|What would sound look like?|
o you ever find yourself feeling agitated by sound? How about in places where silence is expected? One example that comes to mind happened while participating in a 10 day silent meditation. I was assigned a room with a very talkative roommate. Even after addressing the issue with the facilitator the woman continued to talk, both to herself, and to me. I certainly had not expected to room with a sound maker during a silent retreat!
Another time during a silent retreat, major construction was happening next door. The on-going sounds of table saws, hammers, and classic rock radio wasn't mentioned in the weekend program. Without a doubt, my expectations caused me to suffer. I was attached to the idea of an uncluttered environment, which included the absence of noise.
Perhaps it's sirens, a screaming child, or people talking all at once that causes auditory distress? Whatever it may be that irks your ears, try playing with this creative anecdote for embracing the "unexpected" sounds of life. Before beginning this listening experience, you might read & remember that "The Great Way is not difficult for those who have no preferences."
Then, try listening to this sound meditation
by Maximum Lotus
with an open mind, free of expectation:
Begin by listening to the first few minutes of the composition with your eyes open (to enjoy
the musicians). Close your eyes for the duration.
Listen & experience whatever arises in your body/mind, both pleasant & unpleasant.
Notice all the different sounds (in the same way you might acknowledge your thoughts during
a more traditional meditation).
Allow the sounds to replace your thoughts for the next 13 minutes.
Notice where various sounds settle in your body. Do they move around? Can you let them go?
*Continue sitting in silence for 5 minutes (or more) and feel the effects when it's finished.
Consider sharing your experience here, or with another.