building a small, (1.5-2 m3) soundproof meditation hut

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Asaf M, modified 1 Year ago at 4/19/23 6:03 AM
Created 1 Year ago at 4/19/23 6:03 AM

building a small, (1.5-2 m3) soundproof meditation hut

Posts: 47 Join Date: 12/9/22 Recent Posts
I would like to be able to regularly meditate in as close to aboslute silence as possible, listening to a tibetan bowl sound fade into the subtles of vibrations.
Such a sitation does not exist in my current location.
I live on a piece of lamd where buioding codes will to let me build much. however, I understanda that a tiny structure, smaller than a tpycial shed even, falls below the limits of what is enforced. I coudl made do with that.
Here are some ideas:
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earth:
I have plenty of failry sandy earth available. I could create a large hollow mound, cover it with soem soud-insulating roo mateiral, and essentually end up with a cav that one enters fromt the top.

straw bales:
if I 'store' some straw bales on the land, with a hollow area in the center, covered by a large tarp, that soudl not count as a structure in terms of building codes
raise them on wooden pallattes to kep them dry, witha screen to discourage the pit vipers from living underneath.
under the tarp roof I could place some sound proofing material.
Can also enter these through the roof, so as not to deal with soudnproofing the entrance.

wood and sondproof panels:
I could basically build a big woonden box lined with panels and some plastic roof
Any other ideas?
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Jim Smith, modified 1 Year ago at 4/19/23 3:07 PM
Created 1 Year ago at 4/19/23 7:16 AM

RE: building a small, (1.5-2 m3) soundproof meditation hut

Posts: 1767 Join Date: 1/17/15 Recent Posts
As I understand it, the way to keep noises out is to use as much mass as possible and it doesn't matter that much what material you use, the mass is what absorbs the energy of the sound - the sound has to transmit through the materials and the more mass, the more energy it takes to vibrate it - what doesn't transmit is converted to heat. (If you want to stop sounds from bouncing around in the same room then you need special materials.)

So the sandy earth would probably be good especially if you could wet it when you wanted to use the chamber.

I think the hardest part will be ventilation and the door. Sound will leak in through any openings. I suppose you could work out something for the door but I don't know how to block sound from the ventilation openings, unless you don't have any which I guess is up to you but I don't think it's a great idea.

Maybe you could do something different like use a recording with noise canceling head phones or earbuds inside hearing protecting ear muffs. Personally I just listen to the ambient noise and focus on that - when the mind is calm from meditation and the mental chatter is quiet, there is just hearing. You don't really need a special sound for that to happen.

It might help to notice the absence of mental chatter, the "emptiness" of the mind when there are no thoughts at the same time you are also noticing the sound.
Robert L, modified 1 Year ago at 4/19/23 6:01 PM
Created 1 Year ago at 4/19/23 6:01 PM

RE: building a small, (1.5-2 m3) soundproof meditation hut

Posts: 72 Join Date: 2/10/19 Recent Posts
What part of you feels that a meditation hut is needed? Is there a restlessness that is driving you to make a hut instead of just being? Why do you require silence to meditate? Is noise annoying to you? What is that annoyance? What sensations make up annoyance? Meditate on the sensations of the need for a meditation hut. Meditate on the annoyance of background noise while meditating. Develop a practice that allows you to meditate on everything in your experience throughout your waking day. 
Or build a meditation hut, I hear they are cool. Adyashanti had one.
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Asaf M, modified 1 Year ago at 4/20/23 8:51 AM
Created 1 Year ago at 4/20/23 2:37 AM

RE: building a small, (1.5-2 m3) soundproof meditation hut

Posts: 47 Join Date: 12/9/22 Recent Posts
Thanks for your responses Jim And Robert.

I often use white noise on the train to block out distracting sounds, such as phone converstationsons. It's not essential to do this for insight work, yet a useful tool for toning down the challenge level as needed.  

I am putting the building project off for now. Not enough time and need right for it. My solution is to wake up at 4:00 when things are quiet. Might also experiment with practice in the most silent room of the house: the walk in closet.

 I very much relate to and appreciate the tips on inquiry regarding what sensations make up my reactions to sound. It's something that I find myself doing quite regularly. 

As to why I seek silence for some portion of my practice time:
I enjoy paying close attention to the subtle oscillating vibrations created by a tibetan bowl.
The challenge level slowly increases as the sound fades, making this an excellent tool for training the mind to pay closer and closer attention to the sense object. The multilayered vibrations and wobbles lend themselves well to noting many sensations per second.
One thing I have been homing in on often is that along with the bowl sound and its harmonics, there is a layer of sound from the reverberation in the room. seems to come mainly from the windows.  Brings to mind the echolocation tha dolphins and some blind people use.
Along with picking out these subtleties, I like trying to catch the precise moment when the sound ends. It often tapers off into just vibration with no sound. I am them listening intently to silence, while being tuned to a vibration, the vibration of the sound that is no longer audible.
An interesting thing that occurred lately is that, outside of formal practice, I detected a faint wobble , which I understood to be an ambulance siren that was far enough away so that I could not hear it in the ordinary sense, but the rhythm of vibrations matched a siren so precisely that I am confident that this is what I detected. 
My hypothesis  is that 'hear out' work translates well into 'hear in' work. I do a lot of 'hear in' noting as the internal dialogue is a persistent distraction and place where the sense of self resides. I am curious to explore how developing attention on external sounds affects one's ability to clearly discern the subtleties of imagined sound, meaning verbal thoughts.
Does anyone have experience, thoughts, or references to share on this?​​​​​​​
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Jim Smith, modified 1 Year ago at 4/21/23 10:23 PM
Created 1 Year ago at 4/21/23 10:02 PM

