white noise / earplugs?

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white noise / earplugs?

Postby delf7 » Tue Nov 08, 2011 3:30 pm

i am nearly finished reading "mindfulness in plain english"- then i will be ready to start my practice. i have been trying to think of the best place to sit quietly. in my house, there are few places i can think of that will be without some sort of noisy distractions. when the weather turns nice again, i have a nice quiet spot on my property in mind (i live in the country, very isolated, which is nice), so that won't be a problem, but with winter coming on, i'll be sitting indoors. my wife always has the radio on, which can be heard all over the house, and we have 7 cats that are always running around.
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.
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Re: white noise / earplugs?

Postby bodom » Tue Nov 08, 2011 3:36 pm

Whats wrong with noise? If you don't bother the noise the noise won't bother you.

: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: white noise / earplugs?

Postby delf7 » Tue Nov 08, 2011 3:52 pm

good point, it's just that i have read so many times that a quiet setting is perferred.
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Re: white noise / earplugs?

Postby santa100 » Tue Nov 08, 2011 4:19 pm

Beside finding the best place, also try to find the best time when the noise is minimal. Unless you meditate in a sound-proof cabin deep in the jungle, it's impossible to get rid of ALL noises. So, try to live with the least annoying noise. Meditate with the earplugs and then without them to see if you could handle the funace noise better, or your breathing and swallowing better. Good luck..
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Re: white noise / earplugs?

Postby Goofaholix » Tue Nov 08, 2011 6:33 pm

It's best to understand that noise is part of the meditation, you should be aware of it as hearing not as noise, emphasise the process taking place in the mind and body.

Having said that the a radio is a bit hard to contend with when you are just starting out, do you think your wife might be persuaded to turn it off for an hour or so per day?
"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 Zom » Tue Nov 08, 2011 7:06 pm

Quiet place is important.

However, as I found out for myself, earplugs won't help. When I use them, I hear my heart beating and this is much worse for me than some outer noise :popcorn:

I remember cool days in Thailand visiting one cave monastery in the South. Very quiet, very good for practice.
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Re: white noise / earplugs?

Postby delf7 » Tue Nov 08, 2011 7:48 pm

Goofaholix wrote:It's best to understand that noise is part of the meditation, you should be aware of it as hearing not as noise, emphasise the process taking place in the mind and body.

Having said that the a radio is a bit hard to contend with when you are just starting out, do you think your wife might be persuaded to turn it off for an hour or so per day?


i was hoping not to inconvenience her, but if it is really a problem (which i'm sure it won't be), she will work with me on it. she is very supportive of my new path, although she has been reluctant to join me.
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Re: white noise / earplugs?

Postby bodom » Tue Nov 08, 2011 8:20 pm

It's the same with sankharas. We say they disturb us, like when we sit in meditation and hear a sound. We think, ''Oh, that sound's bothering me.'' If we understand that the sound bothers us then we suffer accordingly. If we investigate a little deeper, we will see that it's we who go out and disturb the sound! The sound is simply sound. If we understand like this then there's nothing more to it, we leave it be. We see that the sound is one thing, we are another. One who understands that the sound comes to disturb him is one who doesn't see himself. He really doesn't! Once you see yourself, then you're at ease. The sound is just sound, why should you go and grab it? You see that actually it was you who went out and disturbed the sound. - Ajahn Chah


:namaste:
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: white noise / earplugs?

Postby Ben » Tue Nov 08, 2011 8:57 pm

Time your meditation when everyone in your household is in bed.
Before dawn and after lights-out. This will eliminate a lot of the gross disturbances.
The discipline of doing this will also aid your adhitthana (strong determination).

As for the noise of your funace turning on and off - you need to consider how much of a disturbance it will be. And the same goes for the sound of your heart beat and breathing (if wearing ear-plugs).
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Re: white noise / earplugs?

Postby retrofuturist » Tue Nov 08, 2011 10:09 pm

Greetings,
delf7 wrote:"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.

Indeed it well might be. You'll find that nowhere is perfectly quiet - there'll always be some noise. Try not to let it give rise to noise in your mind.

Metta,
Retro. :)
If you have asked me of the origination of unease, then I shall explain it to you in accordance with my understanding:
Whatever various forms of unease there are in the world, They originate founded in encumbering accumulation. (Pārāyanavagga)


Exalted in mind, just open and clearly aware, the recluse trained in the ways of the sages:
One who is such, calmed and ever mindful, He has no sorrows! -- Udana IV, 7


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Re: white noise / earplugs?

Postby alan » Wed Nov 09, 2011 3:05 am

I hate noise, but also suffer from tinnitus (ringing in the ears), so there is nowhere but the beach where I am free from it. So I put on a CD of crashing waves when I sleep. Also have a nice one of rain. It really helps. You can use these to create some white noise when you sit.
By the way, I hate noise so much that I carry earplugs with my at all times. I usually put them in when I'm outdoors--even a truck rumbling by sounds extremely loud and annoying without them.
I also put on some Jazz when I'm online. Don't know how I'd function without it.
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Re: white noise / earplugs?

