Author Topic: Mindfulness/Meditation being broken, by noise, other intrusions.  (Read 185 times)

Emoint

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Hi guys,
So I've been doing mindfulness whilst dog walking, the bird song sets me off, I allow my breath to emerge as the focus force whilst letting the moment unfold.
My question is, i have a busy dog and it moves fast and immeadiately i'm taken out of the mindfull state, but rather than not try mindfulness training while dog walking I recognise that the dog is in the moment as well. Its the busy speed of movement that breaks me from my breath and concentration.
Does anyone else have a thing that breaks their concentration easily, can anyone advise how to get back into my breath/me quicker?
My next concept I'd like to discuss is.
When meditating, like last night, a neighbour shouted into my porch saying Hello, I had to get up and greet them. it was unexpected, I then slipped back into meditation through the breath, only for one of my dogs to whimper anxiously for a ball that had rolled under a table and was out of her reach. I was wondering if physical/animal destractions strengthen the ability to meditate or they devalue it. I must admit the neighbour and the dog whimpering negated me from having an uninterrupted state of calm or scanning. But I soon got back into it, but just a little worried if meditation is frequently broken, its benefits suffer too. Is anyone else exposed to random interruptions of out their control? Is it a bad thing at the end of the day? any thoughts would be appreciated :)

Thanisaro85

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Re: Mindfulness/Meditation being broken, by noise, other intrusions.
« Reply #1 on: June 16, 2020, 04:13:32 PM »
Formal and informal training of mindfulness.


When we are doing daily activities. We can only be momentary  mindfulness of our breathe, mind and body whenever giving a chance. For instance, when crossing a traffic, pay full attention to the traffic instead of our breathe, mind and body. Only when out of traffic, a safe pavement, we can momentary be aware of our mind and body. Switch between watching outward and inward.
When we are on a public transport where it does not need us to have any actions, that is where we can be less attentive outward. That's all.

When we are writing a email, we need to focus on thinking of structuring the email. If we keep mindfulness of breathe, mind and body. The structuring will be impacted and job cannot be done on times.

Then there comes the times for formal practises, where you allocate sometimes for sitting and walking meditations without disturbances. A time when you need be out from your dogs and a place or switch off your lights where your neighbour won't shout out to you.

When the monks go to alm collections, they need to look at the ground about 5 to 6 feet ahead while walking from point A to B, to prevent stepping onto sharp objects and stepping onto insects since they are not wearing footwear.

« Last Edit: June 16, 2020, 04:31:13 PM by Thanisaro85 »
A Mind Unshaken, when touches by worldy matter, sorrowless, secure and dustless, this is the ultimate great blessing~ Mangala Sutta

NewPathForward

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Re: Mindfulness/Meditation being broken, by noise, other intrusions.
« Reply #2 on: June 16, 2020, 06:08:27 PM »
I like this thread.  I see two different kinds of situations to reflect on:

1)  When in formal meditation, and distracting things start happening around us.

I also have a dog, and I love her dearly.  She is very protective however, and will start barking at the slightest noise.  She is very persistent and will sometimes bark for 45 minutes straight!  I live with others, and this morning, in my sit, someone began talking on the phone very loudly in the other room, and it was very difficult for me to maintain mindfulness of my breathing.  This kind of situation often leads me to suffer from aversion to these distractions, but truthfully they can be one of our biggest teachers.  Try to maintain mindfulness, just be aware that you are distracted, that the distraction is occurring.  Just bring your attention back to the breath, or whatever your meditation object is.  It will build resillience!

2)  When in daily life, and remembering to be mindful of my breath, but other things are also going on.

Part of why I sit is to be mindful of what is occurring in my walking life, both within me and on the outside.  Your post made me think of a quote I heard on a Karme Yeshe Rapyge's podcast.  He said that a man in ascetic India saw how well the Buddha and his follower's were doing, and asked him what his practice is.  The Buddha said:

"We eat, we walk, we think, we sit." Something along those lines.  The man who asked the Buddha the question was confused, as everyone does these things!  He asked the Buddha how that is any different from any other path, and the Buddha replied:

"When we eat, we know we're eating.  When we walk, we know we're walking.  When we think, we know we're thinking.  When we sit, we know we're sitting."  To me this illustrates how important being mindful in every aspect of my life is.  I think when you're in public or walking your dog, being mindful of breath, also allow yourself to be mindful of how in-the-moment your precious dog is as well.  Be aware of your compassion and gratitude that arises when you realize the nature of your dog in that moment.  When you find yourself being caught up in your mind again, being mindful of that.

When your neighbor calls out to you, be in the moment and ask him how his/her day went, etc.  When I'm talking to someone, I think it's much more productive to look them in the eye and make them the most important thing at that very moment, than it is to be aware of my breath (Unless emotions arise, then I turn the attention inward). 

