Tuning out sound

Discussion in 'Meditation Chatter Box' started by satsujin, Mar 18, 2015.

  1. satsujin

    satsujin Member

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    I have been meditating for a while now and have become pretty good at stilling mental chatter in a quiet environment. I decided to try and take it up a notch by trying to focus purely on my inner self while having a sound distraction playing like my mp3 player.

    This has not worked at all. I've only tried it a couple times but the words of the song playing enter my head while I am trying to focus inward so obviously I am focusing externally. I would like to improve this.

    Has anyone else experimented with this and what advice can anyone give to help me improve?
     
  2. pollyanna

    pollyanna Moderator

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    Hi Satsujin,

    your mind will automatically focus on the words and/or lyrics because that's what it does... it cannot focus on two things at the same time. This is why your point of focus (be it the breath or a mantra) is used to bring you back to the point of meditation. Once you are there, you can drop your point of focus and allow yourself to rest in the stillness until thoughts take over again (as they will)

    When you become very familiar with this space, you will be able to slip into it easily throughout your daily life when there are many distractions. This allows you to stay calm, aware and present in all kind of situations, still I personally would not put any distractions in my way during my special time of meditation.

    Hope this helps and look forward to hearing how you progress.
    I wish you much peace and joy :) :) :)
     
  3. satsujin

    satsujin Member

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    So, are you saying I should focus on my breath or repeat a mantra while this is going on? I've never really done that stuff before because I wanted to avoid focusing externally and I always kept my mind on my sense of existence---my consciousness. But I guess you mean focusing ob something temporarily to lose focus on anything specific.

    I guess the best thing to do would be to focus neither externally or internally alone but just sort of be aware of neither or both. Just not sure how to do that.

    I'll try your suggestion of focusing on breath since mantras would mean I am just replacing the lyrics playing outside with something else.
     
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2015
  4. pollyanna

    pollyanna Moderator

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    Hi again,

    I believe there's a big difference between the lyrics of a song and a mantra because lyrics have meaning that your mind will automatically make a story of where a mantra needs to be a meaningless sound and just a point of focus. Here's a piece from the Principles of meditation that you may find helpful...

    "What does it mean to say that a person needs to be using a technique that is appropriate for that person?

    Each of us is unique, and what works well for me might be totally useless to you. Generically speaking, there are three types of meditation techniques. There are techniques that take your awareness outwards, techniques that take your awareness inwards, and techniques that do a little of both. People with exceptionally busy minds tend to do better with techniques that take awareness outwards since their minds naturally head that direction anyway. People with more contemplative natures tend to do better with techniques that take you inwards. The combination techniques are a “maybe” for just about anyone, but are usually best used when a person has some experience with meditation under their belt.

    The mantra technique as taught by Michael at Project Meditation is an excellent example of an outward technique. Since the vast majority of people have somewhat active minds, this mantra technique is a good bet for most of us. Even mantra techniques have some differences. Some require rigid concentration while others are more relaxed, such as Michael’s technique. There are some that use chanting which is helpful for a person whose mind is hyperactive. The exact technique that will be right for you is something you have to discover for yourself.

    There is no universal way to pinpoint which technique is best for you with 100% accuracy. You may need to try out several until you find the one that really resonates with you. One way is to do a bit of research on a variety of techniques. Usually you will find one or more of them seem to “draw” you to them. Pick one of those techniques as your starting point.

    What you should avoid doing is “technique surfing”. Don’t try one for a few days and then switch to another. Decide which one you want to try first and stick with it for at least a few months. Give it a chance to start working. How will you know if it’s working? You’ll begin to experience some of those long term changes mentioned earlier.

    There are two things you cannot afford to do. Don’t switch back and forth between techniques. That’s like getting several dozen different books, reading only the first page of each chapter in every book, then wondering why the material you’ve just read doesn’t seem to form a consistent whole."

    Hope this helps and wish you much peace and joy :) :) :)
     
  5. satsujin

    satsujin Member

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    Thanks for the update pollyanna. I tend to focus inward when I meditate because I find that generally gives me success. However, I think something amazing has happened. I may now be able to hear the sound of silence!

    Various focusing inward and outward were tried at first while the music was playing with the most success(about 5 secs of still mind) coming when I heard the sound 'mmmmm' in my head. However, I was not sure I was not subconsciously making this sound in my head. So while trying not to listen to anything and then blanking out I found I could hear this sound sort of like the constant hum of crickets at night on top of the music! And when I focus on this the music doesnt fill my head!

    I can now hear this sound in every room of my house even while covering my ears. So while it sounds like its coming from outside it must be coming from inside! Couldnt hear it over the humming and revving of buses at the station today though maybe with practice I can. Very interesting experience....
     
  6. sapna

    sapna New Member

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    Hi,
    I am new to this forum but have been trying to meditate since past few months. This is something that works for me:

    When I am in deep meditation, I give a suggestion that "any sounds, any distractions, make me go deeper into meditation". When I first heard of this technique I didn't believe it would work but when I tried it I realized that it worked wonderfully.

    Once I was meditating and outside my house there was some commotion, and normally I would have been severely distracted and irritated, but since I had given this suggestion, I went deeper into meditation, and later I was actually grateful for the commotion, LOL!

    So try it, and let me know how it works for you :)
     
  7. satsujin

    satsujin Member

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    Hi Sapna, thanks for your post. I think meditation with distracting noise is prolly a better way to meditate since it has allowed me to glimpse true no-mind. There is much more to learn but I have started with listening to lyricless music. Specifically the loop of the 8-min track of Rurouni Kenshin's Warrior Suite. Once I can master my mind while listening to that I will try lyrics and music.
     

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