Postby ground » Wed Nov 09, 2011 3:27 am

delf7 wrote: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 ..."

"White noise" turns into "dark noise" if you become dependent on it. The only "white noise" is noise you are not getting involved in, neither positively (like) nor negatively (dislike).

Try to "sit through" the noise that disturbs you, watch your getting annoyed, fix your attention to it until you can let go. Annoyance consumes energy, let the energy get exhausted.

kind regards
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Re: white noise / earplugs?

Postby alan » Wed Nov 09, 2011 3:41 am

White noise is actually an innocuous background sound, like crashing waves.
There is no such thing as "dark noise". You just made that up.
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Re: white noise / earplugs?

Postby delf7 » Wed Nov 09, 2011 2:33 pm

bodom wrote:
It's the same with sankharas. We say they disturb us, like when we sit in meditation and hear a sound. We think, ''Oh, that sound's bothering me.'' If we understand that the sound bothers us then we suffer accordingly. If we investigate a little deeper, we will see that it's we who go out and disturb the sound! The sound is simply sound. If we understand like this then there's nothing more to it, we leave it be. We see that the sound is one thing, we are another. One who understands that the sound comes to disturb him is one who doesn't see himself. He really doesn't! Once you see yourself, then you're at ease. The sound is just sound, why should you go and grab it? You see that actually it was you who went out and disturbed the sound. - Ajahn Chah


:namaste:


nice! i've been meaning to read ajahn chah. was thinking of getting "food for the heart".

all of the responses i've got are very helpful. i think i will just not get involved with the noises. (or at least TRY not to)
thank you all.
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Re: white noise / earplugs?

Postby Fede » Wed Nov 09, 2011 10:40 pm

alan wrote:I hate noise, but also suffer from tinnitus (ringing in the ears), so there is nowhere but the beach where I am free from it. So I put on a CD of crashing waves when I sleep. Also have a nice one of rain. It really helps. You can use these to create some white noise when you sit.
By the way, I hate noise so much that I carry earplugs with my at all times. I usually put them in when I'm outdoors--even a truck rumbling by sounds extremely loud and annoying without them.
I also put on some Jazz when I'm online. Don't know how I'd function without it.


Ok, guys, listen up (oh, ha ha....)

I too suffer from tinnitus:
let me give you a mental image here:
Pretend you're at the local city zoo. And that it's a fine summer morning. Around dawn, in fact; with the promise of a fine, warm day....
And where do you find yourself? Why, in the massive, covered aviary, where there are 25 different species of birds.
Now, you know what happens at dawn, right?
Right. we get the 'Dawn Chorus'.
Imagine being in an aviary, with close to 200 birds, all yelling their little lungs out.
Noisy, isn't it?
And get this: There's one persistent, loud little blighter, whose whacking out his song, higher and more shrilly than all the others.
so you get the background cacophony, and the single strident song, over it.

24/7. 365/365.

Sometimes, so loud you feel you need to run a mile, at others, quite calm and 'background-ish' so that you hardly notice it, but you know it's there.
And on top of that, you have an imitative aspect: Some times, if you hear a sibilant sound, like an alarm going off, or a siren, then your ears pick that up, and repeat it all the time, all day, so effectively, you hear that alarm, or siren, continually, until it dies a natural death.
Then it's back to the birds....

That's my deal.
All the time.
Tinnitus, is incurable. But apparently, it can be managed.... some say by diet, others by water intake. I've never found a consistency....
"White noise" - actually has the bizarre effect of making it worse.
It's as if my ears start to compete with the white noise, to get the better of it.....

earplugs obviously do nothing but accentuate and amplify my breathing and heartbeat....

So getting away from noise?
Forget it.....

Work with it, rather.......
"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 tiltbillings » Wed Nov 09, 2011 10:47 pm

Geez. And I was going top complain about my arthritis pain. I'll be quiet now.
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.

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Re: white noise / earplugs?

Postby Goofaholix » Thu Nov 10, 2011 2:59 am

Fede wrote:I too suffer from tinnitus:


It would be better to just experience Tinnitus, suffering as always is optional.
"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 tiltbillings » Thu Nov 10, 2011 3:08 am

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


It would be better to just experience Tinnitus, suffering as always is optional.
Easier said than done, of course.
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: white noise / earplugs?

Postby chownah » Thu Nov 10, 2011 4:04 am

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


It would be better to just experience Tinnitus, suffering as always is optional.
Easier said than done, of course.

Inspite of the difficulty it is worth the effort, however.
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Re: white noise / earplugs?

Postby Fede » Thu Nov 10, 2011 6:36 am

Well of course I work with it.
Tell me what other choice I have!

But it's intrusive, occasionally inhibiting - I can't hear people properly - and when I have a head-cold and my sinuses are blocked, it's the devil's own job overcoming the discomfort.

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.
"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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