The very act of meditation is listening.
Within meditation, we listen to ourselves, the world around us and even to the space in between sounds. For a world that likes to talk, this opportunity to understand without words can be a welcome retreat.
The next time you feel too much noise in your life, try this listening meditation.
Close your eyes (wherever you are, as long as you are not operating heavy machinery). Notice the sounds in your environment without inviting your inner critic (“That’s so annoying!” “Why won’t he be quiet?”).
Try to notice sounds, rather than language: the mild humming of a computer, the gentle tap of a shoe against the ground. Work to notice that sounds are never the same from minute to minute – each sound is unique and rooted in the present.
If you listen hard enough, you will realize that you will not be able to predict the next sound. Any individual sound or combination of sounds is possible. As you listen, imagine you are hearing for the very first time and discard any tendency to predict.
The purpose of this meditation is to draw you into your deeper sense of awareness, reminding you of the richness of the world around you.
Listen with your whole body. Listen without thinking.
Open your eyes to draw in more of the sensory world while keeping your renewed insight.