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Meditation is Everywhere

By Scott Shaw

Traditionally, a practitioner of meditation is taught to remove themselves from all external sights and sounds. Most forms of meditation teach the meditator to close their eyes and ignore all sounds that they may hear. Personally, I have long believed that meditation is everywhere. Instead of running away and forcing yourself to pretend to not hear sounds, you should embrace them and make them part of your meditation.

Most people now live in urban environments. In the cities there is a constant barrage of sounds. Not only are there the sounds of nature, such as wind, rain, birds and the like, but there are also all the sound of man: cars, airplanes, construction, and people talking.

Attempting to turn your mind off and not hear those sounds is very difficult. This is especially the case for the individual who is new to meditation. They sit down and they try and try to not be distracted, but the sounds take them from their meditative mindset. Then, as they have become distracted, then mind finds its way to think—thinking about all the things the mind likes to think about… But, if you take a different path of meditation, if you allow the sounds to become part of the process, then meditation becomes much more natural.

For example, when you initially sit, it is always a good idea to calm the mind through a few deep breathing exercise, in order to gain a certain Center
, and refined sense of control over the Self. Once you have done this, you can allow your mind to become focused much more easily. Then, instead of running away from your environment, embrace it. If a car drives by, remain focused; by follow its sound as it drives off into the distance. If some someone is pulling their suitcase or bag on wheels, listen to it rumble across the pavement. If you hear a lawnmower in the distance, allow its motorized rhythm to capture your mind and hold it fixed. If you hear a siren, embrace its sound, study it and come to understand its essence as you listen as it fades off to the distance.

In both urban and natural environments, there is the sound of nature. Obviously, the sounds possessed in nature tend to be much more constant and soothing than those of the city. But, they too can be no less jarring to the meditative mindset if you try to turn your ears off from hearing those sounds. So again, when you sit to meditate and you hear the sounds of birds chirping, wind blowing, the ocean or a river flowing, instead of hiding from it, embrace it. Allow it to become a part of your meditation. Let the sound guide you deep into the overall essence of nature. Become a part of it. Understand and embrace it.

Being what you are, where you are, who you are, while fully taking in and merging with the source point of the energy that is surrounding you is the ultimate form of meditation.

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