Music and Neuroscience, Listening, Memory, Meditation, Performance
The support to music, orchestra and chorals in the West is now under severe threat from the budget cuts, the reduction of public budgets and other ill targeted austerity measures which represent a clueless response to the kleptomaniac madness of our financial systems. But what are we going to lose?
The Association Sahaja Yoga of Rome sponsored and organized an unusual conference that took place on the 5th- 6th December 2011, It took place in the magnificent “sala academica” of the Music Conservatory of Santa Caecilia in Rome. Its theme was as listed above.
Music is the art of sounds. A dozen of academics and professors, eminent in their fields (human cognitive neuroscience, clinical biochemistry, psycho neurobiology etc..) shared the podium with yogis to explore the relationship between music and higher well being. Music underscores a number of cognitive processes, from the time of childhood, and regulates some important bodily functions. It plays a crucial role in the acquisition of language and communication. Neural systems respond to tones, melody and harmony as was shown by magnetic scanning imagery of the brain. Interestingly, music helps to prove that change in the mind can trigger neurological changes in the brain.
Empirical evidence demonstrates the therapeutic impact of music on various pathologies. There was the report on an experiment whereby the repeated listening of the Sonata in K448 of Mozart reduced the frequency of epileptic crisis. Rhythmical and audio imagination activates neural circuits that empower the brain; phonemic symbols mobilize instinctive emotional reactions.
Sounds are language. The body is made mostly of water and the sound of music impacts on the crystals of water : they form different pattern whether you hear a fugue of JS Bach ( delicate and artistic) or hard metal music (blurred and stunned).
Quantic medicine tells us that the human being is constituted of matter and energy, vibrations, that it can store, receive, exchange. The body itself generate an electromagnetic field that can be measured as light by a photo amplificator, and this light carries information: sounds, lights, colors become the Pentecostal burning bush.
Matter and electromagnetism generate more evolved biological forms that further carry the psychosomatic structure and potential of what can ultimately manifest as an ethical and spiritual being. Sahaj meditation is a state of the brain, showing up in alpha and theta waves, that allows a further exploration of this energetic arsenal.
After a stimulating presentation, dr Ivano Ferri consequently led a brief but eloquent meditation supported by classical Indian, Western and Sufi music (“musica sacra”). We cannot conclude on a field in constant development: achieving specific musical harmonic frequencies releases brain patterns and, no doubts, music is a major stimulator of emotions. At its best, the yogis know that a certain type of muisc can carry the emotion of emphatic love (bhakti) towards the meta emotional state of union (yogananda).
The Conference was seen as an opportunity to present in an official context Shri Mataji and Her unique discovery. We recalled that She gave a central role to music in Her day-to-day guidance. As the Sahasrara (limbic area) is the site of the meeting between Kundalini and Atma, the great festive hall for the pouring of the Ambrosia, we understand why music is invited to the wedding.
Such events help in putting the merits of spontaneous meditation on the map. Our thanks go to Rosa Rodriquez and all the friends in Rome that made the success of this event possible. Various participants and professors expressed their interest for the presentations on meditation during discussions that took place, as it should be, in Rome’s excellent restaurants. A long journey is made of little steps and this event was a nice one, taken outside of the well-trodden paths of meditation programmes.