Meditation with music and/or chanting
I've been reading quite a bit on this site about (Buddhist) meditation; the questions newbies have, the advice long-time practitioners offer, etc... and I noticed no one mentioned using music and or chanting for beginners - or even the more experienced.
I'm wondering why not? I've been meditating with some regularity for many years, although not on a Buddhist path, but while on a Pagan spiritual path, and for all sorts of reasons. I used mediation for healing, for relaxation and de-stressing, for emotional 'purging' and to regain balance afterwards, to figure out solutions to personal problems or family situations, etc. I used to meditate by sitting quietly on the floor, or bed. I used to meditate while walking, or even while "dancing" (which was more like stretching and doing yoga to music, really)
But I've always used music to help me get to that 'special place' of focus and concentration. I have also used marijuana - in very small amounts - to help me relax and trigger that focus on breath and quieting the mind.
Now that I'm thinking of returning to a regular practice of meditation, focusing on the Buddhist path, I'm wondering if I can do it as effectively without my chants or music --- or if it's even necessary to try to do it without them?
I haven't meditated for any reason in quite a while (a couple years, maybe) but I do remember how wonderful and balanced I used to feel when I did. I'm just hesitating because I'm not sure if the way I used to meditate is still 'appropriate'.
I have badly damaged knees due to injury and arthritis, so I'm not ever going to be sitting on the floor, full lotus, half lotus or ANY lotus! LOL I'm a straight-back chair kind of gal these days, or else moving slowly and rhythmically to my music.
Any thoughts or suggestions?