disturbing noise and anger

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

disturbing noise and anger

Postby awakenedmind » Fri Dec 06, 2013 5:15 pm

I want to know what one should do when one is unable to change the conditions.
I am talking about noisy conditions at home,
when the other family members are watching tv.
the sound is loud no matter how much I tell them.
the noise does disturb and I want to change this.
I want to accept the noise but I just am unable to do so.
I get irritated and angry due to that noise
and there's a lot of irritating feelings coming up so I am unable to meditate.
hec, even if I am just sitting reading a book
and others are watching tv, I get disturbed.
the noise breaks my concentration
and there's lot of irritation and anger coming up then.

please give me some advice, so I can be at peace even with all that noise.
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Re: disturbing noise and anger

Postby santa100 » Fri Dec 06, 2013 5:35 pm

Maybe more metta meditation. If that still doesn't work, you might want to try those noise-cancelling headphones..
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Headphones ... _reduction
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Re: disturbing noise and anger

Postby Babadhari » Fri Dec 06, 2013 6:24 pm

i used to have the same problem. while i was meditating at night and in the morning , he'd flush the toilet , run up and down the stairs, do the washing up or such things..... normal things,necessities

i found anger stirring but just told myself be aware of the sound, to note it.... hearing, hearing - and i'd pretty much forget about it
Aflame with the fire of passion, the fire of aversion, the fire of delusion.
Aflame, with birth, aging & death, with sorrows, lamentations, pains, distresses, & despairs ......

Seeing thus, the disciple of the Noble One grows disenchanted. SN 35.28
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Re: disturbing noise and anger

Postby awakenedmind » Fri Dec 06, 2013 6:39 pm

kitztack wrote:i used to have the same problem. while i was meditating at night and in the morning , he'd flush the toilet , run up and down the stairs, do the washing up or such things..... normal things,necessities

i found anger stirring but just told myself be aware of the sound, to note it.... hearing, hearing - and i'd pretty much forget about it


wow. seems so easy for you.
for me It gets hard to concentrate, when there's noise.
my focus goes on the anger then and on why the person is not lowering the volume.

hmm. and I like the meta meditation idea.
have found a guided meta meditation by ajahn brahm and listen and follow it sometimes.
I wish I could do meta meditation whenever I felt like and not only while listening to guided meditations.
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Re: disturbing noise and anger

Postby Babadhari » Fri Dec 06, 2013 6:44 pm

it might be one of the reasons i live alone now :shrug:
Aflame with the fire of passion, the fire of aversion, the fire of delusion.
Aflame, with birth, aging & death, with sorrows, lamentations, pains, distresses, & despairs ......

Seeing thus, the disciple of the Noble One grows disenchanted. SN 35.28
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Re: disturbing noise and anger

Postby bodom » Fri Dec 06, 2013 6:47 pm

“You think that the sound is annoying you, but actually it’s you that is
annoying the sound. The sound is just what it is; it’s just the air vibrating. It’s
up to us whether we start an argument with it.” - Ajahn Chah


http://www.amaravati.org/downloads/pdf/ ... _peace.pdf

:anjali:
The heart of the path is SO simple. No need for long explanations. Give up clinging to love and hate, just rest with things as they are. That is all I do in my own practice. Do not try to become anything. Do not make yourself into anything. Do not be a meditator. Do not become enlightened. When you sit, let it be. When you walk, let it be. Grasp at nothing. Resist nothing. Of course, there are dozens of meditation techniques to develop samadhi and many kinds of vipassana. But it all comes back to this - just let it all be. Step over here where it is cool, out of the battle. - Ajahn Chah
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Re: disturbing noise and anger

Postby awakenedmind » Fri Dec 06, 2013 6:49 pm

bodom wrote:
“You think that the sound is annoying you, but actually it’s you that is
annoying the sound. The sound is just what it is; it’s just the air vibrating. It’s
up to us whether we start an argument with it.” - Ajahn Chah


http://www.amaravati.org/downloads/pdf/ ... _peace.pdf

:anjali:


Yeah, I have read this one before.
I am just unable to apply it.
I wish I could.
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Re: disturbing noise and anger

Postby Babadhari » Fri Dec 06, 2013 6:58 pm

i spoke to a friend before about not being able to have a silent enviroment to meditate in and she told me not to search outside for silence, but to search for the silence within. it worked eventually with a little patience when i took the pressure off
Aflame with the fire of passion, the fire of aversion, the fire of delusion.
Aflame, with birth, aging & death, with sorrows, lamentations, pains, distresses, & despairs ......

