Sounds Heard in Meditation

Question

When I meditate after few minutes some sound attacks in my ears. If I concentrate on it I realize it increases. Should I focus on that sound? Please elaborate what is the role of the sound in the meditation?

—Ridham Gupta, India

Answer

Dear Ridham.

In deep meditation we may experience the sound of Aum which is one of the eight aspects of God.  (Those eight aspects are Light, Sound, Peace, Calmness, Wisdom, Joy, Power, and Love in case you might be interested.) Listening to and meditating on the sound of Aum produces deep bliss. This divine vibratory sound is the cosmic creative force of the universe. Aum has been described like the roar of a great, bursting sea. This sound of Aum is not experienced in our ears. We hear it when we are in higher states of consciousness. Aum may be heard even by those who are profoundly deaf. In deep meditation we may also hear the sounds of our chakras. Yogananda called these ‘baby Aum’ These sounds are: 1st chakra a bumblebee, 2nd chakra a flute, 3rd chakra a harp or vina, 4th chakra a deep bell or gong, 5th chakra wind rushing in the trees. Aum is the sound of the 6th and 7th chakras.

The goal of meditation is to experience and merge with the Divine Presence. When we are able to hear Aum we are touching into this Presence. If indeed you are hearing an aspect of Aum you will feel a great sense of upliftment and you should concentrate on this sound and dissolve your little self into it.

I have given you an in-depth description of these cosmic sounds so you can assess for yourself whether what you are hearing is of a Divine nature. We certainly can hear sounds in meditation that are not divine. If what you are hearing in unpleasant and not uplifting I would say you may not be hearing some aspect of Aum. Your word ‘attack’ suggests a negative experience. Sometimes our ears produce unpleasant sounds due to some damage to them such as exposure to very loud noise in the past. If this is the case, it is best if you direct you concentration to your meditation technique and to the point between the eyebrows rather than the sound. The sound may fade eventually as your attention in not on it.

I hope this is helpful,

Many blessings on your meditation practice.
Nayaswami Mukti