Recently, I took part in a four day, stay at home, silent meditation retreat. There were occasional talks but part of the idea was a break from everyday stimuli. I chose to not look at my phone, watch TV, or even read for the entire length of the retreat.
I had some anxiety about whether I could even do it. It’s funny, I lived almost my entire childhood without cable TV. Cellphones weren’t even a common thing until I was in my mid 20’s. But I have become so conditioned that being without them for just four days made me a little edgy. I also didn’t listen to any recorded music.
Oddly enough, none of this was as difficult ask I had anticipated. After about a half a day, I started noticing the complexity of all the sounds happening in the natural world around me. I ate all my meals alone looking out the window. Whenever I saw a squirrel or a leaf blowing it was like major plot twist in a movie. By the fourth day I was existing mostly inside my own head, which admittedly wasn’t always a fun place to be. But it turned out to be very useful.
Obviously, I love music. I especially love creating my own soundtrack by putting on a record while I do laundry or listening to a playlist while I’m going for a walk. But the real magic in music, for me, is the the indescribable stuff that happens in my mind when I’m really connected to just experiencing it in the moment. Taking this to be in touch with my thoughts and exist more in the moment gives me a deeper appreciation for the music I choose to listen to.
Below is a playlist of songs that have resonated with me in the past month. I hope they bring more joy and flow to your life. – Thanks for listening, MMM
Included are songs by SWANS, Betty Davis, Madlib, Free Kitten, The Headhunters, Beautiful Chorus, Paul McCartney, MF Doom, Cymande, Lisa, Li-Lund, Delvon Lamarr Organ Trio, Xiu Xiu
(Subscribe to get a new playlist every 1st Monday of the month. Click on my user link or search: Major Matt’s 1st Monday on Spotify to cruise past playlists and discover more music.)