Just as you anchor your attention to the breath of sensations in the body, you can choose to place your attention on sounds. This mindfulness of sound practice is one that still enables you to train your attention but this time moving it from the inside to the outside world.
Just as the sensations and the breath come and go, so to do sounds come and go.
This is a particularly beautiful practice for when you are surrounded by nature.
This week take your mindfulness out into the world and alongside your daily meditation practice tune in to the soundscapes around you as a form of “incidental mindfulness” : voices, humming heaters, traffic, birds, wind, the crackling of autumn leaves underneath your feet (in Melbourne at least). Do this for a few moments at different times of the day bringing your full attention to noticing the sounds as they come in and out of awareness. Notice how sounds can very quickly trigger stories in your mind which carry you away from the moment. When you notice your mind has drifted off into thinking bring your attention back to the sounds around you.
- As with all mindfulness meditation it is important to ensure the body is relaxed and comfortable
- This practice is preferably done in a seated position (but you can lie down if you prefer)
- We start the practice by tuning into the the rhythm of the breath
- Then simply shifting attention to the sounds that come and go each moment wherever you are
- If there are no sounds then just noticing the silence
- Notice as you pay attention to the sounds whether you have any preferences and notice whether some sounds are pleasant, unpleasant or neutral
- This is a lovely meditation to bring into everyday life whether on the train, or out in nature
- Notice the way sounds can so easily stimulate stories that can hijack your attention
- Remember to turn on your GPS as you practice (gentleness, patience and a sense of humour)