How does one "Get lost in the music"?

I seem to have lost the ability over the years. Is there a routine you guys follow to get yourself into that state?

My mind is constantly drifting/thinking when i am listening. My equipment is very musical and hiend in nature so i cant blame my equipment for my inability to get emotionally attached.

I dont expect to get into this state everytime i listen, but would like it to happen at least weekly.

Any advice is much appreciated
Your life is too busy grasshopper, You need to spend more time doing less.
What you want is some altered state of consciousness, It is not easy to attain with a busy mind.
I would say forget it until you retire, then you can be one with the music
If you still want to do something about it now..
First: cut the TV cord. NO TV.
Then when you are driving, no music, no phone.. just drive.
Do not go to news on the internet. Forget Yahoo, Google, BBC, NBC etc... No news at all. No newspapers.. no radio.(If your coworkers wonder why you havent heard about ' whatever' then you know you did a good job.
When you find yourself alone, even for a few seconds. do not start rummaging around in your mind for some trivia to pass the time. Instead just sit there and watch yourself breath. that's it.
Stop all multi tasking. Do what you are doing, and that is all. Concentrate on the task at hand, even if it is sitting on the toilet.

After a time you will be able to pay attention to the music.
This is a common problem for audiophiles. We focus so much on the sound of our systems that we stop listening to the music. Pick out some crappy sounding cd's and listen all the way through. Keep doing that until you start getting some enjoyment from them. Following Elizabeths suggestions you might want to try meditation. iT WILL HELP YOU RELAX YOUR MIND
MAYBE you could move your speakers opposite the commode in the bathroom.
then you could concentrate properly...
But seriously, i have recently chosen folk and popular music instead of Mozart and Coltrane just for a change. I admit to having a Faith Hill CD and Madonna (Ray of Light, OK?) and a few other pieces that are not too intellectually challenging. But Faith has a lovely voice, and the arrangements are tastefully done, etc. It ain't Ella or Billy but i enjoyed the @#$&$#@ out of it the other day.
Now i am going through all of my Allison Krause cd's. I picked up Heart Like a Wheel the other day, too.
The new Chick Correa album is good IMO- Vigil. Ignore the cover, though.
Acoustic and electric material combined together.
Lot's of good music out there you haven't heard yet. Some old, some new.
Books are a good means of getting connected- you (we) don't have to read the most erudite stuff to "be well read". But there isn't a movie made that has equaled the book it was based on...
I usually get lost when I hear Kenny G, Celine Dion, Yanni, Justin Timberlake, Madonna and Neil Young.

Certainly pop music isn't for me and prefer to listen to REAL musicians. A good packed quality bowl of weed blended with great progressive rock such as Camel or electronic jazz such as Pekka Pohjola would certainly make my mind relaxed and my belly shakin'.

Maybe you should take a look at this thread,

Do you indulge when listening to your rig?
How does one not get lost?
What's on your mind. That's where the problem lies. I bet you if Elizabeth made you some pot cookies you might get lost in the music. Or your could try a nice single malt. I'm enjoying an 18 year old Talisker right now and I'm just about at the point of a completely wiped out mind. Melody Gardot never sounded so darned good.
Try not listening at all for weeks or even months until you can't stand it any longer.Then it be something special again.Or pot brownies:)
How about some new music? What do you like? I can help you.
Things that help me include yoga and meditation, having an appealing environment to listen in, staying away from tv, and minimizing any fatigue inducing aspects of my gear, and of course listening to music I find interesting. Including a lot of giving new music a try and not always listening to the same stuff, no matter how much I might like it.
Try staying away from your "high-end" system and listen to
favorite music on your IPad, computer, or simply on a decent radio and see
what happens. Spend some time on Youtube and search for rare or
unknown performances by favorite artists. Best of all, attend some live
concerts. You might be surprised.
Sometimes, I'll go over a week without listening to my rig. But once I settle in on my lounge, all bets are off and it's off to la-la land, with or without a drink. I guess I'm lucky that way as I've mostly been able to turn things off and let the music take me away.

Maybe I should try some TM, yoga, or other form of meditation and see what this 'higher plane of consciousness' is all about.

