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Meditation and Tinnitus - Dhamma Wheel

Meditation and Tinnitus

General discussion of issues related to Theravada Meditation, e.g. meditation postures, developing a regular sitting practice, skillfully relating to difficulties and hindrances, etc.
Digity
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Meditation and Tinnitus

Postby Digity » Sat May 21, 2011 5:14 pm

I have a bad case of tinnitus in my left ear that I got from a botched ear surgery. If you don't know what tinnitus is, basically my left ear rings loudly 24/7. You'd think it'd drive a person crazy, but over the years I've gotten use to it and I manage. The thing is, I feel like it's a hindrance to my meditation. It's hard to concentrate with my left ear ringing so loudly. It's just frustrating, because I want to meditate, but have to deal with this damn ringing.

I'm guessing people are going to tell me to be mindful of it, or just think about it as just sound. I sometimes wonder if I'll ever really develop my meditation practice to its fullest extent with my ringing. I'll keep meditating, just wish I didn't have to deal with it. I guess I'm just ranting, but if anyone has any advice that'd be nice.

Reductor
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Re: Meditation and Tinnitus

Postby Reductor » Sat May 21, 2011 6:44 pm

If you can work and hold a conversation than you can develop your meditation.

But of course meditation comes in different forms. If you are being distracted by sounds consider a more analytical meditation like metta or asubha? Perhaps see the thread on analytical meditation. It gives a sutta on the five recollections which is something I developed everyday for months early on. It is a very helpful practice.

Whether you are successful depends on how you define success. But any increase in peace should be regarded as a great gain, whether or not it is large or small. Any wholesome training of the mind toward that goal is good.

David2
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Re: Meditation and Tinnitus

Postby David2 » Sat May 21, 2011 6:53 pm


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daverupa
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Re: Meditation and Tinnitus

Postby daverupa » Sat May 21, 2011 7:24 pm

Search the boards for "Sound of Silence tinnitus" and you'll get some useful results, I expect.

fabianfred
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Re: Meditation and Tinnitus

Postby fabianfred » Sat Jun 04, 2011 4:59 am

Try practicing the dynamic meditation method of Luang Por Teean.

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Ben
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Re: Meditation and Tinnitus

Postby Ben » Sat Jun 04, 2011 6:28 am

Greetings Digity

Sorry to hear of your tinnitus. It must be trying at times - I can only imagine.
I'm not sure what your meditation object is.
But for me, my meditation objects are the breath (samatha form of anapana-sati) and vedananupassana (observation of sensation). My teacher's instruction in regards to sense stimuli we don't have any control over is to just maintain the awareness of the meditation object - as much as humanly possible. If the distraction is overwhelming - then one must avert one's attention to the distraction until it subsides somewhat or we regain our concentration and composure and return to the primary object.
Wishing you all the very best,

Ben

EDIT:
I should also add that what I have written above may or may not be appropriate given your own practice. What I recommend you do is to seek advice specific to the practice which you are engaged in and the context of its particular tradition. If you have access to a teacher or someone who is a very experienced co-practitioner within your particular tradition - then I recommend you seek their counsel.
“No lists of things to be done. The day providential to itself. The hour. There is no later. This is later. All things of grace and beauty such that one holds them to one's heart have a common provenance in pain. Their birth in grief and ashes.”
- Cormac McCarthy, The Road

Learn this from the waters:
in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.
- Sutta Nipata 3.725

(Buddhist aid in Myanmar) • •

e: [email protected]..

PeterB
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Re: Meditation and Tinnitus

Postby PeterB » Sat Jun 04, 2011 7:27 pm

I have tinnitus in my right ear. When I become aware of it...particularly when tired or after sneezing ( :shrug: ) I use it as the object for a while.
Its become an old friend.

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Kim OHara
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Location: North Queensland, Australia

Re: Meditation and Tinnitus

Postby Kim OHara » Sun Jun 05, 2011 4:34 am


PeterB
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Re: Meditation and Tinnitus

Postby PeterB » Sun Jun 05, 2011 7:32 am

That and an increase in pressure in the eustachian tube KIm..

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Kim OHara
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Location: North Queensland, Australia

Re: Meditation and Tinnitus

Postby Kim OHara » Sun Jun 05, 2011 9:26 am


alan
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Re: Meditation and Tinnitus

Postby alan » Mon Jun 06, 2011 1:46 am

I have tinnitus and find any loud noise very irritating. I like to put on a CD of waves crashing against the shore when sleeping or the sound of rain while sitting.

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Kim OHara
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Re: Meditation and Tinnitus

Postby Kim OHara » Mon Jun 06, 2011 4:06 am


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rowboat
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Re: Meditation and Tinnitus

Postby rowboat » Mon Jun 06, 2011 6:00 am

I've had loud tinnitus in my left ear, caused by hearing loss, for about ten years now, and it's been a cause for a good deal of despair. While I don't sit regularly due to certain fears, emotional issues, procrastination, etc., at the same time I do consider meditation to be of profound importance in my life. I suppose I'm just not there yet, and for now I study the suttas, work on my sila, and listen to the talks of various bhikkhus. Anyway, last fall I wanted to know for certain if I could still reach a degree of concentration with this constant ringing. It just took some strong viriya, and ananpanasati. I found that the ringing did not prevent me from reaching a state of concentration. I don't know if this ringing will be a barrier for me later on when my goal is jhana, but my assumption is that it will not be. (I reached jhana in 1994 after a few weeks of many hours of sitting before I knew anything about jhana. (At the time the experience really frightened me and left me with some lingering fears about dying in meditation.)

My suggestion to overcoming tinnitus is to cultivate the conditions for strengthening viriya, and to persist. Your tinnitus can't be any more pernicious than mine. And I've lived a pretty dissipated life until quite recently. In other words, if I can do it, you can too. Don't despair. It might take a month or more or sitting/walking meditation, but you will get there.
Rain soddens what is covered up,
It does not sodden what is open.
Therefore uncover what is covered
That the rain will not sodden it.
Ud 5.5

Virgo
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Re: Meditation and Tinnitus

Postby Virgo » Mon Jun 06, 2011 6:58 am



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Goofaholix
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Re: Meditation and Tinnitus

Postby Goofaholix » Mon Jun 06, 2011 8:11 am

It's only a hindrance because you don't consider it part of your meditation. Whatever technique you are practising it's not the technique that's important it's the mind that's important, if you watch the breath it's not because the breath is magical it's because the activity of watching the breath trains the mind, it doesn't matter what the breath is doing it matters what the mind is doing.

If you take that point of view then you can include the tinnitus in your meditation or make it your primary object no problem.

I don't think this is the same as using the "sound of silence" as a meditation object though because that practise uses a very subtle sound that most people experience and it's important that the mind gets subtle enough to detect it.


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