Can you meditate in noisy environments?

What's the best sound dB level to meditate? 

Many of us enjoy meditating and frequently use sounds to help us relax, drown out external noise, and focus.  In fact, some very good recorded meditations can help you do this by offering suggestions to help you meditate and playing sounds to accelerate the relaxation response.  I create these myself!  

Our hearing is a real gift!  Just like loud rock music at a concert which is about 120 dB, noises beyond 85 dB can be harmful, even if it is soothing meditation music.  While recently at an event organized to help people meditate, I noticed that the music, although relaxing, was extremely loud.  Perhaps this was an effort to drown out highway noise or the chatter of people in the next room.  But when do you find this to be more harmful than helpful?  At about 45 dB, the sound of voices begins to fade off.  With normal conversation at about 60 dB, playing music above this is just not necessary in my opinion.  

We can be guided to block out external distracting sounds.  Better yet, we can allow these sounds to be part of our meditation.  Sometimes we simply need to let things be as they are and learn detachment, which is one powerful meditative intention!

For years I have practiced this form of non-attachment by choosing to meditate in noisy areas.  This has taught me to disconnect from distractions more easily and has helped me be relaxed and calm in even the busiest of situations.  Once in awhile, someone will ask you if you are ok, or make comments that you look like you are asleep. Even these actions can become part of your meditation whether you choose to respond or not.  

After training yourself to be calm and relaxed in a busy and noisy place, awareness increases phenomenally!  You begin to notice things you didn't notice before.  In fact, with a busy mind, meditating in public places like this can actually give you plenty of information to allow your conscious mind to observe.  Instead of letting your mind roam - a common complaint about meditating - when there is so much going on around you, you can stop thinking and listen to the sounds.  This helps you train your mind to focus, a very valuable skill for when you are in a quiet place to meditate at other times.

Thanks for listening.  Need someone to shine a light on what's familiar so you can see it from a new perspective?  I help bridge the gap between what you know and what you think you know.   Practical.  Simple.  Easy.  Let me help you create space to accelerate healing and reinvent yourself.  Contact me.

Love and Light,  

Sandra Hickman, The Audio Medic