Day 3 – Okay, it sounds a little unconventional but hey, this is New York and we spend a lot of time getting to the places we’re going. I hadn’t planned on it but decided on the last of four subway trips this lovely, snowy day, to try my hand at the Hearing Meditation Sharon writes about in ‘Week One’.
I was lucky enough to have a comfortable seat on a 4 going local from the UES to Brooklyn – ALL the time in the world! I started with my eyes open but it was sensory overload so I closed them. Out of habit, I immediately heard my breath; there it was. Well, that’s good. But I let that fade to the background as I chose instead to listen to all the sounds. OMG, all the sounds. Talk about multi-tasking. I liked the challenge though. I imagined just being a witness, just outside myself even, taking it all in, my own internal sounds as well. The ebb and flow of multiple conversations around me, but trying not to judge or react, just hear them. The screeching breaks, the background hum of …New York (?), the horn of the train, my ears popping, “Doors Closing!”, the boop, boop, boop of the earbuds plugged into someone nearby.
Am realizing now (though so much not then) how similar it is to the contents of one’s head, all these random stimuli. But having decided to just hear them released me from any attachment or comparing them to my own story and thus falling down the rabbit hole. Plus, they weren’t MY thoughts, they were just a bunch of sounds so on that level, it was a little easier. My mind drifted a few times, as it does with breathing meditation. I got sleepy a couple times too. But just tried coming back to the endlessly new source of sound all around me. It’s more intense than breathing meditation but I was surprised to find a similar calm in the storm in between my wandering thoughts of course.
ps: I’m looking forward to good ole breathing meditation for tomorrow.