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Tinnitus Meditation

In this meditation, we explore a meditation sequence to help reduce the intensity of tinnitus and/or help find peace within the frustration.


My name's Cory Muscara, and this will

be a meditation to work with tinnitus.

There will be several layers to

this meditation, each designed

with a particular purpose.

And it's important to know upfront

that the orientation of this

meditation will be not to get rid of

the tinnitus, but to start to shift

our relationship to it and be able

to find peace within this experience.

Of course, the ideal scenario

would be for the noise to go away.

And there is that possibility that

the intensity of it will reduce

with a meditation like this.

But the avenue we're taking toward

that is reducing the amount that we

are fighting against this experience,

because there's often another layer of

stress, frustration, anger, and suffering

that arises when we fight what's here.

So we'll see if we can let down

some of that resistance and find

some ease within the dis-ease.

Let's take the first few

moments to settle in.

Find a comfortable posture,

may be seated, lying down.

We'll start by taking a

nice deep breath together.

In through the nose.

Out through the mouth.

Letting the body start to settle in

inviting the jaw to soften the teeth.

Don't need to be clenched right

now, inviting the shoulders to

soften the belly and then the hands.

We can't force these areas to

relax, but we can invite them to.

And if you notice that there's any other

place in the body that you're holding

tension, just bring your awareness

there and invite those areas to soften.

Maybe the feet.

The muscles in the face,.

The neck.

Often when our minds are holding tension,

especially when they're resisting

and abrasive experience, the body can

accumulate some of that tension as well.

So here you have the opportunity to

just invite the body to soften, invite

the body, to start to disengage a bit.

Doesn't need to be holding on.

Doesn't need to be gripping.

Another a deep breath.

In through the nose.

And out through the mouth.


And as you sit here, just become aware

of the fact that you're breathing.

It doesn't have to be long, deep breaths.

You could just breathe normally.

Feeling the air, move into the body,

expanding the lungs, the belly, the chest.

And then move out of

the body on an exhale.

We're just feeling the

simplicity of this breath.

of the fact that you're breathing.

Or, we might say that this

body is breathing you.

And you may notice that the mind wanders

off, to the sounds or to thoughts.

And as that happens, for right now, just

allow these experiences to come and go.

Or to be in the background, kind of

like clouds passing through the sky.

If you were walking down the street,

there's a lot that you can pay attention

to and the clouds are still above you,

but it doesn't mean we necessarily have

to look at them or give them attention.

So here we're just feeling our breath.

The sound may be there, the

thoughts may be there, but we're

giving a bit more of our attention

to the experience of the breath.

Letting the breath be a reminder that

there is more right with you than

wrong with you, and more right in

your life than wrong in your life.

Because on the most

fundamental level you're alive.

And see if you can just feel the goodness

of this breath, this body breathing.

You're not broken.

You do not need to be fixed.

Now this next step may feel

counterintuitive, but we're actually

going to turn our attention toward the

sound, toward the noise that may be there.

And as you contemplate doing that,

there may be a sense of gripping

or anger that arises, or fighting.

And so we're just going to

tiptoe toward that experience.

And as you do, notice what thoughts

arise, what emotions arise.

And what we're going to do

is give the noise a color.

So we're going to envelop it with

your favorite color, whatever that is.

And imagine that color as maybe

a water or a powder or a gas,

and it's just infusing the sound.

It's becoming the experience of the sound.

So now when you experience the sound,

see the sound, feel the sound, it's

also accompanied by this color.

So you just start to watch

what the color is doing.

Is it really vast?

Does the color take over

your entire experience?

Is there movement within the color?

And are there edges to the color?

So maybe the color is like a cloud and you

can actually see an outline of the color.

So maybe hang out around

the edges of that outline.

The edges of where the sound is and

where the sound is not so intense.

Or remembering that any intensity

of sound is also intensity of color.

So the two become one

representation, one experience.

And if you want to bring other

colors into this experience, you may.

Watching them interact.

Watching them dance in your mind.

Just notice what it's like to

experience the sound in this way.

Without having to get rid of

it right now or change it.

We're decorating it.

We're playing with it in some sense.

So we have one or a couple particular

colors for the experience of the sound.

Now we'll give another color

to the space around the sound.

So outside the boundaries of

the current color that we have.

So, if you were to identify parts in your

experience in your field of awareness,

where maybe you don't notice a sound

as much, or maybe it's place in your

body, or maybe it's the experience

of the breath, we want to give some

colors to those areas, the areas that

aren't so identified with the sound.

Just starting to play around with that.

Noticing what colors you

might give to those areas.

Maybe they overlap a little bit

with the color of the sound.

And that's okay.

We're just starting to notice

some distinctions and some

other spaces in our experience.

And it's okay to have a little fun with

this and have some fun with choosing

what color you would put in what place.

Or if it's confusing or frustrating,

you know, you don't have to worry

so much about making it perfect.

Maybe it feels like

there's no other colors.

It's just the sound, and that's okay.

