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How To Meditate In A Noisy Environment

The first thing any meditation expert will tell you is to find a quiet place with little or no distractions. In a perfect world, these silent places would exist for everybody. However, in most individuals' lives, distractions are the rule rather than the exception.

Let’s be realistic; life is hectic these days.  If you are sharing your home with children, parents, or any roommates, you are having built in distractions at every turn.  Whether it's the television, earsplitting music, or simply a loud conversation, you may not be capable of obtaining a single minute of peace in your home no matter how hard you try.   

You may ask yourself, "How could I possibly meditate under these conditions?" 

Sadly, a lot of people just give up.  They feel the noise and distractions in their lives make it impossible for them to enjoy the advantages of a daily meditation practice, which include stress relief, mental relaxation and physical rejuvenation.  Ironically, these are exactly what we all require in these hectic, stressful times. 

Well, the good news is, you can!  The following meditation method has been effective for me and lots of my friends and relates.  It takes some practice though; along with acceptance, patience and perseverance.  Here's how it works: 

The key to meditating in a noisy environment is to change the way you think about noise.  Instead of letting the external sounds distract you from your meditation, use them in your meditation.   

Try this: Sit calmly and just listen to the noise around you.  Allow the sounds to fill your head.  Concentrate on the tones and vibrations of the sound instead of their origin.   

All sound-whether distracting like a television, a baby crying, a dog barking-or calming like ocean waves or a running stream-are just vibrations.  If you break the noise down to its components, you could focus on the deep underlying vibrations and in fact progress your meditative state.  If a sound is a loud sound, then this sound can easily be comforting before annoying. 

Acceptance – You won’t be able to get the noise to go away.  You could try ignoring it but this is generally futile.  You can try blocking it out with music but you will discover that lulls in the music will allow the outside noises back in.  The intermittent nature of this can prove to be even more distracting.  You might even find yourself dreading the soft parts of the music or the silence between songs.   

If you want to meditate in this type of environment, you have to acknowledge the unwanted sounds in your space and comprehend that you should coexist.  If you can accept them and are determined to meditate with them, not regardless of them, they lose the power to control your life. 

Patience - Give yourself a break.  Don't think that you will be able to do this right away or 100% of the time.  Be patient with yourself and realize that all meditation is about catching the mind wandering and bringing it back to your "object of meditation." If you feel you're getting frustrated with yourself for the reason that the sounds are still annoying you, pat yourself on the back instead and accept that you're just human.  Only smile and focus back on your meditative mind, you will in the end succeed and-believe me-it will be worth the effort. 

Perseverance – Never give up.  There will be times, particularly in the beginning, when you only couldn't help being annoyed by the unwanted sounds.  Your non-meditative mind will "understand" that these sounds are interrupting and it will naturally need to be distracted.  Just focus the best you can for your meditation session and come back another day and give it a try again.  You'll notice that the meditative mind will begin to learn that these sounds are part of the process and it will become easier and easier to reach your meditative state. 

So, if your life is full of noise and distraction, you don't have to give up on a healthy meditation practice.  Try the method above and see if it works for you.  I truly hope this information helps because I strongly believe every person should incorporate meditation in their daily lives in spite of their living situation.