Those chirping birds

Discussion of Satipatthana bhavanā and Vipassana bhavana.

Those chirping birds

Postby Mojo » Wed Apr 17, 2013 8:45 pm

I like to spend my two 15 min breaks at work doing vipassana outside but the birds never stop chirping. So most of my time is spent being mindful of their sound and nothing else. Its this helpful? If I'm not bothered by the sound is it ok to just go back to breathing our something else?

Thanks.

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Re: Those chirping birds

Postby kirk5a » Wed Apr 17, 2013 9:17 pm

Mojo wrote: Its this helpful?

I don't know - is it?
"When one thing is practiced & pursued, ignorance is abandoned, clear knowing arises, the conceit 'I am' is abandoned, latent tendencies are uprooted, fetters are abandoned. Which one thing? Mindfulness immersed in the body." -AN 1.230
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Re: Those chirping birds

Postby Ben » Wed Apr 17, 2013 9:45 pm

Being mindful of chirping birds is good, but finding a quiet place to meditate is (imho) better.
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Re: Those chirping birds

Postby Kim OHara » Wed Apr 17, 2013 10:16 pm

If I really wanted to meditate, I would tune them out just as I tune out (e.g.) the sound of the air-con.
But I like birds, so I might just decide to enjoy them and meditate some other time.

:thinking:
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Re: Those chirping birds

Postby SarathW » Wed Apr 17, 2013 11:39 pm

When I meditate I hear all type of noises.
Birds, aeroplanes (I can see the runway from my lounge), car slamming doors, school nearby, car acceleration,tuck engine braking, just to name a few.
I just observe how my attention is shifting from one object to another (mind and body)
I never thought it is a hindrance to my meditation.
I try to stay (flow) in the present moment with knowledge without attachment and aversion.
:)
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Re: Those chirping birds

Postby Spiny Norman » Thu Apr 18, 2013 8:21 am

Mojo wrote:I like to spend my two 15 min breaks at work doing vipassana outside but the birds never stop chirping.


Being mindful of the sound could be a productive approach to practice. And there are worse things to listen to. ;)
Well, oi dunno...
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Re: Those chirping birds

Postby reflection » Thu Apr 18, 2013 9:03 am

It's absolutely fine to go back to the breathing. I'd recommend it. You may find the sounds of the birds become less noticeable.

Just as somebody else said, also here there are always sounds. Cars, birds, neighbors, street work, kids coming out of school etc. But if my meditation goes well, I don't hear any of those and just see the breathing.
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Re: Those chirping birds

Postby Buckwheat » Thu Apr 18, 2013 3:09 pm

Personally, I like to meditate where there is some kind of non-passion inducing stimulus, a white noise if you will. I find that if there is absolutely no stimulus, I tend to go off into a fantasy land, coming back to realize that I wasn't really meditating after all. When there are mild stimuli such as traffic, birds, etc, then I am able to watch how my mind bounces from perception to perception, gaining insight and actually getting a more clear and peaceful mental state. Of course, something like TV, radio, and most social situations are much too stimulating and give fuel to the hindrances.

Plus, with the great variety of birds calls, you can perceive how you enjoy some and dislike others, thus seeing how our ability to like / dislike is quite frivolous.
Sotthī hontu nirantaraṃ - May you forever be well.
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Re: Those chirping birds

Postby Kamran » Thu Jun 13, 2013 2:09 am

I love to meditate outside in the morning when birds are chirping.

I feel happy for the birds, going through the process of life like myself.

Then I focus intently on the feeling itself, making appreciative joy my meditation object, and watch it grow.

