Today as we continue with the theme of Concentration, Sharon has us using the everyday sounds that are experienced all around us. She describes how to do this meditation practice on page 53 of Real Happiness.
Here we are inviting the sounds in and using them for our meditation object. In this practice, we are not meant to judge the sounds, which can seem hard when there is a garbage truck or loud jet flying by. We may even enjoy or want more of the pleasant sounds, for example, the image of my singing bowls attached to this blog post.
We remain open to the raw vibration of the sounds, being accepting of all sounds, allowing the spaciousness to be present, without getting lost in the stories behind the sounds. We connect, we watch, we let the sounds pass away, and then we can reconnect with the rising and falling of the belly or chest with our breath.
It is easy for the mind to drift with the sounds and create a fantasy. Allow the sounds to arise and then to naturally dissipate. The key here is non-judgmental awareness of what you hear.
It is also normal that you may like or dislike sounds, I know I do! Some sounds I do not want to welcome in especially since I live a few minutes from the airport here in Madison, Wisconsin. When the Air Force jets rev up and fly by, the sound can be quite rattling. But after all it is just a sound, a vibration that comes and goes. Am I resisting this sound versus others? Am I craving another sound?
Afterward, you may wish to reflect and notice, even make note of it in a meditation journal. A meditation journal is a simple way to track your practice. List the day, time, length of meditation, and your experience. It can help you to see your progress and provide other insights, even to which time of day seemed better for your practice.
Let me know how this week goes for you and with each practice that I post. You can join me in my mindfulness classes or if you would you like personal meditation instruction, I am happy to assist you through these practices. Contact me.
Recommended reading for Week One of the Challenge is pages 37 – 47 and pages 64 – 74 in the second edition of the book, “Real Happiness”.
Supportive guided meditations by Sharon Salzberg are located here.