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Thread: Meditation Troubles:How to deal with sound pollution?

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    Meditation Troubles:How to deal with sound pollution?

    Namaste,

    Sometimes,when I sit to meditate,I am unable to concentrate because of the sound pollution around.My neighbours play loud devotional music on their speakers and some other times its honking of vehicles.I get irritated,give up and feel bad.While I can't do much about vehicular noise pollution,I did request my neighbors to reduce the volume but they don't, it seems to me that they wish to publicize their religiosity to the world by blaring devotional music.

    I heard once that there is something called as noise cancellers.Are there any good ear plugs or head phones available that can block external sounds?Can members tell what to do?
    He dances in the golden hall of Chidambaram, Let us worship His rosy anklet girt Feet.

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    Re: Meditation Troubles:How to deal with sound pollution?

    Namaskar Ram 11 Ji,
    That is very irritating when neighbors do such a thing.Believe me,I have been subjected to it when I moved in my new house with my family,my neighbors used play loud music on their speakers in the early morning and that is how we started our mornings for many days,they finally stopped when they saw that we didn't complain or anything.I think they wanted to stir a quarrel between us and them but when we kept patience they had to accept their defeat (in a way) and they stopped.Likewise,the neighbor used to compete (in a way) with my dad when he used to worship.My dad has great grasp of mantras and his pronunciation is just brilliant,so he even tried to outdo my dad but he couldn't and now they don't play loud music in the morning or try to do Puja like my father.So,I think in this matter patience would have been a good tool but since you have already told him to stop and he didn't,so I guess he isn't going to stop soon.

    I would recommend White Noise.It is a kind of music clips ie. of Rain,Storm,Train,Fan etc.If you download a White Noise and then put your earphones and play it,it might restrict the outside noises and you will only hear the sound clip.For example,if you have the Rain clip then when you put it on you will feel as if it is raining outside and hear that kind of a sound.There's nothing wrong in giving it a try.Let's hope it works.

    Dhanyavad
    Achyutam Keshavam Krishna Damodaram Ram Narayanam Janki Ballavam.

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    Re: Meditation Troubles:How to deal with sound pollution?

    Namaskāra Ram11ji,

    I assume you're somewhere where you actually have next door neighbors who are Sanātanis (I don't here in the US - I'm probably the only one in a 15 mile radius, if not more), which sounds like India or another country with a higher Sanātani population. My suggestion is, if you have lost the battle, then go to an audiologist (one who tests your hearing and gives you hearing aids if you need them) and have earmolds made, like this:

    http://www.google.com/imgres?imgurl=...CQQMyggMCA4yAE

    They're made by injecting a molding material into your ears, which are pulled out and sent off to be made into earmolds, and then you get them back in 2-3 weeks. They are different than mine because I wear hearing aids. Yours will simply be solid plugs. Be sure to ask for a device molded into the earmold to help you pull them out of your ears when you're done with meditation.

    I'm glad I don't have your problem, as all I have to do is turn off my hearing aids, and the only thing I can sense is something that is loud enough to thump right through your chest anyway.

    Praṇāma

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    Re: Meditation Troubles:How to deal with sound pollution?

    Namaste Ram ji,

    I was once told by someone very wise that anyone can meditate successfully in a silent and peaceful space. It's a sign of mastery, who can meditate anywhere and in any situation. Noise is as much sensory illusion as anything visual, tactile or scent oriented. You shouldn't be trying to shut such distractions out, you are only attempting to move beyond them.

    While it's true that it's beneficial for those early in the path to meditate in peaceful settings, I personally think it's also really good practice to learn to do it in any situation, as that wise teacher mentioned. You won't always have access to a peaceful space, after all, and meditation should be undertaken at the same time each day when undertaken properly - or so I've been taught. So, I try to take the opportunity to meditate in raucous areas as well as in the quiet space of my puja room or backyard deck.

    This is not to invalidate your frustration. If noise and distraction is all you have all the time, I can totally understand how annoying it is and how it can get in the way. In that case, it's true that a white noise generator or a download of white noise/noise cancelling or meditation helping audio tracks could help. Or perhaps if there is a public park or quiet space somewhere nearby that you could go to instead of being home?

