Stopping inner dialogue when meditating is hard, and often takes consistent long-term practice to do meditation distraction-free. And while many of your meditation practices will be quiet, not every practice will be the same.
This is more, looking at the divine aspects of meditation, but regardless of your openness to spiritual experiences, you may experience something that shakes your worldview.
While you can have certain biases and belief systems when entering meditation, the purpose of the practice isn’t to get confirmation bias but instead, to be open to an objective view of things. There’s no harm in experiencing sounds in meditation, so long as you’re still able to be present.
As a matter of fact, it serves as a test at times, from the mind to dissuade you from meditation. Below I’ll explain what it means for you to hear something and what you should do when you hear something during meditation.
When we chant om, it’s an alternative to try to focus on our breath, since focusing on the breath isn’t easy for everyone. But when we hear Om, rather than trying to run away from the sound, it’s a sound we should embrace.
The chanting of “Om” doesn’t have to be limited to vocal chanting, it’s something we can hear in our minds as an indication that we’ve achieved a deep state of meditation.
A deep state of meditation and what it feels like isn’t as easy to put in words as experiencing it yourself, since your experience is likely to differ from others.
After all, meditation isn’t a measurable practice in which you can tell that by a certain time your life will change since it all depends on you and what you hear.
However, hearing “Om” tends to be something you’ll want to lay your attention on. Attention is scarce, but when meditating properly, you’re able to channel to the present.
Hearing “Om”, tells you your mind’s focus has narrowed down to meditation and you no longer have to worry about the mind running around to different places. It gives your mind something to focus on.
Becoming More Sensitive To Sound
When being in a deep state of meditation, you can boost your senses and as a result, your ability to pick up sound, as your focus doesn’t have many other directions to turn to when you limit the scope.
The other clutter that was casting your focus in various directions might’ve made you miss things you otherwise wouldn’t have noticed in your day to day, such as hearing your heartbeat or even noises in your head.
Don’t worry, you’re not losing it. The more focused you become on yourself, the more of a chance you’ll gravitate into having a dialogue with yourself. In this case, you’ll still want to turn your attention to your breath. Even if the discussion can seem productive and seem as if it would lead to new ideas.
You don’t always hear this sound only with your ears but at times, you’re simply able to perceive it.
Buzzing and Vibrations
If you’re spiritual or meditating with that purpose, you may be able to hear sounds that would otherwise not seem normal to experience in the physical world day to day, for instance, when you’re experiencing vibrations, something which is common in those getting into lucid dreaming.
At this point, you can let those vibrations coexist with you and you can focus on either these vibrations or your breath, since these vibrations don’t tend to be as disruptive as an inner dialogue and tell you that you’ve reached a certain level of depth with meditation.
These vibrations can sometimes manifest themselves in the form of buzzing, which may not sound appealing but is harmless and even normal for deep meditators. Vibrations and buzzing are among the most common things meditation practitioners experience.
However, this is not to be confused with ringing, at which point, you should get the perspective of a primary care physician. If you feel unsure, it doesn’t hurt to get examined.
Spirit Guides and Hypnagogic Sound
Entering a more esoteric territory in meditation, some report hearing their spirit guides when they meditate, often resulting in the meditation practitioner getting more wisdom.
The communication with spirit guides wouldn’t carry on like a normal conversation, but normally it would manifest in sounds as a result of connecting with ourselves.
At this point, we don’t necessarily hear normal words like we otherwise would but a bunch of letters put together that are usually picked up by the mind.
This is common to hear during the hypnagogic stage before we fall asleep, if we’re able to remain conscious, we’d technically be entering a meditative state as our body is asleep.
What Should You Do If You Hear Sounds While Meditating?
Sometimes you can’t help but become receptive to certain thoughts during meditation, at which point, we first have to accept that the sound is there, rather than trying to run away from it. Since anything we resist tends to stick around.
This is the core principle of meditation 101. Anything you want to control, for the most part, you have to acknowledge with gentleness.
Alternatively, If you, on other hand, remain indifferent to a sound you’re experiencing during meditation, it will generally go away on its own.
When it comes to hearing sounds, however, the mind will hold on to anything to prevent us from meditating, this applies to beginners especially, but can also happen to more advanced meditators, even if it’s rare.
Writing Down The Sound
But one way to approach sound is to write down the sounds you hear while meditating, and examine the sound afterward when you’re done with the meditation.
This way, you’ll be acknowledging it on a mental level and a physical level. If a sound or thought is observed, it tends to go away, and this is especially seen in shadow work where we confront the most obscure parts within ourselves. The same principle you apply to thoughts can be applied to sounds for the most part.
We learn to first coexist with it and later on, we’re able to change what’s been ingrained in us subconsciously that doesn’t serve a purpose to us.
When It’s OK To Focus On a Sound
Sounds can be seen as distracting to our meditation practice, but they don’t have to be, as they can be an indication of reaching a deep state of concentration.
One principle I follow is that if a sound is present but doesn’t shake you off the present moment, and doesn’t constitute inner dialogue, it’s generally okay to focus on that sound.
For instance, when the sound is a chant or a mantra that brings you peace, you’ll want to amplify that sound, as it’s a way of the mind to tell you that it’s something it can lay its focus on while being present.
At that point, you’re no longer fighting with your mind to stay present, but the mind has found its own thing to lean on to remain present throughout the meditation practice. At this point, you don’t want to start focusing on your breath if that’s gonna make your mind wander.
The easier you make the meditation for yourself and your mind, the more likely you are to stick with it and thus, build a routine around it. Focusing on the breath is a consensus, but there are many alternatives, and hearing sounds that give you a sense of tranquility is one of them.
Using White Noise
If you’re bothered by sound and can’t bring your focus to the present, but you don’t want to meditate with music, you can meditate on white sound, as it’s the perfect way to center the attention on nothingness and almost taming the mind, even if it’s impossible to have no thoughts at all.
Meditating to white noise is the closest thing to meditating in silence and makes it less likely for you to hear any other sound, as you’d be making your meditation practice more linear and giving yourself fewer options to go in different directions.
Does Everyone Hear Sounds When They Meditate
Not everyone will hear sounds when they meditate. Some have mastered the ability to keep their mind quiet on their own.
This is a way to integrate meditation into your daily life in the truest sense. However, not everyone can quiet the mind and ears and lock their attention into one place, so while you may hear sounds in the beginning when meditating, you may not later down the line.
On the contrary, you may hear nothing at the start, and at the later stages, you may start hearing sounds as a sign of progress. But everyone is different, so what you experience during your meditation is often gonna be a reflection or in some way telling you which stage you are in.
Sounds can make the meditation experience more meaningful, however, you may experience these sounds as a result of entering a meditative state that resembles that of sleep, while still maintaining your full awareness, making sounds an experience on their own which are just a byproduct of the meditation, to begin with.