All the best,
Put the laptop away.
That's all I need to do as there's not much else in the room to pull my attention away.
A sure way to enjoy music immensely is to try and force the issue. Pressure yourself to enjoy it! Force yourself to concentrate on relaxation! Push to the limit in immersing yourself into it!

The fallacy of the calm listner is far too prevalent; the truth is the authentic audiophile is quite stressed when listening, because listening properly takes work. I leave the listening room exhausted because I have so keenly paid attention and harvested every last bit of experience that there is nothing left to glean.

Most people do not have such highly advanced skills of concentration and appreciation, and it could be quite harmful to you if you try it without working up to it. I advise that you spend one minute of intense focus followed by five minutes of mindless wandering. A few weeks of this should allow you to make it through one piece of music with the hyper-focused attention of the true audiophile. It takes years of practice to hold this elevated focus for hours.

You may just decide to give up on it and be a normal, distracted listener. That's ok; not everyone can be a super-audiophile. ;)
I had rid myself of television over fives years ago.
There is one known surefire cure...major upgrade!
I think I try and listen with the INTENTION to enjoy the music. Previously I switch on the system with no purpose/intention, thus the outcome was random.

I will also try and concentrate on a beat or instrument in the music. I remember I use to do this more often when I was younger.

Also a few of you mentioned to not listen to my system for a few days/weeks. I originally thought you guys were being saracastic, but on further thought I think it has a lot of merit. I listen to system everyday, maybe I take that for granted. In my younger days, listening a few times a week was a treat. Now it's a daily event.

Putting away the laptop!!!!! Yep guilty as charged.
However accomplished, you have to avoid any distractions and
yes really be able to focus to get lost, whether that comes
naturally or more commonly if it requires a lot of effort.
Bottom line is you must FOCUS!

Don't know about any "higher planes" of conscience,
but yoga is a lot about being able to get by everyday
distractions and focus on how you are feeling, both physically
and mentally.
Hi everyone, it's been a while. System upgrade completed (could've bought a nice new car instead); everything finally broken-in. Happy beyond expectations with the life-like sound, which often sweeps me away. Hence, it was impossible to resist this thread.

To me, forcing myself to listen critically, struggling with my mind and trying to concentrate on getting lost in the music doesn't sound like any fun at all. When I was a budding audiophile, I definitely remember feeling stressed out when listening, as Douglas mentioned in this thread. My heart would actually start racing as I listened –– quite the opposite of a meditative state. Now, after 30 years of daily shock therapy, I only listen when I feel like it, when the music calls me –– which seems natural and sustainable. And since my living room is also my listening room (successful WAF negotiation), whenever I have the house to myself I have a 8-minute ritual that converts the space into the Man-Cave. This transformation further heightens anticipation of my session, making it more of a special event.

ManCave protocols include moving the couch back, removing the coffee table, positioning the listening chair in the sweet spot, leaning the big pillows against the walls at the point of first reflections, folding over the area rug to reveal the speaker positioning marks and pulling the Thiel 3.7s away from the wall (they have outrigger spikes resting in Herbie's Brass/Teflon Gliders) and aligning them perfectly with those marks. If I'm really going for it, I'll turn all the Home Theater 5.1 speakers (which are completely separate from my 2 channel gear, but alas, are still in the same room) away from the listening triangle and put a thick folded towel over the HT's center channel to silence any rouge vibrations. Then, I turn off the fridge (yup), grab the VAC remote, get a glass of water, pick a ultra-sonically cleaned album, flick on the turntable light, kill the room lights, drop the stylus in the lead groove, then plant my butt in my chair, turn up the volume to "venue transportation level," take a deep breath and most importantly, close my eyes! Above all, if you want to get lost in the music, the most important element is closing your eyes the whole time. If you do this already, you know how surreal and odd it feels to have the music end, open your eyes and realize where you actually are.

I don't think this getting lost in music thing is an ability or skill for me it's listening to music I love that is superbly recorded (for me, on vinyl) on a system at whatever price point that hangs together well enough to transport you to the recording venue and involve you emotionally in the experience.
Well said!I undergo a similar ritual,and it is indeed surreal,eyes closed and the room as dark as possible.Just me and the musicians.
There are no rules (yet) regarding the right or wrong way to listen. Hopefully we never come to that.

It's a hobby. Hobbies are for fun! That's the only requirement. Nothing else really matters.

