white noise / earplugs?

General discussion of issues related to Theravada Meditation, e.g. meditation postures, developing a regular sitting practice, skillfully relating to difficulties and hindrances, etc.

Re: white noise / earplugs?

Postby appicchato » Thu Nov 10, 2011 7:52 am

Goofaholix wrote:
Fede wrote:I too suffer from tinnitus:


It would be better to just experience Tinnitus, suffering as always is optional.


Pa-leeeze...if she wasn't just (just?) experiencing it (24/7...), there wouldn't be a problem...

Fortunately you aren't...yet...
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Re: white noise / earplugs?

Postby Goofaholix » Thu Nov 10, 2011 8:11 am

Fede wrote:My audiologist says it's one of the worst cases he's come across..... but he's fascinated as to how I remain so calm.
And that's precisely what I told him.
I have to work with it.
I have no other choice.


Sounds like you've turned a problem into an opportunity to develop insight, that's what it's all about.
"Proper effort is not the effort to make something particular happen. It is the effort to be aware and awake each moment." - Ajahn Chah
"When we see beyond self, we no longer cling to happiness. When we stop clinging, we can begin to be happy." - Ajahn Chah
"Know and watch your heart. It’s pure but emotions come to colour it." — Ajahn Chah
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Re: white noise / earplugs?

Postby Fede » Thu Nov 10, 2011 8:35 am

It's trying to identify the bird varieties that keeps me occupied..... :D

I'm sorry, I apologise to the OP: This thread wasn't supposed to turn into something about me.
But I merely posted to illustrate that while you seek a quiet place to meditate delf7, sometimes, no such place exists.
The truly only quiet place you have access to, is within yourself.

Unfortunately, if you can't beat it - join it.
Turn the noise into a meditative exercise: instead of blocking it out, welcome it. Discern it to its fullest content. Analyse every single part of the noise, and see where it comes from.
I do this with music, sometimes. I try to hear every individual music part, and every single instrument over the others.... I mentally isolate each component and see them making up the whole.
I try not to then let my attention wander, to consider the player, who he or she is, what life they lead, how they learnt the instrument and why.....I remain with the sound. I become so familiar with it, it becomes my friend.







(Oh, one last thing: The day I find bird-poop on my shoulders, I'll quit moaning and head for a shrink.)
"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: white noise / earplugs?

Postby rowboat » Thu Nov 10, 2011 10:57 am

Fede, several years ago I developed tinnitus in my left ear and for quite some time I really despaired to the point that it affected the way that I lived. I had given myself up to an unhealthy lifestyle. Not very long ago I sort of rebelled against the idea that this insidious noise would block me from access concentration and jhana. Without exaggeration, it was the biggest relief of my life to learn that tinnitus is not a serious block to developing concentration. Don't despair.

I suggest anyone suffering from tinnitus practice more walking meditation with their sitting meditation.
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.
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Re: white noise / earplugs?

Postby alan » Fri Nov 11, 2011 3:54 am

I put on Jazz, and try to listen to every note. And then go to the beach, and listen to every wave.
I do my best to create something from it. It helps.
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Re: white noise / earplugs?

Postby rowboat » Fri Nov 11, 2011 4:35 am

I put on Jazz, and try to listen to every note. And then go to the beach, and listen to every wave.
I do my best to create something from it. It helps.


Yes, there never is tinnitus on the beach.

This was buried in my bookmarks:

Retuning the brain may cure tinnitus, finds study http://www.guardian.co.uk/music/2011/ja ... e-tinnitus


American scientists claim to have developed a cure for tinnitus, a condition that causes incessant ringing in the ears. Researchers have found that by stimulating the part of the brain that causes the disorder they were able to make the ringing go away – at least for, er, rats.

According to a study published in Neuron earlier this month (via the Daily Swarm) tinnitus is not just the result of damage or obstruction in the ear – it is brought on by the brain, which overcompensates for lost hearing. After brain scans of 22 people at Georgetown University in Washington DC, scientists found that tinnitus occurs when one part of the brain tries to produce sounds to replace missing frequencies, and another fails to stop the unwanted sound – ringing – from reaching the auditory cortex.

In a separate paper, published last week in Nature, scientists at the University of Texas at Dallas experimented with rats, "resetting" their brains by stimulating a major cranial nerve, called the vagus. "Unlike previous treatments, we're not masking the tinnitus, we're not hiding the tinnitus," co-author Michael Kilgard told AFP. "We are eliminating the source of the tinnitus."


It's very likely human trials are under way.

***

Pelican: What's wrong, Mallethead? You look anxious.
Mallethead: My ear is constantly ringing.
Pelican: Well why don't you answer it?
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It does not sodden what is open.
Therefore uncover what is covered
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Re: white noise / earplugs?

Postby Fede » Fri Nov 11, 2011 9:36 am

rowboat wrote:Yes, there never is tinnitus on the beach...


I beg to differ.....
"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: white noise / earplugs?

Postby Bagoba » Fri Mar 30, 2012 7:26 am

Hi all,

I too have been suffering from tinnitus due to hear loss for the last 2 years, and it has progressively gotten worse despite protecting my hears by wearing earplugs, taking the right medecines etc. Nothing can be done to effectively cure it at this stage unfortunately, so I was a bit concerned about making progress in meditation but your posts have reassured me.

