Noise interrupting your meditation? Try this
The secret to dealing with noise during meditation
You know how it goes…
You finally get half an hour all to yourself…
The kids, partner or housemates are out…and everything else can wait. It’s finally time for you to get your meditation fix. Some time to nurture you.
You lovingly prepare your space, get some gentle music going, mindfully sit on your cushion and gently, softly close your eyelids over…
And then George next door starts up with the blower in his driveway!
All of a sudden that beautiful Zen state you were looking forward to turns into swearing and frustration.
That’s not what it was meant to be like!
Well you’re not alone. Noise interrupting your meditation time is almost a guarantee in this modern world.
So what’s the best solution? You are not going to get another opportunity to meditate today – so it has to happen now!
Rather than give up…this is what I propose..
- Reframe it
The first thing that comes into my mind (after the words I mutter about George and his blower), is that somehow I attracted this.
What is George telling me?
- I need to create more opportunities for self-nurturing so that I am not solely reliant on this tiny window of time – it’s too easy for it to become sabotaged!
- Where else in my life am I too vulnerable to other people (inadvertently) railroading my needs? Where do I need to set better boundaries (related to the previous point).
- DO NOT walk away and do something else. Stay positive and committed.
- This is an incredible opportunity to practice managing noise in meditation – if I can meditate now – I must be a genius! Hehe and if I don’t manage to get into that idyllic Zen state, then meditating anyway will do me some good. Who knows? The blower may not last that long.
- Try the following method. This method known as grounding turns the situation on its head. You will actually use the noise to go deeper in your meditation practice – it’s amazing!
- Start by getting into a comfortable sitting position. Notice your posture and keep the shoulders relaxed.
- Begin by becoming aware of each sense. You might start with your vision (eyes open). Look around the room and really see everything. The colours, textures, objects, animals, plants…everything. Then softly close your eyes.
- Now notice your sense of touch. What you are touching and what is touching you. You might also notice the temperature of the air on your skin, the feeling of your clothing and the pressure of your bottom on the surface you are sitting on.
- Next, notice any fragrances, and any tastes in your mouth.
- So…allow any noises to reach your ears. They may be loud or soft. If George has stopped then you might tune into the subtle sounds…the sound of your breath, or your heartbeat. If the external sounds are still loud..then be aware of this and don’t resist it. Fully welcome it in, just like a good friend.
- Next take your awareness inside you..
- Become aware of any inner sensations – lightness, absence of sensation, discomfort, emotion, anything at all.
- Notice any inner visuals. Visions floating through your mind, or the colours behind your closed eyes.
- Notice any sweetness or inner fragrance (however that presents) and again, any tastes.
- Now take your awareness once again to sounds…if the external sounds are still strong, notice how strong and how intense they feel. See the sound as a level of intense vibration rather than an actual sound.
- As you hold an awareness of the external vibrational intensity, match the level of that intensity with the intensity of your internal connection. That is, connect to an aspect of your internal experience with the same level of intensity as the sound feels to you.
So if the sound is at an intensity of 8 (on a scale of 1-10) in terms of its loudness then create a sense of intensity to a level of 8 (a similar level) as you connect to a sensation inside your body.
This creates an equal experience of intensity in both your internal and external experience, and as you maintain this as your focus you will find that both experiences somehow dissolve and you reach a pleasant state of equilibrium.
The trick is to hold the dual awareness at a similar level of intensity.
Hold this for as long as you wish to. You may be able to reach quite a deep state of meditation this way.
- When you are ready – reconnect to your body and all your senses.
If you would like more practice at grounding, here is a short guided grounding audio.
If you would like to learn more about grounding, here’s a great book by the father of grounding, Ken Mellor.
How did that go for you?
I would love to hear how you went. So let me know in your comments or ask any questions as well.
Top Featured image by Seth Doyle on Unsplash