I am a techie so I enjoy the technical aspects of what goes into good listening. Its a very synergistic pair of interests since technology is the thing that enables us to listen to recorded music.

In situations where one wnts to be able to enjoy something but finds they cannot, my best advice is to keep it as simple as possible. Audiophiles tend to do the opposite over time, always making things more complex than perhaps they need to be? Avoid that trap. Keep it simple. Once you have something simple that works for you, then maybe try to make it better, but beware the traps that come along with any form of excessive compulsive behavior.
It's far more about the right music than the right system or room. I used to get lost listening to my dad's portable stereo. Pet Sounds and Sgt. Pepper's often did the trick.
Yeah, as a kid, when I was far less obsessed with "good sound" I used to get lost listening to FM on a little Panasonic handheld transistor radio.

I suppose its a good idea to know one is capable of getting lost in music first before going too crazy about good sound. After all, in order to find out, there are many easy and even free ways to listen to music without a high end system or even any "system" at all.

Why would anyone spend time trying to get "good sound" otherwise? I suppose there are many examples of how people may act irrationally, so why should litening to music be any different?
To get fully engaged for more than just one or two tracks, regardless of the music, I seem to require a system able to convey the emotion put forth by the players and reproduce that with clarity, texture, drive, and proper tonality. (I've heard very few systems able to do this.) And the music must have some attractive, special quality as well. (e.g., Not just ANY piano trio performance, but something like Bill Evans' "Complete Live at the Village Vanguard".)

Hey Jtcf-- Glad we share the same surreal effect of our listening rituals! I enjoy those sessions immensely.

Mapman-- I agree wholeheartedly. I got completely lost in the sound of my red plastic all-in-one record player in my early teens. Now, in mid-life, I'm a lot more discerning and it takes more at this level to "get lost". I still love my gear, but only because it does what it does in reproducing musical events that can sweep me into another place and time.

Rockadanny -- Oh you nailed it. Those few (by percentage) recordings that are engineered so well that all the engineering disappears along with my room are so precious that I buy multiple copies (now that's just crazy, right?). Last night I was listening to Bill Evans' Waltz For Debbie on an original pressing and it never fails to move me, on my system. I've heard it on lesser systems that weren't put together very well to little effect, if any -- just didn't have the magic. After all these years of stumbling around this expensive hobby, I'm so grateful to now know how to put together a really musical rig (for friends who ask) at many price points.

In my experience, I have noticed that I have several listening modes:
Casual – where I'm cooking in the kitchen but it sounds like Bill Evans is in my living room. I love that. Bill plays his heart out for hours and I don't even need to feed him dinner.
Critical – Where I notice minute aspects of the recording, venue, and gear and I'm either impressed or not, but definitely keeping score in my head.
Teleportive: The Holy Grail of this hobby (for me). I put on a magic LP, close my eyes and seconds after needle drop, I'm gone. Teleported to a venue, front row center, where a favorite musician is holding court, in total disbelief that anything can sound so beautiful or anyone can be that talented. This happens about once a week in the Man-Cave.

If we're not having fun, something's not right.
Put on some Canned Heat...problem solved.
man, you must be under a lot of stress, or preoccupied about something.

perhaps talking to someone might help.
Mr. Tennis-- Seems to me that Leicachamp is already doing what you suggested by posting his question to his audio community. Perhaps you mean that we as a group could not really help him and that maybe I should give him the name of my Shock Therapy clinic?
This calls for an axiom - if you have to ask, you don't know how. Really? If the music isn't moving you, you are listening to the wrong stuff. It's not about the stereo, it's about your interaction with the art. Surf YouTube and find new music. What drives you? Hone in on music with a message, meaning, not just some old twaddle muzac. Get into a musician or band and read up on their history, get into the players, into their heads. Collect their albums, their progression. Sing along out loud.
Excellent post, Noromance! My feelings exactly. And to hopefully get the ball rolling (and appropriately titled):
"Just do it." :^)
Touché, Noromance... indeed! And Frogman, wow... I just got lost in that video. What a treat to see one of my favorite artists perform with my eyes actually open. And this happened even though I played it back on my laptop! So much for all the theories, bring on the music! Thanks.
Yes, Noromance, yes.
It's like what Peggy Lee sings about in "Some Cats Know".
my suggestion is to see a psychotherapist, take a tranquilizer, or have a glass of wine.

direct communication of the personal kind is more efficacious than positing on a discussion forum.
If this doesn't move you, sell the stereo. (kidding!)