    I hope you find a good solution.

    ~Pranam
    ~~~~~
    What has Learning profited a man, if it has not led him to worship the good feet of Him who is pure knowledge itself?
    They alone dispel the mind's distress, who take refuge at the feet of the incomparable one.
    ~~Tirukural 2, 7

    Anbe Sivamayam, Satyame Parasivam

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    Re: Meditation Troubles:How to deal with sound pollution?

    Namaste,

    Having weathered the noise levels in India which are akin to several ghetto blasters in the neighborhood going on simultaneously, I can understand your situation. I am not sure about the availability of all the solutions suggested, but the cheapest one is simple earplugs, http://www.123rf.com/stock-photo/earplugs.html . Try them before progressing to gentle sounds of rain etc. type of music. Good noise cancellation devices or custom earplugs might be quite expensive by Indian standards. The best practical option is to do the meditation early in the morning or late at night when the beasts are asleep and noise levels are low. It is quite a challenge for common starting level people to be able to focus on meditation with various audio distractions all around you. Good luck.

    Pranam.

    PS, I think in US, the aviation level noise cancellation headset by Bose costs over $1000.

  6. #6

    Re: Meditation Troubles:How to deal with sound pollution?

    Quote Originally Posted by Aanandinii View Post
    Namaste Ram ji,

    I was once told by someone very wise that anyone can meditate successfully in a silent and peaceful space. It's a sign of mastery, who can meditate anywhere and in any situation. Noise is as much sensory illusion as anything visual, tactile or scent oriented. You shouldn't be trying to shut such distractions out, you are only attempting to move beyond them.

    While it's true that it's beneficial for those early in the path to meditate in peaceful settings, I personally think it's also really good practice to learn to do it in any situation, as that wise teacher mentioned. You won't always have access to a peaceful space, after all, and meditation should be undertaken at the same time each day when undertaken properly - or so I've been taught. So, I try to take the opportunity to meditate in raucous areas as well as in the quiet space of my puja room or backyard deck.

    This is not to invalidate your frustration. If noise and distraction is all you have all the time, I can totally understand how annoying it is and how it can get in the way. In that case, it's true that a white noise generator or a download of white noise/noise cancelling or meditation helping audio tracks could help. Or perhaps if there is a public park or quiet space somewhere nearby that you could go to instead of being home?

    I hope you find a good solution.

    ~Pranam
    Good advice. It may be that god wants ram11 to go meditate somewhere else

    I find focusing on a particular sound helps - identify it out of the wider soundscape and other noises and keep your concentration there. In a short while all of the other sounds will melt away. Alternatively you could take a more natural approach, keep your ears open, let the sounds come to you and accept them without judgement of pleasant or unpleasant. Obviously that is going to be tough with the aggressive music playing.

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    Re: Meditation Troubles:How to deal with sound pollution?

    Quote Originally Posted by Abhishek Born Again View Post
    Namaskar Ram 11 Ji,
    That is very irritating when neighbors do such a thing.Believe me,I have been subjected to it when I moved in my new house with my family,my neighbors used play loud music on their speakers in the early morning and that is how we started our mornings for many days,they finally stopped when they saw that we didn't complain or anything.I think they wanted to stir a quarrel between us and them but when we kept patience they had to accept their defeat (in a way) and they stopped.Likewise,the neighbor used to compete (in a way) with my dad when he used to worship.My dad has great grasp of mantras and his pronunciation is just brilliant,so he even tried to outdo my dad but he couldn't and now they don't play loud music in the morning or try to do Puja like my father.So,I think in this matter patience would have been a good tool but since you have already told him to stop and he didn't,so I guess he isn't going to stop soon.

    I would recommend White Noise.It is a kind of music clips ie. of Rain,Storm,Train,Fan etc.If you download a White Noise and then put your earphones and play it,it might restrict the outside noises and you will only hear the sound clip.For example,if you have the Rain clip then when you put it on you will feel as if it is raining outside and hear that kind of a sound.There's nothing wrong in giving it a try.Let's hope it works.