I am very, very new to this path, so please take what I say with a grain of salt.  I only decided to leave such a long-winded reply because I am also learning this balance in my daily life, and I related with what you said quite a bit.  My effort to be mindful in my sits is mainly to benefit my awareness in my walking life.  In my eyes, one should not really be prioritized over the other :)

Dhamma

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Re: Mindfulness/Meditation being broken, by noise, other intrusions.
« Reply #3 on: June 17, 2020, 01:31:31 AM »
I was doing a walking meditation with major noise from fire trucks around me.  I noticed that I was able to stay mindful and grounded somewhat when surrounded by so much noise. While I still don't like noise (lol), I am more at peace with it at times. I now know that I can still somehow stay present, despite all the chaos around me. There was a time when noises would really set me on edge; in fact, they would induce anxiety attacks, especially in the middle of the night, or when trying to meditate.

We make beautiful progress over time. We have to see the logic and wisdom in the holy Buddha's teachings.  We must also trust ourselves while we are on the Path. There is real hope and real cures to our suffering.

Much love to you all,
Dhamma

Emoint

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Re: Mindfulness/Meditation being broken, by noise, other intrusions.
« Reply #4 on: June 17, 2020, 08:54:55 AM »
Yes Dhamma,
I get where your coming from, my morning dog walk is right near a major road, so i've got all this bird song, flying birds, meadow grass and farmers crops and then this road call. My mind identifies it as unnatural but its there. Then I attached to a constant sort of water fall, and there was a further level of the moment and rather than intrude or unsettle, it enriched my being. You can't fight these things cause they are outside hitting your ear drum, but I am learning to befriend them to embrace the here and now. Startles me that a crow can scream right near me and i think familiar, natural. But noise from the road, new and unnatural. Do you think its because road noise car/truck noise is only 50/100 years old where as crows have been around as long as we have on this earth?
Also, Newfoundpath, length of e mails are fine, there is no measuring only the time it takes to express your thoughts.

dharma bum

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Re: Mindfulness/Meditation being broken, by noise, other intrusions.
« Reply #5 on: June 17, 2020, 02:14:04 PM »
Quote
But noise from the road, new and unnatural. Do you think its because road noise car/truck noise is only 50/100 years old where as crows have been around as long as we have on this earth?

I think there is something in your theory. Also, a car/truck is a more complex sound and elicits a more complex response. In the past, noise from a car/truck might have been a sign of danger - maybe you needed to get out of the way, or a car might elicit desires, or remind you of some repairs to your own cars/trucks. Or maybe it reminds you of stressful commutes in the past. A crow is just a crow. A car noise occupies more space in the mind in terms of conditioning.
Mostly ignorant

Thanisaro85

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  • When thoughts, sensations, feelings arise,know it
    • Reverend father Jaran, Pramote. Theravada
    • Still breathing.
Re: Mindfulness/Meditation being broken, by noise, other intrusions.
« Reply #6 on: June 17, 2020, 03:19:31 PM »
This is embarassing, looks like I had again failed to comprehend what was the questioned asked.
My bad...... ;D
A Mind Unshaken, when touches by worldy matter, sorrowless, secure and dustless, this is the ultimate great blessing~ Mangala Sutta

Dhamma

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Re: Mindfulness/Meditation being broken, by noise, other intrusions.
« Reply #7 on: June 18, 2020, 03:05:04 AM »
This is embarassing, looks like I had again failed to comprehend what was the questioned asked.
My bad...... ;D

Dear friend, your post above was super relevant, and I learned something from it.

You bring much insight to this forum.  ;)

It's all good!

Emoint

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Re: Mindfulness/Meditation being broken, by noise, other intrusions.
« Reply #8 on: June 18, 2020, 08:45:53 AM »
Thanisaro85, totally agree with Dhamma, you have not misread anything, in fact i find when i have misunderstood some thing a greater clarity bounds back in and the insight is deepend.

Dhamma, so i get where your coming from, a noisy gardners mini tractor went past while i was scoffing lunch and instead of fighting the noise or blocking it out, i asked myself, where is its noise coming from. I then picked up on the tappets, the rotating of the cylinders and the combustion of the intense energy exerted to move said mini tractor. It really imposed itself and its need to make turning and working the sole purpose of its life. I was humbled it was over excited and so so powerful, I had been overwhelmed by metal scratching against metal soooooo fast and its need to never stop. Bizarre.....

But i've identified what was bugging me and now i will embrace all engines. Interestingly, I may hear a squawk from a crow, or a wing beat of a pidgeon, but their hearts are very quiet, so the engine room does not intrude.

 

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