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The Sound of Silence?
Answer
1/6/15 12:30 AM
I haven't seen this addressed before, but wondering if it's ever silent in your head when you meditate -- aside from the obvious external sounds and some chatter? Wondering because since I've been meditating seriously over 10 months, I cannot remember how things used to "sound". 

I have noticed the last few months a vibration/sound in my head that feels like very gentle cicadas and perhaps a soft electrical tone -- hard to describe. I don't think this is tinnitis because it's not unpleasant (actually went to a tinnitis page and listened to the very unpleasant examples there). To begin with I was associating the sound with a good session but I think the sound/vibration is there all the time now and I rather enjoy it. I check in several times a day and just tuning in to it spreads warmth and relaxation throughout the body so I don't think this is something I need to solve. Unless it gets considerably louder. 

I am curious, however, if this has always been there in the background and I just missed it in my noisy world? FWI, I have become very sound sensitive and feel ordinary sounds vibrating through me at certain pitches.

RE: The Sound of Silence?
Answer
1/6/15 3:47 AM as a reply to Al.
I have the same sound in my head, sometimes is louder ... when is more silence or more focus on it, as you said, is not disturbing, just the sound, very high tone. 

Something you can notice is when you focus on the sound it has a small change ...

So far I havent find the reason ... so I will wait for someone who can explain something about it, just to mention, I have experience visual things, like the Thogal dots, the simmering lights, and also another tunnel, vibrating, following the focus on the eyes, and other physical energy vibrations thru all the body ....

But this sound  has to mean something haha ...


So lets find the sound of silence.

RE: The Sound of Silence?
Answer
1/6/15 10:37 AM as a reply to Al.
Al:
I haven't seen this addressed before, but wondering if it's ever silent in your head when you meditate -- aside from the obvious external sounds and some chatter? Wondering because since I've been meditating seriously over 10 months, I cannot remember how things used to "sound". 

I have noticed the last few months a vibration/sound in my head that feels like very gentle cicadas and perhaps a soft electrical tone -- hard to describe. I don't think this is tinnitis because it's not unpleasant (actually went to a tinnitis page and listened to the very unpleasant examples there). To begin with I was associating the sound with a good session but I think the sound/vibration is there all the time now and I rather enjoy it. I check in several times a day and just tuning in to it spreads warmth and relaxation throughout the body so I don't think this is something I need to solve. Unless it gets considerably louder. 

I am curious, however, if this has always been there in the background and I just missed it in my noisy world? FWI, I have become very sound sensitive and feel ordinary sounds vibrating through me at certain pitches.
Former discussion link here:

http://www.dharmaoverground.org/web/guest/discussion/-/message_boards/message/85183?_19_redirect=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.dharmaoverground.org%2Fweb%2Fguest%2Fdiscussion%2F-%2Fmessage_boards%2Fsearch%3F_19_keywords%3Dajahn%2Bsumedho%2Bsilence%26_19_searchCategoryId%3D0%26_19_breadcrumbsCategoryId%3D0%26_19_redirect%3Dhttp%253A%252F%252Fwww.dharmaoverground.org%252Fweb%252Fguest%252Fdiscussion%252F-%252Fmessage_boards%252Fmessage%252F5646787%26_19_formDate%3D1420560805822


Ajahn Sumedho PDF book link here, has Chapter on the phenomenon, page 85


http://www.buddhanet.net/pdf_file/intuitive-awareness.pdf


Personally, this sound has brought me to phenomenon of infinity of space beginning as a child many times, the pitch would increase and the sense of awareness would slip out of normal body boundaries, but, as there was no guidance, I had thought my soul was leaving the body, would experience immense fear, then become fully alert again.  So, it seems in retrospect the Nada sound could be used up to the 5th jhana as an object of meditation.  Though, honestly the art of doing this technique has been mostly lost by myself as the years have passed and the skill was never fully developed.

But, what I remember doing was this.

I would lay down flat on the bed, usually before sleep, and start relaxing each area and muscle of my body that I could become aware of, starting with each one of my toes and systematically and methodoically working up from the toes, sometimes moving the concsciousness back down and back up to the current point of relaxation, in a full relaxing sweep, would continue process until everything was reaxed up through the top of my skull.  Then my awareness going out to the infinity of space.  Sometimes, about 1 in 50 or 1 in 100 times, the sound you describe would increase in intensity and take over, then vwoooop!!, expansion of awareness.  Either 5th jhana or OOBE, this could also be entry to Bindu Point.  In retrospect it was 5th Jhana, but as I said earlier, without any training or guidance, my Ego would come back online and fear response kicked in, you know survival mode...

That was then.

So, I just put my experience in there, just in case you run across this phenomenon in the future you will not freak out, or freak out as much, and because I believe in sharing knowledge openly.  But, as an aside, if you try to chase the phenomenon, it won't happen, the ego will have to be dropped completely. 

Just FYI

Psi

RE: The Sound of Silence?
Answer
1/6/15 3:45 PM as a reply to Al.
I get this all the time. I've never used that term, but "gentle cicadas" is a good way to describe it- I'll have to use that the next time I'm trying to describe it someone.  It started about 6 years ago when I started sitting with a dzogchen teacher. It shows up in any kind of meditation and in daily life since then, but it's always loudest and strongest when I'm doing dzogchen/3rd gear practices. I agree that it's mildly pleasant most of the time - I've only had it be disturbingly loud a handful of times, and even then there didn't seem to be much aversion coming up around it. My teacher used to say it was "hearing the field of awareness"...but I could never make much intellectual sense of what that meant. 

I have no idea what it is either but it's very interesting to me that others have experienced it and written about it. Checking out that other thread now. I've always used it as a landmark in my own practice, as it seems to arise and become stronger as I access can sink into more subtle states of attention.  Like you, I'm also very sound-sensitive. That's kind of been true my whole life, but it increased dramatically after I started meditating about 7 years ago. These days, a particular type of sound-sensitivity irritation will pop up pretty reliably after I've been practicing heavily and feeling very "open" physically. 

RE: The Sound of Silence?
Answer
1/12/15 3:24 PM as a reply to Psi.
Psi, Thanks so much for these links. I have a lot of reading to do I see.

Pawel, I can "hear" the sound from the image. Funny, but I was trying to get away from electricity and wireless to see if I could still hear it, but haven't had a chance yet. I suspect it won't make any difference though.

Sloane, your experience sounds very similar to mine, except you're way ahead of me I suspect.

I'm relieved to find this is not unusual -- that's what I love about this site -- someone's always been there before. So thanks to all for your helpful comments.

Now I've started using the sound more as a concentration object and have to say it is intense so I can't sustain it for as long as the breath without fear kicking in.  Also, had the feeling that this was somehow "cheating" since it's almost like a blanket that smoothes out thoughts without much effort, if that makes any sense.

So now splitting sessions between on the sounds, and then moving to a more general noting when it feels too intense. 

RE: The Sound of Silence?
Answer
1/18/15 4:44 AM as a reply to Al.
Hi all
Unfortunately this is the sound of High Blood Pressure, very common thing, hope you'll check it.
But if there is an electrical sound this might mean that some of brain vessels hits auditory nerve.
If you start to experience something odd with your eyesight you should rush to the doctor immediately.

As for me sound is connected with practice in some way, especially annoying, rough and disturbing during DN.
Be careful and remember that something unusual might happen but there is no magic for sure. The sound could not exist by itself, it is the consequence of something else.