With my groups this week we’ve been using sounds as a present moment, point of focus in our mindfulness practice.
One participant asked, “When practicing, what happens when the sounds around you are unpleasant and what you want to do is, not focus on them?”
Mindfulness is not about stopping or avoiding unpleasant sensation, feeling or thinking.
In fact, what you might do is notice if a sound is pleasant, unpleasant or neutral. Listen in an open and curious way and after a few seconds move onto another sound. If thoughts or feelings arise and take you away from present moment awareness, simply return to listening. This is the process that trains the mind to be aware and present.
In mindfulness you grow your ability to change or adapt yourself to your environment or situation. We don’t always have control over our environment but we can learn to maintain focus effectively, regardless of the distraction, this is what a strong mindfulness practice aims to achieve.