Seeing thus, the disciple of the Noble One grows disenchanted. SN 35.28
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Re: disturbing noise and anger

Postby purple planet » Fri Dec 06, 2013 8:06 pm

As long as its not a ear- hurting sound level - sounds during vipasana meditation are a blessing

i have back problem - and i always wonder should i ignore this pain or is it to much - but with sounds that are not health threatening you can work easily

i do the labeling technique - so i note three times "hearing , hearing ,hearing " (why 3 times ? cause its not to long you get attached to the sound - and not to short that you want it to go away - when you truly can "accept" it and not feel you want it to go away or to stay it will disappear and or at least be "reduced" and not your main focus of your mind so it would be easier to get back to focus on the breath ) usually after you practice some time the noise disappears and you should get back to the rising and falling of the stomach while breathing " rising , falling" - this is of course in my way of meditation not sure how it goes in samatha for example

but i love not health troubling distractions like itching and sounds - they are a great way to build equanimity very fast and when you get to real "problems" like back pain you can deal with them better
Last edited by purple planet on Fri Dec 06, 2013 8:13 pm, edited 4 times in total.
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Re: disturbing noise and anger

Postby mikenz66 » Fri Dec 06, 2013 8:06 pm

awakenedmind wrote:Yeah, I have read this one before.
I am just unable to apply it.
I wish I could.

It takes time and persistence. The more you can recognise it as just sound, without proliferating concepts of what is causing it, the less of a problem it gets. (As Purple Planet points out above.) Easier said than done!

:anjali:
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Re: disturbing noise and anger

Postby Mkoll » Sat Dec 07, 2013 12:26 am

Dear awakenedmind,

I know what you mean. Here are some tips - please forgive me if some are obvious or you've tried them already.

* Meditate in the early morning when everyone is still asleep.

* Don't meditate at all when noise is present or imminent. Read something and if it's still disturbing your reading, use earplugs (I use earplugs a lot!) and/or use a fan/white noise machine.

* See what you can do about blocking/damping sound into your meditation space. You can block the slit under your door with some soundproofing material. Or if you're at the end of a hallway or similar space, you can use a tension rod and fasten a heavy blanket to it to dampen sound.

* Don't try to develop deep concentration when there is noise or when you know that noise is imminent. When doing vipassana or satipatthana, distractions aren't as bothersome and can simply be looked at through the lens of insight or mindfulness.

* Try experimenting with different meditations when there is noise until you find one that allows you to be at relative peace even with the noise.

* If possible, meditate elsewhere/outside or move to a new residence.

* If you plan on living on your own in the future, remembering that you won't have to bear this particular annoyance forever will make it easier to accept.

Hope that helps!

:anjali:
Peace,
James
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Re: disturbing noise and anger

Postby barcsimalsi » Sat Dec 07, 2013 1:32 pm

awakenedmind wrote:please give me some advice, so I can be at peace even with all that noise.

Just like may had suggested, switch to vipassana but if you insist on doing samatha, go to a different room, download and play something like white or pink noise along your meditation practice. The continuous reproduction of identical sound will help mask the sudden distraction to some extent.

Don’t know about others but sometimes i felt i can meditate better during rainy days or by a noisy waterfalls compare to a silent hall that always have some sudden noise popping out.
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Re: disturbing noise and anger

Postby Weakfocus » Sat Dec 07, 2013 2:46 pm

awakenedmind wrote:please give me some advice, so I can be at peace even with all that noise.


I live in a very noisy part of a very noisy city in a very noisy country. The house is not of good construction and basically all the outside noise comes in. There is a huge interesction and a lot of traffic noise 24 hours a day (Indian traffic and honking goes together), this makes sleeping at nights difficult forget meditation. I am not mature enough to treat noise as just another object of meditation.

So I use reusable earplugs. These can be used multiple times, are relatively affordable and washable. You can buy these type of earplugs online and they last about a year if used delicately. Be careful how you remove them from the ears, and do not use them past expiry date since you do not want the tip to break off in the ear canal (don't ask how I learnt that lesson). I wear reusable earplugs about 18+ hours a day, it has made a dramatic improvement to my quality of life and also made daily meditation possible.
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Re: disturbing noise and anger

Postby purple planet » Sat Dec 07, 2013 4:07 pm

Just wanted to say that i wrote all i wrote in case you practice vipasana cause im not sure what you practice - im pretty sure samtha has its own ways to deal with noise maybe by increasing your focus on the breath
Please send merit to my dog named Mika who has passed away - thanks in advance
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Re: disturbing noise and anger

Postby awakenedmind » Sat Dec 07, 2013 5:01 pm

hmm, really good advice.
I will look for the ear plugs too.
I do samatha meditation mostly.
first trying to calm myself and then work on vipassana.
but these days it's getting really difficult to calm down.
I also try to meditate late at night when everybody has gone to sleep
but am unable to do so in the morning, because I find it difficult to get up in the morning.