    Dhanyavad
    Namaste Abhishek Ji,

    It is nice that your neighbours stopped,I think ours don't want to stop.I heard some clips and they are calming.I'll try it.Thanks for suggesting White Noise.

    Quote Originally Posted by deafAncient View Post
    Namaskāra Ram11ji,

    I assume you're somewhere where you actually have next door neighbors who are Sanātanis (I don't here in the US - I'm probably the only one in a 15 mile radius, if not more), which sounds like India or another country with a higher Sanātani population. My suggestion is, if you have lost the battle, then go to an audiologist (one who tests your hearing and gives you hearing aids if you need them) and have earmolds made, like this:

    http://www.google.com/imgres?imgurl=...CQQMyggMCA4yAE

    They're made by injecting a molding material into your ears, which are pulled out and sent off to be made into earmolds, and then you get them back in 2-3 weeks. They are different than mine because I wear hearing aids. Yours will simply be solid plugs. Be sure to ask for a device molded into the earmold to help you pull them out of your ears when you're done with meditation.

    I'm glad I don't have your problem, as all I have to do is turn off my hearing aids, and the only thing I can sense is something that is loud enough to thump right through your chest anyway.

    Praṇāma

    Namaste Ancient Ji,

    I stay in India and my neighbours are Hindus.I did not know about earmolds,I am not sure if earmolds are available here but thanks for the help Ji.


    Quote Originally Posted by Aanandinii View Post
    Namaste Ram ji,

    I was once told by someone very wise that anyone can meditate successfully in a silent and peaceful space. It's a sign of mastery, who can meditate anywhere and in any situation. Noise is as much sensory illusion as anything visual, tactile or scent oriented. You shouldn't be trying to shut such distractions out, you are only attempting to move beyond them.

    While it's true that it's beneficial for those early in the path to meditate in peaceful settings, I personally think it's also really good practice to learn to do it in any situation, as that wise teacher mentioned. You won't always have access to a peaceful space, after all, and meditation should be undertaken at the same time each day when undertaken properly - or so I've been taught. So, I try to take the opportunity to meditate in raucous areas as well as in the quiet space of my puja room or backyard deck.

    This is not to invalidate your frustration. If noise and distraction is all you have all the time, I can totally understand how annoying it is and how it can get in the way. In that case, it's true that a white noise generator or a download of white noise/noise cancelling or meditation helping audio tracks could help. Or perhaps if there is a public park or quiet space somewhere nearby that you could go to instead of being home?

    I hope you find a good solution.

    ~Pranam

    Namaste Aanandini Ji,

    Sadly,our Puja room is where this sound is loudest.Much devotional music online is fusion music and is fine but in India most of the songs people play have clashing cymbals,loud beats and have sounds like elephants trumpeting(I don't know what is name of this instrument,it is a long curved trumpet used in battlegrounds),so loud that I can't concentrate.These songs would make people jump.

    What you said is true that one must be able to mediate anywhere but I have not reached that stage yet.Thanks for the advice Ji.

    P.S.I like ancient temples because one sit in a corner and meditate.I wish we had such big ones near to our home.


    Quote Originally Posted by Believer View Post
    Namaste,

    Having weathered the noise levels in India which are akin to several ghetto blasters in the neighborhood going on simultaneously, I can understand your situation. I am not sure about the availability of all the solutions suggested, but the cheapest one is simple earplugs, http://www.123rf.com/stock-photo/earplugs.html . Try them before progressing to gentle sounds of rain etc. type of music. Good noise cancellation devices or custom earplugs might be quite expensive by Indian standards. The best practical option is to do the meditation early in the morning or late at night when the beasts are asleep and noise levels are low. It is quite a challenge for common starting level people to be able to focus on meditation with various audio distractions all around you. Good luck.

    Pranam.

    PS, I think in US, the aviation level noise cancellation headset by Bose costs over $1000.

    Namaste Believer Ji,

    $1000 for a headset is indeed expensive!I'll check the earplugs Ji.Some Indians have so sense at all,why can't they listen to music at low volumes.I will have to change my schedule as these beasts wake up quite early to start their Bhakti broadcast.Thank you so much.


