A fun sound meditation to help you find calm
How do you picture the “perfect” environment for meditation? Serene, quiet and uncluttered? Free from disruptions so you can go “deep” and reach that mythical “zen” zone you’ve heard about? Aahhh… I agree, that would be wonderful! But in my world, life with three kids, a large excitable hound and living on a busy road means those ‘perfect’ conditions are not part of my daily reality! Can you relate?
A “quiet” meditation practice for me often features a suite of noises and disruptions – a beeping phone, barking dog, grinding neighbourhood traffic or a young early-riser switching on the television in the next room.
Thankfully, these sounds can actually become the focus of a meditation practice. Rather than feeling agitated by noises and viewing them an intrusion, let’s use them to our meditating advantage.Thankfully, these sounds can actually become the focus of a meditation practice. Rather than feeling agitated by noises and viewing them an intrusion, let’s use them to our meditating advantage.
You may think that a “proper” meditation practice means no thinking. Perhaps you have even felt disappointed and concerned that you’re not “doing it right” when you’ve sat down to try meditating, particularly when you find your mind wandering off to “lah-lah-land”. Rest assured, it’s natural and normal for the mind to wander and leap from thought to thought. Meditation calls for a gentle reining in of the mind by giving it a constructive task to do. The mind loves to work and really does want a job – let’s give it the task of noticing all these sounds!
A “round n round the sounds” meditation
For this simple meditation, we tune into each and every sound we can hear. Loud, soft, near, far, pleasant, unpleasant – each sound is heard and noted, rather than actively listened to. Ready to try for yourself? Here’s what to do:
- Take a few moments in your chosen seated chill-out position. Just be sure to have a tall spine. Settle in, find your breath and simply observe the breath for a few moments – notice the inhalation, notice the exhalation. Notice the temperature of the breath, it’s length, depth and speed.
- Now, gently become aware of all the sounds around you. Pick up one sound, listen to it briefly, then move on to the next sound. Start to move your awareness around all the different sounds. Seek out sounds that are close by; expand your awareness to find distant sounds. Keep moving at an easy pace. Notice any spaces between the sounds, as well as layers of sound.
- As you sweep your awareness over the sounds, try not to name them. Let them come to you as anonymous sound vibrations. Pretend your ears are just like a microphone: rather than interpreting the sounds, simply receive them, then move on to the next sound. Continue moving from sound to sound.
- After 5 minutes or so, do one last round of all the sounds you’ve been listening to, then complete your “round n round the sounds” session.
- Bring your awareness back to your physical body and the breath Tune in for a few moment and check in with how you feel. Aahhh!
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