Mindfulness of Sounds
“The best way to capture moments is to pay attention. This is how we cultivate mindfulness. Mindfulness means being awake. It means knowing what you are doing.” Jon Kabat-Zinn
Imagine waking up one day and finding out that the world around you no longer had sounds. Birds did not chirp, cars did not beep and telephones did not ring. It’s a strange idea isn’t it? Sound plays a very big part in how we experience our lives but often we are not aware of the sounds that we hear. That is why we focus on sound in this exercise.
In mindfulness we often talk about “the silence within.” This refers to the moments when you are one with your inner self and you feel calm and tranquil. Nothing else exists for you except your awareness of being in that moment.
When you first practice mindfulness of sounds, imagine your consciousness is recording every sound you hear around you, so pick up on everything and don’t question it. Close your eyes and expand your listening experience. Some sounds may make you feel irritated. Don’t question these sounds, they are just there.
As this exercise is practiced more often and in different locations, you will strengthen your ability to cope with the difficulties you face, with a rational, calm response.
Eventually this exercise will bring you joy and pleasure.
The key exercises to practise are:
- Taking note of sounds as sounds
- Not questioning, not describing, not judging
- Taking note of sounds and their presence
- Taking note of sounds as they happen
- Taking note of sounds as they begin, change, fade or even disappear
Find someplace comfortable to sit or stand. It can be inside or outside. Allow about seven minutes for this exercise.
Please play the Mindfulness of Sounds File now.
- What sounds did you notice?
- Were you surprised by what you heard?
- Were you annoyed or irritated by any sounds?
Assignment: Choose a time each day where you will deliberately listen to the sounds around you. Try to choose the same time each day. Record what you noticed in your diary.