I love silence. Give me silence, and I am a happy camper. I could totally go to some meditation retreat and not speak for a month. Like Elizabeth Gilbert in Eat, Pray, Love.
When first starting a meditation practice, the silence might be uncomfortable or even overwhelming. Or, some days silence might just not feel right. Also, meditating while traveling can be challenging, particularly if there is unpleasant background noise where you are staying that is beyond your control.
The Beauty of Controlled Background Noise
I love the rain. Living in the desert, the rain is that much more welcome. Since the rain happens so rarely where I live, I have gotten accustomed to going to sleep with the sound of rain or a thunderstorm from an app on my phone. I love it.
I use the Ambiance app. There are plenty of other options for background noise if rain or thunder aren’t your cup of tea, including traditional static noises, an air conditioner, driving in the rain or snow, and even a “calm football crowd”. The app also provides sounds from specific locations all over the world, including a London street market, Barcelona City Walk, and LA traffic. You can go to the sounds of practically anywhere in the world with this app. It’s amazing!
The app will run all night long if you like (which I do). One morning it was just so nice to pretend there was a huge thunderstorm going on outside that I decided to let it play all through my yoga time, and then even into my meditation time.
It was really nice to listen to the rain while meditating. I didn’t feel like it detracted from my meditation experience in any way, nor was it distracting to the process. I actually found it to enhance the feeling of relaxation and my ability to focus on having a clear mind rather than letting my mind wander.
Start Meditating Today: Silence Not Required
The majority of the time I still meditate in silence, but on occasion I will let the rain play. I also found this to be an effective way to drown out unwanted background noise, particularly when traveling. And I thought it might be a good trick for someone starting out with meditation who is either hesitant to sit in silence or has a hard time finding a quiet place to go.
Starting a meditation practice can seem intimidating. If you love the rain like me (or practically any other background noise you can think of) and have been wanting to give meditation a try, the background noise trick is worth a shot. I was happy to find that the Meditation Timer app works simultaneously with Ambiance, so you can still time your meditation to be sure you don’t oversleep the meditation time (which is easy to do!).
If starting a regular meditation practice is something you would like to do but it seems out of reach, I encourage you to find just five minutes each day (or even just today) to sit in silence or in background noise bliss. Five minutes too long? Then start with two. Even if you have to take your headphones into the bathroom! Just do it. The benefits that extend throughout the entire day and subsequently your entire life are too good to miss. Soon you will find that you can’t wait to get to your meditation time.
If you think you don’t have time, think again. The small amount of time spent “doing nothing” translates into so many benefits in health and happiness. Two minutes, that’s all I ask. Do it. Do it now.
What sounds do you like to meditate to? Share your thoughts!
image credit: Amillis