Sutta about not listening to music

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Re: Sutta about not listening to music

Postby Fede » Thu Dec 29, 2011 7:27 pm

Yes indeed....I, like Khalil Bodhi and Alohba, couldn't think of where the advice of not listening to music, as a sutta, exists....
"Samsara: The human condition's heartbreaking inability to sustain contentment." Elizabeth Gilbert, 'Eat, Pray, Love'.

Simplify: 17 into 1 WILL go: Mindfulness!

Quieta movere magna merces videbatur. (Sallust, c.86-c.35 BC)
Translation: Just to stir things up seemed a good reward in itself. ;)

I am sooooo happy - How on earth could I be otherwise?! :D


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Re: Sutta about not listening to music

Postby danieLion » Fri Dec 30, 2011 4:07 am

tiltbillings wrote:
danieLion wrote:Hi pedro1985,
I used to listen to music a lot. Now, if I'm not careful (practice some restraint) songs get stuck in my head and play like loops, including while I sit.
Sorry it's not a sutta reference.
Daniel :heart:

If a song gets stuck in your head while you are sitting, what do you do? Is it an occasion for negative feelings in response to the this bit of mental music?

I was very tire yesterday. Let's try again.
Not songs I don't like. And songs I do like I start not to like because they loop. But the loops are usually only a small part of the song--like the chorus for example--10-15 secs, then they start over. It's not the music, per se, that I feel negative about--when I feel that way about it--but the repetition and duration. Sometimes I get pro-active and use techniques to prevent or stop the loops, and sometimes I let them arise and pass. I used to always feel negative about them, but now I'd say I experience them more neutrally probably because I've trained myself to see them as conditioned phenomena.
Does that make sense?
D :heart:
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Re: Sutta about not listening to music

Postby tiltbillings » Fri Dec 30, 2011 4:25 am

danieLion wrote: I used to always feel negative about them, but now I'd say I experience them more neutrally probably because I've trained myself to see them as conditioned phenomena.
Does that make sense?
D :heart:
Absolutely.
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.
"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
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Re: Sutta about not listening to music

Postby danieLion » Fri Dec 30, 2011 4:46 am

tiltbillings wrote:
danieLion wrote: I used to always feel negative about them, but now I'd say I experience them more neutrally probably because I've trained myself to see them as conditioned phenomena.
Does that make sense?
D :heart:
Absolutely.

Oh good.
:anjali:
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Re: Sutta about not listening to music

Postby Tyler » Sun Jan 29, 2012 9:50 pm

In DN 31 (Sigalovada Sutta: Basically the Buddha's advice to the lay practitioner) music is included as a sense desire that arises from habitual partying:

"These are the six dangers inherent in habitual partying: You constantly seek, 'Where's the dancing? Where's the singing? Where's the music? Where are the stories? Where's the applause? Where's the drumming?'



My understanding of music and drumming in this context is that we begin to conflate these sounds with chanting and drumming related to Buddhist practice. It causes conditioning that could arise upon hearing certain sounds that keeps us entertained instead of focusing on meditation.

The way we think about or listen to music has changed a lot since the times of the Buddha. The types of music we can find have a very wide range of subject matter which may or may not be in accordance with the other advice given by the Buddha. I personally listen to and make a lot of music. It has been a form of meditation for me and has set up an antithetical response in the case of my meditation in which the lack of created or chosen sensual experience helps promote the meditative state. Given this, I think it is important to keep in mind how the Buddha's advice intersects with the types of music and media that we intentionally expose ourselves to. If the music causes us to be angry or depressed we can sit with those emotions but its probably not a good idea to fall victim to those emotions. At that point the Buddhas advice seems pretty clear as we enter a state where the music becomes more than just music.
Last edited by Tyler on Mon Jan 30, 2012 3:49 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Sutta about not listening to music

Postby rowboat » Sun Jan 29, 2012 11:01 pm

From one perspective, music rarely if ever improves upon silence.
Rain soddens what is covered up,
It does not sodden what is open.
Therefore uncover what is covered
That the rain will not sodden it.
Ud 5.5
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Re: Sutta about not listening to music

Postby Sam Vara » Mon Jan 30, 2012 11:30 am

No Sutta reference, I'm afraid, but I do love this account from Ajahn Sucitto about music:

Before I went to Thailand I’d been very fond of music, I
listened to it all the time. For the first year or so when I was
living in the monastery every time I’d sit down I’d hear music
in my head — continually — until I hated it. But I couldn’t make
it go away. Eventually after about a year and a half of non-stop
noise in my head and fi ghting with it, and gradually cooling
down about it all, it began to die away. By the time I came to
England, my mind had cleared out, like a squeezed sponge.
But then one day I was walking down a street and there was
some music playing and my ear picked it up. I could feel the
experience of consciousness dancing around the music, so
much that it was diffi cult not to start physically dancing. The
mind was gyrating, stimulated by this auditory experience
and the consciousness fl uctuating with it. So I explored; I
listened deliberately and tried to go to what the sound really
was — and when I focussed very strongly on the sound, the
music and the listener stopped!
The music was dependent on a particular mode of
attention whereby consciousness wasn’t held clearly, fi rmly
or incisively onto an object, it was allowed to play on it. The
experience of music was this playing: not an external experience
nor an internal experience but the two coming together.
79
And I really saw that what one could do something about was
the stirring of consciousness, the stirring of the mind and
moods — when that stopped, the music stopped. There was
still the sound but it was empty, it was hollow. That was very
signifi cant for me because then that was it as far as music went.
I could see that the music was just the movement of the mind.
We can allow that movement to happen if we want to, but its
reality, its ability to grip, fades.


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Re: Sutta about not listening to music

Postby Monkey Mind » Mon Jan 30, 2012 11:16 pm

I suggest giving up music and entertainment for a day or a week, and then watching how your mind reacts when you re-expose yourself to music/ entertainment. I learn a lot about how media affects me when I engage in these experiments.

Remember Buddha's guidance to the "festival actor", whose teacher had told the actor that his actions would result in rebirth in the laughing deva realms. Buddha was not impressed, because the actor was "himself intoxicated & heedless, having made others intoxicated & heedless."
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/sn/sn42/sn42.002.than.html

In that case, Buddha was addressing the actor, but I infer advice to the consumer too. It seems like we are encouraged to take responsibility for how we allow entertainment to interact with our minds, and try not to become "intoxicated & heedless" as a result.
"As I am, so are others;
as others are, so am I."
Having thus identified self and others,
harm no one nor have them harmed.

Sutta Nipāta 3.710
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