I combine this with the breath and it is very pleasant experience.
When this concentration is thus developed, thus well developed by you, then wherever you go, you will go in comfort. Wherever you stand, you will stand in comfort. Wherever you sit, you will sit in comfort. Wherever you lie down, you will lie down in comfort.
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Re: Those chirping birds

Postby pegembara » Thu Jun 13, 2013 2:30 am

First I (concentrated) on the audial consciousness, allowed the sounds that were contacting (the ear) to flow off, and thus audial objects subsided and were lost.
Then, since ear-contact and audial objects produced no effect, the mind remained in a state of clarity, and the phenomena of motion and stillness no longer occurred.
Meditative absorption gradually deepened; ultimately the distinction between audial consciousness and the objects of audial consciousness was no longer in existence.
Although there was no experience of audial consciousness, meditative absorption continued to deepen.
Then, all awareness and objects of awareness became empty.
The awareness of emptiness expanded without boundary; then emptiness and that which is empty became extinct.
Since all arising and subsiding had ceased, equanimity became manifest.
Suddenly, transcending both the mundane and supramundane, there was an undistracted luminosity in all the ten directions.

Shurangama Sutta


A person once said to me: “The New York subway is so noisy that whenever I board a train my mind is disturbed by the rumbling sound.” An analysis of this sentence reveals the following sequence of events:

1. He boards the subway train, and his ears make contact with sounds.
2. He retains every single sound (i.e., he does not allow the sounds to flow off, but grasps at them) and perceives noise. This is the first object of hearing.
3. Stringing all the sounds together, he determines that the noise is a rumble. This is the second object.
4. He identifies the rumble as the sound being made by the subway train – the third object.
5. Because of past associations and present conceptualization he determines that the rumbling sound of the subway is a disturbance. This is the fourth object.

Now let us reverse the order and remove attachment to the objects one by one:

1. Recognizing the rumble of the subway one refrains from associating it with the past experiences that cause one to regard it as a disturbance. This is detachment from the fourth object.
2. Recognizing a rumble, one refrains from determining whether it is the rumble of a train, plane, or something else. This is detachment from the third object.
3. Perceiving noise, one refrains from judging it to be a rumble, squeak, or other sound. This is detachment from the second object.
4. Immediately after making contact with individual sounds one allows them to flow off – one refrains from retaining the sounds and stringing them together to form the sensation of sound in the audio-consciousness that is grounded in the nature to hear. Thus, one becomes detached from the first object.

When we reach this stage, we have become detached from all the objects. This is what is meant by allowing sounds to flow off and losing the object.


So try meditating in an irritating environment and allow everything to arise and pass.
And what is right speech? Abstaining from lying, from divisive speech, from abusive speech, & from idle chatter: This is called right speech.
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Re: Those chirping birds

Postby tiltbillings » Thu Jun 13, 2013 3:09 am

. . .

Shurangama Sutta
Shurangama Sutta?

A person once said to me: “The New York subway is so noisy that whenever I board a train my mind is disturbed by the rumbling sound.” An analysis of this sentence reveals the following sequence of events:

1. He boards the subway train, and his ears make contact with sounds.
2. He retains every single sound (i.e., he does not allow the sounds to flow off, but grasps at them) and perceives noise. This is the first object of hearing.
3. Stringing all the sounds together, he determines that the noise is a rumble. This is the second object.
4. He identifies the rumble as the sound being made by the subway train – the third object.
5. Because of past associations and present conceptualization he determines that the rumbling sound of the subway is a disturbance. This is the fourth object.

Now let us reverse the order and remove attachment to the objects one by one:

1. Recognizing the rumble of the subway one refrains from associating it with the past experiences that cause one to regard it as a disturbance. This is detachment from the fourth object.
2. Recognizing a rumble, one refrains from determining whether it is the rumble of a train, plane, or something else. This is detachment from the third object.
3. Perceiving noise, one refrains from judging it to be a rumble, squeak, or other sound. This is detachment from the second object.
4. Immediately after making contact with individual sounds one allows them to flow off – one refrains from retaining the sounds and stringing them together to form the sensation of sound in the audio-consciousness that is grounded in the nature to hear. Thus, one becomes detached from the first object.

