Can I listen to music while I meditate?
Music and ambient sounds can help bring the mind to a state of calm, temporarily, and sometimes this is useful. However, consistently practicing in this way tends to set us up for reliance on particular external supports (sound) and reinforces the idea that a calm mind is preferable. What we teach at Ten Percent Happier is to develop your capacity to meet your current experience, whatever it is, with some sense of acceptance and equanimity, without having to rely on external support to achieve that. As we navigate our daily lives we won't always have access to ambient sounds or music to help us calm down, but if we learn how to work with our mind in the moment, however it is, we can use the skills we practice while we're meditating in these critical moments in our daily lives.
Here is a longer perspective on this question, if you’re interested in reading more, WildMind Meditation, Should I listen to music when I meditate?