6.1 – Being Aware of Sounds in the Environment
Lesson 12 Chapter 6
Hello, and welcome to day six of the course. Today is an exciting day. We're going to learn one of my favorite practices, and this is called Mindful Listening.
So, so far we've been working mostly with the breath and feelings in the body, and today we're going to expand our awareness outside of our body, and begin paying attention to sounds in the environment around us.
When I first started meditating, I would often get distracted when I tried meditating.
People would be talking in the background, or there would be noises in the environment, there might be construction, or cars driving by and I found it really tough to concentrate on my breath.
And then one day, one of my teachers taught me about mindful listening, and that we could actually open up to sounds in the same way that we open up to the breath.
And this really transformed how I practice, because essentially, it eliminated the distractions of noises.
So how do we practice mindful listening? Well, with mindfulness of the breath, and mindfulness of the body, what we were doing was bringing our attention, being mindful of just the raw physical sensations that we were feeling without getting lost in the stories behind those sensations.
But just really tapping into the raw texture of the breath and the body sensations.
With mindful listening, we really want to do the same; which is to just tap into the raw vibration of the sounds going on around us without getting lost in the stories behind the sounds; like, “What's making the sounds?”, or “When is it going to stop?”
So, just opening up to all the different sounds around us.
Just as with mindful breathing and mindfulness of the body, we really want to stay in contact with the present moment.
Just continually opening up to the present moment, and what's going to happen is, you're going to get lost in thought.
But, whenever you notice it, just come back to the present moment sounds going on around you.
So that moment when you notice, “Oh, lost in thought.” just let it go.
You can acknowledge it and then let it drift away and bring your attention back to the present moment.
Once again, asking, “What sounds am I noticing right now, in this moment?”
One of the beautiful ways to work with sounds, is to approach all the sounds going on around you as if it were a song and you were just paying attention and listening to the song.
So really, not judging anything, not saying, “Oh, this sound shouldn't be here, that sound shouldn't be there,” but really, accepting everything, just allowing all the sounds to be there and paying attention to them.
When you're ready to get started.
Go ahead and click on the next video, and we'll jump into Mindful Listening.