Discussion Forum

I’d like to ask about the meditation music and interrupting sounds?

Doesn’t the music provoke thinking while meditating? If I hear sounds from the surrounding me reality, does it mean my meditation has been interrupted? Thank you all for your time,I wish I could choose many best answers instead of just one!

5 Comments

  • As my teacher used to say, “you have the right to remain undisturbed.”

    Which is to say, your meditation (your awareness), when rightly understood, cannot be disturbed by anything.

    Music happening? No problem. Watch music.

    Sounds? Easy. Be aware of sounds.

    Is your mind slowing while music is happening? Watch that.

    Is your mind racing while music is playing? Watch that!

    It is the *watching* that is the meditation. Not the object which is being watched.

  • Good morning Tina,

    Some people prefer to meditate in natural surroundings like the woods, a field, or the beach while other s quiet room. There is no best place or best method. I just want to reinforce what Admodeus said by quoting from Sogyal Rinpoche “The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying” .

    “There are many ways of making the approach to meditation as joyful as possible. You can find the music that most exalts you and use it to open your heart and mind. You can collect pieces of poetry, or quotations or lines of teachings that over the years have moved you, and keep them always at hand to elevate your spirit. I have always loved Tibetan thangka paintings and derive strength from their beauty. You too can find reproductions of paintings that arouse a sense of sacredness, and hang them on the walls of your room.

    “Listen to a cassette tape of a teaching by a great master, or a sacred chant. You can make of the place where you meditate a simple paradise, with one flower, one stick of incense, one candle, one photograph of an enlightened master, or one statue of a deity or a buddha. You can transform the most ordinary of rooms into an intimate sacred space, an environment where every day you go to meet with your true self with all the joy and happy ceremony of one old friend greeting another.

    “As you continue to practice meditation, you may have all kinds of experiences, both good and bad. You might experience states of bliss, clarity, or absence of thoughts. In one way these are very good experiences, and signs of progress in meditation. For when you experience bliss, it’s a sign that desire has temporarily dissolved. When you experience real clarity, it’s a sign that aggression has temporarily ceased. When you experience a state of absence of thought, it’s a sign that your ignorance has temporarily died. By themselves they are good experiences, but if you get attached to them, they become obstacles.

    “Experiences are not realization in themselves; but if we remain free of attachment to them, they become what they really are–that is, materials for realization.”

    If your mind begins to wander do not feel as though you’ve failed. It’s natural for this to occur. Just calmly move the thought to the side and continue with your meditation. So the “perfect” method to meditate will vary according to the individual. Personally, I find music to be a distraction during meditation itself but I will frequently use music or chanting as a prelude to meditation. I find it can purge mental distraction but, during the meditation period itself—nothing.

    May all be at peace.

    John

  • This is a personal question, as in, only a specific person can answer it for themselves.

    Many people can meditate with a slow rhythmic musical composition. This is because it isn’t distracting as much as it interrupts the chaos of everyday life, which is very asymmetric. A slight pause in the rhythm is enough to distract someone, so its important it is far longer then you meditate.

    Others can not meditate with man made noise, no matter how peaceful and repeating, preferring a natural sound, such as that of the randomness of nature. As it isn’t distracting spiritually, as it is natural.

    Others again, can not mediate with any sound at all, because it immediately will pull them from focus.

    The trick is to overcome the distraction to the point they aren’t distractions. Just events that occurred, which shouldn’t even register in your mind. There are certain sects of monks that test the strength of meditation by trying to break that focus. Which signifies the person is still struggling.

  • the goal of meditation is to let thoughts just flow
    if you concentrate on that interrupting noise then you are interrupting the meditation
    if you just let that noise be, accept it and move on, not holding on to any thoughts

    then you are meditating correctly

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