(Duet at Roy Harper's 70th birthday celebration at the Royal Festival Hall on 5/11/11)
it's easy to immerse oneself in the music. find components that don't distract you, so that you are not trying to analyze their faults.

it is also a function of mindset , as well.
Ganja gets mentioned quite often along with Alcohol. Just wondering if it is sarcasm or the truth!!!!
Nice to hear from you Leicachamp. Look what you started!

It's not all sarcasm. Many audiophiles indulge a bit to relax their minds before/during listening sessions.

However, for me, great music replayed well is the best natural high. I can't imagine why I would want to dull my senses at the very time I want them most alive! I know, I know, altered states can be fun sometimes, no argument there... but if you find yourself needing a few shots or a fat joint to get "lost in the music," you're probably listening to the wrong music (for you) and possibly on the wrong system.

When you first experience the euphoria of being completely swept away by the sheer beauty and power of music that reaches you emotionally... well, you've found your drug. Put down the glass and go buy some records!

My $0.02 Feel free to attack.
"When you first experience the euphoria of being completely swept away by the sheer beauty and power of music that reaches you emotionally... well, you've found your drug. "

I like that!

We all respond differently. Chemical treatments may be an easy, useful and needed tweak sometimes, but personally I greatly appreciate not requiring that in order to get lost in the music.

Its an interesting question to consider how one that is not able to get lost in music knows that this is something that they can or really want to be able to do? I would have to assume that each of us has found themselves lost in the music at some point, if not at home, then elsewhere perhaps, at a friends, a dealer, an audio show, concert, listening to the musical sounds of nature, whatever.

At that point, maybe the best strategy in general is to do whatever you can to understand what led to success "getting lost in the music" on any particular occasion when it occurred, and then use that information to help find your way at home.

THat;s a very general recipe I know, but I truly belive you cannot hit a target until you know what it is and you only really know in this case when you have actually heard it.
Alonski nailed it IMO!

First and foremost, this ethereal and magical experience is a magical "passive" event in our hobby: it just "happens" and it is not an "active" event that can be ordered up, or easily influenced, or forced .

I agree with Alonski that it likely boils down to an evolving mismatch via:

(A) your music selected including inter alia, the music genre selected and/or the quality of the recording.

(B) your audio system as a whole used to reproduce (A) above. Component synergy matters, and the myriad of competing gear all have a differing sound signature.
Alonski makes a very good point of which I agree with. I am very happy with my system and fully satisfied with the great music that I find, along with the help of many recommendations knowledgable members here. I don't notice that I do any critical system listening, like "I can't hear the system through the music" (the forest through the trees) My preamplifier (Doshi Alaap) has stepped attenuators, so a couple glasses of beer or wine probably has me turn it a couple of steps further, tho. More than a couple glasses and.... well just read a few my random posts :)
I am continually lost in the music in that once a note is played, it is gone....but then the next one comes along.....and so on...and so on. No way to preserve any special moment in time perfectly, music or otherwise. Each moment is fleeting... it comes and goes just as fast, becoming just a memory. Gotta look ahead and just try to get as lost as possible in the upcoming moments that are possible and matter, musically and otherwise. Passion is part of the fuel that makes any worthwhile journey possible I suppose.
You either do or you don't, I get lost listening to my car radio.
I totally agree--for me it has nothing to do with the system. The composition/performance interaction is the thing

Eat some Oreos.

you have too much on your mind. Whar are your troubles?
Schubert and Tostadosunidos, I wish I could agree and I envy you both. If I could still get lost listening to my car stereo, it would have saved me years of obsessive behavior, untold shock therapy treatments (which I just found out are legal again) and upwards of mumblemumble $XX,000 on gear!

Mapman... I think we should keep that study under wraps lest our Oreos become a controlled substance!
Alonski, maybe it's an age/era thing. I used to go to another world hearing music on a mono AM car radio before there were 8-tracks or cassettes.

I've heard Eric Clapton say that his studio recordings never have the magic of his 4-track cassette demos.