Meditation Help: Sounds as Hints to Deepen Awareness

August 4, 2019 Morgan Meredith

I recently began a new meditation practice where I’ve learned that sounds around me have the potential to become meditation help. The first few minutes of the twice-daily exercise consist of pure mindfulness: noticing what each of the senses is experiencing one by one, then all together.

My home sits in a loud urban area on a busy thoroughfare, where jolting noises happen often: a loud motorcycle, an ambulance siren, a car honking, an airplane passing overhead, a person yelling, a dog barking. These can all pull me out of the mindfulness start to the meditation, making the rest of the practice much more difficult. 

When I consulted with some fellow students for meditation help, another practitioner shared that she used loud, unexpected noises around her as triggers to push her deeper into mindfulness. She starts her meditation and mindfulness with the intention that any noises will assist her in going further. 

Meditation Help for Sudden Sounds

Take the first two minutes of your meditation or mindfulness practice to breathe deeply. With each exhale focus on your intention for that session. The intention can be broad, like feeling more grounded, or specific, such as finding clarity before an upcoming conversation with your boss. 

As you set the goal for your meditation, include an intention that any noise will bring you deeper into mindfulness. Try to allow those sounds to bring you deeper without judging them. It can seem natural to judge certain sounds as negative (such as someone yelling) or positive (like a bird call), but try to see those noises as meditation help. Using them as hints to go deeper in your practice can help remove some of the judgment or annoyance you’d normally find as your reaction. 

Other Meditation Help for Dealing with Sudden Noise

If you try this intention over a few weeks and find that you need more meditation help because you’re still jolted out of mindfulness, maybe opt for earplugs or a noise machine. You’ll likely still hear the noises, but the intention may be more effective with the sensation slightly dulled. 

This perspective is challenging as I personally take it on, but seeing noises as meditation help has changed my experience of those sounds. At least some of the time those shocking moments become something I’m grateful for because I’ve been provided with an unexpected opportunity to further my practice. 

APA Reference
Meredith, M. (2019, August 4). Meditation Help: Sounds as Hints to Deepen Awareness, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, July 17 from

Author: Morgan Meredith

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Lizanne Corbit
August, 4 2019 at 7:43 pm

This is such a wonderful suggestion for something that is so common! I think one of the things people struggle most with during meditation are loud disturbances or sudden noises. These can be seen as distractions and even reasons/excuses not to practice, but this perspective not only removes that potential excuse it also gives the practitioner another tool to work with. Brilliant!

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