Metta,
Bagoba
"This path is a thorough investigation and understanding of the limitations of the mortal condition of the body and mind. Now you're developing the ability to turn away from the conditioned and to release your identity from mortality." Ajan Sumedho, "Mindfulness, the path to the Deathless." http://www.buddhanet.net/pdf_file/deathless.pdf
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Re: white noise / earplugs?

Postby Kim OHara » Fri Mar 30, 2012 8:08 am

Bagoba wrote:Hi all,

I too have been suffering from tinnitus due to hear loss for the last 2 years, and it has progressively gotten worse despite protecting my hears by wearing earplugs, taking the right medecines etc. Nothing can be done to effectively cure it at this stage unfortunately, so I was a bit concerned about making progress in meditation but your posts have reassured me.

Metta,
Bagoba

The good news here is that meditation may reduce your tinnitus slightly, in two ways:
• Stress raises blood pressure and raised blood pressure seems to make tinnitus worse, so relaxation training should reverse that.
• Even if the symptoms are just as bad, mindfulness training helps you to not be bothered so much by it. Someone said, 'tinnitus may be unavoidable but suffering from it is optional,' and they are at least partly right.

:namaste:
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Re: white noise / earplugs?

Postby rowboat » Fri Mar 30, 2012 8:42 am

Hi Bagoba. If it is your intention to make progress with meditation to the stage of absorption I really don't think your tinnitus should be any barrier. I can't be 100 percent certain, only because I am not yet really applying myself with full effort at this stage, but definitely the preliminary concentration is there quite readily, without much encouragement, despite the constant ringing in my left ear. You don't have to give my advice any weight at all, but I would suggest taking forty five minutes to an hour of walking meditation before you sit, and then once sitting, taking the sensation of the breath at the nose/upper lip area as your object, and not bothering with counting the breaths. Remain with the sensation there. Persistence, regular daily practice, tenacity, duration. If you become discouraged and want to pack it in for the day, try walking meditation for half an hour to an hour, until the mind has brightened. Then sit. Whenever you have cultivated a degree of concentration where the breath has become shallow or subtle, if there is an urge to take a deep breath, see if you can ignore this urge, remain fixed on the breath.

:anjali:
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.
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Re: white noise / earplugs?

Postby Kenshou » Fri Mar 30, 2012 9:03 am

I have this to a degree. Seems pretty common.

Some time ago, I learned the less you let the mind "stick" to it the better. When it comes to your attention, let it be, don't obsess, don't engage negative trains of thought, and when this becomes habitual the mind can just "bounce" off it without getting caught up in being irritated about the sound. Sort of how we are supposed to treat distractions in meditation. Regarding it like this, I don't really notice it anymore, unless I'm thinking about it, like right now. Though I may just be lucky enough to have it mild enough that this is viable. I know it can be quite bad.
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Re: white noise / earplugs?

Postby Bagoba » Fri Mar 30, 2012 10:40 am

Thank you very much guys, I really appreciate your feedbacks. Today it's quite loud so it's hard not to think about it, other days it can get really mild and easier not to pay attention to. But when it's loud, it's loud, and it can really affect the quality of my life, making me dull, tired and glad to pass out at night when sleep comes...
"This path is a thorough investigation and understanding of the limitations of the mortal condition of the body and mind. Now you're developing the ability to turn away from the conditioned and to release your identity from mortality." Ajan Sumedho, "Mindfulness, the path to the Deathless." http://www.buddhanet.net/pdf_file/deathless.pdf
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Re: white noise / earplugs?

Postby dwlurker » Fri Apr 13, 2012 8:32 pm

delf7 wrote:i found a place in the basement (my home gym) which is fairly quiet except for the furnace popping on & off. i was toying with recording some kind of "white noise" or ambient "music" i could have on that would act to drown out the distractions, but then i thought "what about earplugs?" anyone use them? the only down side to this idea i can think of is the sounds inside your head such as breathing, a cough, swallowing, etc.. get amplified with earplugs, which might be just as annoying as the furnace.
any suggestions?
thank you.

I've sometimes used rain or Brown(ian) noise mp3's to 'mask' distracting speech from adjacent rooms.

Sound_masking
Sound masking is the addition of natural or artificial sound (such as white noise or pink noise) into an environment to cover up unwanted sound by using auditory masking. This is in contrast to the technique of active noise control. Sound masking reduces or eliminates awareness of pre-existing sounds in a given area and can make a work environment more comfortable, while creating speech privacy so workers can better concentrate and be more productive. Sound masking can also be used in the outdoors to restore a more natural ambient environment.

Sound masking spectrum contour. The frequency distribution of sound masking levels, at a minimum, cover the frequency range of speech which is 160 to 8000 Hz. Most experienced practitioners design a spectrum contour that decreases with frequency at about 4 dB per octave, requiring more low frequency sound than high. That particular shape of the contour has been found to be acceptable to occupants. The level of that contour is set to provide the desired privacy, so a balance between performance and acceptability can be achieved.


Tinnitus_masker
Tinnitus maskers are a range of devices based on simple white noise machines which are used to add natural or artificial sound into a tinnitus sufferer's environment in order to suppress or mask the perceived ringing.


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Colors_of_noise

Different masking noises are easy to make with for example Audacity. (IMO mono was better than stereo.)
Generating White, Pink Or Brown Noise With Audacity
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