Listening as meditation


listening meditation

I recently wrote a post about how we can use listening as a way to quiet the mind, and how the arising of thoughts can become a “mindfulness bell,” calling us back to mindful attentiveness of the sounds around us. (The post was specifically about persistent thoughts that take the form of music, but the same approach works for all thoughts.)

A commenter on that post directed me to a video featuring the Canadian composer, writer, music educator and environmentalist R. Murray Schafer. In the video, Schafer very cleverly leads us into a form of listening meditation, in which he guides us from being mindful of recorded sounds to the “real” sounds in our personal environment. There’s a clever fake-out toward the end of the video that I didn’t see coming!


See also:

, , , ,

2 Comments. Leave new

  • Respected Bodhipaksa,

    I thank you from my heart for the wonderful work you do by this site, I really appreciate it. I needed your advice on meditation. I have been doing breath meditation for some time but as I do it I always feel little uncomfortable in body around chest and ribs area, I feel like I am controlling my breathing a lot. Few days ago I just sat and tried to be relaxed and listen the sounds around me naturally as listening happens automatically and passive, that made me feel really calm and relaxed. I wish to ask can I make listening a way to get into meditative state? If yes please also suggest how I should approach it.

    Once again thanks a lot for your wonderful work.
    Thanks and Regards

    • Hi, Atman.

      Yes, you can start by listening, and in that way become aware of the space around you, including sensations of light and touch. And then you can include the sensations that are arising from within the space that is you, including the breathing. You might also want to try lovingkindness meditation, which is less focused on the breathing.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Fill out this field
Fill out this field
Please enter a valid email address.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


Wildmind is a Community-Supported Meditation Initiative. Explore the benefits of becoming a supporter.