Many people assume you have to be in complete silence to meditate.


Sure, it helps to have less distractions. That’s why meditations are typically practiced in silence. However, it’s nearly impossible to shut out all sounds around us. If you expect complete silence, but then you suddenly hear a car alarm going off, you may get distracted or even annoyed at the disturbance. 

You may even be shouting internally at the distraction. “How dare you? This is my meditation time!” This type of reaction kind of defeats the purpose…

INSTEAD try shifting your interpretation of the situation, can you accept that the sounds around you are simply waves of energy? Additionally, you can use the sounds as a mindfulness tool. Every time you get lost in your thoughts, just ask yourself, “What sounds can I hear?” As erratic as our thoughts can be, you can refocus your mind by using the sounds around you to bring you back to the present moment.  

This video includes a two minute sound meditation. After you hear the sounds, notice what labels or judgments come up. For example, do you enjoy the birds singing? Or do you think the car engine sounds are annoying?

*Judgement is a problem because it keeps us in the ego which is the opposite of being mindful. Try to listen as if you are an alien who landed on this planet for the first time. Find a relatively quiet space. If you’d like, you can play some soothing music (just don’t play anything that makes you feel like dancing!) Now, let’s begin. 

How was this for you?

Did you notice your mind adding judgment or labels to the sounds? Did you feel curious about the sounds as if you were hearing them for the first time?