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Mind hums once it's quiet
Answer
10/21/13 6:19 PM
Hello DharmaOverground,
In the last few weeks, I've been able to quiet my mind much more than I'd been able to in the past. I've reached a point where I've begun to "hear" humming from my mind, much like the humming of alternating current undulating through a wire. As I quiet my mind more and more, the humming becomes louder and louder, until it's nearly deafening and masking all external sounds.

If anybody has any insights or guidance they can provide, I'd greatly appreciate it.

-MT

RE: Mind hums once it's quiet
Answer
10/21/13 7:03 PM as a reply to M T.
Are you certain that this humming isn't tinnitus?

If so, just ignore it (or live with it, as the case may be). I've been putting up with tinnitus for years. It's nothing to become too excited about. Reapply attention back on your object of meditation and continue meditating.

RE: Mind hums once it's quiet
Answer
10/21/13 9:59 PM as a reply to Ian And.
I suppose it could be very slight case of tinnitus, that I only picked up on in the silence of meditation. Haha, maybe I shouldn't listen to my music so loud!

As a followup question, is it OK if I make the tinnitus my object of meditation? As mentioned above, the quieter my mind is the more apparent the mental vibration becomes, so in a way it seems like a metric for how well I'm meditating. Is this a naive way of doing things?

RE: Mind hums once it's quiet
Answer
10/21/13 10:42 PM as a reply to M T.
hey i have experienced this sound, so has this guy who is a senior monk in the thai forest tradition

http://www.bahaistudies.net/asma/soundofsilence.pdf

RE: Mind hums once it's quiet
Answer
10/22/13 12:07 AM as a reply to M T.
M T:

As a followup question, is it OK if I make the tinnitus my object of meditation?

Well, in my opinion, that may depend on how you might want to use that object in the future. You are much better served to ignore the ringing or humming sound and to concentrate on watching the breath or the movement of the abdomen than you are to listening to that noise. This is especially so if you have in mind to practice dhyana meditation at some point, as the breath just simply lends itself better to this practice.

So, in the short term, if it helps you achieve a quiet mind, then fine, as far as that goes. I not sure you'd be able to identify a pleasant sensation by focusing on the sound, but then I'm open to being proven wrong on that count! It's just not something I've tried, therefore it is not my cup of tea. That's not to say that it can't be yours.

M T:

As mentioned above, the quieter my mind is the more apparent the mental vibration becomes, so in a way it seems like a metric for how well I'm meditating. Is this a naive way of doing things?

On the contrary, generally speaking, whatever helps you be able to determine a pleasant abiding in meditation can be used as a nimitta or sign, just as you have mentioned here. I use a sensation of pressure in the center of the forehead (similar to a headache, but without the throbbing and the pain of a headache) that feels like a balloon is being expanded inside the skull. I associate this sensation with an increase in concentration, because this is how I've always associated this sensation. You might say that I've conditioned my response to this sensation, but it also happens to be true: my concentration does increase whenever this occurs. During meditation, that increased concentration upon a single object is known as samadhi. So it can't necessarily be all that bad.

If you are able to do that with sound, more power to you!

RE: Mind hums once it's quiet
Answer
10/22/13 12:16 AM as a reply to M T.
M T:
Hello DharmaOverground,
In the last few weeks, I've been able to quiet my mind much more than I'd been able to in the past. I've reached a point where I've begun to "hear" humming from my mind, much like the humming of alternating current undulating through a wire. As I quiet my mind more and more, the humming becomes louder and louder, until it's nearly deafening and masking all external sounds.

If anybody has any insights or guidance they can provide, I'd greatly appreciate it.

-MT


Another victim like me..I recall having got Tinnitus forever after I did too much of jhana practise...it kind
of sucks now and I think, nature is indicating that something is wrong..my own unverified diagnosis
is that tinnitus is a sign of doing meditation wrongly..nature surely doesnt want you to hear this sound
- its telling you something is wrong. My wild guess is that the brain is not getting enough oxygen.

RE: Mind hums once it's quiet
Answer
10/22/13 6:48 AM as a reply to Shashank Dixit.
So it wasnt the loud music you may have listened to?

RE: Mind hums once it's quiet
Answer
10/22/13 11:10 AM as a reply to Adam . ..
Hey Adam, I've researched further into this sound of silence. Apparently it's the famous sound behind the one-hand clapping koan. It's often called the soundless sound or anahata nad, or just simply naad. Most sources are saying to go deeper into it, ie:

http://www.thebuddhadharma.com/web-archive/2012/11/8/the-sound-of-silence.html
http://www.oshoworld.com/newsletter/PDF/Oct_06/The_sound_of_one.pdf
http://www.hinduism.co.za/anahata.htm
http://www.sikhiwiki.org/index.php/Naad

Whether or not the experience is of the sound of silence or of tinnitus, I believe I'm going to explore it some more. .

RE: Mind hums once it's quiet
Answer
10/22/13 11:22 AM as a reply to M T.
That's interesting, I was going to post the same question, as the last couple of meditations I've had i've heard a hum at a certain level of concentration. I was wondering if it was some nearby electrical wires or something. I have constant tinnitus in everyday life and its nothing like the high pitched whine of that. Its lower in frequency. Not sure if its the same thing as you but thought I'd share.

RE: Mind hums once it's quiet
Answer
10/23/13 3:25 AM as a reply to Nikolai ..
Nikolai .:
So it wasnt the loud music you may have listened to?


Nah, I distinctly remember having got this while doing too much of jhana practise although I'm
pretty sure I was doing something wrong..most possibly over-doing.