In Week 2 we direct our attention outwards to focus on sound as the object of meditation.
This can be particularly useful if we find ourselves with scatter-brain, or obsessively thinking. It’s also a great technique to draw on if we can’t find a quiet place to meditate. We can turn distracting “noise” into interesting “sound”.
One of the challenges in being with sound during meditation is seeing if we can stay with a particular sound until it vanishes. Ticking clocks can be an interesting experiment!
Through listening to sound as it arises – is here – and then vanishes, we might come to understand for ourselves the concept of impermanence. That nothing lasts. And everything changes. And that the only time we can experience anything is now. In the present.
We can’t hear sound before it’s arisen (in the future). And we can’t hear sound after it’s vanished (in the past.) We can only hear it now.
So see how you go with this sound meditation – you might be surprised as what you hear!
You’re listening to Week 2 of Introduction to Mindfulness – Awareness of Sound.
Let’s set ourselves up for our meditation.
You can close your eyes, or lower your gaze if you want to. And during the meditation at any time, you can open your eyes, if you’re feeling sleepy or you need a little reset.
And before we begin, let’s take a moment to consider that we’ve set aside the next few minutes, and that whatever’s on our to-do list can wait out there patiently while we do this very important work.
This work that has no KPIs or metrics to achieve. But work that’s very worth pursuing, even as a side hustle.
So, getting centred now on your chair or cushion, wherever you are. Taking a deep breath in. And a deep breath out.
Inhaling. And exhaling.
And after a few deliberate breaths, letting your breathing return to its natural state.
And bringing awareness now to any tension that you might be feeling in your body.
Starting with your head: Relax the top of your head and the back. Relax the forehead. And the eyes. Relax the cheekbones. Relax the jaw.
And moving down to your back: Releasing any tension from the top of the spine across the shoulders and all the way down to your tail bone.
And your legs: Feel the weight of your legs as you let them melt into the chair or the cushion.
And for this meditation we’re going to be tuning in to sound.
Because when our minds are racing, or stuck on repeat, it can be useful to focus on something outside of ourselves to bring us back in to the present moment.
So let’s start, just by noticing what sounds are around.
You might be able to detect the subtle sound of your breathing. Or sounds within your body. Like tummy rumbling.
There may be sounds indoors. Clocks. Air conditioning. Children and pets.
You might notice sounds outdoors. Birds. Passing traffic. Wind in the trees.
Whatever sound that comes into your awareness, try and see if you can stay with it until it vanishes. Until all that’s left is the space after the sound.
Noticing whatever sound is most dominant moment-by-moment, and seeing if you can stay with it until it disappears.
It’s OK if your mind wants to commentate on the sounds. It probably will. I like this sound. I don’t like that sound. Or this sound reminds me of the time when…
And OK if the mind wants to think about something entirely different. It will probably do that too.
But whenever thinking subsides, in that little gap, give yourself a smile. You’re now back in the present.
Gently come back to noticing sounds as they appear then disappear. As they arise and then vanish.
And receive them objectively just like a microphone does.
I’ll set the timer now for 8 minutes so feel free to practice this on your own until you hear the gong.