Many people think they cannot meditate because there are too many noises and distractions happening for them to focus; so naturally the only logical step to this obstacle is to harness the sounds happening around us for meditative purposes.
Sound always emanates from the periphery and converges in toward the center, which is your being. This is one of the fascinating perceptions about sound that, no matter where you are, you are always the center.
Sound Implies Silence
You may have seen meditation centers with bells around that get rung every so often, or a gong, or even wooden blocks. Far from distracting the meditators, it brings them into a more complete awareness of their being. The goal is to let the sounds into you, and become aware of a silent center within that no sound penetrates. This is the essence of your being, deeper inside than the perceptive nervous system.
This one is very useful when meditating in a house full of kids or loud family or something like this; you won’t drive yourself crazy trying to find a silent spot to sit as you won’t need one. This awareness of sound/silence can be done on its own, or accompany any other meditation, like breathing or sitting.
One Click Meditation
I often sometimes use a somewhat constant tapping sound to help focus my mind on meditation. This is much in the fashion of One Breath Meditation, because the object is to allow every click(I use a pocket watch) to bring your focus back to center. The goal is only to collect your awareness the moment after the click.
So often we sit to meditate, and begin very strongly until our thoughts wander a little. So we naturally bring them back to center, and begin again… until our thoughts wander, for just a little longer this time. So, we bring them back to center, and begin again… “Gee I’m getting better at this meditation, look at me go, I’m so calm so serene, so– Talking to myself…” and our thoughts have wandered again.
Use every click of the clock, or metronome, or even a more discontinuous or rhythmic sound as a reminder to bring yourself back to center.
This has been an EXTREMELY powerful technique in my own meditation; instead of your ambling thoughts as a reminder to bring yourself back to center, let something else(before the intrusion of thoughts), make you aware of your center again. This also takes off the pressure of trying to sit for a determined amount of time; if you can keep your mind centered for only a few clicks, you will feel benefit. Just let yourself be aware of the sound as long as you like, and don’t worry about sitting for any length of time. If you can keep your mind centered for 10 clicks, you’re already doing better than about 97% of the people in the world
Again, this technique can be practiced on its own, or can accompany any other kind of meditation practice. You may not need to use a clock or a bell or anything, you can use the same sounds you use in your ‘silent center’ meditation, allowing the sounds to make you aware of your silent self, and centered.
Silence Implies Sound
Become aware of silence, and try to conceptualize it. This is ultimately for the purpose of folding your mind in upon itself, and opening up your ‘extra’, more subtle sensory perceptions. It is silence that gives meaning to the non-silent, and silence is essential to effective thought and communication.
Some people actually can’t stand silence for too long, and sleep with a fan or something like that in their room, because the silence itself can be louder than the small hum from the fan or humidifier or white noise machine. Other people thrive on silence, while maybe not necessarily even being aware of this ‘black noise’(though they often are).
Understand the beauty and importance of silence. The womb is dark and silent, because this ‘darkness’ or ‘negative space’ is completely essential to our growth and the foremost expansion of our consciousness, and just as important as the ‘positive’ aspects of growth and experience.
Positive and negative cannot exist independently of each other, one naturally implies the other, and needs the opposite in order to exist by definition. How bad would music and conversation be it if were just one solid, undulating, dull, unvarying tone without any rhythm?
Four walls make a room, but it is the door and windows that make the room livable.