RE: building a small, (1.5-2 m3) soundproof meditation hut

Posts: 1767 Join Date: 1/17/15 Recent Posts
One of the benefits from listening to whatever sounds happen to occur around you while doing vipassana is that since you have no other goal besides being aware of what you perceive, then there is no reason to judge the different sounds, no reason to like or dislike any particular sound, you just need to be aware of what is there, whatever is there is correct. When you do that, you develop a non-attached attitude to sounds.  (I find being relaxed makes it easier to cultivate non-attachment. Also sometimes one feels like their barriers are coming down or their boundaries are expanding, I think that feeling if cultivated can help also develop non-attachment.) Then later when you are trying to focus on a task you don't find noises to be as distracting because you have a more non-attached attitude to sounds.

When we're trying to focus on a task sometimes we don't like noises because they distract us, but actually we find them distracting because we don't like them. In a sense the annoyance we react with can be more of a distraction than the actual sound. If you take the liking and disliking out of the situation the basis for it being distracting is much reduced.
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finding-oneself ♤, modified 1 Year ago at 4/22/23 4:16 PM
Created 1 Year ago at 4/22/23 4:16 PM

RE: building a small, (1.5-2 m3) soundproof meditation hut

Posts: 547 Join Date: 1/7/14 Recent Posts
I think this idea is awesome. I want one. Also a comedic element to it. Not making fun, it's just funny for some reason. I think the word "hut" is slightly funny.

You could add lead paneling, a faray cage, and make it A bomb proof, I'm joking of course, but if I had unlimited resources, I'd do that.

But I just use earplugs. Or ear buds, both various levels of sound dampening. The prior response about sound vipassana is great, and duly noted. Personally I would benefit from both a hut and more noisy mediation.
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Asaf M, modified 1 Year ago at 4/23/23 2:32 AM
Created 1 Year ago at 4/23/23 2:32 AM

RE: building a small, (1.5-2 m3) soundproof meditation hut

Posts: 47 Join Date: 12/9/22 Recent Posts
I had some good sessions in the walk in closet using light through the keyhole as a kasina, and with the tibrtal bowl to concentrate on really sublte sounds.
I hppy do both concentration and insidt practices in all sorts of situations with all sors of sound levels. Along with that, I enjoy doing some sessios in a place quiet enough to home in on particular sensations, notably inner ear sounds, tibetal bowl faidng into silence.
the quiet room is not for tuning out sound, but for tuning into subtle sound.
If all I want is tune out sound than yes, earphones with white noise works well.

In any case, check out the article on the room below. I would love to practice in this room!
I find it fascinating that we use reverberations as part fo our spacial awareness system, even though we are not concious of the fact that we are doing this, and generally speaking cannot single out these reverberations if we try to notice them in daily life.

 https://edition.cnn.com/style/article/anechoic-chamber-worlds-quietest-room/index.html

If you stand in it for long enough, you start to hear your heartbeat. A ringing in your ears becomes deafening. When you move, your bones make a grinding noise. Eventually you lose your balance, because the absolute lack of reverberation sabotages your spatial awareness.
The background noise in the room is so low that it approaches the lowest threshold theorized by mathematicians, the absolute zero of sound – the next step down is a vacuum, or the absence of sound.
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Asaf M, modified 1 Year ago at 4/23/23 4:16 AM
Created 1 Year ago at 4/23/23 2:39 AM

RE: building a small, (1.5-2 m3) soundproof meditation hut

Posts: 47 Join Date: 12/9/22 Recent Posts
turns out people pay $600 and hour to spend time in this room https://www.orfieldlabs.com/architecture/tour-video-tour-hold

The Anechoic ExperienceWe have witnessed many seeming miracles, some of which have explanations and some of which remain mysteries, as a result of time spent in our anechoic chamber.  We remain curious about the nature of the chamber's impact on all people, its therapeutic properties, and how it can influence human perception.  While anechoic chambers are traditionally used to study products, ours is becoming also about the people.  The Anechoic Experience is designed to be an opportunity to personally inquire about the chamber's therapeutic and spiritual effects.
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finding-oneself ♤, modified 1 Year ago at 4/23/23 8:20 PM
Created 1 Year ago at 4/23/23 8:18 PM

RE: building a small, (1.5-2 m3) soundproof meditation hut

Posts: 547 Join Date: 1/7/14 Recent Posts
I forgot I used to sit in the closet too. Or sleep in the pitch black utility room in the basement. But yeah inner ear sounds, it can be very trippy.  That room sounds fascinating. I can't imagine the effect it would have on the ear sounds, I'd be both interested and a bit scared/cautious about going in there lol. But yeah I'd do it

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