to listen to the sounds of nature can help us connect to the greater earth around us. Of course, it’s hard to find nature in today’s modern world.

Good thing technology has picked up the slack. The sounds of nature can be created with computers, and often use the sounds of real animals. Some relaxation meditation music is nothing more than a microphone set out in a forest or beach area.

The microphone catches the wind through the trees, or the waves breaking on the beach, and the composer cleans it up and makes it consistent and peaceful.

Relaxation Music

Meditation music, also called relaxation music, is great because it can let you connect with yourself and what’s around you.

This relaxation has a powerful effect and allowing you to actually access your thoughts and focus clearly are primary benefits of meditation.

Using Music for Relaxation

Indian meditation music by a flute player at Lakshmi Temple

Meditation music, also called relaxation music, is great because it can let you connect with yourself and what’s around you.

This relaxation has a powerful effect and allowing you to actually access your thoughts and focus clearly are primary benefits of meditation. Relaxation can be a lot of work, but not if you have the right tools!

While some meditation music is nothing more than a microphone set up outside, there is still quite a bit of musical talent that goes into this music creation.

Music reaches the soul, and this is true of meditation music as well. While grand orchestral music has a rich history to draw from, meditation music is still in its infancy. All that said, music is more than a set of mechanics and scientific principles.

Meditation Music References

Image credit: Flute Player at Lakshmi Temple by Ignas Kukenys