And just be with the one

color of just that sound.

And let it be expansive.

And make it your favorite color.

And so what you may have is something that

might feel like, or look like a lava lamp.

These different colors arising,

surfacing bubbling, clumping together,

morphing with one another, releasing.

And the whole idea here is we're just

noticing what it's like to take a

playful relationship to this experience.

And we'll start to turn our

attention more toward the sound

again, just noticing the sound.

If there's a color involved, that's okay.

If the color dissipates, that's fine too.

And we'll bring a quality

of curiosity to the sound.

Watching it be there.

Becoming interested in what it's doing.

Does the tone change?

Does it get louder and then softer?

Is it just on the right

side or the left side?

Simply watching this experience.

Noticing that you have this

capacity to observe without creating

extra frustration, extra tension.

The sound is not trying to cause you harm.

It's not trying to ruin your life.

It's not trying to create agitation.

It doesn't have an agenda in that way.

If we let it do whatever it's going to

do, without fighting against it so much,

and it won't push back on us as much.

Who you are is much bigger and

more expansive than any sound

moving through your experience.

Can you tune into the

spaciousness of who you are?

Of what else is present

for you in this moment?

Sensations in the body.

The experience of your breath.

Other sounds that you

might be able to hear.

We can narrow our attention

in on just one experience.

We could also make our attention broad.

And anytime we look at something,

there's always going to be

space around that thing.

And right now we're tuning into

the space around the sound.

Seeing the other aspects

of our life that are here.

The other experiences that are here.

And they can still be there while

the sound is in the background.

Maybe sometimes really

trying to join the party.

The sound might feel like

an annoying neighbor.

Maybe we just haven't had the

opportunity to meet that neighbor yet.

Sometimes when we sit down and

actually have a conversation with

them, we see that there's more to

who they are and what they are than

the initial judgments that we had.

Even though we might not love the

person or like the person, maybe

there's a bit more understanding

and compassion for them.

So as we move toward the end of this

meditation, perhaps sitting down

at the dinner table with the sound.

If we were to personify it, we can

give it a shape, color, or an identity.

Just imagine that you're sitting down

and having a conversation with it.

Could be at a dining room table.

It could be on a park bench.

And you're both acknowledging

each other's presence.

And feel what it's like to be in the

presence of this being, this experience

in a friendly, curious way, as if you were

meeting them for a meal or a conversation.

And with anything in life, we can't

control what other people are going to

do or what other things are going to do.

But we can influence how we

relate to these experiences.

So if there's anything you'd like to

say to the sound, this being that's

sitting beside you, to help shift the

relationship to one of greater ease,

friendliness, feel free to offer that.

And you may say, I see you.

I hear you.

I'm here with you.

I don't necessarily know why you're

here, but as long as you are, I'm not

going to create more suffering for you.

You can exist as you are.

And sometimes, I'll sit down next to you.

And sometimes, I'm going

to have to go for a walk.

And maybe I'll see you.

And maybe I won't, but if you're

going to be here, then I can

learn to be okay with that.

And perhaps there is some larger

lesson that you're here to

teach me that I'm not aware of.

And making a final embrace

between the two of you.

Taking a breath together.

And then dropping back into your own

experience, back to your own breath.

Feeling the air move into your

body, expanding your lungs.

Feeling that goodness, that aliveness.

And feeling the body it

deflate on an exhale.

In a moment, I will ring

the bells three times.

And as I do, just let your full presence

be with the sound of each bell until

the third bell dissolves into silence.

When you're ready, you can start to

reorient yourself back into the space.

Invite the eyes to open.

Maybe wiggle the fingers and toes.

And you may have noticed some reduction

in intensity of the sound during that

experience, but if not, the primary

orientation was in reducing the

suffering that comes from fighting

and pushing against the experience.

And the interesting thing that starts

to happen there is, often when we

fully accept, embrace and become

okay with an experience that's here,

it's only then that the experience

actually starts to change or move away.

So it's an interesting

phenomenon that occurs.

But in life, there are always going

to be experiences that we don't want.

It's an inevitable part of being a human.

Whether it's tinnitus, whether it's old

age, sickness, death, a relationship

breakup, a job loss, these are aspects

of what it means to be a human being.

And so I think this is an experience

that you can look at on a deeper

level as something that might

actually help you find greater

peace in other areas of your life.

As you start to pacify the mind

that pushes and fights and gets

angry toward the experience of the

sound, you might watch that carry

over into other parts of your life.

Ultimately, leading to a greater

sense of peace within a lot of

things that might not be peaceful.

So taking that broader perspective of

what a deeper purpose or meaning there

might be for this thing can be really

helpful when there are experiences

that we can't explain or that we

have to live with on a regular basis.

So you did great.

Know that you can come back to this

meditation at any point that you'd like.

And as you do it on a consistent basis,

you'll notice that some of the strategies

that we've developed here will become

a natural part of how you relate to

the sound in your day-to-day life.

I wish you the best of luck.

And until we meet again, take care.

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