How To Meditate With Noise Around You
It’s early morning, the sun begins to emerge on the horizon. There is a warmth to the air as the gentle breeze touches your skin. You hear the leaves rustling in the trees and the call of the birds as they wake from their slumber. You settle yourself comfortably on your mat, legs crossed. Hands gently resting in your lap. You close your eyes and breathe in slowly through your nose, preparing yourself for your morning meditation. The fifteen minutes meditation is a gentle start to your day that will provide you with a boost to your mood so you begin your day feeling energised.
You breathe out counting slowly down from ten to zero as you slow your mind and direct your focus to your breathing. As you begin your next inhale you feel shaken with the abrupt start of a roadwork’s drill on the other side of your house. You had no idea that roadworks were beginning this morning and when the initial shock dissipates you feel rudely interrupted as the gentle sounds of nature become swamped with the high pitched shrill of tools. You want to jump up, run around the house and scream at them to stop. Instead, you continue to inhale, allow the noise to become part of your breath and feel your body sink down into the surface beneath you as you drop into a meditative state.
Can you meditate with noise?
There is an expectation that to use meditation or hypnosis effectively you must be comfortable, and you need silence. Neither of these statements hold truth. When you first start practicing meditation you might find it easier to have comfort and silence as it is a couple less things to try and think about … or not think about as is the case. However, as time goes on you should find ways to include any disturbance or distraction into your meditation. So, meditation is possible wherever you are, whatever you are doing. With certain meditation practise, such as hypnobirthing, I recommend actively seeking out less idyllic surroundings. I remember when I had my first daughter, and someone said to me to make sure the baby becomes accustomed to sleeping with the hubbub of life around her. If we insist on silence for the baby to sleep, they will only ever sleep when it’s silent. I’m not sure whether that is true, but the same theory goes for meditation with noise.
Below are three different ways you can meditate with noise around you.
Focus in and Fade Out
Separate the external noises so you treat each one individually. Bring the first noise to the forefront of your attention. Allow the first noise to become your focus. Make the noise louder and stronger. When it is as loud and strong as you can make it pause for a moment, then allow it to drift away into the distance. Let the noise fade out and repeat the exercise with the next noise. Continue to do this with all the noises until you can hear a distant hubbub that blurs into the background of your mind.
When you strengthen the noise notice where you feel it in your body. How do you hear the sound? Does it move through you or stay in one place? Explore everything you can about the sound.
Include the Noises in the Meditation
Some people like to chant whilst they meditate. The chanting has many purposes, one of which is to help maintain focus. It is possible to create a repetitive sound with a continuous noise. When you settle yourself to meditate focus on the sounds as if they come from an orchestra. Create a rhythm in your mind and use the noises as you would a chant. Use the noises as a focus on the meditation rather than a distraction away from it.
Note the Noises and Observe them
Just as you do feelings and thoughts, note the noises, observe, and explore them then allow them to drift out of your awareness. Whenever you feel drawn back to a noise note it again, observe it and then allow it to drift out of your awareness. Continue to do this until you finish your meditation.
As with all meditation, remember to act non judgementally. Each noise is different, notice them with intrigue rather than irritation. The ability to meditate regardless of what is happening around you is very powerful and an immensely beneficial life tool.
Read some more blogs on meditation here – Meditation and Mindfulness Archives