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Why is music (sorta) frowned upon in Buddhism? Or it isn't?

For people like me, music really helped me get into spirituality.

What I'm really trying to understand here is, is there any specific format or type of music that we're not supposed to listen to, or is it just music in general?

-Noob here. All help appreciated :)

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Music is a tasteful sensation, in Buddhism we learn to realize (understand the truth, see things in their true forms) and listening to music is breaking that understanding. We listen to music to entertain ourselves, which will break our practice of “Sila” and “Samadhi”, two of the eightfold paths/practices.

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  • Dang. I now know what will be one of the most difficult things to do while practising Buddhism. Thank-you! – user12713 Dec 29 '17 at 6:16
  • Can you please tell me about the music used during meditations? For example, music generated using Tibetan Bowls and such. :) – user12713 Jan 1 '18 at 13:15
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These training rules are observed by laypeople during periods of intensive meditation practice and during uposatha (lunar observance) days. The Eight Precepts are based on the Five Precepts, with the third precept extended to prohibit all sexual activity and an additional three precepts that are especially supportive to meditation practice.

The Eight Precepts:

  1. Panatipata veramani sikkhapadam samadiyami. I undertake the precept to refrain from destroying living creatures.

  2. Adinnadana veramani sikkhapadam samadiyami. I undertake the precept to refrain from taking that which is not given.

  3. Abrahmacariya veramani sikkhapadam samadiyami. I undertake the precept to refrain from sexual activity.

  4. Musavada veramani sikkhapadam samadiyami. I undertake the precept to refrain from incorrect speech.

  5. Suramerayamajja pamadatthana veramani sikkhapadam samadiyami. I undertake the precept to refrain from intoxicating drinks and drugs which lead to carelessness.

  6. Vikalabhojana veramani sikkhapadam samadiyami I undertake the precept to refrain from eating at the forbidden time (i.e., after noon).

  7. Nacca-gita-vadita-visukkadassana mala-gandha-vilepana-dharana-mandana-vibhusanathana veramani sikkhapadam samadiyami. I undertake the precept to refrain from dancing, singing, music, going to see entertainments, wearing garlands, using perfumes, and beautifying the body with cosmetics.

  8. Uccasayana-mahasayana veramani sikkhapadam samadiyami I undertake the precept to refrain from lying on a high or luxurious sleeping place.

The Eight Precepts

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It is very easy to attach music. Then music will waste practitioner's time, because music is inserted into practitioner's mind instead of meditation object, while the practitioner listening/singing/thinking of a music. So the practitioner's 5 power can not meditate, increase level up, while attaching music.

While listening music, one can feel joy. But it is the worldly joy [sāmissa=5 cords+5 hindrances]. So, it will hinder one from meditation. therefore, according to Niramisa Sutta, the practitioner can increase his meditation level up, just after he can perfectly & completely quite secluded (=stop) from sāmissa, such as music, etc.

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Upasaka Kalpesh Mange,

as told be others here, it's at large distruction for the mind, and given your intent here, you should best be sure about it.

How ever, even for monks, while my person nevertheless likes to give much appreciation to it, musik or singing, that increases or gives rise to samvega, is not unskilfull perse. For serious lay people the use of what is called smot, a special style of singing and proper text, is very usuall here in south east asia, and a specially used on occations of going forth, to increase gratitude toward parents. Usually giving a possible liberating lake of tears, being about suffering and taking leave at most.

But also this can become a distacting issue, if clinging on the pleasure of sound and certain upcoming emotions.

Singing yourself (even in mind), even if smot, especially when monk, is not as skilfull to be seen, and hardly bring on a base where it does not gets against certain precepts, if taken.

So, as mostly everywhere, one is also left alone here, to be honest about ones intent.

[Note: This is a gift of Dhamma, not meant for commercial use or other lower wordily gains by ways of exchange or trade]

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