Meditation & Noise

by -
Robert Irwin

This is a contribution from Peter Taylor:

There is nowhere to meditate without noise. Natalie Goldberg tells a story of a meditating monk who was startled by the noise of the ash falling from his incense. Whether you are meditating on a quiet mountaintop or a curbside bus stop, there will be noise. When you meditate in a noisy setting, focus on your breath and posture and allow the noise to sound. See how your thoughts respond to the noises. See which noises call you away from your breath, and how you come back. The work of meditation is the work of existing among distractions. We can use the distracting noises in our lives to bring us back to our breath and awareness.

Whether we are sitting in meditation or walking down the hallway, we can use sounds and noises to restore, rather than hijack, our focus. If you are on a quiet mountaintop, meditate there. If you are in a busy city, meditate there.