Originally Posted by blackraven
Jo Mc - Chime Rinpoche was saying it’s not easy to mediate among distractions such as city noise. I think that’s true that it’s not easy, but not impossible. If you have learned the skill of drowning out noise in order to concentrate on your breath, thoughts, meditation music or what have you then what Alan Watts said is true.
I think of a boiler room being loud and uncomfortably hot and yet if you can’t meditate in there, than I suppose the sentiment is one is not doing it well.
I used to live in a very crowded city neighborhood not far from busy cross streets and a nearby expressway. I found it very difficult to meditate among the neighborhood noise, construction noise and road noise around me. But then again, I’m not very skilled at meditation and I admit that. I would always put on headphones and listen to guided meditation music. After a while I would think I was ready to take the headphones off and just observe my breath and tune out all the outside distractions, but I couldn’t.
So I guess my comment was derived from personal experience and if you are able to meditate in a big city, you’ve indeed mastered meditation!
Yes, i got used to background noises from a City and could meditate quite well but I also made sure to get a morning routine going, like to meditate in the morning when it was quiet enough etc. Some people i remember recommended meditating at night, i could see the benefits of course but never got around to it, plus i was a bit frightened of disturbing my work routine etc. and i think I was wise in this respect.
I was just thinking, perhaps Chime was thinking about beginners. Meditation is definitely a bit like riding a bike, although i know that is an awful analogy lol. Even so, as a beginner it's important imo to go to monasteries retreats, days, places of quiet to get a taste for it, and then you can meditate with greater ease in noisey places etc. You develop the skill. How far you take it is up to you. We were discussing yesterday in Sf about jnanas which are states of meditative absorption in theravadin buddhism. there are 8 specific states which have definite characteristics.. but to enter these states, if one ever does, you need very deep quiet, and other factors too. Is that what meditation is about ? I don't think its all about that at all ?
Thanks for your honest and useful feedback.