When meditating, do you have to be in a place with complete silence? Meditating with normal environmental sounds is a good thing or a bad thing?
I'm an absolute beginner at meditation. I have done just 5 times, 10-15 minutes each. When i do it, i use ear plugs to have no sound whatsoever. I just hear my breath and my heart. But i guess you guys do not use ear plugs. But you hear some environmental sounds, don't you?
I live in an apartment, my neighbourhood is not noisy, but i hear those normal sounds: a car passing by, sometimes a dog barking, an occasional door opening downstairs, etc.
I ask you. What's best? Meditating in complete silence or hearing a few sounds from the environment?
I'm no expert or anything, but they both work good! I think you should try them both.
But when you meditate without the earplugs, use the environmental sounds as your focus. Don't listen, just hear. Don't pay attention to any one you sound you hear, just let them in out. I read this out of a lucid dreaming book, I didn't explain it the best, but I think you get the idea!
[ Post made via iPhone ]
[ Post made via iPhone ]
I suggest to not use earplugs at all as its not teaching you to switch off and just allow the sounds to flow over you (which means accept they are there but dont pay them any attention). Do not worry about background sounds.
Nice background sounds may even be quite relaxing for some. You mind should be able to still even with them there with practice.
Just be comfortable and observe your breath, your chest raising and falling (once you are really relaxed your abdomen should be slightly moving with your breath too). Some can observe their heart beat.
If you have trouble at all relaxing your physical body.. try doing some progressive relaxation first.. where you start at the top of your head and move down your body relaxing every part of it .. clenching and then relaxing/releasing the various body parts from the muscles in your face etc. Till whole physical body relaxed... and then focus on the breathing and mind stillness.
A 20 min session of body relaxation and meditation is good and a common recommendation for beginners.
I have one question for you (or for anyone who can answer). It's about the breathing.
I have read about 2 types of breathing you can have while meditating. One is breathing slowly, like breath in for about 4 seconds, then hold for another 4 seconds, then breath out. And repeat this for the entire time.
Another one is doing that for about 1 minute and then let the breathing do it's work normaly. It will become a point where we are so relaxed that we almost breath with no air at all (extremely shorter breath in and breath out).
I do this most of the time.
What's the best way? Or is there another better way?
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