How Can I Meditate in a Noisy Environment?

Question

I recently joined in online course of "Meditation for Busy People." I live in an apartment complex which is middle of New Delhi where there is lot of noise all the time, even in the early morning. It is becoming almost impossible to find a quiet time for meditation. Can I use any soothing music in my earphones so that I cannot hear anything else and focus only on my concentration?

—Subhasish Bhattacharya, India

Answer

Dear Subhasish,

We need to be practical and creative in finding solutions for daily challenges. At Ananda Village in California, people use headphones in group meditations. These headphones do not play music — they block out sound, similar to the ear protectors people wear who work around airplanes. They are available also in India.

At Ananda Village, even though the environment is quiet, people use headphones, to be able to go deep in meditation, and not get distracted by other people’s cough, or sounds.

So, living in a noisy city, you need to find creative ways to be able to go deep within. If you can get high quality headphones that can help you shut out the noise, it will be best. If you need to use music, you can, as long as the music is sattwic (uplifting) and will not agitate your senses. Swami Kriyananda has a recording of chanting the mantra Aum. This recording can work well.

Blessings on your meditation practice, as you find ways to go deep,
Nayaswami Diksha