The difficult part is that the noise from the tv kind of makes me angry at those people watching tv.
and I can't help thinking more angry thoughts about them.
most other noises dont bother me as much as tv.
seems it's more of my anger at people making the noise than the noise itself.
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Re: disturbing noise and anger

Postby Mkoll » Sat Dec 07, 2013 6:47 pm

awakenedmind wrote:The difficult part is that the noise from the tv kind of makes me angry at those people watching tv.
and I can't help thinking more angry thoughts about them.
most other noises dont bother me as much as tv.
seems it's more of my anger at people making the noise than the noise itself.

If you're experiencing ill will try developing metta. It probably won't work right away but if you're patient with it who knows what could happen.

Develop the meditation of good will. For when you are developing the meditation of good will, ill-will will be abandoned.

-MN 62, the Buddha's advice to his son Rahula
Peace,
James
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Re: disturbing noise and anger

Postby bodom » Sun Dec 08, 2013 12:06 am

More from Ajahn Chah:

We look for peace in peaceful places, where there won't be sights, or sounds, or odors, or flavors... thinking that living quietly like this is the way to find contentment, that herein lies peace.

But actually, if we live very quietly in places where nothing arises, can wisdom arise? Would we be aware of anything? Think about it. If our eye didn't see sights, what would that be like? If the nose didn't experience smells, what would that be like? If the tongue didn't experience flavors, what would that be like? If the body didn't experience feelings at all, what would that be like? To be like that would be like being a blind and deaf man, one whose nose and tongue had fallen off and who was completely numb with paralysis. Would there be anything there? And yet people tend to think that if they went somewhere where nothing happened they would find peace. Well, I've thought like that myself, I once thought that way....

I was a young monk just starting to practice, I'd sit in meditation and sounds would disturb me, I'd think to myself, ''What can I do to make my mind peaceful?'' So I took some beeswax and stuffed my ears with it so that I couldn't hear anything. All that remained was a humming sound. I thought that would be peaceful, but no, all that thinking and confusion didn't arise at the ears after all. It arose at the mind. That is the place to search for peace.


http://www.ajahnchah.org/book/Sense_Contact_Fount.php

:anjali:
The heart of the path is SO simple. No need for long explanations. Give up clinging to love and hate, just rest with things as they are. That is all I do in my own practice. Do not try to become anything. Do not make yourself into anything. Do not be a meditator. Do not become enlightened. When you sit, let it be. When you walk, let it be. Grasp at nothing. Resist nothing. Of course, there are dozens of meditation techniques to develop samadhi and many kinds of vipassana. But it all comes back to this - just let it all be. Step over here where it is cool, out of the battle. - Ajahn Chah
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Re: disturbing noise and anger

Postby Thule » Sun Dec 08, 2013 7:10 pm

barcsimalsi wrote:
awakenedmind wrote:please give me some advice, so I can be at peace even with all that noise.

Just like may had suggested, switch to vipassana but if you insist on doing samatha, go to a different room, download and play something like white or pink noise along your meditation practice. The continuous reproduction of identical sound will help mask the sudden distraction to some extent.

Don’t know about others but sometimes i felt i can meditate better during rainy days or by a noisy waterfalls compare to a silent hall that always have some sudden noise popping out.


Brown noise sounds like a waterfall and I've found it quite useful for masking human voice frequencies. It's easy to create different noise tracks:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qjspInr_Ps4
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sound_masking
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Re: disturbing noise and anger

Postby Pondera » Mon Dec 09, 2013 4:31 am

I would also recommend listening to the noise. You might learn that it is not as noisy as you first thought. If you cannot avoid it, ignoring it is sort of like attempting to pretend it isn't there. It takes more energy to ignore loud, obnoxious sounds than it does to accept them into your ears. Just one opinion.
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Re: disturbing noise and anger

Postby Spiny Norman » Mon Dec 09, 2013 10:19 am

awakenedmind wrote:seems it's more of my anger at people making the noise than the noise itself.


Yes, I've noticed I'm not disturbed by natural sounds because there is nobody to blame for them. I've also noticed that I'm not too bothered when noise is made by people I like.
I'm a lumberjack, and I'm OK....
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