When we think of meditation, we usually envisage the person meditating in a zen like state of total peace and quiet on some mountain side or in a forest. If we could choose that perfection, wouldn’t we always?
Unfortunately, the reality is that our lives aren’t full of quiet corners we can silently slip away to, rather our space is usually full of distraction and chaos!
Children, friends, pets, lodgers, parents, siblings and neighbours are all decibel increasing features in our busy lives, with additional noise from phone calls, music, the radio, online gaming, the TV, chatter… even the microwave and washing machine are in on the act! General home life can feel like a cacophony of ear invaders!
How on earth are you supposed to meditate like that?
Noise and distraction can mean you don’t even attempt to meditate, let along maintain a regular practice. But what a shame! The benefits of meditation are vast from reducing anxiety and stress, to physically renewing. All the tonics to repair our stressful and hectic lives! The good news is, you still can meditate in literally every situation – you just have to practice!
Try this technique to see if you can master the art of meditation in a noisy environment…
Sit comfortably in a place that you at least won’t be physically disturbed or be brushed up against. This could be on the floor on a cushion or on a straight backed chair with your feet firmly on the floor. Be sure that your spine is tall and that your face is relaxed with closed eyes and an unclenched jaw. Take a moment to be still and settle. Allow calmness to enter your being by relaxing tension in your shoulders and deepening your breath.
Acknowledge and accept the noise around you. You can’t remove the noise and trying to ignore it or make louder noises to drown it out will just add to the chaos! Accept the need to co-exist with the sound and set the intention to meditate alongside them rather than battle with them.
Observe what you can hear. Listen to all the noise around you and allow all the sounds to fill your ears. Rather than labelling each sound, notice the tones and vibrations of the sound, rather than the name of it. Noises are merely vibrations and every one has it’s own component. Even noises deemed ‘annoying’ will have their own components and value so see if you are able to separate opinion or preconception of noise and instead fully accept and embrace it.
Bear in mind that you won’t be able to master this technique straight away – remember that meditation is the process of returning the focus to your internal point of concentration (drishti). This takes patience and perseverance as your conscious mind tries to dictate thoughts based on stimulation. You will feel distracted and you will feel discouraged, but keep trying and return each day to the same task.
With patience and acceptance, you may begin to notice that noises can actually enhance your meditation. A fusion of layers of sound become chant like in their persistence and randomness. When a sound simply becomes a sound, then perhaps you could find it comforting in its presence and energy.
As you progress and become more able to connect to the quiet space that resides within you, you will find meditation is possible in a number of different circumstances, from having a coffee to travelling on a bus or train.
Meditation has endless benefits and is extremely valuable for us, especially those in stressful busy lives! We should all be able to enjoy meditation in our daily lives regardless of our living situation.
Yoga incorporates meditation in every class in the form of movement with the breath or in relaxation (savasana) at the end of the practice. Finding complete calm to seal the practice is a part of the process of self awareness. Why not treat yourself to a class in our beautiful boutique studio on Guildford High street and allow our nurturing, experienced teachers to guide you through a class that will benefit your whole body?