Music in your head

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

Music in your head

Postby retrofuturist » Thu May 14, 2009 3:53 am

Greetings,

If when sitting in meditation, you find that you've got some "music in your head" and it keeps coming back, what would be an appropriate response? Would the response differ according to the type of meditation that you were partaking in at the time?

It occurred to me that a recurring auditory remembrance is probably similar to a recurring visual rememberance or mental image. What approach would you recommend for a recurring mental image? Would this be transferable to a mental 'sound'?

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: Music in your head

Postby tiltbillings » Thu May 14, 2009 4:13 am

Be mindful. Mindfully acknowledge it, then go back to your usual object. Be mindful of the irritation or the pleasure of this music. Keep it light. Just gently touch it with your mindfulness, and be very thankful it is not this song:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xsjJ8gTr_vA

Also, don't play this song in the link or it will stick in your head. It is an earworm:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Earworm
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: Music in your head

Postby Fede » Thu May 14, 2009 10:01 am

tiltbillings you are devious.... such is the curiosity of many they will find your links irresistible. Like telling people, on no account to ever think of a red Polar bear..... :cookoo:

( I haven't looked at them.**)

Retro, I agree. Music is far more insidious. I believe because music is melodious and can adhere, like treacle, to our own personal mental brain-waves... it moves in synchronicity and shifting it is hard work.

That, by the way is pure conjecture. I have no idea whether that is accurate or not. But I've not found anyone medical or scientific to disprove it.
Maybe you could incorporate it into your meditation, and focus on one instrument's inclusion and contribution...Listen to that instrument above the others.
or when you finish meditating, listen to a completely different piece of music... soothing classical, if it's hard rock in your head.....

:shrug:

Good luck with that!!






(**Yet.....)
"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: Music in your head

Postby Ben » Thu May 14, 2009 10:31 am

Hi Retro
My suggestion is to cut your head off. It may seem a bit extreme, but it does eliminate a number of other annoyances in one go, not least of which, the ability to loose 10kg of weight instantaneously!

Seriously, go with Tilt's advice. In the words of SN Goenka...Just observe, just observe!
Metta

Ben
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Re: Music in your head

Postby tiltbillings » Thu May 14, 2009 4:14 pm

( I haven't looked at them.**)


Actually, the earworm site is worth looking. It is a wiki site, just words, no annoying tumes to get stuck in your head.

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

For years I had this one in my head

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bf9d7rSf ... re=related

Now it is either this

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yB8NRseW ... re=related

or this

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZGp0hCxSg98
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: Music in your head

Postby Ngawang Drolma. » Thu May 14, 2009 4:53 pm

tiltbillings wrote:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xsjJ8gTr_vA


Oh no, it worked :shock:
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Re: Music in your head

Postby tiltbillings » Thu May 14, 2009 5:07 pm

Oh no, it worked


You were warned.
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: Music in your head

Postby vitellius » Thu May 14, 2009 7:30 pm

There are basically two ways to work with this - samatha and vipassana :)

With samatha you are collecting entire mind to observe one object, noticing distractions but not paying attention to them, and at one point you find out that piece of attention that was stick to "playing music" is unsticking.

With vipassana you explore this inner music player and your reactions connected with the "player", experiment with it, gradually find out how it works and "relax" this process.
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Re: Music in your head

Postby pink_trike » Thu May 14, 2009 7:38 pm

An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. We are what we ingest. The less music we feed on, the less turns up in our mind-stream during meditation. It's a good strategy that aids our practice until we're accomplished enough to work effectively with whatever arises as we sit.
Vision is Mind
Mind is Empty
Emptiness is Clear Light
Clear Light is Union
Union is Great Bliss

- Dawa Gyaltsen

---

Disclaimer: I'm a non-religious practitioner of Theravada, Mahayana/Vajrayana, and Tibetan Bon Dzogchen mind-training.
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Re: Music in your head

Postby Cittasanto » Fri May 15, 2009 5:10 am

generally when this happens to me it is either early on in the formal sitting, or boardom if it commes up after a while.
if it doesn't stop by itself, during the initial stages when I am calming my mind, and extra focus on the breath doesn't help, I usually, try to use it as a starting point for insight practice, fortunately this doesn't happen often but if it doesnt go and is just too distracting then I just watch the mind tick away as it wants to, or focus on the metta sutta (short and easy to remember).
This offering maybe right, or wrong, but it is one, the other, both, or neither!
With Metta
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Blog, - Some Suttas Translated, Ajahn Chah.
"Others will misconstrue reality due to their personal perspectives, doggedly holding onto and not easily discarding them; We shall not misconstrue reality due to our own personal perspectives, nor doggedly holding onto them, but will discard them easily. This effacement shall be done."
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Re: Music in your head

Postby genkaku » Fri May 15, 2009 1:57 pm

During one sitting of a seven day retreat, I had a sex fantasy about a woman also attending the retreat. It went on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on. No amount of disciplined chit-chat could head it off. Finally I just gave in and let 'er rip. On and on and on and on and on it went, until, towards the end of the sitting I realized it was a loop tape ... there were only so many erotic throughts I could muster. I got bored. No need to arm-wrestle anything. I got bored ....

And went back to practice
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Re: Music in your head

Postby Fede » Fri May 15, 2009 2:56 pm

Two more for your delectation and delight....

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bbUQUut_xgw

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qeswZaReE0I


Two things:

One: I didn't start this thread.

Two: It's rude to call me names. :tongue:
"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


http://www.armchairadvice.co.uk/relationships/forum/
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Re: Music in your head

Postby retrofuturist » Fri May 15, 2009 11:12 pm

Greetings Genkaku,

genkaku wrote:During one sitting of a seven day retreat, I had a sex fantasy about a woman also attending the retreat. It went on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on. No amount of disciplined chit-chat could head it off. Finally I just gave in and let 'er rip. On and on and on and on and on it went, until, towards the end of the sitting I realized it was a loop tape ... there were only so many erotic throughts I could muster. I got bored. No need to arm-wrestle anything. I got bored ....

And went back to practice


How many of the seven days got 'lost' this way? :tongue:

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


Dharma Wheel (Mahayana / Vajrayana forum) -- Open flower ~ Open book (blog)
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Re: Music in your head

Postby zavk » Sat May 16, 2009 3:20 am

Hi Retro,

I get music in my head all the time when I go on retreat. Sometimes music that I don't even like. I suppose you could, as pink suggests, minimize it by listening to less music before the retreat, but I think it will still come back.

I've nothing to add to the advice already given. But I liken it to being in a very quiet and suddenly hearing the incessant ticking of the clock. Depending on how one observes the ticking, it can either drive you nuts or it can become background noise--it's just there, neither annoying nor pleasing.
With metta,
zavk
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Re: Music in your head

Postby AdvaitaJ » Wed May 20, 2009 1:41 am

Retro,

I have this issue big time. In my youth, I used to work at remembering and mentally playing back my favorite songs. Now, I have a real challenge to turn it off. I'm very conscious of not "making an issue of it" and lately have actually found it to be a helpful indicator during practice -- when I notice the music playing, I remember I've lost my concentration. I actually think it's helpful for me at this stage!

Regards: AdvaitaJ
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We sit together, the mountain and me, until only the mountain remains.
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