How do you make sound a 'neutral' experience (vs. noise)?

General discussion, particularly exploring the Dharma in the modern world.
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omph
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How do you make sound a 'neutral' experience (vs. noise)?

Post by omph »

I live in an urban environment, and I’d like to experiment with practices that would help reduce my experience of sound being irritating.

I notice some noise seems to be more jarring (construction jackhammers, yelling, sirens, loud TV). Others sounds seem neutral or pleasant (birds chirping people talking, ocean waves, etc) One of the hardest sounds for me is when people let their dog bark incessantly.

It seems like different sounds bother different people, and having grown up in a rural environment, urban sound seem like a continual sense bombardment - but since I can't change the city, I need to change my mind.

A side note: Sometimes when I post here, a topic can turn into debate among people. I'm more interested in suggestions based on your experiences, and what has helped you (which is pretty much undebatable).

Thanks!
namesnotshanekid
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Re: How do you make sound a 'neutral' experience (vs. noise)?

Post by namesnotshanekid »

Shunryu Suzuki explains it like this:
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Ayu
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Re: How do you make sound a 'neutral' experience (vs. noise)?

Post by Ayu »

Foam earplugs or if you need to hear the medium frequences musicians earplugs. They filter and dim the high and the low tones.

Earplugs are only for cases of emergency, because they weaken the ability to hear in longterm. Like any other organ has to be trained in order to work well the ear has tiny muscles that need training.
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seeker242
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Re: How do you make sound a 'neutral' experience (vs. noise)?

Post by seeker242 »

How do you make sound a 'neutral' experience (vs. noise)?
Just by practicing not pushing it away. The only thing that causes sound to be noise is the wish to not hear it. If the dog is barking just practice allowing the dog to bark. When you fully allow the dog to bark and stop wanting to push it away, it's no longer noise but just sound.
One should not kill any living being, nor cause it to be killed, nor should one incite any other to kill. Do never injure any being, whether strong or weak, in this entire universe!
Jingtoo2
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Re: How do you make sound a 'neutral' experience (vs. noise)?

Post by Jingtoo2 »

seeker242 wrote: Fri Oct 09, 2020 11:55 am
How do you make sound a 'neutral' experience (vs. noise)?
Just by practicing not pushing it away. The only thing that causes sound to be noise is the wish to not hear it. If the dog is barking just practice allowing the dog to bark. When you fully allow the dog to bark and stop wanting to push it away, it's no longer noise but just sound.
This is so true. We have geese living on the water near us. A few days ago I was irritated by a dog barking..then I realised it was not a dog at all. It was one of the geese honking. And I stopped feeling annoyed! It was a very similar sound, but I had rejected one and welcomed the other..So instead of “noise”..the dog barking. It became just a natural sound.
I want to try now working with the sound of a dog barking when it really is a dog!
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Johnny Dangerous
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Re: How do you make sound a 'neutral' experience (vs. noise)?

Post by Johnny Dangerous »

You learn to observe your conceptualization towards sense events. This comes pretty easily with a little meditation practice. As the Buddha says "in the heard let there be only the heard".

So the first step is to get a subtle enough view of your inner landscape that you can easily tell what is just sense experience, and what is your thoughts and emotional response to the sense experience.
"...if you think about how many hours, months and years of your life you've spent looking at things, being fascinated by things that have now passed away, then how wonderful to spend even five minutes looking into the nature of your own mind."

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明安 Myoan
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Re: How do you make sound a 'neutral' experience (vs. noise)?

Post by 明安 Myoan »

Patience.
With a heart wandering in ignorance down this path and that, to guide me I simply say Namu-Amida-Butsu. -- Ippen

Reciting the Nembutsu and believing in birth in the Pure Land naturally give rise to the Three Minds and the Four Modes of Practice. -- Master Hōnen
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omph
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Re: How do you make sound a 'neutral' experience (vs. noise)?

Post by omph »

Jingtoo2 wrote: Fri Oct 09, 2020 2:36 pm
seeker242 wrote: Fri Oct 09, 2020 11:55 am
How do you make sound a 'neutral' experience (vs. noise)?
Just by practicing not pushing it away. The only thing that causes sound to be noise is the wish to not hear it. If the dog is barking just practice allowing the dog to bark. When you fully allow the dog to bark and stop wanting to push it away, it's no longer noise but just sound.
This is so true. We have geese living on the water near us. A few days ago I was irritated by a dog barking..then I realised it was not a dog at all. It was one of the geese honking. And I stopped feeling annoyed! It was a very similar sound, but I had rejected one and welcomed the other..So instead of “noise”..the dog barking. It became just a natural sound.
I want to try now working with the sound of a dog barking when it really is a dog!
I've had that same experience around your geese/dog experience! That's what made me realize I'd created something all in my mind, and once I saw what was really happening, I relaxed. So it made me realize it IS possible to transform one's mind.
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