Friday, 8 May 2015

Meditation Myth Number 2: 'It's Too Noisy'




From The Huffington Post
by Dean Sluyter

"Some of my best teachers are convicts.

I've volunteered for years at a maximum security prison, running meditation sessions for guys serving long sentences. They live with a lot of chaos, and chaos is loud. Raucous, razzing conversations are the norm on the tiers of cells they call home, with radios and TVs playing nonstop, each guy cranking up his volume to hear it above the others, resulting in a brain-jangling, round-the-clock commotion.

And yet there my guys sit on their bunks with closed eyes, enjoying the bliss of just being.

How do they do it? Have they mastered some secret Eastern technique of mentally blocking out noise?

Nope. It's way too loud for that. It's just one of the many elements of prison life they can't hope to control. There should be a sign over the prison entrance, like the one over the gate to Dante's hell: Abandon all hope, ye who enter here. But in a way, that's the secret of their success.

When you eat at a busy restaurant, you're surrounded by other people's conversations, but that's not a problem. You just listen to the conversation at your own table. Simple. You don't have to make some Herculean effort to "concentrate" or "focus" on what your friends are saying, and you don't have to block out the rest: It's just there in the background.

On the other hand, if you were to suddenly decide, "Jeez, I hope those people leave," or, "I hope they stop yakking when their entrees come," or, "I wish they'd pipe down with their dumb political opinions" (as opposed to your smart ones), then there's a problem. But you've created it. You've chosen sides against What Is, and that's always a losing battle. The world is full of motion, and motion produces sound: talking mouths, clinking silverware, zooming cars, chirping crickets, planes, trains, automobiles..."  more

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