When we reach this stage, we have become detached from all the objects. This is what is meant by allowing sounds to flow off and losing the object.
And this quote is from where?
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: Those chirping birds

Postby pegembara » Thu Jun 13, 2013 5:10 pm

tiltbillings wrote:
. . .

Shurangama Sutta
Shurangama Sutta?

A person once said to me: “The New York subway is so noisy that whenever I board a train my mind is disturbed by the rumbling sound.” An analysis of this sentence reveals the following sequence of events:

1. He boards the subway train, and his ears make contact with sounds.
2. He retains every single sound (i.e., he does not allow the sounds to flow off, but grasps at them) and perceives noise. This is the first object of hearing.
3. Stringing all the sounds together, he determines that the noise is a rumble. This is the second object.
4. He identifies the rumble as the sound being made by the subway train – the third object.
5. Because of past associations and present conceptualization he determines that the rumbling sound of the subway is a disturbance. This is the fourth object.

Now let us reverse the order and remove attachment to the objects one by one:

1. Recognizing the rumble of the subway one refrains from associating it with the past experiences that cause one to regard it as a disturbance. This is detachment from the fourth object.
2. Recognizing a rumble, one refrains from determining whether it is the rumble of a train, plane, or something else. This is detachment from the third object.
3. Perceiving noise, one refrains from judging it to be a rumble, squeak, or other sound. This is detachment from the second object.
4. Immediately after making contact with individual sounds one allows them to flow off – one refrains from retaining the sounds and stringing them together to form the sensation of sound in the audio-consciousness that is grounded in the nature to hear. Thus, one becomes detached from the first object.

When we reach this stage, we have become detached from all the objects. This is what is meant by allowing sounds to flow off and losing the object.
And this quote is from where?

Dr. SHEN, CHIA THENG (1913-2007), co-founder of the Buddhist Association of the United States (abbreviated hereafter as BAUS)
http://www.baus.org/en/?p=100
And what is right speech? Abstaining from lying, from divisive speech, from abusive speech, & from idle chatter: This is called right speech.
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Re: Those chirping birds

Postby daverupa » Thu Jun 13, 2013 8:47 pm

tiltbillings wrote:Shurangama Sutta?


It really should be called the Śūraṅgama Sūtra, a Chán favorite.

As for the birds, I have to imagine that meditations have traditionally been undertaken in their midst, what with being under trees and such, so I think the noise is just part of the prevailing phenomenal static. If irritation arises, hopefully you notice it right away due to having satipatthana, and you can work on replacing that unwholesome state with an antidote.

But "meditate on the noise"v. "meditate on the breath instead" seems too object-oriented; I understand the meditation instructions as instead being heavily process-oriented, such that specific application in a particular context is a skill to develop and strengthen, not something that can be done by rote.
    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting oneself one protects others? By the pursuit, development, and cultivation of the four establishments of mindfulness. It is in such a way that by protecting oneself one protects others.

    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting others one protects oneself? By patience, harmlessness, goodwill, and sympathy. It is in such a way that by protecting others one protects oneself.
- Sedaka Sutta [SN 47.19]
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Re: Those chirping birds

Postby Spiny Norman » Fri Jun 14, 2013 9:30 am

Buckwheat wrote:Plus, with the great variety of birds calls, you can perceive how you enjoy some and dislike others, thus seeing how our ability to like / dislike is quite frivolous.


Yes, it's all rather arbitrary. There are some very noisy seagulls where I live - intially the noise was a bit irritating but now I've got to know some of the birds I don't mind it atall. ;)
Well, oi dunno...
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Re: Those chirping birds

Postby tiltbillings » Fri Jun 14, 2013 9:33 am

daverupa wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:Shurangama Sutta?


It really should be called the Śūraṅgama Sūtra, a Chán favorite.
I know. A sutta is not necessarily a sutra.
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: Those chirping birds

Postby Pacceka1996 » Tue Jun 18, 2013 7:32 am

um... maybe just go with the sound. It is just a sound. a vibration of air molecules. observe without cognizance.
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