    Quote Originally Posted by KasparHauser View Post
    Good advice. It may be that god wants ram11 to go meditate somewhere else

    I find focusing on a particular sound helps - identify it out of the wider soundscape and other noises and keep your concentration there. In a short while all of the other sounds will melt away. Alternatively you could take a more natural approach, keep your ears open, let the sounds come to you and accept them without judgement of pleasant or unpleasant. Obviously that is going to be tough with the aggressive music playing.

    Namaste KasparHauser Ji,

    Yes,I thought about shifting to the outskirts of my city but some family members may face inconvenience.Thank you Ji.
    He dances in the golden hall of Chidambaram, Let us worship His rosy anklet girt Feet.

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    Re: Meditation Troubles:How to deal with sound pollution?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ram11 View Post
    Namaste Abhishek Ji,

    It is nice that your neighbours stopped,I think ours don't want to stop.I heard some clips and they are calming.I'll try it.Thanks for suggesting White Noise.

    Namaste Ram 11 Ji,

    Aha I am glad that you liked them.And I hope the Supreme One will do something to stop your neighbors.

    Dhanyavad
    Achyutam Keshavam Krishna Damodaram Ram Narayanam Janki Ballavam.

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    Light Re: Meditation Troubles:How to deal with sound pollution?

    Namaste Ram ji,

    Simply rest for some time and be aware of the noise. Do not resist. Let it flow. Do not get attached to it either. The more you try to resist, more it will bother you. This is the nature of mind. So simply relax, lie down, taking few deep breaths helps a lot. Breath from abdomen and not chest. Fill your abdomen completely, wait for a second and exhale completely. Two breaths are enough to calm mind. your focus will entirely shift towards breathing. Now simply chant the mantra and pay attention to the mantra and neglect every other noise.

    Initially you may need t spend some 10-20 minutes of mindfullness type of meditations in which you do not react to anything and let everything happen, just let it pass by, just let go. Your mind will become fresh and strong. Start with deep breath, then pray to God to guide you to your meditation and then start chanting mantra. At time you may wish to chant it a little louder (but mentally). Mentally say I just want ot concentrate on mantra. Repeat it 5-6 times nad then restart chanting mantra. It helps.

    OM
    Only God Is Truth, Everything Else Is Illusion - Ramakrishna
    Total Surrender of Ego to SELF is Real Bhakti - Ramana Maharshi

    Silence is the study of the scruptures. Meditation is the continuous thinking of Brahman which is to be meditated upon. The complete negation of both by knowledge is the vision of truth – sadAcAra-14 of Adi SankarAcArya

    namah SivAya vishnurUpAya viShNave SivarUpiNe, MBh, vanaparva, 3.39.76

    Sanskrit Dict | MW Dict | Gita Super Site | Hindu Dharma

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    Re: Meditation Troubles:How to deal with sound pollution?

    Quote Originally Posted by Amrut View Post
    Namaste Ram ji,

    Simply rest for some time and be aware of the noise. Do not resist. Let it flow. Do not get attached to it either. The more you try to resist, more it will bother you. This is the nature of mind. So simply relax, lie down, taking few deep breaths helps a lot. Breath from abdomen and not chest. Fill your abdomen completely, wait for a second and exhale completely. Two breaths are enough to calm mind. your focus will entirely shift towards breathing. Now simply chant the mantra and pay attention to the mantra and neglect every other noise.

    Initially you may need t spend some 10-20 minutes of mindfullness type of meditations in which you do not react to anything and let everything happen, just let it pass by, just let go. Your mind will become fresh and strong. Start with deep breath, then pray to God to guide you to your meditation and then start chanting mantra. At time you may wish to chant it a little louder (but mentally). Mentally say I just want ot concentrate on mantra. Repeat it 5-6 times nad then restart chanting mantra. It helps.

    OM
    Namaste Amrut Ji,

    Thank you so much for the guidance.It is very helpful.
    He dances in the golden hall of Chidambaram, Let us worship His rosy anklet girt Feet.

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